Jonathan Leko becomes first Premier League starter born in 1999

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Tony Pulis' decision to hand 17-year-old West Bromwich Albion attacker Jonathan Leko his first Premier League start has seen the Baggies achieve something unprecedented in the English top-flight.

Born in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and capped by England at under-16 and under-17 level already, Leko was picked to start for West Brom against West Ham at the Hawthorns.

And while the youngster's first start showed plenty of promise, Leko's appearance was significant for an altogether different reason.


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That is because, by starting for West Brom, he became the first player born in 1999 to start a Premier League game.

And while no one can halt the relentless passing of time, it remains a statistic that has us all feeling a little bit old.

Just think: Leko was not even born when a certain Michael Owen danced passed the Argentina defence to score for England at the World Cup.

He was also only a few months old when Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer combined to rescue Manchester United in the final of the Champions League.

Leko could be the first of several youngsters to feature for West Brom before the end of the season though.

With Pulis keen to blood in more young players and reduce the average age of the Baggies' first-team squad, Leko may be the first Premier League debutant to have been born in 1999 but he definitely won't be the last.

And he may not even be the last one we see this season!

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Ben Foster
Premier League
Darren Fletcher
West Bromwich Albion
Jonny Evans

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