Five top Premier League prospects looking to shoot into super stardom in 2012/2013

There is nothing better than watching a young talent develop into a world-class superstar and in the Premier League there are an abundance of youngsters waiting to grab a spot in their team’s starting XI and reach their full potential. These are the ones to watch:

A summer signing from Southampton, 18-year old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has made a big impact on Arsene Wenger’s side, making 21 appearances for Arsenal and becoming the youngest English player to score in UEFA Champions League history. Chamberlain has found it hard to secure a regular first team spot, but when he plays he looks sharp, fast and confident on the ball. Alongside a blossoming career in the Premier League, “The Ox” has made eight appearances for the England under-21 team and bagged four goals. Chamberlain stands a good chance of gaining a place in England’s Euro 2012 squad alongside team-mates Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott.

 

Another of Arsene Wenger’s wonder teens who has recently impressed on loan at Bolton is Ryo Miyaichi. The 19-year old winger has clocked a 100m time of 10.6 seconds and pairs his speed with fantastic dribbling skills. After joining the club, the Japanese youngster went on loan to Dutch side Feyenoord and impressed on his debut, playing the full 90 minutes and being named Man of the Match. The Dutch media nicknamed him “Ryodinho” (in comparison to Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho).

 

Currently on loan at Brendan Rodgers’ Swansea City, 19-year old Josh McEachran, Chelsea’s creative midfielder, shows great passing skills and confidence on the ball. Although not getting much playing time at the Liberty Stadium due to the fantastic midfield trio of Sigurdsson, Britton and Allen, the Welsh outfit’s boss has defended his loan saying, “Every player wants game-time but that can’t happen for everyone.” Growing up McEachran idolized French midfielder Zinedine Zidane describing him as “the complete all-round midfielder.”

 

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is on nearly every big club’s shortlist, impressing scouts with great all-round skills in defence and attack, not to mention a deadly long-shot. The French 19-year old has represented his nation at every level and captained France U16 to victories in the Aegean Cup and the Tournoi du Val-de-Marne. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been desperately trying to get Pogba to sign a new contract after interest from many top-flight clubs, in particular Italian side Juventus.

 

Baby of the bunch, 17-year old Souleymane Coulibaly was first noticed after winning the golden boot at the FIFA U17 World Cup – scoring nine goals in four games for Côte d’Ivoire including a hat-trick against Brazil and four goals against Denmark. ‘Soli’ signed for Tottenham from Italian Club Siena and has been a hit not only in the youth team, but scored on his debut against Brighton & Hove Albion for the senior team. Redknapp hopes the young Ivorian will revive their recently unsuccessful youth squad and a lack of a consistently prolific striker for Tottenham means ‘Soli’ could come into favour sooner than expected.

By Jacob Tucker

Chelsea to look to McEachran in the absence of the injured Michael Essien?

Chelsea received a setback recently with the news that Michael Essien is likely to face up to six months on the sidelines with another knee injury, with rehabilitation from an operation in full swing. With the latest ailment the third of it’s kind during the Ghanian’s tenure at Stamford Bridge, it may well be wise for Andre Villas Boas to formulate a long-term midfield plan without the 28-year-old in his thoughts.

No doubt, when Essien is fit and raring to go he is one of the most dynamic and explosive players in his position in the country. Despite this, long layoffs and a drop in confidence and form mean that the ex-Lyon midfielder has a lot of work to do to rediscover his former self.

The Portuguese manager has stated that The Blues will play 4-3-3 in 2011-12, with a trio of Frank Lampard, Ramires and Essien most likely in mind. With the African not available, Jon Obi Mikel may step in and play in the middle, but what are the other  options without Essien in the team?

Much has been made of the lack of activity in the transfer window to date, but it is likely that the Chelsea faithful will see arrivals to the club before August 31st. The high profile pursuit of Luka Modric has yet to reach a conclusion, whilst AVB is thought to be keen to add Porto’s Joao Moutinho to the squad. Both, as good players as they are, are more attacking minded and would complement a midfield with Lampard and Essien, with the new man being the playmaker. Without the Accra born man, a box-to-box player is needed; someone who can win the ball as well as distribute it.

Enter Josh McEachran. The 18-year-old impressed in his fleeting first team appearances in 2010-11, and the Young Player of the Year is likely to feature in more than the nine games he appeared in last term. The England under-21 international has great vision and passing abilities, maybe not yet up to the standard of Modric or Moutinho, but the promise is there.

Ideally the Oxford born man would prefer to play in a more attacking role, looking to supply the forwards and get into the opposition box. However Carlo Ancelotti seemed to use the youngster as a replacement for Essien or Mikel last season, and he looked more than comfortable in a deeper role. With enthusiasm and energy to burn, McEacran will not be scared to go toe-to-toe with opponents on a weekly basis, and although still maturing, can read the game well, allowing him to break up opposition play.

Chelsea do need another established central midfielder at the club, and it is likely that Roman Abramovich’s money will be spent to achieve this. However expect to see Josh McEachran playing a more important role in the team in 2011-12, as his talents continue to blossom at the Cobham training grounds.

Published – http://thechelseablog.org/2011/08/01/chelsea-to-look-to-mceachran-in-the-absence-of-the-injured-michael-essien/

Big spending Chelsea defend youth policy

Chelsea sporting director Frank Arnesen has this week reiterated the London clubs commitment and dedication to nurture home grown talent, despite the big money moves for Fernandio Torres and David Luiz in the January transfer window. Although the club has spent£71.3 million on two established foreign players in recent weeks, Arnesen has confirmed that owner Roman Abramovich has faith in the youth staff to help young players make the step up to first team Premiership football.

Arnesen’s comments are in the light of the Blues letting talented but inexperienced English striker Daniel Sturridge go on loan to fellow Premier League team Bolton, and preferring to field established international players rather than give young home grown players a chance in the first team. Sturridge showed at his time at Manchester City that he is a mercurial talent, and has showed promise in his first two appearances for The Trotters, netting two goals, but was seldom given an opportunity to showcase his ability at Stamford Bridge.
 
The Dane Arnesen moved to Chelsea from Tottenham in 2005, and will leave the club at the end of the season, confident that the youth set up is in better shape than when he first arrived at The Bridge. “There has been enormous progress,” Arnesen commented on BBC Radio Five Live. “When I came to the club six years ago…we had six players from 16 to 20 who were playing in national teams, now it is only six players not playing”.
 
Despite this commitment John Terry remains the last youth team player to progress through the ranks to establish himself in the Chelsea first team, going back to the 2000-01 season. So ten years later, who are the contenders to follow in his footsteps? Arnesen praised the latest crop knocking on the first team door. “Obviously we already had Sturridge, he came in at 18 and he is now 21 so he is the oldest of the younger players. We have Gael Kakuta, Patrick van Aanholt, Jeffrey Bruma and Josh McEachran.” Despite Arnesen’s optimistic outlook, the players mentioned have made very limited appearances in the senior side this season, and Kakuta has also been loaned out, to Fulham, in search of regular first team football.
 
Chelsea won the FA Youth Cup last season for the first time since 1961, and Arnesen has challenged the prospects to rival the more established players for places. “Bringing players in doesn’t close the door for the others, we have to make sure the other boys are good enough and when the time is right, that will happen, there is no doubt about it,” Arnesen stated
 
There is no doubt that Chelsea’s youth team is one of the best in the country, and senior figures within the club have supported the progression of young talent. However, with the star studded dressing room of international stars on multi million contracts, Chelsea risk missing out on the next John Terry by limiting the opportunities of the stars of tomorrow.

Published – http://www.sportingo.com/football/a18469_big-spending-chelsea-defend-youth-policy

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