5 Best Premier League Youngsters Who Have Captured Our Attention
Every season without fail, a group of exciting, young Premier League stars emerge out of the woodwork and shock us with their incredible skills. Almost every club has someone to be excited about and give the fans some hope for major success in the not-too-distant future.
From Man City’s Phil Foden to Man U’s Jadon Sancho to Chelsea’s Reece James, the EPL has a lot of young talent to be enthusiastic about, but who are the players just on the cusp of stardom? We’ll discuss five of the best Premier League youngsters you need to keep an eye on right now.
Smith-Rowe is one of Arsenal’s bright spots for the 2021-22 period, as the 21-year-old attacking midfielder already has eight goals and two assists for the season. The young Premier League star has also recently been called up to the England squad in preparation for the 2022 World Cup.
Emile has technically been a part of the Arsenal club since the age of 10 and has worked his way up through the club’s youth teams to make his professional debut in 2018. After short loans to Red Bull Leipzig and Huddersfield Town, Smith-Rowe returned to Arsenal for the 2020-21 season and has been a strong part of the squad ever since.
Fun fact: Despite being a top athlete for a world-famous football club like Arsenal, Emile has admitted that his diet and training habits haven’t always been the best. “Arsenal are strict but I didn’t really listen, to be honest. I think that’s where I went wrong. Now I’m listening all the time,” Smith-Rowe said in a Guardian interview. “[I was eating a lot of] chocolate. I like Nando’s a lot – maybe that’s killing me a little bit. I’ve tried to cut out chocolate and takeaways as much as I can. The club have sorted me out with a chef.”
Along with Smith-Rowe, 20-year-old Saka is a huge component of Arsenal’s long-term prospects and is already making huge strides with the club. Currently with two goals and three assists for the 2021-22 season, Saka’s versatility and pace have made him a nightmare matchup and easily one of the most exciting young EPL players. Clearly, the club agrees, as they named Saka the Player of the Season for 2020-21.
Saka’s skills and trickery make him valuable as a left midfielder, but his adaptability means that any manager can use him as a full-back or even on the wing. Like Smith-Rowe again, Saka has been a part of Arsenal since the age of eight and made his professional debut for the club in 2018.
Saka was a member of the England squad for the Euro 2020 tournament, and although he was unfortunately the last player to miss a penalty in the final against Italy, he still displayed many brilliant performances along the way for his country.
Fun fact: Saka’s favourite player growing up was Arsenal superstar Thierry Henry. When Bukayo received unfair online abuse after missing the penalty shot at the Euro 2020 final, it was actually Henry who sent a supportive text message to Saka, telling him to ignore the hate and calling him a “hero” for even having the courage to take a shot at such a big moment.
At age 22, Chalobah is quickly becoming an important and solid defensive option for Chelsea. Trevoh has been with the club since he was 8-years-old and has quickly risen through the youth ranks thanks to his defensive prowess and versatility.
After loan spells to Ipswich Town, Huddersfield Town, and Lorient, Chalobah made his Chelsea debut in the 2021 UEFA Super Cup against Villarreal in August. The young Premier League star has also helped England secure a victory in the 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
Already with two goals in the Premier League and one in the Champions League this season, Chalobah’s strength and quickness on the pitch have made him a firm favourite of Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.
Fun fact: Trevoh was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and moved to England at the age of seven. His brother, Nathaniel, is also a professional footballer and currently plays for Fulham in the EFL Championship.
Daka is a recent signing for Leicester City, having only joined the club in June 2021, but the 23-year-old Zambian is rapidly becoming a huge highlight for the team in his short appearance. Daka has been praised for his excellent timing on shot attempts, but also his general football IQ that helps him prevent offsides and shirk off defenders with ease.
The flashy and always entertaining forward has already netted two goals and picked up two assists for Leicester City this season. Daka, however, also made waves in the Europa League, when he scored four goals in a 4-3 victory over
Moscow during the 2021–22 season. Although Leicester City was eventually knocked out in a loss to Napoli, Daka ended the campaign with five goals and gained a lot more recognition as a result.
Before joining Leicester City, Daka played for Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian league and helped the club win their fourth title in a row. Daka earned further accolades by being named the Austrian Bundesliga Player of the Season for his remarkable effort of scoring 27 goals in 27 games. Unsurprisingly, Daka caught the world’s attention right away but Leicester City snapped him up first, signing him to a five-year, £22 million deal.
Fun fact: Daka is the first Zambian to score a Premier League goal. He is also very benevolent, often providing money and football gear to his first club in Zambia, Kafue Celtic.
21-year-old Gallagher is technically an up-and-coming talent for Chelsea, but is currently on a one-year loan to Crystal Palace. Gallagher has greatly impressed the in EPL in the 15 games he’s played for Palace, notching six goals and three assists for the club. Furthermore, the young Premier League star has the most goal chances created for Crystal Palace, making him one of the most resourceful midfielders that any team would be clamouring to have.
Conor has been a part of the Chelsea club since the age of six, where he has fought his way to the top with a mixture of fierce attacking moves and a near-limitless work ethic. Gallagher has also had loan spells in Charlton Athletic, Swansea City, and West Bromwich Albion.
Gallagher’s impressive play unsurprisingly got him a call-up to the English national squad in November 2021, coming onto the field in the second half of England’s 10-0 demolition of San Marino in the World Cup qualifiers.
Fun fact: Conor grew up a diehard Chelsea supporter due to the rest of his family’s love for the Blues. His favourite player as a youngster was Chelsea legend, Frank Lampard.
Those were our picks for some of the best Premier League youngsters keeping us on our toes this season. The EPL is certainly in good hands for the future and we can’t wait to see which burgeoning stars will materialise next season. Agree or disagree with the list? Feel free to keep the discussion going in the comment section below.
Author: Joe Garland