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Top 5 Premier League Youngsters To Watch Out For In 2021

Gabriel Martinelli during a training session
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2020 was a great year for the youth of English football with many youngsters breaking out for their respective teams up and down the country. In 2020, players like Bukayo Saka, Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden became regular starters for their clubs and also received England call ups. At Man’s Life today, we take a look at 5 youngsters to watch out for who could have similar breakout years for their clubs in 2021.

5. Pedro Neto


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With Diogo Jota shipped off to Liverpool and Raul Jimenez injured with a fractured skull, the keys to the Wolves attack are in the hands of 20-year-old Pedro Neto. Neto arrived in the midlands in 2019 from Lazio but struggled for playing time in his first year with the club. However, with one and a half seasons of experience of playing in England, we are finally seeing some of the glimpses of his potential. The Portuguese rising star already has 7 goals and assists this season and tops the club for shots, key passes and chances created. At 20, he has already featured for the national team and is set to continue his ascension in 2021 for both club and country.

4. Emile Smith Rowe


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It is no coincidence that Arsenal’s upturn in form in the Premier League has coincided with Emile Smith Rowe’s entrance to the Arsenal team. Since Smith Rowe started for Arsenal on Boxing Day against Chelsea, the Gunners have won 4 of their last 5 Premier League games with the Englishman contributing 3 assists in that time. The Croydon De Bruyne could be the answer to Arsenals creative woes, having created the 2nd most chances (10) in the league in the last 5 games. Smith Rowe is a product of Arsenal’s Hale End academy and has had successful loan spells at Huddersfield Town in the championship where he helped play a part in their survival. What stands out about Smith Rowe is his first touch, vision and eagerness to progress the ball forwards up the pitch.

3. Callum Hudson Odoi


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Callum Hudson Odoi was labelled as the next big thing to come out of the Chelsea academy, but a mixture of injuries and transfer interest from Bayern Munich have set him off his path. With the signings of Pulisic, Werner, Havertz and Ziyech, Hudson Odoi fell to the bottom of the pecking order at Chelsea but this season, the Englishman has managed to outperform all of them. Hudson Odoi tops the club in terms of progressive dribbles and averages a healthy 5 shot-creating actions and 2.6 key passes per 90. With all of Chelsea’s superstar signings firing blanks, this could be the year where Callum Hudson Odoi finally lives up to his potential.

2. Amad Diallo


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Manchester United failed in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho in the summer, but in Amad Diallo, they have someone as exciting as the Borussia Dortmund man. Right-wing is an area of concern for the Red Devils and Diallo could be the long-term solution for this position. The Ivorian was bought from Atalanta on deadline day for a fee of 19 million pounds with add ons that could take the final figure to upwards of 37 million pounds. He has started only 3 Serie A games in his career and made only one appearance this season before joining United in January but has already shown a lot of promise in a short span of time. The 18-year-old is blessed with blistering pace and acceleration and great technical ability with the ball at his feet.

1. Gabriel Martinelli

The one player who could have the greatest impact on their side in 2021 is without a doubt the Brazilian wonder-kid Gabriel Martinelli. Arsenal signed Martinelli from Brazil’s second division side Ituano in 2019 and he instantly hit the ground running for the Gunners with 10 goals and 4 assists in 26 games before a knee injury kept him out for over 6 months. He has earned lavish praise from people in the footballing world with Jurgen Klopp labelling him as the talent of the century. Martinelli is an intense presser who works hard for the team while also having that hunger and instinct to score goals. With Pierre Emerick Aubameyang struggling in front of goal and Alexandre Lacazette possibly on his way out in the summer, Martinelli could have a big role to play at the Emirates in 2021.


[Image Credit: Gabriel Martinelli]