With the new Premier League season fast approaching, there’s a lot of focus on the youngsters earning minutes in the pre-season friendlies around the globe.
Every team has its starlets they hope will be the next big thing to propel them to glory or at least turn a tidy profit, but who are the best of the best?
So here it is, without further ado, the best Premier League XI of teenagers for the 2019/20 campaign.
Joao Virginia – As well as being Everton’s unofficial translator, helping the likes of Bernard, Richarlison and their teammates cope with the language barrier, Joao Virginia is a very promising keeper in his own right.
Prior to joining Everton, Virginia spent time in the youth systems of both Benfica and Arsenal, where his youngest brother Pedro still plays his football today
Whilst the prospect of replacing Jordan Pickford – who is only 25 himself – remains some way in the future, manager Marco Silva is happy for the 19-year-old to develop at his own pace.
Reece James – The Chelsea youngster spent last season on loan at Wigan Athletic, where he arguably became their best player.
Although right back is his natural position, James is a versatile player who spent a lot of that campaign playing central midfield.
He was so impressive, in fact, that he earned himself a place in the official Championship Team of the Season.
Max Aarons – Whilst he too predominantly played right back during Norwich’s Championship title winning campaign last season, he is also capable of playing the other side.
The second tier’s Young Player of the Year made up half of an incredible full back pairing for the Canaries, with 21-year-old Jamal Lewis also impressing.
Aarons was linked with a move to Manchester United, but that now looks to be off the cards following their signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis – Someone who may have been largely unknown to most Premier League fans, Harwood-Bellis is beginning to enter the picture at champions Manchester City.
At just 17, the Stockport-born defender has already started for the Sky Blues during pre-season, most notably in the Asia Trophy semi-final victory over West Ham United.
Eric Garcia – As a graduate from Barcelona’s renowned La Masia academy, it’s hardly unlikely that Garcia is already making an impact in the Premier League.
Guardiola clearly has a lot of faith in his fellow Catalan, choosing to start him in both semi-final legs against Burton Albion in last season’s Carabao Cup.
Oliver Skipp – Plenty of Tottenham Hotspur fans are already calling for this 18-year-old gem to secure a more consistent place in the starting lineup, and you can see why.
Whilst Harry Kane has earned most of the plaudits for his long-range strike in the pre-season victory against Juventus, Spurs’ up and coming defensive midfielder also caught the eye.
Mauricio Pochettino has plenty of options in central midfield following the purchase of Tanguy Ndombele, but Skipp certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.
Morgan Gibbs-White – Many are predicting big things for Wolverhampton Wanderers’ box-to-box midfielder Gibbs-White, who has already enjoyed a standout season during 2018/19.
He’s a versatile individual, most recently being utilised just behind the striker during pre-season. He scored with an impressive finish during the 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle en route to claiming the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Phil Foden – Arguably the star man of this lineup, Phil Foden has achieved the almost impossible task of breaking into Manchester City’s lineup.
Now a regular either on the bench or in the first team, Foden is highly regarded by Guardiola, who believes England have a real diamond.
He’s the perfect fit to play behind our forwards in this attacking 4-3-3 formation.
Reiss Nelson – A loan spell at Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim seems to be the best thing that could have happened to Arsenal starlet Reiss Nelson.
He made a total of 29 appearances during the 2018/19 season, also gaining experience of playing Champions League football.
And as all the Wilfried Zaha talk continues, it appears that Unai Emery is completely disregarding a suitable alternative already at the club.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – Someone who might compete with Phil Foden for that star man status is Hudson-Odoi, another of England’s brightest prospects.
Doubts over whether he would receive enough game time at Chelsea saw him on the verge of leaving, with Bayern Munich making a number of offers.
But now that Maurizio sarri has departed for Juventus and a new big money contract is on the table, Hudson-Odoi looks set to play a key part under Frank Lampard next season.
Mason Greenwood – The Manchester United striker was beginning to emerge under Solskjaer last season, making a substitute appearance in the miraculous Champions League victory over Paris Saint-Germain.
Many supporters are now calling for the 17-year-old to be thrown straight into the starting lineup for their opening Premier League fixture against Chelsea.
Source : 90min