Shola Shoretire became Manchester United’s youngest ever player to feature in a European match on Thursday night and is one of a number of exciting youngsters coming through the ranks right now.
Here, the PA news agency picks out some of the highly-rated teenagers coming through Premier League clubs that have yet to make more than a handful of senior appearances – and in some cases even their debut.
Hannibal Mejbri (18) Manchester United
Signed from Monaco in 2019 for a fee rising to a potential 10 million euros (£9.3million), the midfielder was set to be promoted to United’s first-team bubble along with Shoretire only for a shoulder injury to delay his progress. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this week said the player “is not far away” from making his breakthrough.
Amad Diallo (18) Manchester United
It would be a shock if the wiry Ivorian winger did not make this list given the hype that followed his eagerly-anticipated January switch from Atalanta. Diallo joined for a fee that could reach 41m euros (£36.5m) and has made two substitute appearances for the first team following impressive early displays with the under-23s.
Liam Delap (18) Manchester City
The son of long throw specialist Rory joined City from his father’s former club Derby in 2019. Boasting pace, strength and skill, the striker scored on his his first-team debut for Pep Guardiola’s side in the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth in September.
Dane Scarlett (16) Tottenham
Jose Mourinho’s record at bringing through young talents has been long debated but the Spurs boss has given this “immense talent” an early chance. Scarlett is the youngest player to feature for the club in the Premier League as well as Europe, while the forward is tipped by his manager to be an established first-team player next season.
Antwoine Hackford (16) Sheffield United
The rapid England youth forward made his senior debut for the Blades at the start of the year, becoming the club’s youngest top-flight player in the process. United boss Chris Wilder believes he has the attitude and aptitude to keep progressing and kick on.
Charlie Patino (17) Arsenal
Having captained England Under-16s at just 14 and played above his age group consistently at Arsenal, the talented teenager signed his first professional deal at the Emirates Stadium in October. Arsenal have high hopes for the technically-gifted midfielder.
Folarin Balogun (19) Arsenal
The highly-rated striker is the oldest player on this list and scored on his Gunners debut in the Europa League against Dundalk in November. The New York-born England youth international could yet walk away from the Emirates as his contract is up in the summer and there is plenty of interest in him.
Joe Hugill (17) Manchester United
The third United player on this list, the tall, talented striker has impressed since making his summer switch from League One side Sunderland. The gifted 17-year-old has more than held his own at Under-23s level despite his age, recently scoring a four goals in one PL2 match against Liverpool.
Louie Barry (17) Aston Villa
Having made headlines by leaving West Brom for Barcelona, the forward is now back in the Midlands after moving to Villa Park in January 2020. Barry – no relation to namesake ex-Villa player Gareth – was thrust into the spotlight when a Covid-19 outbreak hit Aston Villa in January, but the unflustered 17-year-old marked his senior debut with a goal in the FA Cup clash against Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp likened him to to a little Jamie Vardy.
Carney Chukwuemeka (17) Aston Villa
The highly-rated midfielder was reportedly prevented from making his first-team bow alongside Barry as he was part of the group that went into isolation. Villa chief executive Christian Purslow last year described him as “probably the best 16-year-old in England”. Chukwuemeka was on the first-team bench against Leicester last weekend.
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