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Saturday, August 6

Premier League: The young stars to watch in 2016-17 Premier League Season

Could this be the breakout year for your club's rising star? Our Premier League bloggers select one young player who could make a name for themselves in the Premier League this season.




ARSENAL: Jeff Reine-Adelaide
The hype over him went into overdrive after last summer's Emirates Cup but a quieter season with the Under-21s was an exercise in managing expectations around the leggy playmaker, who is still only 18. However, he has been promoted to the first-team squad in preseason and has featured in friendly matches to reignite hopes that Reine-Adelaide could make the breakthrough. Quick-witted and even quicker-footed, he will hope for cup exposure at first and then to follow in the path of Alex Iwobi by forcing his way into the full team, if circumstances allow. 

 

BOURNEMOUTH: Lys Mousset
Besides arriving for a reported £5.4 million, the 20-year-old attacker is still relatively unheard of in England but did start to make a name for himself in France after playing eight times for their Under-20 team. He's a centre-forward who's also capable of fitting in on either wing, and after scoring 14 goals for Le Havre in Ligue 2 last season, his finishing ability is clearly one of his biggest assets.




BURNLEY: Aiden O'Neill
Sean Dyche is not known for developing young talent -- nobody has made the breakthrough in his three full seasons at the club -- but perhaps 2016 will be the year that changes. There are a few notable talents in the club's development squad but perhaps the most likely to make an impact is 18-year-old central midfielder O'Neill, given the severe lack of options available to Dyche in this area. Brisbane-born O'Neill has been training with the first-team squad throughout preseason, but a loan spell at a Football League club looks on the cards for the teenager. 

CHELSEA: Ola Aina
Aina has been a key member of Chelsea's all-conquering development squads with two UEFA Youth League titles and two FA Youth Cups to his name. A versatile defender who can play all across the backline, he has been training regularly with the first team since the beginning of last season and is as comfortable with the ball at his feet as he is tracking opposition attackers. The 19-year-old has shone in his four preseason outings at full-back to date and with Branislav Ivanovic currently injured, Aina has the natural ability and the confidence to make the most of his teammate's absence. 
Ola Aina Chelsea
Ola Aina is seen as a potential replacement for Branislav Ivanovic at Chelsea.

CRYSTAL PALACE: Sullay KaiKai
If there's one youngster who has earned a chance in the Palace first team it is KaiKai. The 20-year-old forward has already made his professional debut and scored, during a League Cup defeat to Newcastle almost two years ago. Since then he has spent loan spells at Cambridge United in League Two (where he won the club's Young Player of the Year) and League One side Shrewsbury (where he ended up top scorer). His pace and directness could be a useful addition off the bench -- and he easily has the best name of any of the youngsters on this list.





EVERTON: Mason Holgate
Just as John Stones made the move from Barnsley to Everton in 2013, 19-year-old Holgate is another defender following this path having made the same switch last summer. A prominent and composed presence throughout preseason and able to play right-back or centre-back, two positions Everton lack depth, this could be a breakout year for a youngster chasing a competitive first-team debut.



HULL CITY: Josh Tymon
You must go a long way back for Hull City to have produced a player with the promise of Tymon. The attack-minded left-back became the club's youngest player in a generation when making his debut aged 16 in January and has since reportedly been courted by Tottenham and Arsenal. A Premier League debut feels inevitable this season for a teenager yet to be fazed by a challenge that has come his way.



LEICESTERBen Chilwell
The 19-year-old left back has committed to a five-year deal despite strong interest from Liverpool. He has also won two England U21 caps already despite rarely starting for Leicester. This season could be his breakthrough one. Composed on the ball, strong and with an inviting delivery, Chilwell is arguably City's most promising talent. His only problem will be ousting the ever-reliable Christian Fuchs, who doesn't deserve to be dropped. 
Ben Chilwell Leicester
Leicester have so far resisted attempts from other clubs to land rising star Ben Chilwell.

LIVERPOOLSheyi Ojo
Fast and skillful, the winger returned to Liverpool's preseason almost immediately after going to France with England U19s, showing his eagerness to make his mark. Consistency is always a problem with young wingers but after a bright display against AC Milan, fans will hope he'll be more akin to Raheem Sterling than Jordon Ibe, should Klopp give him a chance.



MIDDLESBROUGH: Dael Fry
The 18-year-old was drafted into the first team at a crucial point last season, when Boro found themselves in a bad run of form and key defender Daniel Ayala was out with injury. Fry's performances at that time proved he can be more than just a stopgap, with a confidence and assurance that belies his years and an unflappable approach to holding the backline. He has also featured in a string of preseason games and should the club's quest to bring in another centre-back not come to fruition, Fry can expect to make some Premier League appearances this campaign. 

 

MAN UNITED: Timothy Fosu-Mensah
Due to his versatility, Fosu-Mensah could be set for an impressive season. Jose Mourinho has previously looked kindly upon young players who can fill several roles, most recently with Kurt Zouma at Chelsea. And in Fosu-Mensah, he has a player who could be a tremendous asset in his traditionally small squad. Fosu-Mensah has already shown that he can be resilient and intelligent in both defence and midfield at Premier League level. 
Louis van Gaal gave Timothy Fosu-Mensah his debut at Manchester United in 2015-16.

MAN CITY: Tosin Adarabioyo
Adarabioyo's reading of the game and eye for a tackle is up there alongside the more senior professionals that have far more first-team experience. The centre-back looks at home with the ball at his feet and is able to position himself well to be able to steal back possession or intercept, and could be in a prime position to learn from new manager Pep Guardiola. The only real stumbling block to his progress is likely to be a new incoming defender but, equally, he could be the reason City may be thinking twice about prospective targets' price tags. 

 

SWANSEA: Stephen Kingsley
Neil Taylor finally has some real competition at left-back. Kingsley made a handful of appearances toward the end of last season in relief of Taylor, notably shining in wins against Arsenal and West Ham, and looks to have the edge on the senior man despite his lack of experience. The Scot is faster and sharper in the final third and has played at centre-back as well as full-back for the U21s, which proves he understands the defensive aspects of the game. It wouldn't be a surprise if the youngster, 22, becomes Swansea's starting left-back by the end of the season. 
 

SOUTHAMPTONJames Ward-Prowse
The England U21 midfielder struggled to hold down a regular starting spot under Ronald Koeman but has the chance to make himself a mainstay under the Dutchman's successor Claude Puel, who has been briefed to use more homegrown players. Ward-Prowse has proved his ability to deliver top-class set pieces but he needs to produce more from open play to prove his worth to Puel and the Southampton fans.

James Ward-Prowse
James Ward-Prowse is a set-piece specialist and is hoping to become a regular under Claude Puel.

SUNDERLANDJoel Asoro
The 17-year-old striker with dual Swedish/Ghanaian nationality, barely known to most Sunderland supporters a month ago, showed impressive pace and skill on the recent French tour. His coolly taken goal in a July 27 friendly against newly promoted Dijon revealed precocious technique and he could be a short loan spell away from a role alongside Jermain Defoe.



STOKE: Julien Ngoy
Having arrived at the club as a 15-year-old amid interest from some of the biggest clubs in the world, Belgian striker Ngoy was fast-tracked through the club's youth system and at 18, he now has his eye on the first team. Having impressed in preseason against Preston with his speed, technique and confidence on the ball, he is expected to feature in the Premier League from the bench and continue his rise.



TOTTENHAMJosh Onomah
While 17-year-old Marcus Edwards is an exciting talent, Onomah, 19, looks set for greater involvement in the first team, having made 19 appearances last season as well as playing for 105 minutes across the two preseason games in Melbourne last week. The midfielder helped to improve Spurs' performance as a half-time substitute against Juventus and he then displayed good movement and neat passing from the start against Atletico Madrid, while hitting the crossbar with a powerful volley. A goal or assist, which have eluded Onomah so far, would give him a valuable boost of confidence -- and he will need to start producing in the final third before too long to retain Mauricio Pochettino's trust. 

 

WEST BROMSam Field
Made his debut in the final game of last season against Liverpool and the 18-year-old has caught the eye during the summer, playing both central midfield and left-back. Field is an intelligent footballer, a good passer and has a maturity beyond his years. With West Brom's first-choice midfield pairing of Darren Fletcher and Claudio Yacob not getting any younger, Field could find more chances coming his way this season.




WEST HAM: Reece Burke
Most of the attention falls on Reece Oxford, but it's Burke who should be viewing 2016-17 as a breakout season. A highly successful loan period that saw the 19-year-old win Bradford's Player of the Season accolade last season means Slaven Bilic can't afford to leave the youngster too long on the sidelines this campaign. Burke is principally a central defender but his ability to cover at right-back might be the key to propelling the player into the first team. If Burke needed a further boost to his development, he'd do well to remember Sam Allardyce's glowing appraisal when he handed the defender a league debut in 2015.



WATFORD: Tommie Hoban
Singled out last summer as the young player who could make the step up to the Premier League, then spent most of the season injured. It was the second significant injury setback he has suffered in his relatively short career. But the talented young defender, 22, is back in the first-team squad for preseason and his versatility could yet see him make it in the top tier. Hoban is comfortable on the ball and likes to play it out from defence -- and with some more experienced heads alongside him, he could flourish in a back three.

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