It has been a breakthrough season for many of the youngsters this season in the Premier League.
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka have already broken through into the first team this season, but what about the players who have only pushed themselves into the first team this season?
Listed below is a team of young players aged 21 and under who have made positive steps forward in the 19/20 season. (All players picked were 21 or under at the start of the campaign and all stats are accurate before the start of the Coronavirus lockdown).
Goalkeeper – Aaron Ramsdale – 21 years old
The English man joined the Cherries from Sheffield United in January 2017 but was sent out on loan to Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon, before making his full debut for Bournemouth against the Blades in August 2019.
Ramsdale had taken over the number one from Artur Boruc in goal and has only missed one game after making 28 appearances leading up to Coronavirus pandemic lockdown, more than any other Bournemouth player.
In the top flight, only Newcastle United’s Martin Dubravka (117) and Arsenal’s Bernd Leno (102) have made more saves the Bournemouth keeper (102) this season.
Wing-back – Brandon Williams – 19 years old
Club: Manchester United
The academy graduate has been benefited by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pushing to play more of the youngsters in the team.
After coming from off the bench for his debut against Liverpool in October, he has made a further 11 appearances for the club including 9 starts.
Williams is a dynamic and versatile left-back who is capable to play on either side of the defence.
He is a tenacious young player who has scored once and loves to push forward in attacking plays. The Red Devil is an exciting player to look out for in the future.
Centre-back – Japhet Tanganga – 21 years old
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Japhet Tanganga made a surprise debut for the club against the league Leaders Liverpool back in January.
His excellent debut displayed his natural ability to successfully defend against the Reds talented front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah.
From January up until late March (when lockdown started), the centre-half, who has been mainly deployed at right-back for Jose Mourinho’s side, has demonstrated lighting quick speed down the flanks and composure when playing out from the back in his six Premier League appearances.
Centre-back – Fikayo Tomori – 22 years old
Fikayo Tomori is a quick and athletic centre-back who has been given a chance to shine by Frank Lampard after playing a key role for him whilst he was on loan at Derby County last season.
The young defender has stepped up into the league and made 15 first-team appearances for the Blues, scoring once.
The Chelsea graduate has gained great experience playing alongside the likes of seasoned internationals like Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Kurt Kouma.
Wing-back – Reece James – 20 years old
Reece James has flourished in a younger Chelsea team set-up where he can comfortably play at either right-back, centre-back or central midfield.
Before stepping up to the Premier League this season, he had a successful campaign in the Championship during his loan at Wigan Athletic.
The Blues academy graduate is a technically gifted player whose best ability is his accurate crosses from wide, which have produced two assists. He has made 17 appearances, including 11 starts (pre-lockdown).
Left-winger – Bukayo Saka – 18 years old
Bukayo Saka has burst onto the scene this season for the Gunners after only playing seven minutes of top-flight football the season before.
The high energy winger, who can also play left-back, has made a huge impact in the team after he made his full debut against Aston Villa earlier in the season. He has gone on to produce three assists in his 18 appearances pre-lockdown.
Attacking Midfielder – Mason Mount – 21 years old
Mason Mount has been at the club since he was aged six and has fulfilled his dreams of playing for his boyhood club.
Frank Lampard has shown faith in him since he managed him at Derby County last season where he was on loan.
Since his big debut against Manchester United on the opening weekend, he has gone on to make a further 29 appearances for the Blues, with an impressive 25 starts in games.
He is a technical player who has excelled at the number 10 role, scoring six goals and producing four assists.
Midfielder – Todd Cantwell – 22 years old
Club: Norwich City
Todd Cantwell has been Norwich’s stand out player since the clubs’ frustrating return to the Premier League.
The academy graduate performed consistently well in the Championship and seems to have carried his performances into the top league in England.
He has played every game for Norwich so far this season with 25 starts and scoring six goals including the famous win over last season’s Premier League Champions Manchester City in September.
Forward – Mason Greenwood – 18 years old
Club: Manchester United
The Red Devils latest academy graduate has made his mark this season.
The dynamic, pacey and clinical forward has a powerful shot on both feet which has led to him scoring five goals in 22 appearances this season. One of his goals included coming off the bench and scoring after four minutes against Sheffield United in earlier in November.
With Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial already leading the line for Manchester United, Greenwood can look forward to working his way into such a young attack.
Forward – Gabriel Martinelli – 18 years old
No one would have known that this skinny kid from the fourth division of the Brazil Football League would have burst onto the scene like he has done at his first season with the Gunners.
Even though the Arsenal attacks have strong attacking options, such as Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli has still made 14 appearances in all competitions.
The tricky and direct forward, who can play across the front three forward positions, has racked up three goals in six Premier League starts including a full league debut goal against West Ham United.
Forward – Ismaila Sarr – 22 years old
The Senegalese forward signed from Rennes in August for a record fee of over £25 million but had a quiet few months at Vicarage Road, only scoring one goal up until December.
However, since Nigel Pearson became Watford Manager, both the club and the pacey forward has enjoyed more success in front of goal including big wins against at home to Manchester United and Liverpool.
The young winger will be crucial in Watford’s aim to stay in the league if he can continue his scoring form of five goals and three assists in 19 appearances.