One of the main stories from the start of the Premier League season has been the emergence of 16-year-old West Ham defender Reece Oxford.
Oxford, to the surprise of many, was handed a starting role in the Hammers’ 2-0 victory over many people’s choice for the title – Arsenal. The youngster put in a brilliant performance and looked like he’d been playing in the first team for years.
With the home grown quota rules in the Premier League, we have seen more and more young stars come through their respective youth teams in the past few seasons.
There is little doubt this season will be the same, with plenty of future stars already on the fringes of first team football.
So here are FIVE promising youngsters to look out for this campaign…
Pritchard is a tricky winger that has worked his way through the youth set up at Spurs since he signed back in 2009.
Since then he has been sent on a number of loan spells to gain valuable first team experience including time at Peterborough, Swindon and, most notably last season, at Brentford.
During his spell in the Championship, the youngster became a vital part of the team. Pritchard ran the show, involved in every attack, scoring 12 himself and creating even more.
The youngster possesses all the qualities you look for in a playmaker; speed, skill, great awareness on and off the ball, an incredible passing range and a strong eye for goal.
At only 22 he has the time and ability to go a very long way and become a star for club and country.
Mauricio Pochettino plans to integrate the winger into the first team this season and it looks as though this can only benefit Spurs’ season.
Gomez had slipped under the radar in his early professional days at Charlton. However, his efforts had clearly impressed Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who decided to bring the youngster to Anfield this summer.
The talented youngster is a strong, quick and versatile defender that is comfortable playing anywhere along the back four.
The 18-year-old is good on the ball and tipped to become one of England’s best defenders in the future.
Brendan Rodgers has moved quickly to integrate Gomez into his first team squad and has already given the defender his debut against Stoke City, where he put in an impressive performance at left-back.
With massive doubts over the form of Alberto Moreno, there is a space at left-back that needs filling and if he continues to produce performances like his debut, then it won’t take long for Gomez to make the role his own.
Following the news that Everton’s Leighton Baines will be out for three months after surgery on his injured ankle, young defender Galloway has the opportunity to showcase his talents.
Galloway moved to Goodison Park in 2014 after spending three years with MK Dons. He made his debut in May last season against West Ham, and the work he has put in on and off the training pitch has impressed manager Roberto Martinez and led him to giving the defender a run in the first team squad.
The 19-year-old was bought to the club as a centre back, but is incredibly versatile and has taken to the left-back role very well.
He loves to bomb forward in support of the attack similar to the injured Baines, but he is also comfortable with his defensive work. The player’s tackling ability is a major strength of his play.
The stand in left-back has the perfect opportunity to show off his talents, he just needs to make the most of it
The 18-year-old Nigerian striker was one of the brightest sparks during City’s pre-season tour, having established himself in the first team squad.
Iheanacho will be looking to become an regular part of the team this season, after the departures of Eden Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic left City’s forward line looking rather diminished.
The striker appears to have every technical attribute needed to succeed as a striker. He is comfortable in any role across the front line, can use both feet, has remarkable close control and has searing pace that can leave defenders for dead.
With first choice strikers Sergio Aguero and Wilfred Bony both slightly injury prone, the youngster has a great chance of getting his opportunity to impress.
The talented youngster has the potential to go a very long way and you need to remember the name.
The German youngster is perhaps the most well known of the five players. He emerged on the scene a couple of seasons ago when Arsene Wenger gave him his debut during the 2012/13 season.
Gnabry continued his development making appearances here and there, but unfortunately he suffered a serious injury last season that effectively ruled him out of the whole season.
The 20-year-old is a talented winger, similar to Theo Walcott and Alex Olexade-Chamberlain. He has blistering pace and the technical ability to unsettle defenders. More impressively he has that killer final ball that the likes of Walcott and The Ox are lacking.
He has joined West Brom on a season long loan in a bid to get some game time behind him, and the player will be determined to show the world what he can do.
Wenger clearly thinks a lot of him, which is why he gave him a new five-year deal, it’s just a case of getting some much needed Premier League experience.