Hojlund second, Spurs trio included: Top 20 U21 players to watch in the Premier League in 23/24

Premier League starlets Destiny Udogie, Milos Kerkez and Evan Ferguson. Credit: Alamy
Premier League starlets Destiny Udogie, Milos Kerkez and Evan Ferguson. Credit: Alamy

As the best league in the world, the Premier League obviously boasts some of the best young players in the world. There may be no Jamal Musialas or Pedris, but there are still some wonderful players who have the potential to be world class.

Taking into account a combination of which players will play more, how exciting they will be to watch this season, and how good they are, we rank the top 20 Premier League players who are under the age of 21 (as of August 22, 2023).


20) Elliot Anderson (Newcastle United)
Anderson will likely be Eddie Howe’s second or third player off the bench every week so his low ranking is perhaps a little harsh. What it does demonstrate is that the standard is extremely high.


19) Alejo Veliz (Tottenham)
Spurs have got a terrific player on their hands; it is just a case of how often Veliz will play. If Richarlison’s goalscoring woes continue, he could get a chance and we think he might just take it.


18) Ilya Zabarnyi (Bournemouth)
Bournemouth have made some decent signings this summer and Ukrainian international Zabarnyi is one of the most promising.


17) Milos Kerkez (Bournemouth)
After joining from AZ Alkmaar for around £14milion, Kerkez should be the Cherries’ first-choice left-back this season and is a defender expected to blossom into a very fine player.


16) Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham)
It would have been easy to put Sarr in the top 10 after his goal against Manchester United. He has a tonne of potential but you get the feeling Rodrigo Bentancur’s return will not do his development any favours.


15) Malo Gusto (Chelsea)
It is safe to say we are going to see a lot more of Gusto than initially expected. Not because we forgot Reece James is very injury-prone but because we forgot the French right-back existed until he came off the bench against Liverpool on matchday one.


14) Carney Chukwuemeka (Chelsea)
Chukwuemeka had knee surgery this week but will only miss around six weeks of action. It is a huge blow after scoring his first Premier League goal against West Ham and fingers crossed he gets enough game time under Mauricio Pochettino when he returns.


13) Rico Lewis (Manchester City)
Above £45m defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips in the versatile defensive midfielder role under Pep Guardiola, young Lewis has seamlessly slotted in to a complicated City system which, as a natural right-back, does his future England prospects no harm whatsoever.

Rico Lewis during a match. Credit: Alamy
Rico Lewis during a match. Credit: Alamy


12) Lewis Hall (Newcastle United)
It feels so bloody harsh having talents like Kerkez, Sarr, and now Hall, in the bottom half of this list. Let me just reiterate…this list is bursting with talent. Hall, 18, is a fine player who can play in various positions. Howe is an ideal coach to play under too. Do not be surprised to see him get lots of minutes at left-back this season.


11) Romeo Lavia (Chelsea)
Lavia is a top player and there is a reason Chelsea paid over £50m to sign him from Southampton. Had he joined Liverpool, the Belgian would likely have been an undisputed starter and in the top five here. As a No. 6 at a club that also employs Moises Caicedo, don’t be surprised to see him struggle for minutes, especially with Chelsea limited to domestic football this season, which is why he is behind…


10) Stefan Bajcetic (Liverpool)
Liverpool desperately need a defensive midfielder after missing out on Lavia but Jurgen Klopp does have a superb teenage talent in Bajcetic at his disposal. Do not let that stop you from spending money, Jurgen. The cash is there. We all know it is.


9) Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United)
Garnacho has had a difficult start to the campaign but let’s not forget how good he has looked under Erik ten Hag. There is a player in there.


8) James Trafford (Burnley)
After a very impressive loan spell at Bolton, followed by a flawless Under-21 European Championship campaign, Trafford earned a move to Burnley and instantly came in to replace Arijanet Muric as Vincent Kompany’s No. 1. Are we looking at Jordan Pickford’s England successor?


7) Harvey Elliott (Liverpool)
It feels like Elliott has been around forever, yet he is still 20 years young, we promise. The former Fulham youngster has been limited to appearances off the bench so far this season but will be hoping to take advantage of Alexis Mac Allister’s suspension. There will be enough football on offer at Anfield this season to further enable Elliott’s development.


6) Alex Scott (Bournemouth)
We are all aboard the Alex Scott train. Here’s hoping he gets enough football and adapts to Our League quickly. If things get sticky at the bottom for Bournemouth, Scott will either thrive and win points on his own or cave under the pressure.


5) Julio Enciso (Brighton)
Enciso’s Brighton teammate, Facundo Buonanotte, deserves a mention but he is deemed not good enough to make this list. He is very impressive so don’t feel too disheartened, fella; I know you’re reading.

Enciso is an outrageous talent and will probably join Chelsea for £100m in two years. If minutes are hard to come by in the Premier League (we doubt it), Enciso will probably be Brighton’s main man in the Europa League.


4) Evan Ferguson (Brighton)
Bloody Brighton, eh? Their recruitment team can certainly tell their arse from their elbow.


3) Destiny Udogie (Tottenham)
Spurs have signed a beauty in Udogie, who is a perfect modern-day wing-back and it is his Destiny to become a perfect out-and-out full-back under Ange Postecoglou.

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2) Rasmus Hojlund (Manchester United)
A lot has been said about Hojlund but the back injury he carried when joining Manchester United could be a blessing in disguise. He is able to get to know his teammates, settle into the city and go under the radar for a bit. It did Alexander Isak the world of good at Newcastle United, so Erik ten Hag will be hoping for something similar with his Danish wonderkid.


1) Levi Colwill (Chelsea)
Seriously, what a talent Chelsea have on their hands here. Excuse the cliche but Colwill’s contract extension is arguably the best piece of business the Blues have conducted this summer.

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