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Premier League: Emerging youngsters

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This season has been quite a fruitful one for young players shining for their clubs and breaking through into the first team in the Premier League. Some made their mark on loan, while others were forced to step up to the mark due to injuries - here we look at the success stories.

Liverpool having two players this season that have made their mark, in the form of Raheem Sterling and Jon Flanagan. The former breaking through last season but really hitting form this season, while the latter is really the case here.

21-year-old Scouser Flanagan has been in and out of the first team, making sporadic appearances over the last couple seasons, with this season being the real breakthrough.

Forced to play due to multiple injuries to the Reds' full-backs with the likes of Glen Johnson, José Enrique, Aly Cissokho etc all being sidelined more than once each, he has really shone when he has been given his chance.

While staying in Merseyside - albeit the blue half - it'd be very hard to miss out the key and consistent performances from another Scouser: Ross Barkley.

Delivering day in, day out and being part of the solid backbone of Everton this season, Barkley has been one of the reasons the Toffees are ever-presents in the top six. With precise, quality distribution, two deadly feet and a talent at free kicks, at only 20-years-old he has the potential to develop into a player whose name will make the opposition dread heading onto the same pitch as him.

Now down south in London we head to Tottenham Hotspur, where in the last couple of months a 19-year-old youngster by the name of Nabil Bentaleb has flourished under Tim Sherwood.

Struggling to initially breakthrough anywhere in his earlier years, it seemed White Hart Lane was his place to grow. Impressing in the U21s, he was promoted to the bench of the senior squad in December for a match against Southampton.

Powerful on the ball, yet agile and delicate to the touch - he has a fluid and consistent eye for passes, providing a constant source for teammates all over the pitch.

His performances are pleasing the management and obviously his peers, so much that he is getting 90 minutes on the pitch one match after another, even with some pundits suggesting he should be taken to Brazil with the France national team.

I think it'd be hard for anyone to make a list like this without mentioning the young Manchester United prodigy that is Adnan Januzaj.

There was clearly something David Moyes spotted in this boy when observing the U21s, promoting him to the senior team and having so much faith in him that he's been a regular starter.

This has not been in vain, though, with the winger producing consistently by scoring and setting up teammates with plenty of dribbles and much more.

While on the subject of Manchester United youngsters, we move on to former Red Devils player Ravel Morrison.

Now playing his football for West Ham, he has been somewhat of a revelation for the Hammers, though not enough to help them out of their slump. Recently being linked with a loan switch to QPR, we can see if he has what it takes to help Harry Redknapp's men fight for promotion from the Championship.

Mean dribbling skills, surprisingly tidy finishing and playing killer through balls is what he brings to the table - and at 21, he has plenty of development to make. He reminds me of a young Joe Cole.

Finally, I couldn't end this article without mentioning one of the very promising England prospects: West Brom striker Saido Berahino.

What better way to announce yourself to the senior team than a debut hat-trick? That's exactly what Berahino did in the League Cup. Performing well for the U21s, he went out on loan to Championship side Peterborough, scoring four goals in ten appearances. This was obviously enough to show then-manager Steve Clarke he had what it takes to handle some senior action.

Since then he has scored a winner at Old Trafford, an equaliser at the Boleyn Ground, another winner against Newcastle and has produced some very impressive performances. Still only 20, we could see a potential future England striker on our hands.

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Saido Berahino
Premier League
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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