Ethan Nwaneri during the FA Youth Cup match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road, Watford, February 2023.

One youngster to look out for at each Premier League club in 2023-24

The new Premier League season is fast approaching, and while all the focus is on frantically signing new players, some clubs operate best by looking closer to home.

Youth academies are ultimately there for a reason. And while not every player is destined to forge a path to the first team and embark on a Premier League career, a lucky few are made for it.

Every season we see the emergence of a few new names, but with the calendar getting bigger and bigger, more clubs are opting to give youth a chance in a bid to bulk out their squads.

Ahead of the 2023-24 campaign, we’ve looked at all 20 Premier League sides and highlighted a young star we think you should keep tabs on next season.

Arsenal – Ethan Nwaneri

Nwaneri became Arsenal’s youngest debutant back in September 2022 at the age of 15 years and 181 days. He was born in 2007. No, seriously.

He’s since inked a new ideal with the club that will turn professional when he hits 18 years old, with Arsenal desperate not to lose him to rivals Chelsea.

Mikel Arteta clearly rates the kid extremely highly. Remember the name.

Aston Villa – Cameron Archer

An unknown name to many, Archer has enjoyed an exceptional last 12 months or so.

The forward spent the 2022-23 season on loan at Middlesborough and weighed in with 11 goals and six assists in the Championship. He’s also just lifted the under-21 European Championship with England.

Considering Unai Emery’s track record with getting strikers firing, Archer could well blow up next season.

Bournemouth – Owen Bevan

The centre-back is a Wales under-21 international and spent last season out on loan at Yeovil Town, a crucial step in his development.

With it being all change at the Cherries, new manager Andoni Iraola could turn to youth and Bevan stands out as an ideal candidate.

Brentford – Romeo Beckham

Brentford do things differently by having a B-team instead of an under-21s outfit, which makes their youth progression an interesting path to follow.

Nobody quite expected a brief loan period away from Inter Miami to turn into a permanent deal for Romeo Beckham, but alas, it has.

That means The Bees see something in him. And we’re intrigued.

Brighton – Evan Ferguson

We could’ve picked anyone from Brighton’s youth ranks, to be honest, because the chances are they’ll all spawn in at one point and immediately look like the next big thing.

So instead of trying our luck at guessing and being wrong, we’ve cheated and gone with Ferguson. The Irish international burst onto the scene last season, but we’re tipping him for a real breakout campaign in 2023-24.

At just 18 years old, he genuinely has it all. This season could be huge for him.

Burnley – James Trafford

Vincent Kompany cooked up a storm in his first season at Burnley, championing youth and transforming the side from long-ball to total football ideals.

It’s earned them promotion back to the top flight as champions, and if Kompany gets his wish, Trafford will play a huge role in their fortunes.

We don’t need to tell you why after that under-21 Euros showing.

Chelsea – Cesare Casadei

It was a toss-up between Casadei and Ian Maatsen, who looks set to stay at Chelsea after a loan spell at Burnley, but the Italian just edges it.

Casadei is an immensely talented and physically imposing midfielder who epitomises everything that Mauricio Pochettino loves in a player.

Italy's Cesare Casadei, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal against Colombia during a FIFA U-20 World Cup quarterfinal soccer match at the Bicentenario stadium in San Juan, Argentina, Saturday, June 3, 2023.

READ: Pochettino, rejoice! Chelsea’s latest wonderkid is tearing the U20 World Cup a new one

Crystal Palace – Jesurun Rak-Sakyi

On his first full senior loan, Rak-Sakyi dazzled for Charlton in League One, providing a consistent end product, flashes of skill and being rewarded as a result.

He finished his loan spell by being named the club’s 2022-23 Player of the Year, which says it all.

Palace have a serious talent on their hands, and with a Wilfried Zaha-shaped hole in the squad, Rak-Sakyi could be the perfect in-house replacement.

Everton – Thomas Cannon

The Toffees are strapped for cash and braced for another season of battling relegation, so are actually looking to sell their most promising youngsters in a bid to raise funds.

Twenty-year-old Cannon, though, is the ideal blend of not too flashy that other clubs come calling, while also now having amassed some experience to the point where he could quietly improve the first-team.

Fulham – Jay Stansfield

Marco Silva ensured a very impressive return to Premier League football for Fulham last year, but didn’t exactly do it while flying the flag for youth development.

It’s difficult to imagine a man who likes experienced players going all in on youngsters. So, we’ve identified 20-year-old Stansfield, an England under-20 who spent last season on loan at Exeter.

The ideal option to shadow Raul Jimenez or replace Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Liverpool – Stefan Bajcetic

With Calvin Ramsay back from injury but looking likely to go out on loan, we’ve backed Spanish midfielder Bajcetic.

The Reds are currently crafting a new-look, refreshed midfield for the 2023-23 campaign and the teenager’s impressive build and technical ability earned him the trust of Klopp towards the end of last season.

Next season could be the one where he bursts onto the scene for good – when he returns from injury. Liverpool's Stefan Bajcetic during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

READ: 9 great quotes on Liverpool star Stefan Bajcetic: ‘He’s been our best player’

Luton Town – Jayden Luker

The Premier League’s unknown quantity next season, Luton likely won’t be relying much on youth with them merely desperate to keep hold of top-flight status.

However, 18-year-old Luker made his way into The Hatters’ FA Cup squad in January and appears to be spending pre-season around the first-team, thus could be one to watch.

Manchester City – Rico Lewis

Lewis broke through last season and seemed to immediately earn the trust of Pep Guardiola, before being hidden away at the business end of the season.

But with City needing to refresh after winning the treble and Kyle Walker’s future remaining unclear, expect Lewis to be blooded in properly throughout the 2023-24 season.

Suddenly, he’s going to look like a star. And if he doesn’t, they’ll still sell him for a ridiculously good fee in a few years.

Manchester United – Kobbie Mainoo

Mainoo won’t be an unfamiliar name to United fans, but to the wider world, he’s largely unknown beyond his debut against Charlton in the Carabao Cup last season.

Erik ten Hag appears to be a huge fan of the teenage midfielder, though. Mainoo spent most of last season training with the first team and has been given a lower squad number ahead of the new season.

He’s shone in pre-season and,  if he can recover from injury without complications, expect Ten Hag to call on him often in 2023-24.

Oslo, Norway. 12th July, 2023. Kobbie Mainoo (62) of Manchester United seen during a pre-season friendly between Manchester United and Leeds United at Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo

READ: Kobbie Mainoo cooked Rice & is ready to shine for Ten Hag’s Man Utd

Newcastle – Garang Kuol

The Australia international signed in September 2022 and came with rave reviews from those who follow the A-League and could make the step up this season.

After a loan to Scottish outfit Hearts at the back end of last season, the 18-year-old forward will surely pique the interest of Eddie Howe.

Nottingham Forest – Zach Abbott

There are others in the youth ranks at Forest who are older and probably better equipped to handle a step-up to first-team action, but Steve Cooper appears to be a huge fan of 17-year-old Abbott.

After appearing in the 2022 FA Youth Cup final, Cooper handed him a senior debut at just 16 in the Carabao Cup the following September. He’s now a year older and wiser, which stands him in good stead to make a splash.

Sheffield United – Andre Brooks

Sheffield-born and raised, Brooks has been with the Blades since the age of eight and was speechless when he learned he was starting against Tottenham in the FA Cup last season.

The 19-year-old wide man has made an impression on Paul Heckingbottom and could be exactly the blend of youth, passion and talent that Sheffield United need to make it stick this time around.

Tottenham – Alfie Devine

It’s a new era at Spurs under Ange Postecoglu and with expectations on the floor after the horrors of 2022-23, the pressure is somewhat off.

The Australian manager has already breathed fresh air back into the place with positive energy and new signings, but has also kept Devine around the squad during pre-season – and he’s impressed.

A creative youth player full of passion is exactly what Spurs need right now with fans so disillusioned.

West Ham – Divin Mubama

With Gianluca Scamacca back in Italy, Michail Antonio eyeing moves elsewhere and Danny Ings underwhelming last season, the Hammers have something of a striking dilemma on their hands.

But Mubama may be the answer to David Moyes; strong, intelligent and clinical, the 18-year-old has been in strong form during pre-season and has all the ingredients to thrive at the London Stadium.


Wolves – Ryan Giles

One of the older suggestions in the list, Giles is now 23 and doesn’t lack ability, but has been unable to force his way in at Wolves.

He proved a hit under Michael Carrick at Middlesborough last season, though, and with the Midlanders currently working with a very thin squad, now could be the time to trust in the left-sided full-back.

If it means finding a new position for him or someone else, so be it. He needs a chance.

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