Premier League teams have often relied on their academy graduates to make a difference for them, despite spending millions on player transfers. For many years, under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United's illustrious class of 92 played a key role in their success.
Reece James, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, and Fikayo Tomori are just a few of the academy graduates that Chelsea have produced lately. Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah are currently running riot in the Premier League and scoring for fun.
This article will examine five academy graduates who are having an influence this season on their respective teams in the ongoing 2022-23 Premier League season.
# 5 Lewis Hall - Chelsea
Lewis Hall has been a success story since Graham Potter was appointed, despite the ongoing difficulties at Chelsea. Since Marc Cucurella had previously played under Potter while at Brighton & Hove Albion, many supporters anticipated that he would finally secure his spot as Chelsea's first-choice left-back.
Graham Potter's hiring has helped Lewis Hall gain a spot in Chelsea's starting line-up, though. He has been chosen by the Blues as both a left-back and in central midfield due to his versatility.
He has now made eight appearances for the Blues, including five in the Premier League. Ben Chilwell's return might reduce the number of times he plays for Chelsea, but if he keeps his foot on the gas, he has a bright future at Stamford Bridge.
# 4 Rico Lewis - Manchester City
If recent trends are to be accepted, Rico Lewis will soon be Manchester City's first choice right defender. The fact that the 18-year-old English right-back was chosen ahead of Joao Cancelo, who has been a shell of his former self this season, and Kyle Walker, demonstrates his enormous skill set.
In a crucial match against Tottenham Hotspur, where Manchester City fought back from two goals behind to clinch a resounding 4-2 victory, he was selected over the regular partnership.
Rico Lewis has played for Manchester City against elite opponents like Chelsea and Liverpool and also started the UEFA Champions League match against Sevilla, where he scored. His 13 appearances across competitions for the Cityzens this season demonstrate Pep Guardiola's confidence in him.
# 3 Stefan Bajcetic - Liverpool
Stefan Bajcetic is gradually turning into Liverpool's first-choice central midfielder. Despite having midfield options including Fabinho, Thiago Alacantra, Harvey Elliott, club captain Jordan Henderson, Alex Chamberlain, and veteran James Milner, the Spaniard has made 10 appearances for Liverpool this season due to his exceptional talent and has also scored one goal.
The 18-year-old midfielder's loan departure was widely anticipated, but it appears that he will remain to compete for a spot at Liverpool.
The fact that Jürgen Klopp chose to start him over Fabinho for Liverpool's game against Chelsea demonstrates his confidence in the prospect. The Spaniard had a solid game in the center of the midfield, controlling the action as the match concluded in a scoreless draw.
#2 Alejandro Garnacho - Manchester United
Ryan Giggs and Marcus Rashford are just a couple of the left-sided star wingers that have come out of Manchester United's illustrious academy. Alejandro Garnacho may be next.
In his nine Premier League games for Manchester United this season, the Argentine winger has displayed flashes of brilliance. In a game that seemed destined to end in a disappointing tie, he made a massive difference by scoring a last-second winner against Fulham to give Manchester United all three points.
Garnacho played a key role in Manchester United's comeback in the local derby. He set up the second goal for hot-shot Marcus Rashford, who has been scoring goals like crazy ever since the World Cup.
#1 Evan Ferguson - Brighton & Hove Albion
Following Graham Potter's departure from Brighton, who replaced Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea after his successful tenure with the Seagulls, many anticipated a decline in the team’s performance.
However, under their new head coach Roberto De Zerbi, Brighton have kept up their great performances. They have scored more goals than elite teams like Arsenal and Manchester City since the FIFA World Cup.
Evan Ferguson, who is dangerous in front of goal and has three goals and two assists in five English Premier League games, has emerged as Brighton's offensive prowess.
He has been involved in one goal this season in the Premier League on average, and if he keeps improving, he might become the next big thing in the top flight.