Who could be this season’s breakout star?

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
July 28, 2021
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    Amad Diallo, Harvey Elliott, Folarin Balogun and Billy GilmourAmad Diallo, Harvey Elliott, Folarin Balogun and Billy Gilmour are among the young players looking to impress this season

    Every season, a group of young players make the first big step on the journey to becoming Premier League stars.

    But who are the likely candidates to be this season's breakout performers?

    BBC Sport selects nine young players who could make a genuine impact on the English top flight next season.

    Clearly, there is some guesswork at play here and we cannot cover every possible young superstar, so feel free to use the comments section to add to this list with your own suggestions and why you think they will shine next season.

    Folarin Balogun (Arsenal)

    Folarin Balogun

    Arsenal and their fans have been waiting for one of their stable of promising young strikers to step up and start scoring in the Premier League for a number of seasons.

    With the progress of Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah both stalling somewhat for differing reasons, there are big hopes that Folarin Balogun can steal a march on both.

    The 20-year-old made his first-team debut last season, playing six games in total and scoring twice in five Europa League matches, and after signing a new four-year deal in April is now set to be a permanent fixture in the first-team squad.

    Nine goals in 18 Premier League 2 games in 2019-20 is just a teaser of his predatory skills and with the Gunners seemingly looking more towards youth, now could be Balogun's time to shine on the big stage.

    • Balogun scores with first touch as Arsenal beat Molde

    Moises Caicedo (Brighton)

    Moises Caicedo

    Brighton reportedly beat a number of other European clubs to the signature of 19-year-old Ecuadorean Moises Caicedo, parting with what could prove to be a bargain £4m for the midfielder in the last winter transfer window.

    Manager Graham Potter was quick to temper expectations, stating it was important to give the player time to adjust to living in England and Premier League football.

    Now with that acclimatisation process a few months down the line and with some impressive Under-23 games under his belt, now may be the time for Caicedo to shine.

    The level of his involvement could depend on the presence and form of Yves Bissouma, who was first choice as the defensive lynchpin of Brighton's midfield last season, but has been linked with a move away from Sussex.

    Liam Delap (Manchester City)

    Liam Delap (left)

    The departure of Sergio Aguero means that as it stands, Manchester City go into next season with Gabriel Jesus as their only recognised centre-forward.

    Pep Guardiola obviously has options, with Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling both able to operate as a false nine, and could significantly boost their numbers if they turn their interest in Tottenham's Harry Kane into a signed and sealed transfer.

    Barring such a big move, though, they may turn to one of their own academy lads – 18-year-old striker Liam Delap.

    Signed from Derby in 2018, the son of former Stoke player Rory scored 24 times in 20 Under-23 games last season, netted his first senior goal in a Carabao Cup third-round win over Bournemouth and made his Premier League bow.

    It is not often that a young player breaks through into one of the truly elite Premier League clubs, especially a striker – but if Delap can, it could prove a very cost-effective masterstroke.

    Amad Diallo (Manchester United)

    Amad Diallo

    Manchester United spent the best part of two years trying to prise Jadon Sancho away from Borussia Dortmund, but their best bit of recent business could prove to be the £19m they paid Atalanta for winger Amad Diallo last January.

    "One of the most exciting young prospects in the game" was how United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described the 19-year-old Ivorian at the time and he has already shown flashes of this.

    Quick, skilful, and direct with good vision, he could prove to be a nightmare for Premier League defenders.

    He has competition in wide attacking areas, but with four competitions in which to compete, his opportunities at Old Trafford will surely come.

    He is not the only promising young player at United either, with 18-year-old midfielder Hannibal Mejbri and 17-year-old Shola Shoretire among a crop of talented teens.

    • Diallo: Why Man Utd signing bears comparison with Ronaldo transfer
    • 'A boy with a big future' – Diallo takes his Man Utd chance

    Cody Drameh (Leeds)

    READ:  Beckham's son makes pro debut in US

    Cody Drameh

    Under Marcelo Bielsa's management, Leeds are developing a reputation as a side who offer a clearer pathway to first-team football than most in the English top flight.

    More than 10 Under-23 players have made their debut during the Argentine's reign and 19-year-old Cody Drameh – an August 2020 signing from Fulham – could be next.

    He has rivals in the shape of forwards Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood, and recently acquired midfielder Lewis Bate, but Drameh is better placed than most.

    As a right-back, his pathway is clearer, with only Luke Ayling in front of him, although the versatile Stuart Dallas is also an option for the role.

    Drameh also comes into this campaign with the club's Under-23 player of the year award on his mantelpiece after helping them to promotion to the first division with 21 appearances full of dynamism and drive.

    Harvey Elliott (Liverpool)

    Harvey Elliott

    It feels like Harvey Elliott has been around for a while now, but that is mainly because he made his Premier League debut for Fulham aged 16 years and 30 days.

    Full of huge promise, Liverpool signed him in July 2019 and have spent the following years honing him for regular first-team action.

    Now, after a successful loan spell at Blackburn last season, in which he registered seven goals and 11 assists in 42 games, he may just be ready to step up.

    Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has been making positive noises already this pre-season, with Elliott impressing deeper in midfield than his usual right-sided forward role.

    At some point, Klopp needs to start preparing for a future without first-choice forward trio Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane (now all 29), which opens the door for Elliott.

    • Harvey Elliott: Liverpool to pay Fulham 'record' compensation fee

    Billy Gilmour (Norwich, on loan from Chelsea)

    Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour has specifically moved this summer in order to take the next step towards becoming a Premier League regular.

    Having impressed for his country at Euro 2020 following a handful of promising displays in the middle of Chelsea's midfield the season before, the 20-year-old now needs top-flight minutes under his belt to try and deliver on his undoubted talent.

    With elite trio Jorginho, N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in front of him in the Blues' pecking order, he has made the temporary move to newly promoted Norwich.

    The Canaries have a forward-thinking coach in Daniel Farke and a suitable hole in the middle of the park to fill with Oliver Skipp – more on him in a bit – having returned to Tottenham following his own successful loan spell last season.

    If Gilmour can make a sizable improvement on the 11 first-team appearances he managed in 2019-20, it will be a big win for all parties involved.

    • Billy Gilmour: 'Scotland's Kante' shines in Wembley draw
    • How Chelsea & Scotland midfielder has become Euro 2020 star

    Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace)

    Marc Guehi

    Marc Guehi is emblematic of a changing of the guard at Crystal Palace, from the mature, experienced squad under Roy Hodgson to a younger one with burgeoning promise led by Patrick Vieira.

    Regarded as one of the most promising centre-backs in the country, 21-year-old Guehi joined this summer from Chelsea for a fee believed to be about £18m and has not come to sit on the bench.

    After two impressive loan spells at Swansea in the Championship, his playing time would have been limited at Stamford Bridge, but at Palace his combination of physical strength and technical ability fits the bill perfectly.

    With a number of senior first-team figures having left the club, Guehi will line up alongside other young, promising recent recruits at Selhurst Park, including forward pair Jean-Philippe Mateta and Michael Olise.

    Oliver Skipp (Tottenham)

    Oliver Skipp

    Oliver Skipp returned to Tottenham this summer from his loan spell at Norwich with 45 appearances under his belt, a goal and two assists to his name, a Championship winner's medal in his pocket and a long list of rave reviews.

    The Canaries would undoubtedly have liked to take him for another season to help them reacclimatise back to Premier League life. That Tottenham have not sanctioned such a move says a lot.

    There is competition in the middle of the pitch at Spurs, but with a new boss in Nuno Espirito Santo providing everyone with a fresh start and an already impressive pre-season display under his belt against Colchester, Skipp is primed.

    At 20, it is a big season for him and a golden chance to add significantly to his 15 Premier League appearances to date.

    • Tottenham 2021-22 pre-season in pictures

    Banner image reading "Be ready for the new season"

    • Get news and features about your favourite team direct to your phone with the BBC Sport App's Premier League club news notifications, along with line-ups, latest scores and results. Download the App here: Appleexternal-linkAndroidexternal-linkAmazon.external-link
    • Notifications, Live Guide, social media and more with BBC Sport

    BBC Sport footercommentsView Comments115

    READ:  Injury reason for subbing Messi - Pochettino

    Comments

    Join the conversation

    To use comments you will need to have JavaScript enabled.
    115 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost Replied

    • G

      Comment posted by Grecian, today at 08:05

      Liverpool have this young lad called james Milner, as fit as a fiddle and never stops running.
      Mark my words, one for the future 👍216

      • B

        Reply posted by bardez , today at 08:46

        "Liverpool have this young lad called james Milner, as fit as a fiddle and never stops running.Mark my words, one for the future 👍"bardez replied: That’s very original. Think of that yourself?212

    • I

      Comment posted by itsallgonepetetong, today at 07:34

      Carney Chuckwemeka of Villa is the real deal and a real star of the future. UTV163

      • S

        Reply posted by Summer Breeze, today at 07:44

        "Carney Chuckwemeka of Villa is the real deal and a real star of the future. UTV"Summer Breeze replied: I think Jacob Ramsey will have a good year as well. Actually there are a few promising players in Villa’s youth ranks. Even if Jack leaves there is still hope for us villains84

      More replies (1)

    • A

      Comment posted by AT2018, today at 07:40

      Would be very surprised if chukwuemeka doesn’t breakthrough in style at villa this season142

    • N

      Comment posted by NathanNTFC, today at 06:31

      Nice to see that all 9 premier league clubs were included. Oh wait… where’s the rest? Hope they update the article with players from the other clubs.2210

      • M

        Reply posted by More on this story, today at 07:18

        "Nice to see that all 9 premier league clubs were included. Oh wait… where’s the rest? Hope they update the article with players from the other clubs."More on this story replied: I wouldn’t hold your breath!50

      More replies (3)

    • T

      Comment posted by TheSardinian, today at 07:30

      Billy Gilmour for me… sensational talent and this will be a great opportunity for him to play a full PL season and come back to CFC a more rounded player. Having watched him live a few times, believe the hype, future star ⭐️133

      • M

        Reply posted by miserableget, today at 07:44

        "Billy Gilmour for me… sensational talent and this will be a great opportunity for him to play a full PL season and come back to CFC a more rounded player. Having watched him live a few times, believe the hype, future star ⭐️"miserableget replied: I agree, he is top drawer. Gutted he’s at Chelsea. Although as i said in another post, I’d say he’s already broken out having played so well at Euros, indeed even for Chelsea, it was clear how good he is.52

      More replies (3)

    • R

      Comment posted by RyanBeckett44, today at 08:47

      Watched Drameh for the u23s who won the league last season and also saw him live last night – looks like real deal. Strong, athletic, fast, great ability. I’d imagine a few appearances this season and then next year first choice RB as Ayling gets a bit older.30

    • V

      Comment posted by Vortex, today at 07:51

      Problem for these players is that their clubs will rarely give them enough Premier League games to make a difference. Far better to sell them, then buy them back at 10 times the price a few years later…41

    • C

      Comment posted by Compo, today at 07:26

      Newcastle LEGEND Joe Willock? Maybe..63

      • P

        Reply posted by Peter, today at 07:28

        "Newcastle LEGEND Joe Willock? Maybe.."Peter replied: no because the big 6 tell the epl who can buy a club and who cant buy a club49

      More replies (2)

    • F

      Comment posted by Finkelstein, today at 08:14

      My pick would be Billy Gilmour. His spell at Norwich has done him the world of good. He prove how good he is in the Euros and was outstanding against England. He is good under pressure and reads the game brilliantly for a young lad. Also very impressed with Oliver Skipp who has also been on loan at Norwich. The lad is disciplined, good under pressure and has skills galore.53

      • I

        Reply posted by in my opinion, today at 09:16

        "My pick would be Billy Gilmour. His spell at Norwich has done him the world of good. He prove how good he is in the Euros and was outstanding against England. He is good under pressure and reads the game brilliantly for a young lad. Also very impressed with Oliver Skipp who has also been on loan at Norwich. The lad is disciplined, good under pressure and has skills galore."in my opinion replied: Mine too, fearless and never stops00

    • W

      Comment posted by Wolves, today at 06:23

      Might just be me being biased but yerson mosquera looks a great young centre back31

    • W

      Comment posted by Wear the Fox Hat, today at 09:13

      Would like to see Louie Barry given a chance.10

    • M

      Comment posted by mellmeaw, today at 08:45

      The question was who will be the Premier League’s breakout star…anyone from Brentford as not too many have any previous experience..10

    • B

      Comment posted by Bull, today at 09:18

      Romain Perraud for Southampton. Young and proven at French level, he’s one to watch!00

    • T

      Comment posted by TGB, today at 09:10

      Not a breakout star perhaps but a team. Looking forward to see how Brentford evolve into top flight Football.00

    • T

      Comment posted by Techno Head, today at 08:53

      Cucho Hernandez00

    • J

      Comment posted by Jess Phillips, today at 08:41

      Great article about young prospects. Oddball responses about Human Rights in Qatar, United States destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq and still got the world cup yet that’ll never bother people anyone. Let’s just stick to the fantastic young prospects.11

    • T

      Comment posted by The Gorg, today at 08:22

      Facundo Pellistri is set for another loan exit from Manchester United ahead of the new season. If he goes to another Premiership team he will be one to watch.11

    • W

      Comment posted by Wayne, today at 07:28

      Nathan Tella – Southampton33

      • R

        Reply posted by RyanBeckett44, today at 08:44

        "Nathan Tella – Southampton"RyanBeckett44 replied: Needs to cut out his diving00

      More replies (1)

    • T

      Comment posted by Tom, today at 06:18

      All well and good this article but will the author question the lack of playing time a lot of these top young players will receive this year? I doubt it. Youth development in this country is a token gesture at times to say the least. Like city are gonna rely on an academy player to replace aguero!77

    • M

      Comment posted by MattySW, today at 08:09

      Look out for Yerson Mosquera at Wolves, looks a cracking young centre back. Fabio Silva also will be getting better and better.23

    More commentsBack to top

    Source

    READ:  Lineker on football finances, gambling, social media
    Football
    The toxic battle ripping Barcelona apart

    When Joan Laporta was elected Barcelona president in March, one of the first things he did was make it abundantly clear that Ronald Koeman did …

    Football
    Rodriguez leaves Everton for Qatar

    James Rodriguez signed for Everton in September 2020 Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez has completed a move from Everton to Qatari side Al Rayyan for an …

    Football
    Injury reason for subbing Messi – Pochettino

    Messi appeared to be frustrated when he was replaced by Achraf Hakimi against Lyon Paris St-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed an injury was the …

    Subscribe
    Notify of
    guest
    0 Comments
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    July 28, 2021
      Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
      Scroll to Top
      • Bookmakers Bonus
      Fonbet

      Registration bonus up to 250 Euro!

      Winmasters
      Parimatch
      0
      Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
      ()
      x
      This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.