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5 Premier League youngsters who deserve more playing time

Juventus v Chelsea FC: Group H - UEFA Champions League
Juventus v Chelsea FC: Group H - UEFA Champions League
Akshay Tahiliani
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The Premier League is full of exciting and promising talent who are busy raising their stock with every passing performance. Eight games down the lane, most spectators have realized which rising stars will soon become indispensable for their sides for the remainder of the Premier League campaign.

But there is no rocket science behind the fact that consistent game time and manager's trust are essential for a young player's maximum development. Especially when they get a good start, it becomes all the more important to back them for greater success.

Premier League adventures don't go according the script for many

Right now in the Premier League, Donny van de Beek is popularly discussed as one of those young talents who is getting wasted on the Manchester United bench. With opportunities few and far from one game to another, the Dutch player has never had the chance to get into the rhythm or the flow of the Premier League.

But behind Van de Beek's popular name leading the debate, there are some players who have been ignored in this season's Premier League. Here are five young players who deserve more game time in the Premier League:


#5 Armando Broja

Broja scored 10 goals in 30 games for Eredivisie side Vitesse on loan last season
Broja scored 10 goals in 30 games for Eredivisie side Vitesse on loan last season

This is a case where numbers can prove deceiving at first sight. Armando Broja has made five appearances for Southampton in the Premier League. However, they only resulted in an aggregate game time of 164 minutes. This was after his match-winning performance against Leeds United in the Premier League where he scored the only and winning goal of the match and stayed on for 81 minutes.

The reason for his limited chances has been quite clear. The Saints added Adam Armstrong to their ranks and as a new big money signing, he is naturally their regular starter. But even though he's played a massive 614 minutes compared to the minimal time afforded to Broja, their goal contribution remains the same.

Armando Broja on scoring his first @premierleague goal. Edit:-@CFCBlogs_ https://t.co/Mx8gBJQ5oG

The Chelsea loanee also scored twice in Southampton's 8-0 win against Newport County in the EFL Cup. The young striker has proved his pedigree to deliver on Premier League standards. With proper game time, he can lead Southampton's attacking line and partner Che Adams or Armstrong in a two-man strike partnership.


#4 Curtis Jones

Jones was singled out for praise in Liverpool's Premier League game against Brentford
Jones was singled out for praise in Liverpool's Premier League game against Brentford

Liverpool have been a fairly complete side in the last couple of years. Except for injuries, they rarely require recruiting new players in abundance. It is a luxury for the gaffer but makes it difficult for many players to climb up the pecking order. But last season, Curtis Jones showed everyone waiting for their chance in a Reds jersey how it's done and how one must capitalize on the opportunity.

The kid at 19 managed to break into Liverpool's star-studded midfield and played a part in more than 55 per cent of their games in the Premier League last season. This season, however, Jones has been restricted to only a limited 172 minutes in eight Premier League matches.

His call to the senior side for Liverpool's title-winning campaign was well deserved as he also won the Premier League 2 Player of the Year award in 2020. Jones would however have been left frustrated after being left out of the squad for games against Norwich City and Chelsea.

Curtis Jones is a better number 8 and 10 than Mason Mount and i’ll die on this hill. https://t.co/WFRp0q7b5S

Especially the latter, as Chelsea restricted Liverpool to a 1-1 draw despite going one man down. The youngster could definitely have offered something different to Klopp's side in the middle of the park, with greater urgency and energy. He was Liverpool's unutilised sub for the Premier League games against Leeds United and Burnley.

Despite limited game time, Jones has shown that he deserves to start ahead of names like Naby Kieta and Alex Oxlande-Chamberlain. The 20 year-old has registered one goal and one assist in those 172 mins in the Premier League and even has two assists in the Champions League.

The recent injury adds to Jones' frustration, especially when it seemed like he was best-placed to cement his place in the line-up with strong performances.

#3 Mason Holgate

Holgate captured taking a knee as a gesture against Racism in a Premier League match
Holgate captured taking a knee as a gesture against Racism in a Premier League match

Rafa Benitez has clearly taken a positive first step towards restoring Everton's reputation in the Premier League. His side currently sit eighth with 14 points, only one point away from the top four. But Mason Holgate, who is Everton's second longest serving player, seems to be a rather fringe figure in his plans.

He has only played two games in the Premier League so far and it is quite astonishing. From featuring in 28 games and playing nearly 2900 minutes in the Premier League last season to becoming a benchwarmer under Benitez, it has been a dramatic turnaround.

In the two games he started, Everton won 3-1 and 2-0 against Southampton and Brighton respectively. But since then, there has been no sign of Holgate.

Everton could offload one of their four senior centre-backs to leave next summer, with Mason Holgate looking the most vulnerable. [@TheAthleticUK 🌕] https://t.co/djkChjHHli

Under Carlo Ancelloti, Holgate deputized at right-back with Sheamus Coleman injured and he did a fairly decent job at it. So far Benitez has preferred Yerry Mina over Holgate as Michael Keane's partner and sometimes also utilized Ben Godfrey.

Holgate speaks highly of the Spanish manager and appreciates his eye on detailed and meticulous training sessions. But if Benitez plans on keeping Holgate as a benchwarmer for the rest of the Premier League this season, things might not go so smoothly between the pair.


#2 Gabriel Martinelli

Gabriel Martinelli's injury in 2020 derailed his progress
Gabriel Martinelli's injury in 2020 derailed his progress

Since his emergence at Arsenal under Unai Emery, Gabriel Martinelli has been touted to become Arsenal's main striker in the future. Jurgen Klopp once described him as the "talent of the century" but an injury stopped his progress in 2019. A long break and recovery time seems to have affected Mikel Arteta's approach towards Martinelli.

In the 2019-20 season, the Brazilian became the first teenager since Nicolas Anelka to reach double-figures for goals in all competitions for Arsenal in a single season. Hence, to see him sit on the bench and wait for his chance is frustrating for both the player and fans equally.

Gabriel Martinelli under Unai Emery 11 appearances7 goals ⚽2 assists 🅰️ "Talent of the century" In 2019Don't let his injuries and bad luck FORGET HIS GREATNESS! https://t.co/onNFa7mn8w

Martinelli has made three appearances this year in the Premier League and has played 159 minutes. The 20-year old has always been electric on the field and loves to drop inside from the left wing when given an opportunity. His ability to hurl in crosses has also helped Arsenal on a few occasions and with a better target man, his contribution will only improve.

In the dying minutes of Arsenal's thrilling 2-2 Premier League encounter against Crystal Palace, Martinelli proved why he deserves to be getting more game time.


#1 Callum Hudson-Odoi

Hudson Odoi is often the unused subsitite in Chelsea's Premier League games
Hudson Odoi is often the unused subsitite in Chelsea's Premier League games

As Callum Hudson-Odoi looks at the fate of fellow Chelsea graduates under Thomas Tuchel, he may have already made his mind up about a move away from the club. Both Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori left for Italian sides AS Roma and AC Milan respectively, with Tuchel not giving them enough game time in the Premier League.

Hudson-Odoi had previously been linked with a move to Bayern Munich last season but Chelsea were able to keep hold of the player. During the summer transfer window it was reported that Borussia Dortmund were interested in signing the player, but he was not allowed to leave the Premier League side.

Dortmund have a reputation for giving ample opportunities and trusting their faith in youngsters and this could have been a sensible move for the Chelsea graduate. Hudson-Odoi is an extremely gifted winger and his ability to provide in the final third is evident every time he steps on the pitch.

Callum Hudson-Odoi’s passing is therapeutic.https://t.co/7VthudmZPA

Initially, Tuchel used the 20-year old as a wing-back on the right side but hasn't stuck with him or given him a consistent run of games. Last season he made 23 appearances for Chelsea in the Premier League, most of them from the bench.

This season he has made one start and one substitute appearance in eight games. The Blues may have found the winning combination and Tuchel clearly does not want to mess it up, but Hudson Odoi feels far from being a part of it. Recent injuries to Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner might help him get a few starts in the Premier League. Hudson-Odoi will be desperate to stake a stronger claim for permanent involvement.

Edited by Nived Zenith
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