The Premier League currently boasts some of the finest young English players, with the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup triumph testament of their quality.
But we are all well aware that English players are often overhyped by their own media, often ending up as victims of their own perceived success. Think the likes of Micah Richards, Ross Barkley and Michael Owen… wonderkids who once thought they had the world at their feet. Dominic Solanke, awarded the best player during that successful tournament, is hardly setting the world on fire at Bournemouth too.
No one knows if the following players will go on and replicate their youth success in the men’s game, but judging by their potential and performances in the league – we might well be looking at England’s next Golden Generation. And with Gareth Southgate at the helm this time, the future does look pretty bright.
Here are the top young English midfielders in the Premier League to be excited about:
6. Morgan Gibbs-White
Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers
The young midfielder joined Wolves at the age of 8, rising through the ranks over the years and eventually making his first team debut at just age 16. The technically gifted player is clearly one for the future, with the club securing his services until 2022. He already possesses the footballing intelligence and confidence required to succeed at the elite level, and it would take a brave man to bet against him being a future England star.
5. Mason Mount
Another one who started his career at their present club at a young age, Mount was representing the Chelsea academy since the age of 6. The attacking midfielder rose to prominence this season, putting in a string of eye-catching performances for Frank Lampard’s first team. The sky is clearly the limit for the young man, who was also awarded the Golden Player Award during the UEFA European U-19 Championship in 2017, joining the likes of Fernando Torres, Marco Assensio and Gerard Deulofeu to have won that individual accolade.
4. James Maddison
Club: Leicester City
24 might not qualify as exactly young in the footballing world, but Maddison has firmly established himself as one of the most exciting players in the Premier League. The Englishman is the one the Foxes depend on to pull the strings in the heart of their midfield, with his goals and assists a huge part of their recent success. The attacking midfielder is more than capable of the spectacular too, with his exciting style of play a breath of fresh air in the England midfield.
3. Dwight McNeil
There is always something special about left-footed players, and McNeil definitely falls into that category. The Burnley winger possesses a wand of a left foot, capable of whipping in dangerous crosses with pace and accuracy. He is the perfect weapon in a Sean Dyche’s system, with his performances this campaign catching the attention of bigger clubs. McNeil looks set to occupy the left side of Southgate’s setup in the years to come.
2. Jack Grealish
Club: Aston Villa
The oldest on the list, the lifelong Villa fan is one of those late bloomers in football. He already had that something special since his earlover days, but struggled to fulfil his early potential with disciplinary problems a constant theme. Things have definitely changed for Grealish this season, and the fleet-footed midfielder’s stock is clearly on the rise – consistently showcasing his enormous potential with some incredible individual performances that will surely see him leave his beloved club next season.
1. Phil Foden
Club: Manchester City
Another left-footed player, it is remarkable how Foden is only 20 this year, with his presence at the elite level already pretty much established. His playing style is compared to David Silva, one of the greatest to have graced the Premier League – which is a huge claim – but you would not bet against Foden to even surpass the Spaniard’s illustrious career. The gifted attacking midfielder was starting Champions League games at the tender age of just 17, and when Pep Guardiola describes someone as “a special player”, it would be only wise to believe it.
Who else deserves to be on this list?
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