Premier League: Seven youngsters looking to break through this season

By Mantej MannBBC Sport
Aaron-Wan Bissaka
Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka was one of last season's breakthrough players, making 35 starts at Crystal Palace

The Premier League returns on 9 August with some familiar teams expected to be contesting the top positions again.

But which young players might follow the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka - whose breakthrough season at Crystal Palace earned him a move to Manchester United - and Matteo Guendouzi at Arsenal in making a real impression in 2019-20?

BBC Sport profiles seven players aged 20 or under looking to become household names.

Max Aarons

Max Aarons
Max Aarons won promotion to the Premier League with Norwich City
Club: Norwich CityAge: 19Position: Right-back

Max Aarons was influential in Norwich City's Championship-winning campaign, making 41 league appearances for the Canaries.

He made the right-back position his own with his surging runs forward and brilliant defensive awareness, but can also play at left-back or in midfield.

Manchester United and Tottenham were among the Premier League clubs reportedly interested in the defender this summer, after he was named the 2018-19 EFL Young Player of the Season, but Aarons has recently signed a new five-year deal at Carrow Road.

The teenager, who graduated from the Canaries' academy, is composed on the ball and possesses blistering pace, which will stand him in good stead as he attempts to bridge the gap between the second tier and the top flight.

Phil Foden

Phil Foden
Phil Foden made 25 appearances for Manchester City in all competitions last season, but only three Premier League starts
Club: Manchester CityAge: 19Position: Attacking midfielder

Phil Foden is one of the most technically gifted young players in the Premier League, yet he still remains on the fringes at Manchester City.

The England Under-21 international made only three starts in City's successful defence of their title, although all three came during the end-of-season run-in.

The academy graduate has a terrific understanding of the game and possesses nimble footwork.

This is a crucial year for Foden, who will have noted Jadon Sancho's success with Borussia Dortmund and promotion to the senior England squad after leaving Etihad Stadium in search of regular football. And manager Pep Guardiola may want to aid his development if he is to become the first choice number 10 when David Silva departs next summer.

Morgan Gibbs-White

Morgan Gibbs-White
Morgan Gibbs-White has progressed through the Wolves academy after joining the club in 2010
Club: WolvesAge: 19Position: Midfielder

Like Foden, Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White was on the periphery of his club's Premier League side last season.

The teenager made 26 appearances as Wolves finished seventh, but he was limited to just five starts, so he will be looking to kick on and establish himself in the starting XI as Wolves prepare to battle on four fronts, including the Europa League.

A product of the Wolves academy, Gibbs-White is an athletic central midfielder with exceptional vision and ball control. He seems to thrive in a more advanced position but can also play deeper.

A lack of goals has been one possible brake on the England U21 international's progress at Molineux, although he will have gained confidence from scoring his first senior goal during an impressive pre-season performance against Newcastle.

Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood
Mason Greenwood scored two goals in as many matches during Manchester United's pre-season campaign
Club: Manchester UnitedAge: 17Position: Forward

Exciting teenage striker Mason Greenwood is the latest name off the renowned production line at Manchester United.

Greenwood is a left-footed striker who has the pace and trickery to stretch defences but also the intelligence and composure in possession to drop deep and link play.

He has consistently scored goals in the club's youth ranks and his two in as many games in pre-season, including a fierce winner against Inter Milan, demonstrated a confidence in front of goal beyond his 17 years.

It initially seemed surprising when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested Greenwood could start for United in their Premier League opener against Chelsea, but with speculation still surrounding Romelu Lukaku's future and Alexis Sanchez struggling to prove himself at Old Trafford, perhaps it is not so far-fetched after all.

Lloyd Kelly

Lloyd Kelly
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe described Kelly as "athletic, versatile, physically excellent with a very bright future ahead of him"
Club: BournemouthAge: 20Position: Left-back/centre-back

Having completed a £13m move from Championship side Bristol City earlier this summer, versatile defender Lloyd Kelly is Bournemouth's seventh most expensive signing of all time.

The England Under-21 international, who has also played at centre-back in pre-season, is expected to compete with Diego Rico for the left-back position at Bournemouth after the Cherries alternated between five players towards the end of last season, following Charlie Daniels' knee injury.

His athleticism makes him difficult to beat, as well as providing a threat offensively, while his potent left foot could produce the deliveries for Callum Wilson to thrive on.

The 20-year-old Bristol City academy graduate made 32 league appearances for his hometown club last season.

Mason Mount

Mason Mount
Mason Mount made 44 appearances for Derby County last season
Club: ChelseaAge: 20Position: Attacking midfielder

Central midfielder Mason Mount has recently signed a five-year contract extension at Chelsea, suggesting Frank Lampard expects the midfielder to be a part of the club's future.

The England Under-21 international plays in his manager's mould with excellent technical ability and attacking prowess from midfield, scoring 11 goals in an influential role under Lampard with Championship play-off finalists Derby last term.

Mount opened the scoring in the Blues' pre-season victory over St Patrick's Athletic in Dublin after ghosting in behind the defence, before a composed performance in the number 10 position during the victory over Barcelona.

Lampard is expected to hand the club's youngsters a chance in his first season at Stamford Bridge, and that could present the likes of Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi with the opportunity to excel.

Callum Slattery

Callum Slattery
Callum Slattery made his Premier League debut as a substitute in Southampton's victory at Leicester in January
Club: SouthamptonAge: 20Position: Midfielder

Southampton have a proven record in developing youth, with Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all beginning their careers on the south coast.

Callum Slattery is the latest name tipped for a regular spot in the Saints' first team after making three appearances in the top flight last season, including one start.

The 20-year-old, who has impressed in pre-season with his excellent range of passing and box-to-box energy from central midfield, recently signed a two-year contract extension as he looks to make an impact in Ralph Hasenhuttl's side.

The Saints manager has maintained strong links with the club's academy since taking the job in December 2018, and Slattery is among a trio of youngsters expected to be given a chance to step up, including Kayne Ramsay and Michael Obafemi.


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