Scouring the Premier League – On the Lookout for Fresh Legs

Photo by Fånga Images on Unsplash

The Premier League has been home to some of the greatest football talents in the world, from modern-day titans like Kevin De Bruyne to legends of the game like David Beckham. With the bar set so high, teams are constantly looking for ways to improve their squad and gain an edge over the competition. Those improvements don’t always come from other clubs and teams are continuously on the lookout for academy players with world-class potential, whether to replace a senior member of the squad or to develop and sell to other clubs later on. 

Many of these young talents are often developed in reserve squads or sent on loan to play elsewhere, so when a young player finds themselves on the main roster, they’re certainly a player to watch out for. With that in mind, here are some of the top players to look out for in the Premier League this season and in the seasons to come:

Rico Lewis – Manchester City

Only 19 Years old, Rico Lewis has landed himself a spot as a regular member of City’s roster. Though he’s only played a few games of the regular season, he’s appeared in nearly all of the team’s Champions League games this year. When he does get minutes, the quality is there, but he needs more in-game experience before becoming a consistent squad member. Unfortunately, his time on the field has been limited, as he’s competing with England’s starting right-back, Kyle Walker, a fast and experienced defender for both club and country.

However, not all hope is lost for Lewis, as he’s set to replace Walker in England’s senior squad in their friendly match against Belgium. And while it’s unfortunate that Walker was forced to leave the England-Brazil match early due to a possible hamstring injury, it will be an exciting opportunity for City’s young defender to showcase his abilities on an international stage.

Lewis Miley – Newcastle United

The youngest player on this list so far, Lewis Miley became Newcastle’s youngest player ever in his debut game late last season, at only 17 years old. Part of the club’s starting XI, Miley has played in all 28 of Newcastle’s games this season and has been a critical part of the team’s rotating squad. 

Miley stands out from the players around him because of his composure on the ball under pressure. Despite only being 17 and lacking the same experience as many of the other midfielders around him, when he receives the ball under pressure, he has the ability to slow down the tempo and control possession for his team. On top of that, in his recent debut against Poland on England’s U-20 squad, he showcased his abilities to work in various team environments under different systems, which are all promising attributes of a potential world-class CDM.

Jack Hinshelwood – Brighton & Hove Albion

Though he’s currently out for a few months, recovering from surgery due to a stress fracture in his foot, Jack Hinshelwood is the midfielder who’s done wonders for Brighton this season. At 18 years old, the young English talent has been flexible for Brighton, playing both as a right-back and a CDM based on where the team needs him to play. Brighton Manager Roberto De Zerbi has commented on the matter, explaining that a defender is what Brighton needs from him right now, but in the future he will likely return to the midfield, saying “I think he is better in midfield.”

His ability to fill the role that the team needs, and do so at a high level, is really why Hinshelwood has a lot of potential. If he continues developing the skills for different positions he has a promising future as a multifaceted midfielder that has become an integral part of many successful teams like Manchester City and Bayer Leverkusen. 

Ethan Nwaneri – Arsenal F.C.

After setting the Premier League record in 2022 as the youngest player to debut in a match (15 years old), Ethan Nwaneri has been on the rise in Arsenal’s academy. A consistent player in Arsenal’s U21 squad, Nwaneri is a talented, technical player with quality passing and finishing that, with some development, could be an asset to the first team. As players cannot sign professional contracts until the age of 17, and with Ethan Nwaneri’s birthday over the international break, the club will be looking to sign him. 

Nwaneri is certainly a player to keep an eye on, especially with club captain Martin Odegaard as his mentor. Nwaneri’s potential lies not only in his abilities as a midfielder but as a potential team leader in the future. With such a high-level player as his mentor, it’ll be exciting to watch how the young midfielder continues to improve and potentially mold his game after an exemplary CAM like Odegaard.

Kobbie Mainoo – Manchester United

On the other side of Manchester is an 18-year-old from Stockport Academy, who could be the future of Manchester’s midfield. Currently a starter for the Red Devils, Mainoo also recently made his international debut, coming on as a substitute for England in their match against Brazil. While he’s clearly at the level to play for his country, Mainoo primarily struggles with consistency, as do most young players. While he played exceptionally well in games like those previously against Wolverhampton and Bournemouth, his inexperience has shone through in games against more formidable teams like Aston Villa and West Ham. 

Despite these inconsistencies, Mainoo shows a lot of promise as a defensive midfielder with good technique on the ball and the agility to back it up. Given his youth, with a few more years of development, and perhaps some more international experience, he will certainly be a player to keep an eye on.

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