Starting XI of the Premier League's most impressive youngsters this season

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Over the course of this unpredictable and memorable Premier League season, a number of youth prospects have risen from obscurity into the lights of stardom.

And it hasn't just been those previously touted as future stars, but also those who were otherwise unknown at the beginning of the campaign.

Here's a starting XI of such individuals, whose performances this season suggest the best is yet to come.


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Goalkeeper - Jack Butland (Stoke City)

Strictly speaking not a youngster compared to those also in this team, but one of the biggest highlights for Potters fans this season has been the performances of their 23-year-old shot-stopper.

Butland is fast living up to his vast potential by keeping ten clean sheets in the Premier League before his untimely injury, also establishing himself as a genuine challenger for Joe Hart's number one spot for the England national side.

Right-Back - Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)

Bellerin has come on leaps and bounds this season, transforming from a full-back renowned mostly for his pace into a top-quality defender.

A move to Barcelona has been rumoured yet Arsenal must do all they can to ensure he remains at the Emirates.

Centre-Back - Chancel Mbemba (Newcastle United)

Amidst a season where there's been very little to cheer for Newcastle fans, Mbemba has been something of a silver lining.

Injury has recently hindered his progress, yet he's undoubtedly one of the Magpies' better players and would deserve to remain in the Premier League if they're relegated this season based on his potential alone.

Centre-Back - Nathan Ake (Watford)

The Chelsea youngster has spent this season on loan with the Hornets and since established himself as one of the Premier League's most promising defenders.

Despite being played out of position at left-back, Ake's tackling, pace and reading of the game have all come to the fore and impressed for a defender of his age. Where his future lies remains to be seen, but anything less than first-team football would be unjust given how well he's played at Vicarage Road.

Left-Back - Brendan Galloway (Everton)

Both England and Everton fans were understandably impressed with Galloway's performances at left-back in the absence of Leighton Baines at the start of the season.

Whilst some areas of his game undoubtedly need refining, his fearlessness in the tackle and ability to read the game was plain for all to see during his stint. He looks like the ideal successor to Baines when he eventually moves on from the club.

Defensive Midfield - Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur)

The English youngster has certainly made an impression in Tottenham's high-flying side this season and played a vital part in one of the Premier League's strongest spines.

Dier's breakthrough season came last term, yet he has taken his performances to a whole new level this time around, making 33 starts for Spurs, scoring three goals and earning his first England caps.

Right Midfield - Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Martial was always going to shoved into the limelight from the outset following his blockbuster £36 million move to Old Trafford last summer.

With comparisons drawn with Arsenal great Thierry Henry, the pressure couldn't have been any greater, yet the young Frenchman seamlessly adapted to the Premier League with a debut goal against Liverpool.

Since then he has thoroughly impressed for the Red Devils and been one of few players to show a burning desire to succeed in a team which has struggled.

Left Midfield - Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)

Since bursting onto the scene with a superb finish against Everton in mid-March, the young Nigerian has established himself as a first-team regular at the Emirates Stadium.

Two goals and two assists in his last five Premier League games is a fine return for the inexperienced 19-year-old, which has also seen him rise above Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Campbell in the pecking order.

Arsenal fans will only hope his rich form continues amidst their frustration with the aforementioned and out-of-form trio.

Central Attacking Midfield - Dele Ali (Tottenham Hotspur)

The second Tottenham player on this list, and another key part of the squad's impressive spine. Alli has been one of this season's surprise packages, scoring ten league goals, recording nine assists and receiving deserved plaudits for his natural ability.

He marked his first England start in November last year with a goal against France and is expected to heavily feature at this summer's European Championships after another excellent performance against Germany last month.

Striker - Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Following his emphatic breakthrough into United's side, Rashford is on course to join an illustrious list of names to have progressed through the academy and find success in the first team.

The young Englishman has exceeded all expectation in the process, scoring seven goals across all competitions and finding the net twice against Arsenal at Old Trafford. The Red Devils seem to have found a diamond in the rough with the 18-year-old.

Striker - Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City)

Whilst Iheanacho is yet to earn a starting berth at the Etihad, his performances off the bench have been largely impressive. Three goals in the Premier League and a first professional hat-trick in the FA Cup have marked a promising debut season in the senior team.

The quality in City's squad will render it difficult for Iheanacho for establish himself, but he's certainly showing the potential to someday do so.

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Wayne Rooney
Premier League
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Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
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