Each season new names emerge to become familiar faces in the Premier League, with the current campaign having seen several starlets take their chance.
Conor Bradley continued his impressive introduction to the Liverpool side with a wonderful performance against Chelsea in midweek, having shone since replacing the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
Bradley is not the only young talent going from strength to strength and we’ve picked out five Premier League youngsters who have seized their chance this season.
Jarrad Branthwaite has had to be patient for an opportunity at Everton, having joined the Toffees in a £1m deal from Carlisle in 2020.
Branthwaite had made just six Premier League starts before the current campaign, but after impressing on loan at PSV Eindhoven he has been introduced into the team under Sean Dyche.
The 21-year-old has been an almost ever-present for Everton, forming a fine understanding with James Tarkwoski at centre-back. Only the Premier League’s top three teams boast a better defensive record than Everton this season, with Branthwaite’s composed defending having been central to that.
Such has been his impact, he has been backed to gatecrash the England squad for Euro 2024, while his qualities as a left-sided centre-back have led to a reported price tag of close to £100m.
Lewis Miley is the second-youngest player to have appeared in the Premier League this season, having made his Premier League debut in November, aged 17 years, six months and 11 days. The teenager was handed his chance amid an injury crisis at St James’ Park and has not looked back, featuring 18 times in all competitions.
Miley’s mature performances have seen him trusted in huge games, starting an away clash at Paris Saint-Germain to become the third-youngest Englishman to start a Champions League game, after Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden.
Lewis Miley. Newcastle United through and through. ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/6RHKbx8JqW
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 29, 2024
He scored his first goal against Fulham in December, as the England u-19 international became the youngest player since Federico Macheda in 2009 to score in the Premier League.
Eddie Howe was insistent that Miley would not be loaned out and was ready for first-team football in the summer. He has proven that assessment correct, with Newcastle moving quickly to tie the teenager down to a new long-term deal.
Opportunities for young talent can be rare at the Premier League’s top clubs, with an immediate impact often required to remain in the picture. Conor Bradley’s chance has arrived in recent weeks after a host of injuries at Liverpool and the right-back has not looked out of place in Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Bradley won Bolton’s Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards during a loan spell in the third tier last season and has shown he is ready for the step up into the senior team. In nine first-team appearances for Liverpool, he has provided five assists and scored once, opening his goal account with a fine strike against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Impressive stats from Conor Bradley last night 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/5vyQdNivtX
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 1, 2024
The 20-year-old’s comfortability in the team and boundless energy have been a feature of recent games, showing Klopp he can be a viable alternative to Trent Alexander-Arnold. Given the calls for Alexander-Arnold to be moved into midfield on a permanent basis, a long-term role could open up if Bradley can maintain his current level.
Manchester United have a proud history in promoting academy talents into the first-team and Kobbie Mainoo, 18, is the latest name impressing amid opportunity.
The Stockport-born midfielder only made his first Premier League appearance against Everton in late November, but an assured performance has earned him a regular run in the side. A deep-lying midfielder comfortable in contributing to the build-up with composure in possession, Mainoo formed part of the Manchester United team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2022.
Both Mainoo, who scored his first goal for the club at Newport in the FA Cup, and Alejandro Garnacho have since graduated to the senior set-up, while Daniel Gore has been handed minutes this season. Erik ten Hag will hope this is the start for an exciting generation.
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 28, 2024
Few teams have had as much faith in young talent as Brighton in recent seasons, with the Seagulls regularly handing chances to budding talent. While much of Brighton’s side is made up of youngsters unearthed around the globe, Jack Hinshelwood has broken into the team from the academy this season.
The versatile midfielder has featured in a number of roles for the Seagulls this season, operating in both full-back positions and in the centre of midfield. He has made 11 league appearances for Roberto De Zerbi’s side, scoring in wins over Brentford and Tottenham.
Having been with Brighton since the age of seven, Hinshelwood’s flexibility has helped his breakthrough at the Amex Stadium this season.