Hrishi Anand writes about 5 young players breaking through in the Premier League this season.
As is the case every year, a brand new Premier League campaign already has an aura of excitement around it. Along with this comes the chance for young players to break into the senior sides. Here are 5 breakthrough players to watch this season:
Emile Smith-Rowe // 18 // Arsenal
One of the stars of Arsenal’s pre-season tour, the young English midfielder has taken his chance to impress new boss Unai Emery and will no doubt feature for Arsenal this season. A very gifted player technically, Smith-Rowe plays as an attacking midfielder. His strengths lie in his dribbling and crossing abilities which paired with his penchant for scoring from long-range make him a player who could feature in Emery’s plans with the Spaniard praising Emile’s abilities while on tour. Given Arsenal are competing in four competitions this year, his abilities could be put to use in the Europa League and cup competitions.
Callum Hudson-Odoi // 17 // Chelsea
Chelsea experienced a summer of uncertainty but a positive from their pre-season was the emergence of Callum Hudson-Odoi. The English winger impressed with his showcase of pace, intelligence and technical skill while playing on the wings for Chelsea. Odoi also possesses the ability to play on either wing, which makes him a versatile asset at Sarri’s disposal. He was a part of the England side that won the Under-17 World Cup. Hudson-Odoi could have a breakthrough season as Chelsea also have a grueling Europa League campaign to deal with alongside 3 other tournaments. He remains one of the brightest English prospects to watch.
Rhian Brewster // 18 // Liverpool
Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster was one of the standout players at the Under-17 World Cup. The forward won the Golden Boot and Bronze Ball at the tournament before signing a long-term contract at Liverpool. Considering Sturridge’s injury issues and Ings likely to leave, Brewster could find himself appearing for the first team this season. Described as a ‘modern forward’ Brewster can feature all across an attacking trio. His positioning and finishing skill are key characteristics to take note of. He also exhibits a mature work-ethic which sets him apart from similar players in his age group, an attitude which Jurgen Klopp values greatly.
Oliver Skipp // 17 // Tottenham Hotspur
Yet another youngster to take his chance in pre-season, Tottenham’s Oliver Skipp is another player to watch. Skipp plays as a deep-lying midfielder/playmaker, operating in front of the defense. His strengths are a wide-range of passing, good stamina and an intelligent understanding of the game. Given the injuries to Dembele and Wanyama, Skipp has a real chance to appear in midfield for Spurs and to be the next star to emerge from the Tottenham academy.
Angel Gomes // 17 // Manchester United
Angel Gomes made history when he became the first player born in the new millennium to appear in the Premier League. Following his debut against Crystal Palace, Gomes hasn’t featured for United but remains highly rated by Mourinho. The attacking midfielder regularly trains with the first team and could be given more opportunities this season given United’s dearth of attacking talent. Gomes is known for his dribbling and passing skill along with the talent to chip in with a few goals from midfield. His in-game intelligence and composure allow him to play freely without being flustered. With Jose’s transfer market frustrations, Angel Gomes could find himself in the action more often this campaign.
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