The 2019/20 Premier League has seen a number of young players make quite the impact. Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mason Greenwood at Manchester United, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Max Aarons at Norwich City are a few among the many youngsters to have enjoyed a breakthrough campaign during this term.
Given the uncertain financial situation due to the coronavirus crisis, there is likely to be a larger influx of youth talent from academies heading into the next season. That said, here we take a look at three such youngsters who could make quite the splash come the 2020/21 season.
Billy Gilmour (Chelsea)
The teenage midfielder was signed by the Blues from Scottish outfit Rangers as a 15-year-old in 2017. Since then, Gilmour has made rapid strides in youth football and had been knocking on the doors of Frank Lampard’s team this season.
The Scotsman made his Premier League debut in August last year and had been involved in the cup ties regularly, but it wasn’t until 2020 that Gilmour began to make serious waves. The 18-year-old put in a Man of the Match display as Chelsea eliminated Liverpool from the FA Cup in March, before repeating the feat in a 4-0 triumph against Everton in the Premier League.
Game-intelligence, understanding and maturity, Gilmour displayed all the requisite qualities of a top defensive midfielder in these games. Expect bigger and better things from the Scottish talent come next season.
Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur)
Jose Mourinho’s teams aren’t always known for pushing through youngsters, but Scott McTominay at Manchester United and now Japhet Tanganga at Tottenham tell a different story; a story wherein the Portuguese is ready to back young players.
And come next season, Oliver Skipp could be set to join the list as well. The 19-year-old saw plenty of minutes under Pochettino last season and has featured eight times (282 minutes) this term as well. Given Tottenham’s problems in midfield and Skipp’s talents, it shouldn’t be long before he starts featuring on a regular basis though.
Rated as one of the best prospects to have come through the academy in recent years, the England U-21 international had been compared to Frenkie de Jong by a player of the Netherlands U-21 side after an encounter between the two teams. Mourinho, too, rates the youngster very highly.
Curtis Jones (Liverpool)
The 19-year-old became the youngest player to captain Liverpool when he led the side in a fourth-round FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury Town.
Jones has already featured eight times for the senior team this season, scoring two vital goals, including a winner against local rivals Everton in the FA Cup. Versatile enough to play in the middle of the park, on the flanks, or as a forward, the teenage sensation has displayed all attributes of top talent in his youth career.
In total this season, for the seniors and the reserves’ combined, Jones has scored 16 goals and set up seven more in 27 appearances, highlighting his potential. With the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi expected to leave this summer, expect the Liverpool U-23s skipper to get a big push come next season.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Adrian Dennis