Top 20 English youngsters – Leeds, Everton and Villa stars take your bow!

Adam Daley continues his look at immerging English talent
and in his latest installment he counts down from No.15-11

One of the big criticisms of
English football today is that there are not enough good quality young English
players. This however should not be taken for face value and there are some
excellent prospects out there. To prove it, here is my choice of the 20 best
young English players under and including the age of 20.

The cut off point for age in this
list is 1st April 2009, and it is based on current ability AND
potential. Some players have been included despite a lack of first team
football, however their potential is such that they deserve a place. On the
other hand, some other players have been chosen despite perhaps having less
potential than players not included because they have established themselves
into first teams.

 

Best 20 English players under 20

15.Dan
Gosling

Date Of Birth: 02/02/1990


Everton's young midfielder originally started his
career at Plymouth, making his debut at 16 years old and going on to play 22
games for Argyle. He joined Everton in January 2008 and made his debut for them
against Middlesbrough on boxing day. Two days after he came off the bench
against Sunderland and scored his first goal for Everton.

Gosling started off playing on the right of
midfield and occasionally at right back for Plymouth, but has since played a
few times in the centre of midfield for Everton. He wrote himself into Everton
folklore during the 2009 FA cup forth round against arch rivals Liverpool, when
he scored the winner in extra time making it 1-0 to Everton. Since then he's
been considered as having a bright future at Everton, and is starting to edge
his way into the first team. Internationally Gosling has played at U17, U18 and
U19 levels for England, with the majority of his appearances for the U17s.


14.Victor
Moses

Date Of Birth: 12/12/1990


Nigerian born Victor Moses first caught the eye as
a 14 year old when he scored a massive 50 goals for Crystal Palace's U14s. At
the age of 16 he began his first team career and has now (at 18) played over 30
games for Palace, leading to him becoming a fans favourite. There were reports
that Arsenal and Chelsea were interested, but instead he signed a four year
contract with Palace.

Moses was the top scorer in England's 2007 U17
world cup campaign (despite missing a few games through injury), and has also
played at U16, U18 and U19 levels. He's a quick player with good technique and
an ability to get players on the back foot. He's also versatile, able to play
on either flank or as a striker, and is quite known for his flamboyant
celebrations.

 



 

 

13.Joe
Mattock

Date Of Birth: 15/05/1990

So it was written that Leicester City shall produce at least
one excellent English player per generation. Agreed long gone are the days of
Shilton, Whitworth and Lineker, and Leicester's
current England representative of Heskey is approaching the latter stages of
his career, but in Joe Mattock this tradition will probability continue.

The left back has represented England at every youth level
(U15, U16, U17, U18, U19 & U21) and is currently the second youngest player
ever to represent the England U21s (behind Walcott) after his debut against
Bulgaria U21s in November 2007 when he was just 17. Since then he's gone on to
claim a further four U21 caps and won BBC East Midlands' Football Achievement
of the Year award in November 2008.

Mattock has been playing in Leicester's first team since he
was 16 and so far has made over 60 appearances for the club, something rather
impressive considering he's not even 19 yet. Mattock's a natural striker of the
ball who can cross well and pick out long range passes, and also has a good
positional sense (unsurprising considering the amount of first team games he's
played). Leicester chairman Mandaric has already turned down seven figure bids
for the player thought to be from Aston Villa and West Ham, such is his
importance to Leicester's future.

 

12.Fabian
Delph

Date of Birth: 21/11/1989

The Bradford born midfielder made his debut as an
18-year-old for Leeds when he came on as substitute against Derby County on the
last day of the 2006-2007 campaign. Since then he's played over 40 games for
Leeds and won his first England under-21 cap against the Czech Republic in
November 2008, after some dazzling performances including a number of long
range goals.

Delph, now 19, is a quick and versatile player with
good ball control and a good shot on him. A large host of teams have been
linked with the midfielder including all of the Premier League big four. Big
things are expected from Delph, and he is considered to have an integral part
in Leeds' future (if he stays.)


11.Nathan Delfouneso

Date Of Birth: 02/02/1991


Aston Villa's Delfouneso
has regularly been on the score sheet for England's youth teams, with three
goals for the U16s, six goals for the U17s and one goal for the U19s. He made
is debut for Villa's reserves just a month after turning 16, and ended the
season with 22 goals in 41 appearances for the reserves. So far his first team
appearances have been limited mostly to Europe, with appearances against FH
Hafnarfjörður, MSK Zilina and Hamburger SV, though he scored against the latter
two. He also scored in his second ever FA cup game against Doncaster in
February 2009; and has since made a league debut against Tottenham in March
2009.

Delfouneso is a speedy and
skilful player held in high regard by Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neil, who
has been quoted saying "Next season I expect him to be a fully paid-up member
of the first team." 2009/10 could well be the season for Delfouneso.


 


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