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  • Writer's pictureThe Football Notebook

Premier League Wonderkids

10. Mason Mount - 21

6 goals and 5 assists in 25 PL starts does not scream ‘wonderkid’, but look deeper and you will find a completely different story. He presses like a maniac, harrying everyone he can, and he is an integral part of Chelsea’s build-up. His first touch can be exceptional, but he still does make a few mistakes on that part. But the resemblance to Frank Lampard is there, and under the tutelage of that man himself, Mason Mount is in the best position he could possibly be. Expect England’s next great goalscoring midfielder to just get better and better in the next couple of years.

Most Comparable to: Frank Lampard

9. Bukayo Saka - 18

Saka was originally a winger in Arsenal’s academy, but a tactical masterstroke saw him playing left-back and become one of the most important players in the team, bagging 3 goals and managing 10 assists in just 29 games in all competitions for the Gunners. To put that into perspective, Trent Alexander-Arnold has 2 goals and 12 assists in 29 games in the Premier League. However, Saka can be suspect defensively and needs to become stronger and more tactically astute if he is up to facing the high demands of the EPL week in week out.

Most Comparable to: Marcelo

8. Callum Hudson-Odoi - 19

Even though it seems like he has been around forever, Callum Hudson-Odoi is still in his teens. The Chelsea youngster perhaps would have placed far higher on this list this time last year, but an unfortunate injury and the rise of multiple talents in the past few months has meant he has fallen down it. However, that does not mean that the England international is without talent; he is remarkable in dribbling, occasionally can pull off a perfect cross, and is improving his ability to finish. In a couple years time expect CHO to be in contention for regular England selection and a starting spot in the Chelsea set-up.

Most Comparable to: John Barnes

7. Gabriel Martinelli - 18

The story of Martinelli’s rise from Brazil’s 4th Division to the Premier League has been well-documented. This season Martinelli has scored 10 goals in 26 matches. Combine that with 4 assists, and you reach a rate of a goal contribution every 104.5 minutes, which for someone who is just about to turn 19 is astonishing. And although his underlying stats are not too impressive, he is very young and has lots of time to improve his game, which will undoubtedly happen. Expect greatness from this youthful Brazilian in the near future.

Most comparable to: Michael Owen

6. Marcus Rashford - 22

Rashford burst onto the scene as an 18 year-old, scoring 2 for Man United on his debut. From then on his name has always been at the front of the pack when discussing who will be the next Premier League legend. A couple of inconsistent seasons after his start for the Red Devils lowered expectations but in 19/20 Rashford was on fire, being by far the most important player to his team. A lower back injury was a massive blow to his hopes of finishing the campaign strong and heading into Euro 2020, but the coronavirus situation has enabled him to recover fully, and hopefully he can be back banging the goals soon.

Most Comparable to: Cristiano Ronaldo

5. Christian Pulisic - 21

A slow start to his Chelsea career had the critics purring, but after being eased into the side Pulisic exploded into life with a perfect hat-trick against Burnley. He then went on a hot streak in the next few matches before an unfortunate adductor injury kept him out. But when he was on the pitch his mercurial dribbling and immaculate first touch was a sight to behold, and for someone aged just 21, was astounding. Should he improve his finishing, ‘Captain America’ could end up being one of the Premier League greats.

Most Comparable to: Eden Hazard

4. Billy Gilmour - 18

For those unfamiliar with Chelsea’s academy, few had heard the name Billy Gilmour. A few months and a couple Man of the Matches later, and many already consider him the second coming of Xavi. Simple football is the name of his game, but the effectiveness at which his metronomic passing progresses Chelsea’s attacks is simply astounding. But he is so much more than just a sideways pass merchant. He is often the catalyst for a goal, not the assister, but just before that; a pre-assister if you will. His ability to hit a raking 50 yard pass is brilliant, as is his tireless defensive work. And despite being just 1.7 metres tall, his presence is undeniably noticeable on the pitch.

Most Comparable to: Xavi Hernandez

3. Mason Greenwood - 18

The similarities between Robin Van Persie and Mason Greenwood is startling. They are both two-footed(although Greenwood does not have any form of weak foot), have ice-cold finishing in front of goal, and are proficient in 1v1s. With 12 goals in all competitions this season for an inconsistent Manchester United side, he has a bright future for both his club and country, and will form a deadly partnership up front with fellow academy graduate Marcus Rashford.

Most Comparable to: Robin Van Persie

2. Phil Foden - 20

When Pep Guardiola calls you the ‘most talented player’ he has ever seen, you know you have a bright future. The Stockport Iniesta is an agile and slick playmaker who is capable of beating anyone in the 1v1, and is surprisingly fast; clocking in at a remarkable 37.2km/h - the third fastest recorded in the league this season. And whilst his minutes have been restricted, with David Silva on the way out Phil Foden is set to take the Premier League by storm next year.

Most Comparable to: Andres Iniesta

1. Trent Alexander-Arnold - 21

With a huge 24 assists in the last two Premier League seasons, Trent has the world at his feet. His crossing ability has been likened to David Beckham, and his composure on the ball is frightening considering he is only 21. Although he has been a defender since his days in the Liverpool Academy, many current and former greats of the game have said that his future lies in the midfield, from where he can pull the strings and have a larger impact on the game.

Most Comparable to: David Beckham

Honourable Mentions:

  • Harvey Elliott

  • Tammy Abraham

  • Fikayo Tomori

  • Reece James

  • Mateo Guendouzi

  • Declan Rice

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