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Picking the best Premier League XI of players under 25

Hypothetical teams and dream XI’s are an endless topic for football fans, who love to debate and discuss who makes the cut in their chosen sides.

It’s often said that football is a young man’s game, and the Premier League is certainly stacked full of youthful talents. We’ve decided to compile a fantasy XI of the very best, picking only players aged under 25.

Here is the best Premier League XI of players under 25…

 

Goalkeeper: Kepa Arrizabalaga

The most expensive goalkeeper in football history, Spaniard shot-stopper Kepa signed for Chelsea in a £71.6m deal last summer.

Signed as a replacement for the departing Thibaut Courtois, Kepa had big gloves to fill but quietly impressed during his debut season in English football.

The Spain international possesses presence and quick reflexes, whilst his comfortableness with the ball at his feet makes him ideally suited to the modern game.

At 24, Kepa is relatively young for a top-level goalkeeper and Chelsea will hope he can mature into one of the very best.

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Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold

It can be difficult to remember that the Liverpool full-back is just 20-years-old, given the maturity of his performances since breaking into the first-team at Anfield.

Technically superb and a fine set-piece taker, Alexander-Arnold has already played in two Champions League finals, winning one, and established himself in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

The highly-rated youngster broke the Premier League record for assists by a defender in 2018/19, being nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award following an outstanding campaign for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

He was deservingly named in the PFA Team of the Year as Liverpool were narrowly pipped to the Premier League title last season, the boyhood Reds fan will be more determined than most to end the club’s long wait for a league title.

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Centre-back: Joe Gomez

Another young Liverpool defender whose maturity belies his years, 22-year-old Gomez has impressed in a variety of roles since being plucked from Charlton as a teenager in 2015.

Comfortable centrally or at full-back, serious injuries have hampered his progress although he remains a favourite of Jurgen Klopp and England manager Gareth Southgate.

Athletic and strong, Gomez possesses the composure and ball-playing ability that is valued highly in the modern centre-back. Back to full fitness, Gomez could prove to be the long-term partner for Virgil van Dijk.

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Centre-back: Nathan Ake

Having failed to make the grade at Chelsea, Ake has developed into a fine Premier League performer since moving to join Bournemouth on the South Coast.

Crowned as the club’s Player’s Player and Supporter’s Player in his debut season at Eddie Howe’s side, Ake has continued to shine and has been linked with moves to some of the division’s leading sides.

The Dutch defender is quick over the ground and possesses a cultured left-foot, whilst his versatility in being able to play at full-back or in midfield adds to his quality.

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Left-back: Ben Chilwell

The Leicester left-back is in contention to become Gareth Southgate’s first-choice for England, having impressed since being handed his international debut in 2018.

Brendan Rodgers currently possesses a Leicester squad bursting with exciting, young talent and Chilwell is amongst the Foxes best prospects.

Speculation has linked the 22-year-old with a move to one of English football’s elite, with Manchester City having been strongly linked with a move for the full-back.

Should Chilwell continue to improve at his current rate, it won’t be long before the speculation increases.

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Midfield: Ruben Neves

When the highly-rated Portuguese midfielder announced he was signing for Championship Wolves in 2017, there were more than a few football fans left scratching their heads.

Neves had emerged as one of his country’s most exciting young talents, captaining Champions League regulars Porto as a teenager and being tipped to become one of Europe’s elite.

The exciting project of the Midlands side enticed Neves to Molineaux, where he helped inspire Wolves to promotion with the help of some audacious long-range goals.

Wolves adapted seamlessly to the Premier League and qualified for Europe, with the fine passing range of their elegant midfielder a key part of their success.

The 22-year-old has the ability and potential to play at the very highest level, whether Wolves can hold onto him for much longer remains to be seen.

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Midfield: Naby Keita

Arriving amid much fanfare following his move from German side Red Bull Leipzig last summer, Liverpool fans only saw glimpses of the 24-year-old’s potential during his first season at Anfield.

Having developed a reputation as being amongst the Bundesliga’s finest midfielders, Liverpool beat off a host of competition to secure the £52m signing of the Guinea international.

Injuries and an adaptation to England slowed his progress last season, though Keita showed moments of the brilliance which persuaded Jurgen Klopp to bring him to the Premier League.

A dynamic, all-action midfielder, expect Keita to establish himself at the European champions this season and demonstrate why he is so highly rated.

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Midfield: James Maddison

Having created more chances than any player in Europe’s top five leagues last season, Leicester’s £20m capture of James Maddison from Championship side Norwich looks like one of last summer’s best pieces of business.

A set-piece specialist, the playmaker is intelligent and adept at playing between the lines and is likely to be the creative fulcrum that Brendan Rodgers builds his new-look side around.

The 22-year-old is an England U21 international and has impressed at that level, with the senior side currently possessing a dearth of technical, creative midfield talents, Maddison could soon be ready to make the step up.

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Right-wing: Raheem Sterling

Tipped for the very top from his teenage years, Raheem Sterling has blossomed under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City into one of the Premier League’s finest players.

Having previously struggled to with his finishing, Sterling has hit 35 Premier League goals in the past two seasons as City have secured back-to-back league titles.

A hat-trick for England earlier this year showed he was ready to take his club form to the international stage, and arguably his finest year to date was rewarded with the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 2019.

Still just 24, the sky is the limit for the England international.

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Left-wing: Leroy Sane

Stationed on the opposite flank is Sterling’s City teammate Sane, another flying winger who has helped make Pep Guardiola’s side one of the most formidable teams in Premier League history.

The Germany international is blessed with lightning pace, whilst his acceleration from a standing start often leaves full-backs in his wake.

Crowned as the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2017/18, Sane was one of just three players alongside Sterling and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, to register double figures for both goals and assists last season.

Speculation has linked the 23-year-old with a move away from the Etihad this summer, and his sale would see City lose one of the most promising attacking talents in European football.

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Forward: Marcus Rashford

Few players have made more than 150 appearances for English football’s biggest club before turning 22-years-old.

The academy graduate burst onto the scene as a teenager in 2015 and has now established himself as Manchester United’s first-choice centre-forward, penning a long-term deal this summer that committed his long term future to his boyhood club.

Blessed with pace, trickery and good movement, Rashford remains raw but has the potential to develop into one of the Premier League’s elite attacking players.

His finishing can still be erratic, but having improved his tally each season he will hope to become the 20+ goal a season forward United require.

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