Following Crystal Palace academy product Wilfried Zaha's lucrative switch to Manchester United, we look at five other Championship prospects who have progressed through their club's youth system, and could be plying their trade in the Premier League soon.
Will Hughes, Derby County
Despite being just 17 years old, Hughes possesses great maturity and an exquisite passing ability to suit a man twice his age. Derby are desperate to hold on to the promising midfielder, but with Barcelona, Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal among his admirers we could see Hughes playing in the top tier within the next couple of years.
Sam Byram, Leeds United
Full-back Byram recently signed a new contract with the Yorkshire club, but that does not prevent him from being one of the most sought-after youngsters in the country. Though they may have to wait, Everton and Liverpool are both believed to be chasing him. He has been the only ever-present in the Leeds United line-up this season and has been heralded for his composure and assured performances with a strong attacking mentality.
Nathan Redmond, Birmingham City
Redmond, along with fellow academy graduate and England international Jack Butland, could be gracing the Premier League with his presence sooner rather than later due to the precarious financial situation at Birmingham City. The 18-year-old has made 28 appearances for the Blues this season, and potential buyers West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle have been told to dig out £6 million to coax the pacy winger from his current club.
Kgosi Ntlhe, Peterborough United
Nthle's progress of late has been hampered by an injury suffered at the start of the season, but prior to that the athletic full-back occupied a regular first-team spot at London Road. Capped 5 times already by South Africa, the 18-year-old seems destined for bigger things. His defensive capabilities coupled with his pace have made him a rumoured target for Manchester United.
Jeffrey Schlupp, Leicester City
Another apparent target for Manchester United is Schlupp, the 20-year-old German-born Ghanaian. He is believed to be training with Sir Alex Ferguson's side this week, although Arsenal, Fulham and Stoke remain in the hunt for the artistic forward. Having progressed through the youth ranks at the Walkers Stadium, Schlupp broke into the first-team in 2011 under Sven Goran Eriksson but has found opportunities hard to come by this season. However his talent remains undoubted and his versatility seems to have enticed interested parties further.
Though it remains unlikely that all of the aforementioned players will make a move this January, it seems extremely likely that we will see all of them in England's top division very soon.
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