The Premier League is full of top young talent, with players like Raheem Sterling constantly taking their chance to impress on the big stage.
Sterling has been on the cusp of something special at Liverpool in recent times, and after impressing against Hearts in the Europa League on Thursday night, got his chance to start in a Premier League match against Manchester City at the weekend.
He isn’t the only teenager looking to make a name for himself in the English top flight, however, with plenty of players eager to cut it at the highest level with some of the biggest clubs in the world.
In fact, each of the top six in the Premier League have a player under the age of 20 who is ready to burst onto the scene in a big way. GiveMeFootball takes a closer look at these stars of the future…now!
Raheem Sterling - Liverpool
At just 17-years-old, the football public already seems to know quite a lot about Sterling, despite him making just four Premier League appearances to date.
The Reds spent £600,000 up-front for the player back in February 2010, taking the player from QPR for a fee that could rise to as much as £5 million. That will surely be a bargain if he delivers on the promise shown against the Citizens on Sunday.
Sterling has taken the youth team by storm at Anfield, impressing in both the Youth Cup and NextGen Series before getting senior recognition from manager Kenny Dalglish.
Under manager Brendan Rodgers, he’s become more and more involved at senior level, and is now likely to be a regular for the remainder of the campaign.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Arsenal
Another player to have been drafted in to a higher level, 19-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain cost the Gunners a fee believed to be in the region of £12 million when they signed him from Southampton in the summer of 2011.
A handful of impressive Champions League and League Cup performances followed, leading to calls for more involvement at first team level. Arsene Wenger duly obliged in the closing stages of the season.
‘The Ox’ was then rewarded with an England call-up for the European Championships in Poland & Ukraine, and is now an integral part of the senior setup at the Emirates Stadium.
Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea
The Belgian international arrived at Chelsea with a huge reputation, and in fairness the former Anderlecht starlet has had little opportunity to showcase his prodigious talent.
However, early signs on loan at West Bromwich Albion suggest the 19-year-old really could be the next Didier Drogba, with power, strength and pace to burn at the highest level.
Lukaku has already made 16 appearances at international level, but got his first league goal on the opening weekend for the Baggies and will be looking for more to impress the watching Roberto Di Matteo.
Nick Powell – Manchester United
When Sir Alex Ferguson splashed the cash on a young English player, you know he’s going to be good.
That’s certainly the feeling you get when you think about Powell, an 18-year-old who is yet to appear in a competitive match for the Red Devils but impressed enough at Crewe Alexandra to force a move that could cost as much as £6 million.
An attacking midfielder who has represented England at three different youth levels, Powell may be sent out on loan to gain experience this season, but will be eager to build on his 16 goals in all competitions for the Railwaymen.
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
The 19-year-old striker has spent time on loan at both Leyton Orient and Millwall, but it’s with Spurs that he’s really looking to make his name after making a Premier League debut against Newcastle on the opening weekend.
Kane has represented England at youth level, and got his first break with Tottenham Hotspur last season under Harry Redknapp, playing six times and scoring once in the Europa League.
With a lack of striking options at the disposal of new boss Andre Villas-Boas, Kane has risen up the pecking order at White Hart Lane. Despite the signing of Emmanuel Adebayor, he could feature frequently this season.
And the one that didn't make it...
Abdul Razak – Manchester City
Despite the vast riches at City manager Roberto Mancini’s disposal, there is plenty of excitement about 19-year-old central midfielder Razak, who has impressed on a couple of brief loan spells away from the club.
Having made just two substitute appearances for the club in the Premier League, the jury is still out on the Ivorian international at the highest level, although he did take his chance in the League Cup over the last couple of years.
Whether the Italian manager decides to get the teenager more involved this season remains to be seen, but in the next couple of years, Razak’s influence is expected to grow at the Etihad Stadium.
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