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Youngsters Who Have Set The Premier League Alight This Season

From Mainoo to Miley, there has been an abundance of youthful success in the Premier League this season; a delve into those prized youngsters who seem to have the world at their feet.

Kobbie Mainoo’s emergence and success at Manchester United is somewhat spectacular. The fact an 18-year-old can walk into a midfield in crisis and provide the class, courage and conviction of an experienced pro is magnificent. Very few players can handle the physicality of being a Premier League midfielder, further emphasising the incredible achievement of a young lad with no previous professional experience.

Despite the summer acquisition of Sofyan Amrabat—one the manager pushed for —Mainoo is now one of the first players on Erik ten Hag’s team sheet and shows no sign of letting up, with that magnificent goal against Wolves last week showcasing both his ability and confidence. There will be bumps in the road, as there always are with young players, but Mainoo looks special.

Mainoo is not alone in his breakthrough season, however, with this term more than ever producing some special talent. Pep Guardiola has always been reluctant to loan his prized youngsters out; the nourishment of Phil Foden showcases the method behind his madness, with Oscar Bobb the freshest name out of the City Football Academy. Undoubtedly, it is difficult to maintain game time at a side like City, but Bobb has shown that he has what it takes on numerous occasions; watch this space.

Brighton and Hove Albion have a tendency to source the best talent from all corners of the globe, but one of this season’s success stories is that of Jack Hinshelwood. Son of former Brighton defender Adam, Jack made his debut in September but broke into the Seagulls side in November, playing in every Brighton game since their win over Nottingham Forest 15 games ago.

Playing predominantly as a fullback, Hinshelwood has also been seen in the midfield, versatility a key trait of many of Roberto De Zerbi’s men. The 18-year-old has scored three goals in his breakthrough campaign, also winning Brighton’s player of the month for December. Hinshelwood has quickly become a fan favourite at the AMEX thanks to his mature performances and his likeliness to teammate Pascal Gross, a comparison made by the Seagulls' manager.

Heading just the 348 miles north, Newcastle have a teenage sensation of their own on their hands with 17-year-old Lewis Miley. The Magpies’ injury woes have been well documented this season, but they have catered for the emergence of Miley, a Geordie who has broken through and grasped the chances he’s been given as he became Newcastle’s youngest PL debutant.

Miley made his first start in the Carabao Cup win over Manchester City and has cemented himself as a regular starter since. Even as Newcastle’s injury list begins to shrink, Miley has retained his place, making consistent appearances in all four competitions that Newcastle have been involved in this season. His imposing stature is quite something given his age and that crazily clever assist against Chelsea in November shows what the 17-year-old is all about—performances that have earned him a new long-term deal at St James’ Park.

The list goes on, and it wouldn’t be complete without a young right back who has came through Liverpool’s ranks and who is now grabbing all the headlines…

Sound familiar? No, not Trent Alexander-Arnold this time, as I’m sure you’ve seen the hype around Northern Irish youngster Conor Bradley. Bradley is probably the freshest face on this list having only recently gotten a consistent run in Liverpool’s starting eleven.

Yet you wouldn’t notice. Five assists in the five starts he’s been given this year alongside a wonderfully taken goal against Chelsea last Wednesday, which, coupled with impressive defensive acumen, have led to suggestions Bradley could be a mainstay in the first team, potentially paving the way for Alexander-Arnold to be moved into midfield. Bradley sadly lost his father in the lead-up to last weekend’s game against Arsenal, his return to the side will be very welcome once it comes.

It's never easy to make the step from youth to professional football, particularly in the absence of loan moves to lower leagues, but there has been a refreshing number of youthful talents across the Premier League this season and long may it continue.

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