11 young players to watch out for in the Premier League: Foden, Nelson, Jones
Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea starlets are among the young players you should keep an eye on in the new Premier League season.
While there are a host of big-money signings supporters will no doubt be looking forward to watching, there are also a number of exciting prospects hoping to establish themselves in the division.
We’ve taken a look at 11 young players who could make their mark at their respective clubs this season.
One of the most highly-rated English prospects, Foden set tongues wagging with his display in Manchester City’s Community Shield victory over Chelsea.
The challenge ahead of the 18-year-old is to force his way into a side which broke a number of records on their way to winning the Premier League last term.
“He was ready last season. Now he is one year on, he is more mature,” Pep Guardiola said. “He was training last season with us and he fought well with all of our players.”
The City boss added: “It is so good to have another player with his talent. He’s a City fan and Mancunian and it is so good for us.”
Had Fulham not won the play-off final against Aston Villa, there was a strong likelihood that Sessegnon would have been playing in the Premier League anyway amid interest from a host of clubs.
Still only 18, Sessegnon is likely to pass the 100 senior appearances mark this season and is already being tipped to break into the England squad, with the player perfectly suited to the left wing-back role Ashley Young occupied during the World Cup.
Five goals and three assists in 11 appearances over the second half of last season was a productive return for Lookman. Sadly for Everton supporters, those figures were for RB Leipzig rather than the Toffees after the 20-year-old found himself overlooked by Sam Allardyce.
While Leipzig were keen to re-sign the forward, Lookman is expected to feature much more heavily at Goodison Park.
Asked by The Guardian about the player, new boss Marco Silva said: “He is our player and he stays.”
Nelson first set pulses racing last summer and went on to appear 16 times in all competitions for Arsenal, featuring heavily in the Europa League in particular.
Arsene Wenger may have been replaced by Unai Emery, but Nelson is set to earn a new long-term contract after impressing the new manager, according to The Sun.
Reiss Nelson's pre-season performances:
2 assists vs PSG.
1 assist vs Chelsea.
1 goal vs Lazio
Really hope we see Reiss Nelson feature a lot in league this season. Amazin talent, huge potential. Still a bit raw but he's getting there pic.twitter.com/eknOgyl6lA
— P🎒 (@RedLacazette) August 4, 2018
Liverpool may have splashed the cash this summer, but supporters will be delighted at the prospect of having – in the words of Jurgen Klopp – a “proper Scouser” potentially appearing in the first team next season.
Jones was given a chance by Klopp in Liverpool’s pre-season trip to the USA and looked the part against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.
“We will see with Curtis,” Klopp told Goal, “there is still a long way to go, but the first signs are really positive. He’s a good player, he can be very good, we will see.
“It’s always this little plus if they come from Liverpool. If I have two players, same quality, but one speaks proper English and the other one speaks Scouse, the Scouser is in! That’s why we are Liverpool.”
There will always be a big question at Chelsea surrounding how much game time young players will be given at Stamford Bridge, but there is plenty of excitement about Hudson-Odoi after a promising pre-season.
The 17-year-old made four cameo appearances last term, but Maurizio Sarri handed the winger a start in the Community Shield defeat to Manchester City.
Alvaro Morata has been suitably impressed, telling The Mirror: “I have never seen a player like him.
“Ethan Ampadu and him, when you see them playing, it is like they are 25 and 26 years old – and they are 17! They work so hard.”
West Ham academy boss Terry Westley compared Holland to Ryan Giggs and Steve McManaman in 2017, saying: “I have worked with Nathan Redmond and Demarai Gray and they used to run with the ball, stop and change direction before going again.
“This boy is different to those two and there are not many like that now, who can carry the ball quickly and go past people.”
Holland made his debut for the club last season in a 3-0 win over Bolton in the League Cup only for injury to halt his progress, but Manuel Pellegrini has reportedly chosen to keep the 20-year-old rather than send him out on loan.
“The aim is to be in and around the first team this year,” Holland told the club’s official website. “I want to play for West Ham and I want to play at London Stadium.
“I’ve just got to keep working hard, day in and day out, and see what happens. Hopefully I will get my chance.”
Very impressed by the West Ham youth players tonight. Nathan Holland has got a certain something about him. Pace, low centre of gravity and superb decision making.
— Daniel Cumberworth (@dancumby) July 31, 2018
Jose Mourinho may not be too happy with Manchester United’s transfer business this summer, but one player he has managed to sign is 19-year-old right-back Dalot.
Despite having just seven first-team appearances to his name for Porto, Dalot arrived in a £19million deal, with Mourinho gushing: “In his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe.
“He is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club.
“He has all the attributes that a full-back needs: physicality, tactical intelligence and technical quality, combined with a Porto academy mentality which prepares players for the maturity they need at the professional level.”
An injury means he will not be available until September, but with Mourinho criticising Antonio Valencia’s fitness after “too much holiday”, Dalot may not have to wait too long to be given a chance.
Skipp was one of 10 Tottenham youngsters challenged by Mauricio Pochettino to force their way into his first-team plans during the pre-season tour of the USA.
The 17-year-old midfielder was given plenty of minutes against Roma, Barcelona and Milan, catching the eye of his more establish team-mates – most notably Christian Eriksen.
In an interview with Football London, Eriksen said: “I think the guy who’s the youngest is probably Skippy, who’s really taken the game in his hands and is trying to do his thing. He’s been very good.
When asked what impressed him most about Skipp, Eriksen replied: “First of all his courage. He is not scared to get the ball, he is not scared to go forward and he is not scared to tackle.
“He’s an all-round midfielder. And I think with a lot of training, as he gets older, he will be there.”
Roy Hodgson urged caution with Kirby as Crystal Palace fans desperately searched for a replacement for Yohan Cabaye, but the pressure has been eased on the 18-year-old following the signings of Max Meyer and Cheikhou Kouyaté.
Formerly of Tottenham, Kirby impressed Hodgson in Palace’s tour of Scandinavia, earning praise from the former England boss and Ray Lewington as Football London named the youngster as one of the big ‘winners’.
Obafemi became the second youngest player to make a Premier League appearance for Southampton when he made his debut against Spurs last January and is currently at the centre of a battle for his international allegiance.
The 18-year-old is a Republic of Ireland youth international but has trained with England teams and is also wanted by Nigeria.
Saints have struggled for goals in recent years – Charlie Austin has top scored in the past two season without hitting double figures – meaning Obafemi could be handed a chance at some point.