The Most Exciting Young Players in the Premier League
One of the most talked about things this summer was how young the English squad were at the World Cup. However, it is not just at major tournaments where young players get the chance to make an impact; the same is true of club football. With the start of the new season now just a few days away, we take a look at some of the most exciting young players in the Premier League.
Harry Winks – 22, Tottenham Hotspur
It is not really known yet what Winks is capable of as he has problems staying fit. Last season he suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury, but without it, he probably would have been at the World Cup. Instead, his season ended in February.
However, he is an extremely confident player. He never seems to be rushing when he has possession, and is excellent at picking his pass. Furthermore, it is obvious that he is always forward thinking, when he lets the ball go it is normally both accurate and vertical.
Tottenham’s midfield is undergoing change at the moment, with Victor Wanyama injured and Moussa Dembele approaching the end of his time with the club. Winks did not travel with the team to the US for the pre-season tour and he probably won’t be fit before the end of the month. However, when he returns he will have the chance to establish himself as a first-team player, and any extra time he gets on the pitch will help him to realise his potential.
Lewis Cook – 21, Bournemouth
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Lewis Cook is hardly ever spoken about, most likely because he plays for Bournemouth, but this is to do the player a disservice. His intelligence and style of play fit into the team’s style so well, that it is easy to miss how calm and controlled he is as a player, and how effective he can be when passing.
Cook undoubtedly still has room to improve, he is weak in defence and made little impact against the top teams last season. However, the team as a whole has improved, with David Brooks added to the midfield and Diego Rico a new full-back option, and this should help Cook to flourish over the coming season.
Leroy Sané – 22, Manchester City
It is well known just how impressive Leroy Sané is technically and what an impact he can have on a game. However, it remains to be seen how he will respond to his disappointing summer. To the surprise of many, he was left out of the German World Cup squad, and while that may actually prove to be a good thing, it will certainly have hurt his ego.
However, he has now had a full pre-season, and will be coming to the new season relatively fresh compared to some of his teammates. This could result in him being even more impressive over the coming weeks. Sané may well feel as if he has a point to prove, and there have been hints in his behaviour that he takes things personally. If he channels this in the best way, then he will certainly be a force to watch.
Davinson Sanchez – 22, Tottenham
While there is still a bit of time left for some last minute transfers, it seems as if Davinson Sanchez is set to be Mauricio Pochettino’s first choice partner for Jan Vertonghen in central defence at Spurs.
Sanchez enjoyed a successful first season in England, but it was not as smooth as it could have been. There were times when he looked absolutely immovable, but then would suffer from a small lapse in concentration and leave opportunities for the opposition. For instance, Wilfried Zaha gave him a hard time at Wembley last season, and a small mistake in stoppage time nearly cost them the north London derby.
However, that is probably largely down to inexperience. He has now had a year’s additional playing time, as well as a World Cup, to learn from. It remains to be seen whether he did, but it seems more likely than not that he will be a player to watch over the coming years.
Yves Bissouma – 21, Brighton
Yves Bissouma is a relatively unknown player, he has just arrived at Brighton at there is a sense that this move could make or break him. Brighton paid Lille £15 million for him, and while the French club had an extremely poor season in 2017/18, Bissouma had many flashes of brilliance.
He is certainly physically suited to the demands of the Premier League, but it is his technique that is really worth watching. He has been compared to a younger version of Spur’s Moussa Dembele, and it will certainly be interesting to see what Brighton boss Chris Hughton can make of him.
Lucas Torreira – 22, Arsenal
Some are claiming that Lucas Torreira is the player that Arsenal have been lacking for the last ten years. He is not a midfielder who is a possession player, but an actual holder of the ball. He is an intimidating player in front of a defence line, which is also undergoing a remodelling.
Torreira has shown that he has all of the technical skills needed to fit in and those who watched him in Serie A will have seen some amazing goals. However, it is his dirty work which Arsenal fans are likely to be looking forward to. He may not make much of an impact against the lesser teams, but as soon as they come up against the league’s best, then you can expect him to come to the fore.
Richarlison – 21, Everton
Richarlison is hardly an unknown signing and Everton happily broke their transfer record to bring the Brazilian to Goodison Park.
It is not a transfer that has been well received by fans, and many have accused Marco Silva of over spending. However, Richarlison was one of the most consistently excellent players at the beginning of last season, and easily looked to be worth the £40 million that Everton have reportedly spent. He may have slumped a bit, but so did his team (Watford), and the midfield around him was continually disrupted by injury.
His arrival is sure to be a boost for the team. Everton has some defensive issues, but they have addressed these by bringing in Gylfi Sigurdsson, Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott. Hopefully this will give Richarlison all the space he needs to thrive.
James Maddison – 21, Leicester
Leicester City paid a large amount of money for Maddison, there is a chance that the fee could rise to £24 million, and they spent this money based on how he was performing in the Football League. That is always a risky strategy and it is likely that Maddison will be feeling under pressure.
However, from what we’ve seen of Maddison, he should be able to cope with that pressure. He is not the kind of player that is a constant influence in a game, when playing in the Championship he had a habit of drifting to the sides, but now that he is surrounded by players of a higher standard, it should bring out the best of his abilities.
Anyone who browses football videos on YouTube is likely to have seen his impressive free kicks, but creativity is the most exciting aspect of his play. Whether and how he will fit in at Leicester remains to be seen, but anyone watching young talent should certainly keep an eye on him.
Ryan Sessegnon – 18, Fulham
Ryan Sessegnon is an incredibly exciting young player to watch. He is not just a young man with speed and skill, he is clearly a thoughtful and intelligent player that finishes well, seems to be in the right place at the right time, and has been consistently improving under Slavisa Jokanovic at Fulham.
It remains to be seen how he will cope in the Premier League. But as already noted, it is his intelligence that is particularly impressive, and there is every chance that he will truly rise to the challenge.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 22, Chelsea
While Ruben Loftus-Cheek may have only played a small part in England’s World Cup campaign, he seemed to be improving with every game in Russia, and it is essential that he gets plenty of playing time over the coming season.
He will be facing competition at Chelsea from Jorginho, but he is so obviously suited to Premier League football that it seems unlikely that Maurizio Sarri will leave him neglected. If he gets plenty of playing time with the likes of Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, and so on, then it looks as though he will thrive as a player. There is very little that he can’t do extremely well, and as long as he gets the chance to play, he should go from strength to strength.