Liverpool, Spurs, Man United… Five Prem youngsters set to shine in 16/17

Last season might have been the year of the underdog, with Leicester winning the title, but it was also the year of the wonderkid.

Tottenham’s Dele Alli, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Kelechi Iheanacho at Manchester City all had stonking breakthrough campaigns.

That has encouraged Premier League bosses to delve into their youth teams during the pre-season this time around.

Here are FIVE Prem pups who could follow suit and hit the big time this term…

1. Ben Woodburn (Liverpool)


At the tender age of just 16, Woodburn has a mountain to climb but he has already impressed for Liverpool during pre-season.

And it is not the first time he has caught the eye of boss Jurgen Klopp, following a terrific season and some absolute wondergoals.

The Welsh attacker’s goalscoring display against Fleetwood led to comparisons with Aaron Ramsey and not many will be surprised if he does push his way to the fringes of the Reds’ first team in the next nine months.

2. Marcus Edwards (Tottenham)


You would not usually expect a quick little midfielder of Edwards’ ilk to stand a chance of first team football with players like Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela in front of him in the pecking order.

But Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has already fast-tracked a number of youngsters into the first team – just look at the success of Dele Alli.

Edwards, 17, will have to go some to match the young England midfielder’s exploits from last season but if anyone can speed up his progress then it’s Poch.

The man dubbed the Magician has a fantastic first touch and is uber comfortable with the ball at his feet – all of which he showed in his second-half cameo against Juventus this week, when he played a blinder despite Spurs losing 2-1.

Will this be his breakthrough season? Very possibly.

3. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)


This guy’s name has been about for ages. It feels like he must be well into his prime but the big, strong midfielder is just 20 years old.

Loftus-Cheek fought his way into Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side last season, only to get a rocket from the Portuguese boss for not working hard enough.

Taking it on the chin, he regrouped and starred for England’s U-20s as they swept to the Toulon Tournament title this summer.

Expect more this season.

4. Rob Holding (Arsenal)


The defender, 20, joined Arsenal from Bolton this summer for around £2million after the Gunners fought off interest from a host of Premier League clubs.

Holding also featured in England’s Toulon Tournament-winning campaign in June and, after winning Wanderers’ Player of the Year last season, he will not be happy to sit on the bench.

5. Andreas Pereira (Manchester United)


The Belgian-born Brazilian, 20, has been at United since 2011 and, despite struggling to break into the first team, the midfielder is very highly thought of behind the scenes.

The club have not let him out on loan, despite plenty of offers and, under a boss who is not known for developing youth players, he has still been a large part of Jose Mourinho’s pre-season.

Making an impact in pre-season and well worth keeping an eye on.