Marcus Rashford meteoric rise to Premier League – and potentially European Championship – stardom was a heart-warming tale. From just lingering in the U-18s at the start of the season with a loan move seeming inevitable, Rashford became the leading striker for one of the biggest clubs in world football in what was an unforeseen and, frankly, absurd few months.
Jose Mourinho might not be quite as kind to the talented youth of Manchester United as Louis van Gaal was in 2015/16, but Rashford will, surely, still continue to be an integral member of the first-team squad. From his dramatic Europa League goal, to his strikes against Arsenal, the now-England international is a star in the making.
Premier League managers up and down the table will be wondering which one of their stars can make a similar impact to Rashford next season. Could Antonio Conte finally unearth a gem from Chelsea’s academy? Or will Manchester City take advantage of their ostentatious academy investment? Here are FIVE that could shine…
Traore will hope that Antonio Conte is more sympathetic towards young players than Jose Mourinho, and he will envisage next season as his chance to build on some fledgling opportunities under Guus Hiddink.
Regularly finding the net when afforded the opportunity to play, Traore has shown he can perform at the highest level. If Conte adapts a formation with two central strikers – as he has done for the majority of his career – Traore will surely be in contention.
Although a knee injury suffered last December means Ambrose is unlikely to get much action towards the start of the season, the youngster has previously been identified as a future superstar for City.
The French striker has regularly appeared for teams far above his own age, proving himself as a persistent goal scorer.
A player who possesses great pace and an admirable desire to work back towards his own goal, could Ambrose surpass Kelechi Iheanacho in 2016/17?
So far, Shenton’s career reached the peak of its fame for swapping shirts with Frank Lampard.
Having recently turned 18, Shenton has plenty of time to continue his development and has been tipped by many to break into the Stoke City team in the near future. A talented midfield player who can dribble through the tightest of spaces, the local lad will be a popular star in the Potteries.
We had a few glimpses of Reece Oxford last season, but, with West Ham competing in Europe in 2016/17, next year could be the chance for him to make his mark on a more permanent basis.
Due to his versatility, Oxford has a wonderful chance of making it at the top level of the game. Bilic clearly is a fan of the youngster and this year could be a big one.
Mauricio Pochettino has a sensational record of developing young players and has been prolific in handing debuts to players who have often gone on to great things.
Onomah is clearly a player that the Spurs manager has his eye on – after he made several appearances in the Europa League – and Pochettino might afford him further chances next season.
The midfielder has a turn of pace that allows him to really attack space and that fits perfectly with the approach of the Lilywhites.