World football is studded with a lot of talented footballers, each of different ages, physical attributes and skill sets. Yet, very few things in football excite fans more than watching a kid come onto the scene and take the league by storm. Below is a list of 5 players, under 21 years of age, who have the ability to light up the Premier League this season.
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
The former MK Dons player burst on to the Premier League last time out in his debut season, showing skill, technique and application well beyond his years. The reigning PFA Young Player of the year was integral in the Tottenham team that came close to the title last season. His goal against Crystal Palace on January 23, a spectacular 25-yard volley, will go down in history as one of the most spectacular goals in the Premier League this decade.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino favours high pressing, and Dele Alli delivered this for his manager time and time again. Combining well with striker Harry Kane throughout much of last year, Alli achieved many assists and forced his way into the England squad for Euro 2016. Though he and the rest of the England squad had a forgettable European Championships, Alli will remain crucial to whatever the Spurs achieve this season.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United):
French forward Anthony Martial made a big money move to Manchester United from Monaco, as the Red Devils smashed the world record fee ever paid for a teenager. Martial, however, handled the pressure of the transfer fee well, topping the club’s scoring charts with 17 goals in all competitions.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival at Old Trafford could help Martial plunder more goals this season despite the youngster being expected to be forced into a wider role, as defenders will focus more on the more established Swede. Pogba has made all the on-Ibrahimovic headlines for Manchester United this summer, but Martial is a sure bet to start on the left of the Manchester United attack and perform well.
Leroy Sane (Manchester City)
Manchester City’s young, afro-haired wonderkid is a joy to watch in action. Blessed with a wand of a left foot, he makes up what he lacks in blistering pace with strength and trickery.
Many have likened Sane to Arjen Robben, due to his similar willingness to cut in from the right wing onto a stronger left boot. Pep Guardiola has good experience in developing young players, and should Sane’s development continue on its current path; opposing defenders have plenty to worry about this season.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)
The Nigerian International, who is a nephew of Nigerian football legend Jay-Jay Okocha, enjoyed a breakthrough season last term, partnering Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck to create a fluid front three for the Gunners.
None of the more established options on the right wing for Arsenal have been particularly convincing in recent years, meaning Iwobi has a chance to make the position his own. Blessed with the physique, technique and turn of pace to make it as a winger, many expect him to play a big part in Arsenal’s upcoming campaign.
1Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Marcus Rashford’s rise to relevance from total obscurity was one of the most intriguing stories of last season. Given a on-off chance in a Europa League due to squad injuries, Rashford grabbed a brace on his first team debut in February, scored another brace against Arsenal on his Premier League debut, bagged the winner of the Manchester Derby, and even got goal on a sudden debut he earned for England, all in the space of three months.
Blessed with the physique, pace, and composure of a complete forward, Marcus is the right specimen to thrive in the League. Zlatan Ibrahimovich is 34 years of age, and no one can tell how his body will hold up in the physically demanding Premier League. Either through injury, rotation or suspensions, Rashford will get his chance to enhance his reputation further this season.