The Premier League returned from its World Cup break on Monday, and already this season we’ve seen several U-21 stars break through to make a name for themselves.
from the arsenal Ethan Nwaneri he became the youngest player in the Premier League when he came on as a substitute in a 3-0 win at Brentford in September aged 15 years, 5 months and 23 days, breaking the record previously held by Liverpool. harvey eliott (16 years, 30 days) when he was at Fulham.
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But while Nwaneri may have to wait a bit longer before making the full step to the first team, here’s a list of 10 youngsters aged 21 and under who, having had opportunities in their respective first teams, have a chance to impress. even more. In the new year.
Arguably the most shocking teenage newcomer, the Belgian midfielder signed for £12m this summer from Manchester City (which included a £40m re-signing clause in the deal). He has shown no signs of shyness after being exposed to Premier League football as part of a struggling Southampton side and, while the sample size may be small (six starts due to injury keeping him out of action in September and October), Lavia has impressed against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Manchester United. and Liverpool.
Dynamic, technically gifted and secure in possession, Lavia presses, recovers the ball (six interceptions per 90 minutes) and distributes with measure, intelligence and precision. His well-received goal against Chelsea (he neatly controlled a cleared corner kick with his left foot before deftly converting it into the right angle from the edge of the box) proved to be a telling snapshot of his maturity.
Propelled into the spotlight against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League, Garnacho’s man-of-the-match performance gave him the chance to fulfill his obvious potential under Erik ten Hag. The United manager spoke afterwards of the teenager’s need to improve the defensive aspect of his game “in the pressing part, in the counter-pressing, in the defensive transition.” But he also praised his new attitude, suggesting that Garnacho may have more chances.
Scoring a late goal to beat Fulham 2-1 a few weeks later cemented his position and the Argentinian striker has the skills to cause trouble for defenders: speed, deception and the desire to run at his opponent every time he receives the ball. He prefers his right foot too much and still takes too many steps when he is in possession, but his idol is Cristiano Ronaldo and you can see why the 18-year-old plays the way he does. He could be the key to replacing the now deceased Ronaldo in the United XI.
fabio carvalho20, attacking midfielder, Liverpool
After helping Fulham win promotion, Carvalho arrived at Anfield for around £5m last summer, ready to make an immediate impact. However, partly due to the unstable nature of Liverpool’s attacking setup and due to increased competitiveness, it may still be some time before we see a consistent contribution from the Portugal U21 international.
There have been glimpses of his talent: he showed his opportunism with a 98th-minute winner against Newcastle, while his volley against Bournemouth highlighted his remarkable technical ability. Whether on the pitch as an inverted left winger or as a central attacking midfielder, he routinely radiates creativity and has a natural appreciation for drifting (in a Felipe Coutinho-esque way), receive and create between the lines.
Leeds fended off competition from numerous European clubs to snap up the Italian international for a modest €4.5m from FC Zurich in the summer. But apart from setting up the 4-3 winner against Bournemouth in November, we have yet to see much of the teenager who played in Inter Milan’s youth teams. However, based on the intrinsic talent of him, there should be much more to come.
Gnonto has mostly been deployed on either wing, but is effective wherever he can find space. Bursting with intensity and energy, he executes his actions – be it dribbling, quick touches, firing and sprinting – with high speed and favors power and urgency when it comes to finishing. Difficult to unbalance, tenacious and determined, he is a good ball carrier who runs towards defenders with the utmost conviction.
Amadou Onana21, central midfielder, Everton
With over 50 league appearances to his credit in Germany and France, let alone Everton paying a hefty €35m transfer fee to sign him from Lille in the summer, Onana understandably came to Goodison with high expectations. Although his performances so far have been comfortably reassuring rather than spectacular, it’s not hard to see that the Belgium international (who came off the bench twice at World Cups) already plays like a fully developed senior player and possesses all the makings. to be a great player. Central midfielder of the future.
Onana is not only nice to watch, elegantly carrying the ball, and his smooth, natural athleticism allows him to effortlessly overcome midfield pressure, but he is also positive in his passing. He has won almost 60% of his games so far this season and is averaging three dribbles per 90 minutes, so he can leave a mark as No. 6 or No. 8.
rich lewis19, right back, Manchester City
Based on the evidence of seven first-team appearances, City manager Pep Guardiola clearly holds the England under-19 right-back in high regard. Among other good performances, Lewis scored in the Champions League win against Sevilla and turned in a confident and mature performance in the Carabao Cup win over Chelsea.
In addition to his near-perfect adaptation to first-team football, Lewis seems to tick all the boxes to excel at the highest level: agile and resourceful in close quarters with a fine touch. While his coaches aim for a good mental focus, he is also a natural at combined football. And while there’s work to be done on his one-on-one defense, his explosive pace often comes to the rescue.
Since making his Premier League debut at the start of the season, the Scotland international has come a long way in making the role of Everton’s right-back his own. Mainly renowned for his pace and ability to exploit space down the right flank, Patterson has looked reasonably comfortable at the highest level, bringing freshness and spark.
While he may still lack the physical strength to be more efficient in defensive duels, the former Rangers man relates to midfield, timing his movement well off the ball to find the right positions from where he can send the ball into the box. .
The €11m signing from Bochum started the season well and shone in a 2-1 win against Leicester City in August, leading to Germany’s full call-up (he was an unused member of the Cup squad of the world).
While his fearless defensive style is obvious, his eight interceptions per game, 70% success rate on challenges, and passing dominance also rank among the best center backs. On the other hand, Bella-Kotchap needs to become more reliable on the ball and still makes too many individual errors, but he has already become an important player for Southampton.
Signed on a free transfer this summer when his contract with Derby County expired, the England U-20 winger has, perhaps surprisingly, already been handed three Premier League cameos for his new club. With strong balance and upper body strength, Ebiowei has potentially match-winning traits in his game and it’s clear why Palace boss Patrick Vieira has followed his development.
While he is overly reliant on his left foot and guilty of making poor decisions on the ball, his instinctive dribbling skills, coupled with precise crosses and precision on plays from his favored right-back position, make him a dangerous opponent and a exciting prospect.