Alex Iwobi is the latest in a long line of promising Arsenal youngsters. The 19-year-old nephew of Nigerian superstar Jay-Jay Okocha looks set for a big future with the North London following his first-team breakthrough in the 2015/16 season.
Iwobi is a versatile midfielder who is capable of playing on the wing as well as in central midfield or even a further advanced role. The Nigerian international scored eight times in 35 appearances in the 2013/14 season for the U18s before going on to captain the Arsenal U21s the following season.
The Arsenal prodigy has already been capped at senior level for Nigeria and he is highly regarded by Arsene Wenger who said: “We have a game based on movement and speed, and he integrates that very well. He has good power and is usually efficient – he scores goals a lot.”
Club- Watford FC
Alfie Young only signed his first professional deal in the summer of 2015 after joining the Hertfordshire side as an U12. The commanding centre-back impressed in his spell as Watford U18’s captain last term.
Young has since become a regular member of the U21s side and he has been training alongside the first team for the past two years. He was also selected in new manager Quique Sánchez Flores’ pre-season trip to Germany ahead of their Premier League campaign.
The 19-year-old is yet to make his senior debut but with impressive performances for U21’s boss Harry Kewell his opportunity is surely not far away although in an exclusive interview with Young Pro Mag Young revealed he would be open to a loan move in order to gain first-team experience.
The England U19 international is fast justifying his £2 million price tag paid by Merseyside giants Liverpool in November 2011 when he was only 14-years-old from MK Dons. Sheyi Ojo enjoyed a successful loan spell at Championship side Wolves for the first part of the season before being recalled back by Jurgen Klopp following an injury crisis at Anfield.
Ojo was first named on the Liverpool bench against Burnley in 2014 before making his senior bow against Exeter City in the FA third round and celebrating the occasion with an assist this season. The winger also made a difference in the replay scoring on his home debut for the Reds.
The teenager is set for more first-team outings in the near future as he has carried his early season form into the Liverpool U21 side.
Club- Newcastle United
Rolando Aarons joined Newcastle from his hometown club Bristol City in 2012 and he has since gone to make a name for himself in the North East. Aarons made his Newcastle debut in the opening match of the 2014/15 season and later on that month he scored his first senior goal for the Toon.
Later on in his breakthrough season Aarons scored his second for the club, an away goal against Manchester City in a 2-0 win. The England Youth international has unfortunately suffered from a number of injuries in the past 18 months but he has returned stronger than ever in recent months.
Aarons has made eight appearances this season and he looks set for more after securing a starting berth in Steve McClaren’s team in recent weeks.
Club- Arsenal (On loan at Hull City)
The Arsenal star is currently on loan at Championship promotion chasers Hull City alongside fellow young Gooner Isaac Hayden. Akpom featured seven times for Arsenal last season and he notched an eye catching hat-trick in a pre-season Barclays Asia Trophy match in Singapore.
The 20-year-old striker had already enjoyed short loan spells at Brentford, Coventry City and Nottingham Forest before joining Hull on a season-long loan move. Akpom has been prolific at club junior level and throughout the England youth teams scoring for every youth side from the U16’s to the U21’s.
The Newham born striker has already scored seven goals for Hull City including a FA Cup hat-trick against Bury in January. His temporary boss Steve Bruce said:” He has a lot to do and a lot to learn. But, in terms of raw talent, you don’t have to watch him long to realise the natural ability that he has. Only a few are blessed with that.”
Club- Man City
Many questioned why Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini refused to sign a striker last summer but after Iheanacho‘s displays for City, fans have certainly have no complaints. Iheanacho has been one of the highlights in an up-and-down season for Man City, the 19-year-old forward already has 9 goals for City this campaign.
The Nigerian front-man caught the world’s attention when he was awarded the Golden Ball in Nigeria’s U17 World Cup win 2013, he initially signed a deal with the Manchester in January 2014 and he had to wait until August 2015 to make his debut for the club, the match after his he scored an injury time winner against Crystal Palace.
Iheanacho has flourished since then with a career highlight being a memorable FA Cup hat-trick against Aston Villa and a classy goal in a top of the table clash against Spurs.
Tammy Abraham is one of the most exciting young strikers in England and his record at youth level has just been purely frightening. Last season the tall teenager scored 46 goals in 42 starts across the U18 side, the U19 Uefa Youth League team and the Under 21’s.
Tammy has again continued his blistering goal scoring this season, even scoring a brace in England U19’s win against Japan. Abraham is yet to make a first team debut for Chelsea so a loan move may be a realistic option this summer.
Chelsea U21 coach Adi Vivesh is known to be a big fan of the striker and in the near future he will surely be on knocking on the first-team door.
Club: Borussia Mondglenbach
Position: Right Back
The talented England youth international is an academy graduate of the Crystal Palace’s academy and he was part of the England U17 side that won the European Championships in Malta 2014. Egbo will be hoping to continue climbing up the England ranks since debut in a Victory Shield game against Scotland in 2012.
With his stock rising and as an 18-year-old he made the brave to move to Bundesliga side Borussia Mondeglenbach in order to improve his game in Germany. It’s been a good six months for the Londoner as he has held down a place in the club’s second string side. Egbo is already training alongside established internationals and that is something that will improve the right back.
The next few seasons will be interesting for the British export as he aims to breakthough at one of the Bundesliga’s top teams.
Club: Charlton Athletic
The 18-year-old South London has had a memorable 18 months, from Sunday League football to the Charlton Athletic first-team. Lookman was spotted by Charlton while representing the London FA county side against the Addicks and after a short trial they signed the youngster from his Sunday league club Waterloo FC.
He hit 17 goals in 28 appearances in his debut season for the Addicks’ U18s and a red-hot start to 2015/16 saw him promoted to the U21s set-up. Just a few months later Lookman made his first team debut against MK Dons in November and a month later he scored his first goal against Brighton.
Since then the young striker has scored four goals in 13 appearances and his impressive displays in the Championship have reportedly attracted a number of Premier League sides, although Lookman did committed to Charlton until 2020 recently.