3 underrated English youngsters who could be on the move in the summer | Premier League 2019-20
- A look at 3 English youngsters who have gone under the radar, as they look set to finish the season strongly and move on in the summer
- Should they get relegated, these players could potentially be available for a cut-price fee.
The 2019-20 edition of the Premier League has seen several young players burst onto the scene. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have had to afford opportunities to their academy youngsters to make up for the shortcomings in their respective squad. By virtue of their transfer ban,
Chelsea were banned from signing players in the summer but truth be told, it has proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Blues. The likes of Fikayo Tomori, Reece James, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have all played pivotal roles for Frank Lampard side this season. This has been the case with Bukayo Saka, Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams, who have emerged through the ranks at Arsenal and Manchester United.
Gareth Southgate's England tenure thus far could be termed as a success. The former England international has also worked with the Three Lions' youth setup in the past, due to which he has been keeping tabs on several young players from across the Premier League.
The likes of James Maddison and Jack Grealish are currently household names in the Premier League and look set to make big money moves in the summer. However, there have been a handful of other English youngsters who have quietly gone under the radar this season.
In this segment, we take a look at three such players, as they look to finish the season strongly and look to move on to greener pastures.
#1 Declan Rice - West Ham United
Having burst onto the scene at the Chelsea academy, Declan Rice moved across the London divide to join West Ham United in 2014. Since then, the midfielder has swiftly risen through the ranks with the Hammers. An indispensable member of David Moyes' current squad, the England international is reportedly a target for Manchester United. The Red Devils are reportedly lining up a series of additions in the summer to build a squad that can compete on all fronts.
A tough-tackling midfielder by trade, Rice's tenacity in midfielde alongside skipper Mark Noble has been one of the silver linings in an otherwise disappointing league season. They could well be relegated at the end of the season if they fail to put together a string of wins.
Aside from his physical abilities, the 23-year-old has an eye for a pass, making him a multifaceted asset for his side. Rice is set to play a key role for England in the European Championships and could well secure a switch to one of the sides in the Premier League top six. Chelsea are also reportedly in the running to secure his signature.
The former Chelsea man looks set to leave West Ham at the end of the season. Although the Hammers would prefer to hold on to their star man, a big-money bid could potentially blow them out of the water and force them to cash in on him.
#2 Todd Cantwell - Norwich City
Todd Cantwell's rise has been one of the bright sparks in an otherwise lacklustre league campaign for Norwich City. The Canaries look to primed to return to the Championship after spending a solitary season in the Premier League.
A product of the club's youth academy, Cantwell had a loan spell with Bundesliga 2 side Fortuna Sittard in 2018. He polished his skills in Germany and returned to his parent club for the start of the 2018-19 season.
After playing a pivotal role in securing promotion for Daniel Farke's side, Cantwell has adapted to the intensity of the Premier League seamlessly. He scored six goals and got 2 assists in 31 appearances across all competitions for Norwich this season. The 22-year-old is a bundle of energy in the centre of the park and is capable of slotting into several positions in midfield, making him a useful asset for any squad.
With Adam Lallana seemingly on his way out of Liverpool in the summer, Cantwell has reportedly been drawn up as one of the players to potentially replace his compatriot at the Merseyside club. However, reports from the Athletic have suggested that while the Reds are keeping tabs on the player, they will not heed to Norwich's £35 million asking price.
Cantwell has a bright future ahead of him and could be available for a cut-price fee if the Canaries indeed suffer relegation. This could potentially trigger a rethink amongst the Liverpool hierarchy.
#3 Dwight McNeil - Burnley
Dwight McNeil was thrown into the thick of a relegation battle last season. Yet, the young winger held his own against some of the best attackers in the Premier League despite filling in as a full back. Since then, he hasn't looked back and has established himself as an indispensable member of Sean Dyche's 4-4-2 set up. Occupying the left flank, he terrorizes opposition defenders with his pace and dribbling prowess.
A wide player by trade, McNeil has excelled as a left-back when called upon by his manager. He has featured 31 times for the Clarets this season in all competitions, racking up two goals and five assists in the process.
The lanky Englishman is deceptively quick on the ball and is quite the dribbler despite his frame. He ranks 9th on the list for successful takeons with 61 completed in 2534 minutes of Premier League football this season.
McNeil's rise to the top has been steady. Within 13 months of making his Premier League debut, the young Englishman has established himself as a reliable member of Dyche's side, as he looks set to have a big future in the game.
Published 16 Mar 2020, 03:07 IST