The Top Five Most Exciting Young Premier League TalentsPublished February 6, 2017
Given the ruthless nature of Premier League football, it’s often said that only the very best youngsters are able to break through at the top level from an early age.
But so far this season, we’ve seen the likes of Dele Alli and Gabriel Jesus shine in England’s top-tier, with numerous other starlets making their mark as managers start to plump for youthful exuberance over old heads.
Here’s five exceptional talents to keep an eye on for the remainder of the season.
Leroy Sane (Manchester City)
Bought for a staggering £37m from Schalke back in August, pacey German winger Sane has taken time to fully find his feet at the Etihad, but is now showing just why City chose to place so much faith in his ability.
The 21-year-old is blessed with superb close control, goes past opposition defenders with ease, and is a coming force in Manchester following a string of recent starts.
Three goals in as many games between December and January hinted at Sane’s huge promise, while a dominant display at the Santiago Bernabeu for Schalke in 2015 also suggested the forward possesses the big-game temperament needed to make it to the top of world football.
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
What a year is has been for the Spurs midfielder, whose brisk development currently shows no sign of abating.
2015/16 was something of a breakthrough season for the MK Dons academy product, as he mustered 10 goals and 9 assists to force his way into the England starting lineup for the summer’s European Championship.
There’s always a danger that young players then fail to hit the heights in their second full campaign, but if anything, Alli has stepped up another level this time around.
A haul of 11 goals and 2 assists in just 21 Premier League starts is evidence of his fantastic form, and he will now hope to head Spurs’ title charge in 2017.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)
The nephew of Nigeria legend Jay-Jay Okocha, Super Eagles international Iwobi has impressed Arsene Wenger with his pleasing blend of power and skill.
Despite being just 20 years of age and facing competition from the likes of Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey for a starting berth, the attacking midfielder has made 16 starts for Arsenal in the league this season, mustering three goals and three assists.
Iwobi also netted twice in his first two Premier League starts last season, making him one to watch in the second half of the current campaign.
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
Few eyebrows were raised when City decided to pay Palmeiras £27.2m for Gabriel Jesus.
Why? For Brazilian supporters and pundits alike, the hype around the versatile forward was well justified.
Already a full international, the 19-year-old struck 12 goals in his homeland last season and followed that up by helping Brazil win the Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016.
Since his arrival in Manchester, he has scored three goals, including two in the narrow victory over Swansea City.
The sky really is the limit for the teenager.
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Rashford burst onto the scene last season, but has endured a slightly more difficult time in 2016/17 as he has struggled to cement a place in the United team.
Following seven goals in 14 games in 2015/16, the Mancunian has also failed to find the back of the net with the same regularity this year, scoring just five times across all competitions.
All this shouldn’t detract from the fact, though, that Rashford remains a serious talent in the English game.
Few defenders are able to live with his speed, while his keen finisher’s instinct and versatility give him an outstanding chance of starring for club and country for many years to come.