There are several top development squads all over the country, producing some of the most exciting young talent and forming the bedrock of Premier League sides over the next few years.
The Under-21 Premier League has only just begun but already there are several talented attacking players getting themselves a lot of attention, doing their chances of breaking into the first teams of their clubs no harm at all.
Here are five of the best Under-21 strikers so far this season.
Adam Morgan (Liverpool)
The 19-year-old striker has a record of three goals in five appearances so far this season.
He’s an extremely versatile forward, able to play on the shoulder of the defence or in behind another player and he’s already been on the fringes of first team action under Brendan Rodgers, especially last season.
Adam Armstrong (Newcastle United)
Armstrong has an amazing record from his Under-21 appearances so far this season, bagging five goals in six games.
What makes his impact so special is the fact he’s only 16-years-old, playing significantly above his current age group.
It’s far too early to see him getting close to a first team chance at St James Park under Alan Pardew but if he can maintain his current strike rate, that will be an extremely impressive achievement.
Elliott Lee (West Ham United)
Lee has the exact same record as Armstrong from his performances this season.
He’s slightly more matured at 18-years-old but he’s scored around a third of West Ham’s goals in the Under-21 Premier League so far this season.
He made his professional debut for the club last January in the FA Cup defeat against Manchester United and could certainly feature in the same competition again this season.
Isaiah Brown (Chelsea)
Chelsea snapped up Brown from West Brom and he’s already made a big impact in their development squad with four goals in six matches.
He’s having a great season and is playing well as a 16-year-old leading the attack of a side which is sixth in the league at the moment, just four points away from West Ham in first place.
Whether Brown gets a first team chance this season remains to be seen but considering the current quality in the first team squad at Chelsea, it’s doubtful.
Mikael Mandron (Sunderland)
Mandron is a 19-year-old currently leading the Sunderland attack.
His strike rate this season is impressive; four goals in five games and he should be confident of building on that over the rest of the season.
Sunderland are joint top of the Under-21 Premier League with West Ham having the exact same record but only second because they’ve conceded two goals more.
image: © Ben Sutherland