As this year’s winter break for Premier League players draws to a close, the new year brings a wealth of opportunity for young players to try and establish themselves within the first team and cement their names on the team sheet.
The Premier League is a shining example of the importance of giving youth players from academies and reserves the chance to become some of the biggest names in football. Renowned Premier League stars such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden have all established themselves as first-team players for club and country after making their way through the ranks and dazzling when their moment to join the first team finally arrived.
This article will highlight some of the top young players tipped to be ‘ones to watch’ in the remaining months of the Premier League season, from players who have already broken through to reserves hoping to get their chance to shine on the biggest stage.
Players to watch out for in 2024
- Kobbie Mainoo: Having impressed manager Erik ten Hag with his maturity and confidence on the ball, Mainoo has grasped his opportunity to join the Manchester United first team with both hands and has quickly become a fan favourite. The 18-year-old, Stockport-born defensive midfielder joined Manchester United in 2014 and has enjoyed years of success playing in the reserves and youth cup competitions.
- Ben Doak: Liverpool’s 18-year-old winger joined from Celtic in 2022 and swiftly made his Premier League debut in 2022. This talented youngster was nominated for Young Sports Personality of the Year 2023, but suffered a set back after sustaining a serious knee injury. Doak is expected to miss much of the remainder of the campaign, though hopes are high he can recover swiftly and make an impression at Anfield this year.
- Matheus Franca: The Brazilian teenager has impressed when making substitute appearances for Crystal Palace in 2023 and is set to have further chances in 2024. The energetic attacking midfielder is a dangerous finisher and will no doubt be a firm favourite with fans at Selhurst Park in the months to come.
- Ethan Nwaneri: Having featured on the bench for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side for some big games in 2023, this England Under-17’s starlet made history in 2022 against Brentford when he became the youngest player to appear for the Gunners. With an intense period of both Premier League and Champions League fixtures on the horizon, this youngster may get more chances to shine on the biggest stages.
- Oscar Bobb: After scoring a beautiful goal in Manchester City’s recent last-gasp win over Newcastle United, Oscar Bobb is certainly one to watch. The Norwegian winger has received many accolades for his recent performances and will certainly make many more appearances from the bench under Pep Guardiola in the months to come.