Januzaj, Gnabry and the top 5 Premier League teenage talents

Serge Gnabry Nextgen

Selections include players from Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Southampton.

Identifying the top five teenagers in the division is always a difficult task when there is such a wealth of talent to choose from in the Premier League. There are players who find themselves in the starting line-up despite their age and there are those who get the odd opportunity and, lastly, the players who look like they will mature into first team players over the next year or two.

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As things stand, Here Is The City's Scott Rumsey has opted for the following five. Let us know in the comment section below whether you agree:

1. Adnan Januzaj -

The 18 year-old Manchester United midfielder has been with the club for two years now. Since leaving his native Belgium and Anderlecht, he made his first appearance on the Old Trafford team in what turned out to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s last league game, a 5-5 draw with West Brom.

So far this term he has made two appearances for the Red Devils and got his first start on Saturday, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory against Sunderland, the latter, a fine strike from the edge of the area, being praised by Alan Shearer who said his technique was 'outstanding' - high praise indeed.

There is no doubt that he is a huge talent but he is one who needs to be nurtured, and if David Moyes’ record with youngsters, (think Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley) then he really is in the right place.

See also: Moyes likens United prodigy to Rooney, Barkley

2. Serge Gnabry -

When you are looking for young, raw talent there are two obvious places to start, Arsenal and Germany, and Gnabry ticks both boxes. The 18-year-old has found himself increasingly involved this season largely due to the absence of Theo Walcott, but he seems to have adapted well and netted his first goal for the Gunners in just his second appearance.

When Walcott does return I expect the youngster to lose his place in Arsene Wenger’s team but the way he has conducted himself this term means that he will be one for the future.

My only concern is that whilst he is physically a very good player he may not yet have the reading of the game, a few rash challenges and a missed penalty in the League Cup shootout with West Brom showed his inexperience.

3. Ross Barkley -

Since the departure of both David Moyes and Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United, Everton have needed to rebuild. First they appointed Roberto Martinez to lead the team off the field and on it they seem to have put their faith in teenage sensation Barkley.

At just 19, the central midfielder has the brain of a seasoned professional and the brawn of a hardened veteran. His power both when holding the ball and when surging forward gives the Toffees plenty of options and it seem as though everything good about their start comes through him, his command of the middle allows others to press on and support the likes of Romelu Lukaku, which in turn aided their undefeated streak until the Manchester City game at the weekend.

Barkley is a credit to both himself and the team and many are tipping him to fill Steven Gerrard’s shoes in the England squad.

See also: Arsenal, Tottenham fans reflect on Spurs' loss to West Ham on Twitter

4. Luke Shaw -

The Southampton left back is in a position where he doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the moment. Firstly he has established himself as the first choice left back for the Saints at just 18-years-old, but he does so when the national team have Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines in the squad, meaning that his international CV may take a while to build.

Nevertheless, he is part of Gareth Southgate’s Under-21 squad and is playing some of the best defensive football in the league, Shaw is rarely out of position and is strong and wise enough to force opponents to the outside. He closes the ball down well and can tackle as well as anybody, without doubt one to watch and the board at Southampton will have a tough job to keep such a good player.

5. Raheem Sterling -

It is with great sadness that Sterling’s on field talent occasionally gets missed with his off-field troubles, yet there can be no denying what a good player he is. He has neat footwork and controls the ball well at blistering pace, weaving and turning, there is always a danger from the 19-year-old and it is a credit to himself that he always seems to be in or around the Liverpool starting 11. His talent is such that Brendan Rodgers uses him frequently and as such he offers a real danger from out wide.

Running at defenders and cutting inside means that he allows his team-mates the opportunity to themselves roam free ensuring that the attacking, fluid style of play currently on display at Anfield is attractive and producing results.

Football fans, do you agree with this list, if not would would you choose?

image: © NextGen

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