Up and down the country, young footballers feel this is their year to finally break into the first team set up. These 5 Young Pro’s are the ones we feel have the chance of making a huge impact in the upcoming season.
5) Demarai Gray – Birmingham City – 20
The winger from Birmingham is becoming a target for many Premier League clubs at the moment courtesy of his performances over the last year. Scoring 6 goals in all competitions last season, the winger is turning heads with his electric pace and fantastic touch. After recently been voted in the Football League’s Emerging XI, this year could prove vital for Gray’s career.
4) Josh Murphy – Norwich City – 20
After a successful loan spell at Wigan Athletic in a poor season for the Latics, Murphy got praise for his hard work, before returning to his promoted parent club. With only Nathan Redmond as competition at Carrow Road, this could be a breakthrough year for the young winger. An England under 20 international and brother to Jacob, Josh has the pace, trickery and talent to be a hero for City in the daunting task of staying in the Premier League in the season to come.
3) Zach Clough – Bolton Wanderers – 20
After some successful performances in the Championship and FA Cup last year, Zach Clough has a chance to improve on it this term. Managing to find the net 5 times in just 8 Championship games, the tricky English striker is another prospect from the Bolton academy. With lightning pace and a lethal finish, the young Manchester born forward could be a real handful for Championship defences this year and could be a helping hand for Neil Lennon’s side in their hunt for promotion.
2) Reece Oxford – West Ham United– 16
The youngest ever player to feature in a competitive game for West Ham is already an achievement in itself but young Reece Oxford looks as if he can go on and surprise the footballing world with feats this season. At only 16 Oxford has control and understands the game especially well, his vision and technical precision at centre back and as a defensive midfielder has allowed new Hammers boss Slaven Bilić to deploy him a few times already in the Europa League. His talent will go far this season and over the upcoming years. It may be a bit too soon to bring him into the first team set up, but if given the chance the England under 17 captain has the ability to be special.
1) Lewis Cook – Leeds United – 18
Another talent to come through the academy at Leeds, and likened to Jack Wilshere, is Lewis Cook. The York born central midfielder managed 37 appearances for the whites last year and is looking to improve on that this campaign. Comfortable on the ball with both feet, great short passing and a good turn of pace, Cook has rightly seen nothing but praise in his short professional career. One to watch this year and a possible leader of both Leeds and his country in the future.
Words: Jamie Britt