The start of the Premier League is just days away.
Every year, new starts emerge and shine.
As we’ve seen with Trent-Alexander Arnold, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling’s rise, players are starting to spike at a young age. There’s just no fear or unnerving them anymore. The managers’ encouragement has allowed youngsters to make their breakthrough very early in their careers.
Here are six young players ready for their moment to breakthrough this year.
Termed as the “next Frank Lampard”, I don’t think Mason Mount is his manager’s second-coming. He’s a dynamic midfielder in his own right. An industrious figure looking to regain possession while not being shy of putting in challenges, the 20-year-old’s clever work going forward should also please Chelsea fans.
Mount had an exciting season under Lampard at Derby County, scoring 11 goals. He’s already contributed to a few in preseason, looking well synchronized with Christian Pulisic and co. With his tendency to pop up goals or wander into promising positions towards creating chances, I feel the 20-year-old can be Chelsea’s secret weapon.
Reiss Nelson is perhaps the most talented youngster to come out of Arsenal’s academy in recent times. He’s proven his mettle in the Bundesliga, having a profitable campaign at Hoffenheim with 7 goals in just 630 minutes. Nelson has an electric presence, which suits his sizzling knack of running rings around defenders.
Just ask the Bundesliga players he tormented. He really suits Unai Emery’s fast-pace attacking style, under which he impressed in pre-season. Nelson’s got the pedigree to create chaos in the Premier League with his irresistible trickery. Is he ready for the big leagues? I think he is and if Emery allows him to express himself, the 19-year-old will be a breath of fresh air.
The latest addition to the marquee Premier League youngsters list, Everton’s big summer transfer Moise Kean earned quite the reputation back in Italy. Coming through seven-time reigning Italian champions Juventus’ youth system, he’s almost like the second coming of Didier Drogba. The youngster likes to have fun outside the pitch but means business inside it.
Considering he netted 6 goals in only 13 appearances in his first senior season, he’s bound to get better. The 19-year-old’s a fox in the box, pouncing on chances to score with conviction. Everton probably has their Romelu Lukaku replacement finally. Kean is on the rise as a potential top-quality striker who, for me, will outscore many others in the blue side of Merseyside.
Among the positives from Manchester United’s perfect pre-season campaign was Mason Greenwood’s emergence. Perhaps the most unique striker they’ve had since Zlatan, the 17-year-old’s outplayed those well above his age-grade. Not only did he net his first senior goals in their pre-season tour, but Greenwood’s composure in goal-scoring positions and lethal finishing touch encouraged bright signs.
He’s still raw in some physical aspects, but makes do with his technical expertise in sliding past defenders. It’s looking doubtful United will sign another striker if/when Lukaku leaves. So rather than shifting midfielders/wingers into the centre, I feel Greenwood could produce timely goals when exposed to Premier League soccer regularly.
Liverpool won’t be changing their world-class attacking trio anytime soon. However, that wouldn’t restrict Jurgen Klopp from giving opportunities to youngsters, something he’s done for years. Rhian Brewster’s time has come to shine. The 19-year-old took full advantage of the pre-season, scoring many goals, while also impressing in Liverpool’s less-than-joyful US tour.
He was among the more impressive players from pre-season, with his ability to warp past defenders as well as bang in emphatic goals benefiting his reputation. Brewster’s surprisingly quick, has a bag of tricks in his arsenal and is hard-working, ticking the boxes for being a Klopp favourite. Liverpool have a long season ahead to finally claim the Premier League. A clinical striker like Brewster should, I think, be their ace-in-the-hole.
At 19 years old, Phil Foden is already a domestic treble winner with Manchester City. But if anyone thinks we’ve seen the best of him, they are very mistaken. He only netted that one goal last season (an important one in the title race), but there’s still loads for him to score. Described by Pep Guardiola as the most talented player he’s ever worked with, Foden’s about to unload tricks people have rarely seen yet.
He’s pacy with the ball, but it’s his incisive passing along with a knack for popping up in prime positions which makes him hard to track. Now a year older, the youngster knows the Premier League inside out. If Pep gives him more than 10-15 minutes of game-time regularly, I feel he’s about to have his breakthrough season very soon.