The start of the new season brings with it hope and expectation for everyone, fans, managers and players alike. It does not matter what happened last season or in the summer, the slate is wiped clean come August and we are all allowed to dream.
For the precocious teenagers at clubs around England they are hoping this will be the season that will make their dreams come true. It is a tough road and for every Wayne Rooney there is a raft of talented youngsters who did not quite have what it takes to survive at the top.
There is something about youthful talent that gets fans excited, that wide eyed enthusiasm, the feeling that something special might just happen. Remember Wayne Rooney’s goal against Arsenal when playing for Everton or Kiko Macheda’s stunning strike against Aston Vila last season?
Here is Epl Talk’s guide to the five youngsters we think are the ones to watch this season in the Premier League.
1. JACK WILSHERE, ARSENAL
It seems that young Jack is the talent on everyone’s lips at the minute. After some impressive performances for Arsenal in pre-season the hype machine is mentioning him in the World Cup frame for England. It may seem sudden but Arsenal fans will tell you this one is very special. Wilshere has been at Arsenal since childhood and became a regular in the reserves at the age of sixteen. Check out this YouTube link for an example of what Jack has been delivering, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITVSdAzBjXY. He has been training with the first team for some time now and made his Premier League debut against Blackburn last season, becoming Arsenal’s youngest league debutant in the process. Wilshere possesses great balance, is not afraid to take people on and, as we have seen in the Emirates Cup, has an eye for goal. He has developed physically over the last 12 months and this could be the season where Arsenal unleash his talent on the Premier League.
2. JAMES MCCARTHY, WIGAN
Wigan’s new signing has had much to contend with in his career to date. McCarthy made his debut for Hamilton Academicals at the age of 15 and was an integral part of the Hamilton side that gained promotion to the Scottish Premier League. He had been linked with a variety of clubs but this summer the timing was right for the teenager to move to England and Wigan may have picked up a real star. Highlighted as a red hot prospect in Scotland from a very young age, McCarthy declared his intention to play for the Republic of Ireland national side. This has not gone down well with the natives and throughout his teenage years McCarthy has been subject to regular abuse from fans. His performances in the midst of this suggests he has the temperament, character and talent to prove himself in the Premier League.
3. FABIAN DELPH, ASTON VILLA
Things may have gone horribly wrong for Leeds United in the past few years but they are still capable of unearthing talented players. Fabian Delph’s performances for the Yorskshire club convinced Aston Villa to part with £5 million to secure the 19 year-old’s services. Delph was a part of England under-21 squad for this summer’s European Championships and has had many admirers since he broke into Leed’s first team. Blessed with remarkable physical attributes for one so young Delph can break things up in the midfield but also possesses the energy and pace to drive from deep positions. Martin O’Neill has made a point of developing young English talent at Villa Park and in a relatively thin squad Fabian Delph could get his chance to show the Premier League what he can do.
4. KYLE NAUGHTON, SPURS
This young full back seems to have come a long way in a short space of time and this summer Tottenham won the race for his signature after impressing for Sheffield United. The time seemed right for a move following a consistent season where he was voted in the Championship team of the season. Naughton has represented England at under-21 level but it will be interesting to see how he copes at the graveyard of full backs, White Hart Lane. Spurs seem to collect right and left sided defenders but all the noises about Naughton seem positive and he could buck the trend that has seen the likes of Chris Gunter and Gareth Bale fail to establish themselves following moves.
5. FEDERICO MACHEDA, MANCHESTER UNITED
A fairly obvious choice given his magnificent cameos at the tail end of last season. The 17 year-old seems to have it all and Lazio are still gnashing their teeth over a player they feel Manchester United ‘stole’ from them. This season could be very big for Macheda as Ferguson has placed faith in the forwards at his disposal following the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo. It would be silly to think Macheda will be a regular starter but if he can develop on the foundation of last year and get more games under his belt everyone at Old Trafford will be pleased. He has the look of a star perhaps this season he will show more of his talent.
This is a selection of those to watch out for, which young players do you think will be capable of establishing themselves this season?