Teenage Kicks: The 5 Wunderkinds Set To Light Up This Premier League Season


"If you're good enough, you're old enough," Sir Matt Busby famously said.

Uncork the sparkling exuberance of youth at the right time, with the right player, and a teenage new sensation could be born to the game at any time. 

These five bright young things could be on the verge of getting their teenage kicks in the best league in the world. It could even happen as soon as this season.

They think they're ready. The question is, do their managers agree?

 

1. Jordan Ibe, Liverpool

A young Liverpool winger with pace, penetration and poise on the ball - little wonder Jordan Ibe is being tipped to follow the same trajectory as Raheem Sterling at the club.

Ibe is 18 and has all the raw ingredients to be a star. An England Under-19 international, who scored a headline-grabbing hat-trick for his country against Montenegro back in May, Ibe is comfortable coming off both flanks and capable of delivering a killer blow with either foot.

He spent the latter part of last season on loan at Birmingham, and there's talk Liverpool may send him out again, but additional Champions League pressures and injuries could see Ibe given a chance to impress this season under Brendan Rodgers.

Should he stay involved at Anfield, Ibe would likely be deployed mostly as an impact substitute, and perhaps given the chance to start League Cup games. The experience of being in the midst of a Champions League squad would be invaluable, and who knows - he could be the season's breakout young star.

 

2. Jack Grealish, Aston Villa

"He has a massive future in the game if he keeps his feet on the ground," said Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert of Grealish, after the 18-year-old came off the bench against Stoke at the weekend.

Grealish has been on Villa's books since he was six and it looks like the slighty-built Republic of Ireland youth international will get his chance this season.

An elusive winger with quick feet and pace to burn, Grealish appears to have convinced Lambert he's worth consideration after a season on loan at Notts County.

If you're looking for clues as to what Grealish is capable of, check out the goal he scored for Notts against Gillingham last season. 

 

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3. James Wilson, Manchester United

Wilson scored twice on his Manchester United debut against Hull last season, and will be holding out for a chance under Louis van Gaal in the coming months.

The 18-year-old striker has consistently scored goals for the youth and reserve teams at United and comes billed as "an exceptional player and a great talent" by Nicky Butt - a man who knows exactly what it takes to graduate through the ranks at Old Trafford.

Wilson didn't travel with the first-team squad to America this summer, but four goals for the Under-21s in a recent cup final win against Manchester City surely caught Van Gaal's eye.

A natural finisher, who favours his left foot and has the ability to glide past defenders with his tight control and speed, Wilson is also said to have an excellent work ethic and a humble approach to the task at hand.

Van Gaal is known as a manager to give youth a chance. Wilson looks ready to take him up on that reputation.

 

4. Calum Chambers, Arsenal

New signing Chambers started for Arsenal against Besiktas on Tuesday night, in a Champions League play-off with huge implications for the club's season. That tells you Arsene Wenger has no doubt he's ready.

Strong, committed in the tackle and with a good range of passing, Chambers could represent the future for both the Gunners and England.

Using the 19-year-old Chambers as a central defender, Wenger will be careful not to burn him out too quickly, but has already praised his growth with the Gunners. He's also talked of Chambers "resisting the pressure" that comes with first-team football.

If Chambers continues to impress, the pressure will be on Wenger to keep him in the team.

 

5. Diego Poyet, West Ham

Son of Gus, 19-year-old Poyet arrived at West Ham from Charlton this summer, with a big reputation as an extremely effective defensive midfielder.

He'll get his chance in Sam Allardyce's team this season and the anecdotal evidence suggests Poyet will grasp it aggressively.

The stats back up that argument. As per Squawka's Damian Buxton, Poyet made 64 tackles in 20 games for Charlton last season. He also proved himself strong in the air and and a good distributor.

He's a different proposition to his Dad, but Diego Poyet could yet leave as big a mark on the Premier League as Gus did.

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