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The Future of English Football: Part II

90MAAT brings you the second part of our look at some of the brightest English prospects currently plying their trade in the Premier League.

Liverpool: Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dominic Solanke

Both Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are two of the brightest talents covered in this article, let alone the brightest defensive prospects. At the time of writing, both players are integral to Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI after impressive performances against PSG’s formidable frontline in the Champions League. Not only are they having club success but international success is following too. Both Gomez and Alexander-Arnold made starts for England during the recent international break against Spain and Switzerland respectively.

Gomez possesses both power and pace and is a versatile defender capable of playing in several positions, either partnering Virgil van Dijk in a back four at Liverpool or playing in a back three for England. Alexander-Arnold, on the other hand, has solely played as a right back but, with Liverpool’s current attacking style of play, exhibits strong attacking instincts and is often found in the final third. On top of this, Alexander-Arnold is an accomplished free-kick taker and it is only a matter of time before he adds to his goal against Hoffenheim. These two are sure to be integral to both the Liverpool and England set-ups very soon.

Dominic Solanke is the final player that could show immediate promise in the Liverpool squad. However, he started his career with Chelsea and is one of the many youth prospects that has been shipped off to Vitesse for first team experience. Solanke joined Liverpool at the beginning of the 2017/2018 season and has so far only scored a one goal for the club in the final league game of last season although everyone would agree that it would have been a tough ask to start ahead of the forward options of Liverpool last season. Unfortunately, he is yet to play a single minute this season but his international game time is very impressive. The 20 year old has played from U16 level all the way up to the senior team. With Sturridge’s return to form, it seems unlikely that Solanke will get too many minutes but with domestic cup action and the high intensity Premier League fixture list, Solanke’s time will come.

Newcastle: Jacob Murphy

Jacob Murphy, alongside his twin Josh Murphy, cut his teeth in Norwich City’s academy. While his brother remains in the Championship, Jacob now is playing at Newcastle United and has so far started two Premier League matches. Jacob is a winger with pace and skill who could easily beat players in the Championship. Although he has failed to register an assist or a goal so far, this is his first taste of the Premier League football and is more of a player to keep on your radar rather than one to be tipped to be playing for the senior side any time soon. He now needs to find his feet in the Premier League and try get on the score sheet. Until then, he remains a hot English Premier League prospect.

Southampton: Matthew Target, Ward-Prowse

Southampton have a long history of producing and giving first-team minutes to talented youngsters. The list of talent they have produced is extensive and is a vital contribution to the England setup. The next to impress are James Ward-Prowse and Matt Targett. Ward-Prowse is already a household name for Southampton fans scoring sublime long-range free kicks and the central midfielder is well on his way to becoming a fan favourite. After playing over 1,700minutes last season in the Premier League, he has unfortunately only played a combined total of 97 minutes over two games this campaign. With his excellent technical ability, it is only a matter of time before he gets a long run in the team.

Matt Targett on the other hand has been playing less and less minutes as he gets older. Having played over a 1,000 minutes in the 2015/2016 season, he ended up going on loan to Fulham at the end of last season. There were reports suggesting he would be moving permanently to Fulham. However, with Southampton struggling with injuries last year, he returned to his parent club to provide much-needed depth but has only played 17 minutes so far this season. Despite this, he managed to set up the goal that sealed the win over Crystal Palace. Similar to Jacob Murphy, Targett is a player to watch for the long-term.

Spurs: Kyle Walker-Peters, Harry Winks, Luke Amos

Spurs also have shown faith in their youngsters with the likes of Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Harry Kane rising though their youth system. Having been given the no. 8 shirt this year it looks certain that Harry Winks is the next addition to that list. The future looks bright for Winks after standout performances against teams like Real Madrid last season. Winks has skill and pace to compliment his defensive qualities and he is certainly one to look out for this season.

Coincidentally, the next youngster to break into the right back position after Kyle Walker is Kyle Walker-Peters. The 21-year-old has a lot of pace and a very solid passing ability but has had limited game time. However, he managed two assists in only 188 minutes last season. He is yet to play a game so far in the Premier League this season but is very fortunate to have talented full backs in front of him to teach him a lot.

The final Spurs player to comment on is Luke Amos. Although the 21 year old central midfielder may not look like the strongest player, he makes up for it with pace and agility. In comparison to Winks, he has had significantly less game time for Spurs and has only represented England at the U-18 level but he should not be underestimated. His most recent loan at Stevenage was a success as he racked up 16 appearances and two goals. The talented Spurs youth product will have to bide his time before putting his mark on the first-team.

Watford: Will Hughes

Having seen Will Hughes play in the Championship at Derby, his technical ability is unquestionable. At one stage he was the De Bruyne of the Championship but is yet to find the same form in the Premier League with Watford this season. Watford are currently on a high and Hughes is surrounded by a lot of talent which could help unlock his attacking ability. He is technically sound and can dribble with the ball very well. Having already scored against the defensive unit of Burnley, he needs to continue his good form if he is to fulfil his potential.

West Ham: Declan Rice

At the time of writing Declan Rice has been included on this list as a player who is currently considering his international future. Having played for Ireland in three non-competitive matches, he is still eligible to play for England. Not only was he left out of the Irish squad recently, Gareth Southgate has even admitted to having held unofficial talks with the youngster about his international future. Furthermore, David Gold has likened him to Bobby Moore, stating that he could be “captain of England” one day. Clearly he is a talent to be able to draw so much attention but this flattery is too much for a player who has only played 135 minutes so far this season. The defender needs to solidify his place in the team first before we expect too much of him.

Wolves: Morgan Gibbs-White

The final player on this list comes from the newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers. Morgan Gibbs-White played 13 times in Wolves’ Championship title-winning team of 2017/2018 and has already appeared 3 times this season. These minutes came late on as a substitute and the youngster from Stafford will be looking forward to his first Premier League start. He was part of the England’s U-17 World Cup winning squad scoring three goals in the tournament. At only 18 years old, Wolves fans will have to wait for assists or goals from Gibbs-White as there is no rush for him to become a regular in the Wolves starting line-up. Only time will tell if he is to become something great at a club who are impressing so far in the Premier League.

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