Top PL academy prospects for 2019-20

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Who are the young stars set to shine in the Premier League during the 2019-20 season?

Plenty of academy prospects have been handed valuable minutes in preseason this summer, and plenty have taken their chances.

Here’s a look at the standout youngster breaking through the academy ranks and into the first team at each PL club.


Arsenal: Eddie Nketiah – Striker was on fire in preseason. Will get chances in Europe. Learning every day from Lacazette and Aubameyang is priceless for the England youth international.

Aston Villa: Jack Grealish – An obvious choice as Villa’s skipper is a hometown hero who lead them back to the PL after almost joining Spurs last summer. Mercurial playmaker who is ready to push into the full England squad at the age of 23.

Bournemouth: Mark Travers – The Irish goalkeeper burst onto the scene in incredible fashion last season as he made a string of stunning saves on his PL debut, a wild 2-1 win against Tottenham. With Artrur Boruc and Asmir Begovic experienced, but error prone in recent seasons, there’s a real chance for Travers to become the Cherries’ new no.1.

Brighton: Steven Alzate – Has spent time out on loan in League Two and is now back and enjoying a full preseason under new manager Graham Potter. The former Swansea player loves bringing through youngsters and Alzate could spice things up in Brighton’s midfield.

Burnley: Dwight McNeil – Burst onto the scene last season and will only get better. End product needs to be a little better but ghosts into some great positions in the box from out wide.

Chelsea: Mason Mount – Has the potential to be Frank Lampard Lite. Shone at loan at Derby last season and has taken his chances and scored in preseason. Mount, 20, is ready to step up. Can he start ahead of Ross Barkley, Matteo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic?

Crystal Palace: Luke Dreher – The central midfielder has been a mainstay in Palace’s youth teams and has battled back from injuries to feature in preseason. Luka Milivojevic, James McArthur and Cheikhou Kouyate are experienced options in midfield, but he’s next in line. Made his PL debut on the final day of last season.

Everton: Beni Baningime – A star in Everton’s hugely successful youth teams, Baningime was handed his PL debut in 2017. With Idrissa Gueye sold to PSG, there’s a real chance for the young defensive midfield to break into the team as he will battle with Fabian Delph for the holding midfield spot.

Leicester City: Harvey Barnes – The obvious choice here. Barnes, 21, scored and assisted in the PL last season and his link-up play with Maddison, Vardy and Tielemans will be key if the Foxes are going to try and push for a top six finish this season under Brendan Rodgers. His loan spell at West Brom saw him kick on and Barnes is a fans favorite at Leicester.

Liverpool: Rhian Brewster – Still just 19 years old, Brewster is another who took his chance in preseason. The England youth international scored plenty of goals and after his injury setback last season, he is looking sharp. Could get plenty of minutes early in the season with Salah, Firmino and Mane missing most of preseason.

Manchester City: Phil Foden – Still just 19, the ‘Stockport Iniesta’ has the world at his feet. When Pep Guardiola says you are the most talented player he has ever worked with, you know you’re good. Is this the season he finally usurps David Silva for a starting spot? Adrian Bernabe, 18, has also looked incredible during preseason, setting up Silva with a wonderful pass against West Ham.

Manchester United: Mason Greenwood – 17-year-old is a star in the making. Sublime goals and movement in preseason and his pace perfectly fits into what Solskajer wants from his new-look United attack. Very similar to Marcus Rashford. A special mention for Angel Gomes and Axel Tuanzebe too, who could both play prominent roles in midfield and defense respectively, particular in the Europa League, this season.

Newcastle United: Sean Longstaff – Chased by Man United all summer, it appears Longstaff will stay at Newcastle for now. The Geordie was a revelation in midfield midway through last season but an injury cruelly ended his season. When he gets back into full flow, Newcastle have a top quality central midfielder who can mix it up but also play. His brother Matty, 19, is also a very tidy midfielder in Newcastle’s reserve team.

Norwich City: Max Aarons – A marauding 18-year-old right back who was said to be chased by both Man United and Crystal Palace this season, Aarons was in the Championship PFA team of the year last season and Norwich will do well to keep hold of him long-term. Huge talent.

Sheffield United: Regan Slater – Has spent time out on loan in recent seasons and will play for Scunthorpe United this season on loan. Slater is a prolific goalscorer and if he does well early in the season, expect him to be recalled to Bramall Lane.

Southampton: Will Smallbone – You could pick either Michael Obafemi, Jake Vokins or even Yan Valery for Saints such is the wealth of youngsters Ralph Hasenhuttl has in his squad, but it is Smallbone, 19, who has impressed in preseason. Great range of passing, he should compete with Hojbjerg and Romeu for one of the central midfield roles this season.

Tottenham Hotspur: Troy Parrott – A very exciting attacking talent for Spurs. Parrott is physically ready to mix it in the PL and at the age of 17 he has impressed on tour this summer, linking up very well with Harry Kane. Parrott has the guile and drive to go to the very top.

Watford: Ben Wilmot – A club which doesn’t really rely on its academy to produce players, at all, the Hornets have sent youngster Wilmot out on loan to Swansea City. He is versatile and will develop in the Championship.

West Ham United: Declan Rice – Bit of an obvious one here, but Rice is the only youngster really coming through at West Ham right now. Had a stunning first full season in the PL in 2018-19 and despite interest from some PL giants, he remains with the Hammers. At 20 he has already made his England debut and is a rock in the heart of West Ham’s midfield.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Morgan Gibbs-White – The jewel in the crown of Wolves’ academy, Gibbs-White should get more minutes this season with the Midlands club in the Europa League. There are a crop of other youngsters coming through, but MGW, 19, looks ready to challenge for a regular starting spot.