The Premier League’s best young starting XI.
The Premier League is currently blessed with a dearth of excellent young talent. Whether it be because of the 6+5 rule, or FFP regulations kicking in, or just a continuation of the excellent work put in by youth academies across the country, a new wave of young talent are starting to make their voices heard at the top level. Below is just 11 of the best young stars to start making their way through the ranks to show what they can do to carry the Premier League into the future.
GK: Jack Butland – Stoke City
Butland may not have made the headway into the Stoke team as quickly as he would have liked, but that’s mostly down to the excellent form of current number one Asmir Begovic. However, Butland is still highly-rated in the top flight, and luckily for him goalkeepers aren’t on the same time frame as their outfield counter parts so there is still plenty of time for him to establish himself.
LB: Luke Garbutt – Everton
Garbutt is the latest in a long line of great full-backs to emerge from Goodison Park lately. He made his debut last season and having spent time on loan in the lower reaches of the football league, Roberto Martinez may well decide to rely on the England under-21 regular a little more as he juggles competing in four competitions.
CB: Eric Dier – Tottenham Hotspur
The young Englishman has already enjoyed a fine football education in Portugal with Sporting Lisbon, and has seemingly fit into Tottenham’s back line already. Scoring twice in his first two games, if he can keep Kaboul and Chiriches rotating amongst themselves then a call up to the Senior England team won’t be far off.
CB: Paddy McNair – Manchester United
McNair isn’t the only rookie defender to be thrust into the spotlight at Old Trafford this season, but he’s been the best. His display against West Ham had him looking as though he’d been there for years. He likely would have been expecting to go out on loan, but if he can continue his good run of form then perhaps Louis Van Gaal will opt out of looking for an expensive replacement in January.
RB: Hector Bellerin – Arsenal
The Spaniard has been making waves in Arsenal’s development squad, and at Watford, where he spent a short and successful loan spell last year. He’s been edged in gradually through cup competitions, but his exciting talent will now be put to the test thanks to the club’ ever growing injury list.