We have taken a look at La Liga and Bundesliga’s young players and have found the best of them, now join us as we do the same yet again to find the best young Premier League players of 2021:
As we are coming to the end of the 2021, we have been taking a look at the year we had in football and what is more important in today’s game than its young superstars and the massive amount of young talent that dominate today’s footballing landscape. We have previously taken a look at some of Europe’s top leagues like La Liga and Bundesliga but now it’s time to look at arguably the best league in the world: The Premier League.
English football has always been a fertile ground for developing young players and as the Premier League is becoming more and more competitive in the past several seasons, so have the clubs invested more time and money into developing said youngsters. All of this have done England wonders as they are currently experiencing a golden age in terms of having some of the most talented young players in the world. So join us as we take a closer look at these
best young Premier League players of 2021
We could’ve just as easily filled this list of the Top 10 best young players in Premier League in 2021 with English players but obviously there are loads of talented youngsters from all over the world playing in the Premier League so we have tried to maintain that balance here too:
Let us kick off our list of the top 10 best young players in Premier League in 2021 with a goalkeeper and that would be Leads' Illan Meslier who is currently one of thebest young goalkeepers in Europe
. The young Meslier have shown that he has a long way to go and is sometimes error prone but with a few years more experience, he’d be amongst the best goalkeepers in Europe and a great replacement for Lloris in the French national team too.
Meslier who joined Leeds United on loan in the 2019-20 season from the French club Lorient, initially as a second choice goalkeeper to the former Real Madrid keeper, Kiko Casilla. However, after showing his mettle in Leeds’ U23 side, he was called to the first team which then coincided with Kiko Casilla’s 8-match ban. This all made Meslier, Leeds’ first choice goalkeeper, a position he hasn’t lost to this day despite being only 21 years old and being somewhat inexperienced.
A goalkeeper in the veins of the former Chelsea player, Thibaut Courtois, Meslier is known for his shot-stopping prowess and ball distribution, which suits Leed’s style perfectly as they like to play fluid attacking football and will face many shots from counter attacks. Meslier also helped the Whites keep 11 clean sheets, becoming the only goalkeeper under 21 to surpass the previous record which was 7.
By the end of last season, Meslier was standing above the likes of Kasper Schmeichel and Alisson Becker in terms of clean sheets so choosing him as one of the best young Premier League players of 2021 was an easy choice. However, as Leeds have struggled deeply this season, so has Meslier with him only keeping 3 clean sheets so far. But Leeds fans will be hoping for Bielsa and Co. to turn the ship around quickly.
Next up as one of our
best young English players of 2021
, we have Manchester United’s Golden Boy, Mason Greenwood. The 19-year-old had his breakout season in 2019-20 when he scored an amazing tally of 17 goals and he has gone on to continue his development this season as well becoming one of the best young forwards around. Now with an icon like Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, players like Mason Greenwood, who very much aspire to be like Ronaldo someday, can benefit a lot from it.
Mason Greenwood’s pace, technical prowess, great hold up play as well as his incredible finishing skills makes him an ideal right winger and a backup striker, both positions that he excels at. The pace he brings to the striker role is just something that was missing at United and his direct style of playing as a winger is breath of fresh air for Manchester United. With the levels that he’s performed at, it is obvious that Greenwood’s ceiling is even higher as he’ll continue his development in the coming seasons.
With 9 goals and 2 assists, 7 of which were in the Premier League, Greenwood was certainly one of Manchester United’s standout performers last season. he started this season also well, scoring 6 times and assisting twice so far. With there being a lot more competition up front at Manchester United this season, Greenwood has to bring his A-game constantly if he wants a regular spot in the team but so far he has shown that he is no doubt one of the best young Premier League players of 2021.
Another Chelsea youth academy player who has spent his career entirely on teams other thanChelsea
, despite technically still being their player is Connor Gallagher. TheCrystal Palace
midfielder was part of the West Brom team that got relegated last season but even then his talent was apparent which is why Palace didn’t hesitate when Chelsea was entertaining loan offers for him again this summer and since joining the Eagles, Gallagher has really become one of the best young Premier League players of 2021 as well as one of the best players in the league so far.
An all-round midfielder who thrives on playing a box to box role, Connor Gallagher is tireless both in attack and defense and can join the attack when he wants to. His ability to carry the ball as well as his considerable passing ability make him the perfect midfielder for Vieira’s Palace side who seem rejuvenated this season with Gallagher at the heart of their midfield.
With successful loan spells at Charlton and West Brom, it was apparent that Connor Gallagher was ready to take the next step and this season has proven that very fact. Gallagher has scored 6 and assisted 3 this season so far and is undoubtedly one of the
best young Premier League players of 2021
. He got rewarded for his excellent form and was handed his debut for England by Southgate but will he continue to perform at this level and possibly have a place in Chelsea’s squad for next season? we’ll just have to wait and find out.
The first and the only Spanish player to appear on our
top 10 best young players in Premier League 2021
is theManchester City
winger, Ferran Torres who has had the pleasure of working with two of the greatest Spanish managers in Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique and he has been favored by both over more established and experienced players. He has surprised many by how well he has adapted to the Premier League and how he became one of Spain’s best players in Euro 2020.
The former Valencia academy player, broke out into Valencia’s first team back in the 2017-18 season and went on to become a prominent player for the Bats in the following 2 seasons. He even managed to win a Copa del Rey trophy with Valencia before moving on to Manchester City at the start of the 2020-21 season. despite limited game-time that saw him start only 24 matches for Manchester City, Torres managed to score 13 goals last season, which is 4 more than he ever scored forValencia
over the course of 3 seasons.
Having won the Premier League and the League Cup in his debut season and having reached the Champions League final, Torres then became integral to Enrique’s plans as they reached the Euro 2020 semi-final as he scored two and assisted a goal. He has since continued his great form this season and has become one of the best young Premier League players of 2021, scoring 11 and assisting two for club and country since the summer. Although his reduced playing time may see the 21 year old switch sides and join Barcelona, possibly even in January!
When it comes to developing young players and trusting them to perform, Arsenal is one of the best teams out there. Their prestigious Hale End academy has produced some seriously talented players in the last decade including the likes of Jack Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi but their most recent graduates seem to be the best of them yet as both Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka make it ono our list of best young English players of 2021.
While Emile Smith Rowe was part of the first team in the Arsene Wenger era, it was actually Unai Emery who gave Smith Rowe his first chance in anArsenal
shirt during the 2018-19 season. loan spells for gaining more experience at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield followed before he was called back by Mikel Arteta to play a bigger role at Arsenal. With Mesut Ozil being left out of the squad entirely and veterans like Willian not performing, Arteta turned to Smith Rowe to give them a spark of creativity that Arsenal so desperately needed.
With his blistering pace and undeniable technique, Smith Rowe brought that much needed creativity to Arsenal, helping them string together several good result at the end of the season. he even managed to score twice against Chelsea in 2021, helping the Gunners get a double over their London rivals. A dynamic playmaker who likes to make space with his dribbles rather than inch-perfect passes, Arsenal’s new number 10 is frighteningly fast at moving with the ball at his feet, something which makes him unique amongst the players on our list.
Arsenal’s new number 10 helped them in the past season by scoring 4 and assisting 7. But he has really come into his own this season as he has already scored 9 and assisted 3 times this season so far for club and country after making his debut for England. One of the best young Premier League players of 2021, Smith Rowe is on his way to becoming a world class player.
West Ham has been enjoying a great couple of seasons lately under the guidance of David Moyes. This success on the pitch and the way Moyes’ style of playing has been executed so well at West Ham, largely relies on the leadership and talent of their captain, Declan Rice. One of the best midfielders in the Premier League, the 22 year old Rice even played a pivotal role for England in the Euro 2020 on their way to the final. Declan Rice’s performances last season helped West Ham United have one of their all-time best finishes in the league by being 6th.
A product of Chelsea’s youth academy, Rice departed from the Blues in 2014 to joinWest Ham United
. He was given his debut at the age of 17 and since his debut he has become a regular at West Ham, with his club Chelsea being desperate to sign him back season after season. Rice could play as a central midfielder or even a defender but he is most comfortable when he is deployed as a defensive midfielder. As a defensive midfielder he is capable of retrieving the ball as well as carrying it forward, which he displayed perfectly both las season and in his performances in the Euro.
Declan Rice is the perfect embodiment of an English midfielder, someone who has quality with the ball at his feet but is also extremely physical and reliable. He is definitely among the top 10 best young players in Premier League 2021, and will undoubtedly move to a bigger club in the future but for now West Ham United fans should enjoy watching both him and their favorite team thrive on the biggest stage.
Another product of Arsenal's Hale End academy that became one of the best young players in the past year or two was the incredibly talented Bukayo Saka, who despite his very young age has extensive experience playing in several role ranging from a left back to a right winger. His versatility as well as his attitude has resulted in him playing a big role at Arsenal as well as being included in England’s squad for the Euro 2020, where he massively helped England reach the final.
Having been part of the Arsenal’s academy since before the age of 10, Bukayo Saka joined the first team at the young age of 17 and actually became the first player born in the 21st century to make his Premier League debut when he did so against Fulham on 1 January of 2019. He has since made 108 senior appearances for Arsenal, scoring 14 goals and providing 20 assists. While Unai Emery utilized Saka in more of a defensive role as a wing-back, Arteta has moved him to more attacking roles where the 19-year-old is more comfortable
Quick and unrelenting in both attack and defense, Saka’s work rate and attitude has made him a favorite of many managers, allowing him to climb to quickly become one of thebest players in his position
. And even though he was set abck by England’s nightmarish Euro 2020 final in which he missed the last penalty, his incredible performances this season has shown what a strong character he has and that he has learned to move on and learn from adversity which definitely puts him amongst the best young Premier League players of 2021.
One of the players that have been on a serious upwards trajectory in the past couple of years has been Chelsea’s Reece James. Lampard’s reign at Chelsea may have been quick and without silverware but the legacy he left behind was the introduction of players like James, Mount and Abraham to Chelsea’s first team, who are all becoming great players. In the case of James, the dynamic right back has become one of the best full backs in the world as well as being one of the best young English players of 2021.
As a right back, Reece James is quite a well-rounded player, having both defensive and attacking capabilities. Frank Lampard tended to deploy him more in the role of a wing back, considering he was a midfielder in his youth academy days. As Tuchel took over as the manager of Chelsea, it was then Reece James fully developed as afull back
, taking on on more defensive duties which he once again excelled at and improving his attacking abilities.
This all culminated in his outstanding performance against Manchester City in the Champions League final where he completely neutralized City’s left wing and help Chelsea win its 2nd Champions League title.
After establishing himself in Chelsea’s first team during the 2019-20 season, James really came onto his own in his second season and especially in 2021, taking his game to the next level under Thomas Tuchel. We already spoke about his impact on Chelsea’s Champions League title but since the start of this season he has been one of Chelsea’s main players, helping the Blues win the European Supercup as well as contributing to 5 goals and 8 assists which is rare for a defender, making him one of the
best young Premier League players of 2021
Let’s move to another Chelsea youngster by the name of Mason Mount who has become a world-class player on his own right. Mount is the one of only two players on our list to have garnered a
Premier League Player of the Year in 2021
nomination. After several seasons on loan on various teams it was his childhood hero Frank Lampard, who gave Mason Mount a chance, first atDerby County
and then in Chelsea as well and the 22 year old did not disappoint, becoming one of Chelsea’s top performers in this season and the one before where he helped Chelsea get into the top 4 and win their 2nd Champions League title.
Much like his idolFrank Lampard
, Mount is a complete midfielder, who could play any number of roles in midfield or even up front and has a knack for scoring as well. Although he favors the more attacking roles, Mount is capable of playing deeper as a box-to-box midfielder or even a defensive midfielder. The fact that Mount has always been a guaranteed starter for Frank Lampard, Gareth Southgate and now Thomas Tuchel, shows how much of a talented a player he is and the integral role he plays at Chelsea or England’s national team, because of his versatility.
Last season Mount recorded 6 goals and 5 assists as well as creating 87 chances to become one of the best playmakers in the Premier League, which all earned him a double nomination for the Player of the Season and the Young Player of the season and then went on to feature heavily in England’s Euro 2020 campaign. This season has been his best one at Chelsea so far since he has scored 7 and assisted 4 in the Premier League and is currently the Blues’ top goal scorer, fully deserving of a nomination for the Premier League Player of the Year in 2021.
Manchester City has one of the greatest academies around Europe which has produced players like Jadon Sancho, Kelechi Iheanacho and Brahim Diaz as well as their current crop of young players like Phil Foden. while all those players that we mentioned decided to move elsewhere and find their fortunes ther, Foden’s decision to stay and play for Pep Guardiola has proven to be one of the best decisions of his career since the youngster has become one of the top 10 best young players in Premier League 2021 and one of the league’s best players in general.
After a striker shortage at Manchester City last season forced Guardiola’s to look for new ways to bolster their attack, the Spanish tactician started utilizing players like Foden and Sterling in more advanced roles as False-9s. this resulted in Man City having a great start in 2021 in which Foden played a big part in. Phil Foden ended up getting over 1500 minutes of playing time in a star-studded Manchester City squad, despite him being only 21.
Following their streak of 19 wins in the league which were in great parts due to players like Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester City was all but confirmed as champions and they decided to follow that with a League Cup trophy as well as a Champions League final, which they lost to their rivals Cehslea. Foden contributed by scoring 16 and assisting 8 in all competitions which is a lot coming from a midfielder.
Foden’s performances from last season earned him a Premier League Player of the Year in 2021 and a Young Player of the Year nominations. He won the latter and was included in Champions League Team of the Season for the 2020-21. He then took part inEngland
’s Euro 2020 in which they reached the final but lost to Italy. Since the start of this season, he has picked up from where he left off last season as he has already scored 6 and assisted 6 in 13 appearances.
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