Premier League 2020/21: Youngsters Poised to Make an Impact
By BET Contributor
The beginning of a new Premier League season always brings a flurry of new talent, not only through transfers, but also in terms of promotions and greater game time for youngsters in a team.
At times players returning from loan or going out on loan can prove to be the right boost for dominant teams and an ailment for teams which may be predisposed to struggle in the upcoming season.
The 2020/2021 season is no different with a few exciting young players set to emerge over the upcoming season, here are some of the youngsters who could enhance their names this season in the Premier League
Rhian Brewster – Liverpool
20-year-old Rhian Brewster’s future is far from certain with rumours surfacing that he might be sold by Liverpool with a buy-back clause installed into his contract, he has plenty of suitors within the Premier League, so whatever happens he is likely to stay in the division. He impressed on loan at Swansea City during the second half of last season netting 11 times in 22 appearances, while he is not ready to lead the line at a club with Liverpool’s attacking riches, partly due to his youth, but also because he has not yet fully gripped Jurgen Klopp’s requirements of his number nine.
He is Liverpool’s most natural finisher and it has been evident during Liverpool’s short pre-season where he scored three goals in two second-half cameos against Stuttgart and RB Salzburg in Austria. He remains a work-in-progress, but there is enough evidence to suggest he could be a super sub for Liverpool, particularly with Roberto Firmino’s recent goalscoring struggles.
Ethan Ampadu – Sheffield United
The Blades gained promotion into the Premier League last season and stayed up as a result of a strong and solid defence with Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson inspirational behind the back 5 employed by Chris Wilder. Ethan Ampadu has joined Sheffield United on loan from Chelsea for the 2020/21 season and will look to make a similar impact to the Manchester United goalkeeper. Ampadu – adept at defensive midfield and in central defence – may struggle to break into Wilder’s back 3 of Chris Basham, Jack O’Connell and John Egan from the onset, but his defensive acumen, athleticism and ability to read the game could force Wilder’s hand.
Ampadu endured a frustrating 6-month spell at German football’s rising force RB Leipzig where he struggled for game time, but working with Julian Nagelsmann – one of the most tactically astute coaches in the game – would undoubtedly have improved the Welsh international. If Ampadu gets the desired game time under a less tactically demanding system, he will thrive at Bramall Lane.
Big things are expected of the 20-year-old Frenchman at the Emirates, even though he was originally signed by Unai Emery and loaned back to Saint Etienne last season. Mikel Arteta seems to be keen on giving the young defender a chance in the first team. Saliba had an injury-hampered campaign in France with Saint Etienne last season, but showed enough quality when he was fit. It may take time for him to adjust to the Arteta way, but as far as physicality, anticipation and reading of the game is concerned, Saliba is equipped.
Another aspect that will count in his favour is the fact that he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and his timing on the tackle is excellent, the first half of the season will be spent with him trying to adjust to life in England and playing under a detailed coach like Arteta, but he possesses the physical and mental tools to be an important player for Arsenal this season.
Japhet Tanganga – Tottenham Hotspur
Considered somewhat of a wonderkid at White Hart Lane and why wouldn’t he be particularly when you consider who his coach is at Spurs. The pragmatic Jose Mourinho is said to be an admirer of Japhet Tanganga’s defensive capabilities. Unlike most young defenders who play at fullback, Tanganga is more concerned with the defensive side of his game rather than the marauding runs up the flanks on attack, that may be due to him being more of a natural centre back than a fullback.
He can play across the back four which is a huge plus when considering the loss of the versatile Jan Vertonghen in Spurs’ defence. He may have to bide his time in at right-back with Toby Alderweireld, Davidson Sanchez and Eric Dier all ahead of him at centre-back. Serge Aurier’s erratic nature may open the way for the 21-year-old to be a regular starter although he will also have new signing Matt Doherty to contend with for the berth
Eberechi Eze – Crystal Palace
Eberechi Eze is Crystal Palace’s marquee signing ahead of the new season who turned out for Queens Park Rangers in the Championship last season. The 22-year-old was recently named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year after scoring 14 goals and adding a further 8 assists in 46 appearances. Eze, who is qualified for both England and Nigeria, is a quick left sided attacking midfield who is strong on his feet – a valuable asset to have in a league as physical as the Premier League.
A dribbler whose ball progression is very good, Eze is exactly the type of player Palace need. While some of these youngsters may take time to get first team minutes, the former QPR man looks set to be an integral part of Roy Hodgson’s plans going forward. He will also relieve some of the pressure on star man Wilfried Zaha to be the creative spark for Palace on attack.
Fabio Silva – Wolves
When a team breaks their transfer record for an 18-year-old, then he must be special and by all indications, one of Wolves’s recent signings Fabio Silva is a special player. The former Porto striker was brought in to bolster Nuno Espirito Santo’s attacking options. Silva has a sweet strike on him and plenty of shots in his locker, he already looks like a potent number nine in terms of his technique and goal sense.
At his age in a league with tough and uncompromising defenders, he will need to develop physically in order to cope with the physical demands of this league. For now, his movement off the ball will have to do until he develops a little more to compete physically, but the Premier League teams need to be wary one glance at goal and he will pull the trigger.
Grady Diangana – West Bromwich Albion
West Ham club captain Mark Noble publicly expressed his disappointment at the loss of Grady Diangana. The 22-year-old signed on with West Bromwich Albion permanently after helping the West Midlands club gain promotion into the Premier League while he was at the Hawthorns on loan last season. Diangana is a talented winger who holds so much promise hence the Hammers’ skipper’s dejection at losing him. When West Brom got relegated they were characterised by Tony Pulis’ bland style of football, but returned under a new revolution with Slaven Bilic at the helm – a revolution in which Diangana has been prominent.
The DR Congo-born winger is deceptively quick and has magical feet, his close control when running the ball is incredible, he is sure to be one of the most exciting talents in the Premier League this season. Bilic once turned Dimitri Payet into a Premier League star, he could do the same for Grady Diangana who is brimming with potential.