The summer transfer window is the golden opportunity for Premier League managers to delve into the depths of the transfer market to pick out that next star player, the next goal machine and, for some, the next great shot stopper.
No doubt there will be millions spent in the window as clubs look to progress higher up the Premier League table, but the next fan favorite for numerous clubs could already be in the clubs ranks. Here are 10 youth players who are set to make an impact in the 2013/2014 season.
1. Jack Butland – Stoke City
Jack Butland is a prospect of the Birmingham City youth academy and had spent his entire career with the Midlands club before signing for Stoke City in the 2013 January transfer window. He was loaned back to Birmingham for the remainder of the season but will come into the 2013/14 EPL season battling for the number one jersey.
At 6’5”, he has the height and the reflexes to be a top keeper for years to come. Despite only being 20 years old, he has 70 career club appearances and has represented England at every level, including becoming the youngest ever English Goalkeeper to start for England.
What makes him stand out is his composure. Cool, calm and collected, he rarely fluffs his lines and is always in communication with his back four. If Stoke move Asmir Begovic, he will get his chance to shine on the Premier League stage.
2. Adam Campbell – Newcastle United
This time it’s another Englishman on the list of top prospects. It’s the fiery Newcastle striker Adam Campbell. Alan Pardew has told the local media that Campbell is quite possibly the best finisher at the club and that next season he will get some chances in the first team.
Campbell, who is from the world-famous Wallsend Boys Club that produced Alan Shearer, has been in the Newcastle United Academy since the age of 10. He has represented England at U16, U17 and U19 levels, and was selected in the squad for the U20 World Cup.
The striker is lightning quick and, at his best, plays off the last man — a playing style similar to a young Michael Owen.
3. Jordan Spence – West Ham United
Jordan Spence is a big powerful centre-half who fits the Sam Allardyce mould. A no nonsense defender, Spence has the experience at all levels of the English pyramid.
The defender excelled at youth level in the national system. After playing in the U16, U17, U18, U19 and U21 England teams, he is ready to take the next step and compete in the Premier League.
However, he will have a tough task getting into the first team. If given an opportunity, he has the talent and versatility to see a considerable amount of game time in 2013/14.
4. Samir Carruthers – Aston Villa
I predict Samir Carruthers will be the next footballer to break through the successful Aston Villa academy. The young Irish winger is already capped at U21 level internationally.