Premier League: 5 youngsters who can make the jump from PL2 to PL next season
According to the Premier League website, "Premier League 2 is a competition that replaced the Under-21 Premier League from 2016/17, with a greater focus on technicality, physicality and intensity to bring players as close to the first-team experience as possible."
The age limit for those involved recently rose from Under-21 to Under-23, which means that even a handful of experienced players who have been dropped to their respective reserve teams can potentially feature in some of these PL2 matches.
Of course, any player in this situation will be desperately wanting to be bumped to their club's senior side, but they know that they'll need to give everything they've got in PL2 games to even get acknowledged.
In this list, we'll run through five players who have been very impressive for their respective PL2 sides so far this season and deserve to make the jump to the Premier League.
#5 Eddie Nketiah
Eddie Nketiah is a 19-year-old centre-forward who plays for Arsenal. He also plays for England's U21 side, having made four appearances since his debut in May 2018.
With 7 goals and 3 assists from just 9 games in the PL2, Nketiah is certainly the one to watch. He possesses rapid pace, a superb eye for goal and can even link up well with his attacking teammates, which is something much more difficult than it sounds.
Often times, players -- especially those who are inexperienced -- can lose sight of the teammates around them and only focus on the goal ahead, but this tends to lead to them getting closed down by multiple defenders and ultimately nothing comes of the chance. His natural ability to look up and pick out a pass rather than shoot at goal all the time separates him from the rest.
Being at a club with the stature of Arsenal, however, is always going to make things ten times harder. If you think about the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette who currently play up front for the Gunners, these are the types of players that Nketiah will be expected to challenge for a first-team spot.
A more likely scenario will see the youngster be shipped out on loan to get valuable first-team football elsewhere -- the Championship is the typical place for players of his calibre to head to.