5 Premier League youngsters who deserve more playing time

Akshay Tahiliani

#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 🌕]

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!

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.

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.

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Edited by Nived Zenith
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