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11 Young Stars to watch in the 22/23 Premier League season

Which youngsters you should keep an eye on this campaign


A new season brings new hopes, expectations, and new stars to the English top flight. The long season (even more so this season with the World Cup shoehorned in the middle) always turns unknown starlets into household names, with Jacob Ramsey and Armando Broja just two examples from the most recent Premier League campaign.

As satisfying as watching them succeed is predicting their rise, and in that vein 101 has done the hard work for you, identifying the 11 players most likely to be the next Broja, Cesc Fabregas, or Declan Rice this campaign.

11. Gavin Bazunu (Southampton)

20-year-old shot-stopper Gavin Bazunu hit the headlines while on loan at Portsmouth last season, when he saved a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo in a clash between Northern Ireland and Portugal.

On loan at the League One side from Manchester City, Bazunu has since left Manchester in search of regular first-team football. And, with Fraser Forster having joined Tottenham, Southampton came calling for the youngster, who is expected to be the new no.1 on the south coast.

The Irishman is certainly one to keep an eye on for the upcoming season, in what is expected to be a mid-table scrap for Ralph Hassenhutl’s side.

10. Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest)

Nottingham Forest’s promotion push was spearheaded by young talent Brennan Johnson, and he will be keen to make his mark on the top flight this season.

The 21-year-old grabbed 16 goals and 9 assists in 46 Championship games, and despite the wholesale changes in the midlands he is expected to keep his spot in Steve Cooper’s side.

Should his form continue into the new campaign, he will be on the radar of much bigger sides next summer, and Nottingham Forest will be well clear of the relegation zone.

9. Julio Enciso (Brighton)

Probably the least well-known name on this list, Brighton’s latest signing is one to keep an eye on this season, with the 18-year-old having starred in the Paraguayan top flight last season.

Predominantly a striker but also capable of playing on the flanks, the 5ft7 forward could slot seamlessly into Graham Potter’s side and hand them a goalscoring forward that they otherwise sorely lack. Brighton’s scouting in recent years has been outstanding, and this could be another example of it.

8. Michael Olise (Crystal Palace)

An injury-blighted first campaign in Crystal Palace colours could not hide the evident talent that winger Michael Olise possesses, with the 20 year old the proud owner of a wand of a left foot.

Now hoping that those injuries are firmly behind him, and complemented by a vibrant attack that includes Eberechi Eze and Wilfried Zaha as well as Odsonne Edouard, he could have a breakout season for the Eagles, and the Selhurst Park faithful will be hoping that rumours of a £35m release clause have been firmly put to bed by then.

7. Levi Colwill (Brighton)

Levi Colwill excelled last season while on loan at Huddersfield Town, helping the Terriers to a play-off final before unfortunately putting the ball into his own net for the only goal of the game.

Now in the top flight with Brighton, the English starlet is tipped for a big future, and has already openly spoken about his desire to emulate Chelsea great John Terry. A spell on the south coast will stand him in good stead to do just that, and he could be an outside shout for the World Cup in November.

6. Aaron Hickey (Brentford)

Linked with Arsenal for much of last season, Scotland full-back Aaron Hickey has ended up moving to London from the Serie A, but to Brentford rather than to the Gunners.

The Bees have a reputation for outstanding summer business, and the 20-year-old could be another off the conveyer belt. A left-back by trade but also capable of playing on the right side of defence, Hickey loves to bomb forward, and returned 5 goals and an assist for Bologna last campaign.

Quite how he adjusts to Premier League life remains to be seen, but his ability is unquestionable.

5. Fabio Carvalho (Liverpool)

While Darwin Nunez has grabbed the headlines on Merseyside this summer, the arrival of Fabio Carvalho has gone somewhat under the radar, and he could be a breakout star this season.

A deal with Fulham was agreed in February, but the Portuguese forward continued to excel for the cottagers. The 19-year-old forward grabbed 10 goals and 8 assists in the Championship last season, and under Jurgen Klopp, can have few better mentors.

With Mo Salah, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz all set to take the brunt of media scrutiny this season, Carvalho may be able to develop in the shadows, and is certainly one to keep an eye on.

4. Joe Gelhardt (Leeds United)

Circumstance, namely injury to Patrick Bamford, handed Joe Gelhardt his Premier League debut and plenty more, and he was one bright spark to come out of an otherwise dismal season for Leeds United.

The 20-year-old grabbed 2 goals and 4 assists in just over 700 minutes of top-flight action, and could be pushing Bamford for a starting spot in Jesse Marsch’s new-look attack this season.

He has shown glimpses of just how good he can be, and now just needs consistent game time to realise his potential.

3. Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United)

With Manchester United currently low on forward options and not close to adding to their ranks, winger Alejandro Garnacho could make a big splash at Old Trafford this season.

The 18-year-old Argentine is comfortable on either flank, and scored the winner as the Red Devils lifted the youth cup last season. Handed his debut in stoppage time against Chelsea in April last season, he is set to rack up significantly more than the 11 senior minutes that he has to his name so far this campaign.

He has impressed Erik ten Hag in pre-season, and could enjoy a campaign similar to Anthony Elanga’s last season. It will be up to him to seize his opportunities.

2. Cole Palmer (Manchester City)

The departure of Raheem Sterling could see Manchester City rely on youngster Cole Palmer more and more this season, after his debut in 2020. The Cityzens have chosen to keep him at the club for 2022/23, while fellow talent James McAtee has gone out on loan, and Palmer could face a similar season to Phil Foden’s first campaign in blue.

The 20 year old will likely feature more in the Champions League group stages and cup competitions initially, but there is certainly scope for him being a regular in Pep Guardiola’s matchday squads come the latter part of the season, with Palmer having impressed in limited opportunities thus far.

1. William Saliba (Arsenal)

Three years, over 100 appearances and one Ligue 1 young player of the year award later, William Saliba is finally set to break into the Arsenal first team after his £27m signing in 2019.

While it feels as though the French international has been on the scene forever, he remains just 21 years old, and will compete with Gabriel and Ben White for a spot in Mikel Arteta’s first team.

His pedigree and experience stand him head and shoulders above others on this list, who are looking to break out this season. The Arsenal man is looking to cement his reputation as one of the best young defenders in world football.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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