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Liverpool Youth Teams Thread

blaze

Faith.
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
426
All of Jaroš, Glatzel and Sharif suffered some serious injuries over the course of last year, it's great to hear that they are back.
Yeah, it was a real pity for Glatzel, who I thought was at a stage where he could've really kicked on. Injuries at this stage of career really affect a footballers career long term I think. I thought atleast one of him Woodburn or Duncan would've steeped up to first team football for us. Sad to see this crop of our youngsters floundering.
 

redalways

TIA Regular
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
2,438
Several pretty bad injuries, pretty much every time he was starting to perform well at his loan clubs.
Ah thanks, that is pretty unfortunate! I always thought he looked promising, in a way that Jones does in that they do not look out of place playing in the first team, at least tactically.
 

ILLOK

In the Danger Zone.
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
17,247
Watched the highlights to this - the new Polish lad we bought looked good. Turned two men and toepoked one in.

Tom Hill, Norris and Balagizi are the other names to look out for in that side, particularly the latter. Very highly rated apparently.
 

CymruRed

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Aug 5, 2010
Messages
1,731
Watched the highlights to this - the new Polish lad we bought looked good. Turned two men and toepoked one in.

Tom Hill, Norris and Balagizi are the other names to look out for in that side, particularly the latter. Very highly rated apparently.
Was this game on LFCtvGo?
 

Sweeting

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
10,293

Varesanovic still at the club? Thought his contract expired.
He was in some strange contract situation where we neither have him a new contract nor did we release him. Not quite sure what the full story was.
 

Sweeting

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Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
10,293
U18s beat Huddersfield 5-0 today


Liverpool U18s chalked up a second successive 5-0 win in pre-season as Huddersfield Town's U19s were beaten at the Academy on Friday.

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side had already seen Oakley Cannonier go close and Tom Hill hit a post before they established a lead on the half-hour.
Harvey Blair netted the first of an eventual brace as he finished off a neat Reds move down the right flank from inside the box.
The hosts’ second came shortly after the hour mark and again it was Blair, whose driving run into the Huddersfield area was ended at the cost of a penalty, which he dispatched himself.
And a fine gloss was added to the scoreline as Liverpool struck three times more in the final 10 minutes.
Max Woltman was the creator of their third with a run along the left-hand side and set-up for Hill, whose effort defeated the goalkeeper’s grasp.
Sean Wilson made it four when his cross from the opposite side went straight into the net, and the scoring was wrapped up by debutant Melkamu Frauendorf.
 

Sweeting

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Jun 2, 2008
Messages
10,293
The Best Academy Prospects 2020/2021
The Guys You Have Never Heard Of

These players are the best of the guys you've probably never heard of - they all have less than 10 senior professional appearances but are promising players who could potentially play in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal



Stand Out: Folarin Balogun

English U19 centre forward Folarin Balogun has been subject of £8m bids by Brentford and Leeds. Arsenal have so far resisted but Balogun is keen on first team football. He got ten goals and four assists in fifteen U23 appearances last season. Balogun has electric pace and is a true fox in the box centre forward. He doesn’t get involved too much in build up play and his game revolves around finishing chances rather than creation.

Honourable Mentions: Tyreece John-Jules, Zech Medley, Harry Clarke



Aston Villa



Stand Out: Ben Chrisene

Signed from Exeter City, Chrisene, and England U16 international, had broken into the first team for the Grecians at 15 years old. Having been watched by every team in the country, it was Villa who stole a march by meeting all of Exeter’s demands for his signing. Chrisene’s greatest strength is his direct running and close control. Playing from a central midfield position, Chrisene runs at defenders like an old-fashioned winger.

Honourable Mentions: Louie Barry, Jacob Ramsey, Indiana Vassilev



Brighton & Hove Albion



Stand Out: Haydon Roberts

Presumed to be the next one off the centre-back conveyor belt for Brighton, the England U18 international has been subject of a loan bid from Leeds to replace follow Brighton defender Ben White. A comfortable ball-playing defender, Roberts displayed good game intelligence and positional awareness on his Brighton debut in a 3-1 loss to Aston Villa, in which he also managed to score. The knock on him is his physical development, he is undersized for a Premier League CB and lacks for a bit of pace.

Honourable Mentions: Peter Gwaris, Teddy Jenks, Taylor Richards


Burnley



Stand Out: Mace Goodridge

Goodridge joined Burnley from Newcastle in 2018 and had previously been at the Manchester City academy. At Burnley the midfielder has blossomed in their youth system, becoming a tireless presser and a dynamic presence in the Claret’s U23 midfield. Dyche, reticent to use youth players, has none the less had Goodridge in first team training for over a year. A serious knee injury set the prospect back a year in his development but he is now fully fit.

Honourable Mentions: Max Thompson, Lewis Richardson, Anthony Driscoll-Glennon


Chelsea



Stand Out: Faustino Anjorin

England U19 international Faustino Anjorin has been considered a prodigal talent in Premier League circles for many years. The attacking midfielder is 6’3” but has excellent close control and is full of flair. Rather than the usual lumbering dominance of tall players in the youth ranks, Anjorin plays like a smaller man. As is the modern trend, Anjorin plays in central midfield but runs at defenders often with pace and power. He has recently signed a new five-year contract as Chelsea have promised him a pathway to regular first team football.

Honourable Mentions: Xavier Mbuyamba, Ian Maatsen, Armando Broja


Crystal Palace



Stand Out: Brandon Pierrick

Pierrick is a player who should not be on this list as he should have had more first team football to date. Roy Hodgson has not fully bought into the youth programme at Selhurst Park but reports are that he has been given a remit of developing their Academy prospects in 20/21. Pierrick is a powerful winger with an eye for goal. He enjoys getting to the byline and beating full backs often. He is a natural fit for Palace’s counter attacking style.

Honourable Mentions: Tyrick Mitchell, Nya Kirby, Sam Woods


Everton



Stand Out: Ellis Simms

Simms scored 41 goals in 42 games for Everton U18 before being promoted into the U23 set up. A classic centre forward, Simms combines height and speed to become a difficult prospect for any defender. The concern with Simms is that he has been able to cruise through the youth leagues based on his physical capabilities rather than a technical prowess. He has been named on the bench for Everton twice since Ancelotti took over and perhaps 20/21 will see the England U18 international break into the team.

Honourable Mentions: Reece Welch, Ryan Astley, Nathan Markelo


Fulham



Stand Out: Jay Stansfield

Another former Exeter City player to make this list, Stansfield’s sale was met with fury by the Grecian’s board as Fulham took advantage of the EPPP system to pick up the talented forward for below market value. The England U18 international immediately caught the eye for Fulham, scoring 25 times in 15 games for their U18 team. The striker recently signed a professional deal at Craven Cottage and has been assured that a path to first team football exists for him. The 6”1’ striker has excellent close control and is, not surprisingly, a natural finisher.

Honourable Mentions: Matt O’Riley, Sylvester Jasper, Martell Taylor-Crossdale


Leeds United



Stand Out: Ian Poveda

Former Manchester City midfielder Poveda worked his way steadily into the Leeds team last season, managing four appearances. The diminutive attacking midfielder is a technically strong ball carrier who has impressed in his outings both for Leeds and England U20s, where has three goals in four games. A major strength of his is to cut in on his left foot from the right flank. As a youth player, Poveda had an eclectic career turning out for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Barcelona and Brentford. Now, aged 20, Poveda looks set to force serious minutes at first team level.

Honourable Mentions: Leif Davis, Joe Gelhardt, Robbie Gotts


Leicester City



Stand Out: Luke Thomas

Thomas was an unheralded prospect in the Leicester youth academy, having barely even played at U23 level, until Ben Chilwell’s imminent departure became clear. Thomas played the final three games of the 19/20 season and impressed with an assist in a 2-0 win on his debut. The England U19 international enjoys having the ball at his feet, he can pick out a pass and covers the ground well from deep full back positions. In fact, Thomas has seemed more defensively sound than the departed Chilwell. Despite the impressive cameos it seems unlikely Leicester will not purchase a reinforcement at full back for Thomas to compete with.

Honourable Mentions: George Hurst, Admiral Muskwe, Callum Wright


Liverpool



Stand Out: Ki-Jana Hoever

Liverpool’s Ki-Jana Hoever is a Dutch U18 player still trying to work out his best position. Usually deployed as a right full back, it seems unlikely that he will stay in that position given the presence of Alexander-Arnold and Neco Williams. Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders has spoken of him as a future defensive midfielder or a central defender, both of which would play to his strengths. The 18-year-old possesses a powerful running style, is very comfortable in possession and is surprisingly strong in the air. As a composed ball-playing defender he shows great potential to follow in the footsteps of the equally versatile Joe Gomez in the coming years.

Honourable Mentions: Leighton Clarkson, Billy Koumetio, James Norris


Manchester City



Stand Out: Taylor Harwood-Bellis

After an impressive 2019/20 campaign at youth level, Harwood-Bellis is now pushing for first team action and has been mentioned as a possible resolution for Man City’s shortage at centre back. Leeds United are also very interested in taking the England U19 international to replace Ben White. Something of a throw back defender, Harwood-Bellis enjoys the dark arts of defending and is a powerful aerial presence but, as with all Man City players, he is also confident on the ball but perhaps lacks the diversity of passing that the likes of Ki-Jana Hoever does. Considered something of a leadership figure at youth level, he does have a chance of becoming a solid Premier League player – even if Manchester Coty is not the best place to achieve that.

Honourable Mentions: Alpha Dionkou, Tommy Doyle, Adrian Bernabe


Manchester United



Stand Out: James Garner

Despite only being 18 years old, James Garner is a name that has been heard as a potential Premier League player for many years in youth circles. An England U19 international, Garner is perhaps only held back currently by his slim frame which is probably seen as detrimental for a defensive midfielder. The U23 captain is an excellent passer, understands his positional responsibilities and loves a tackle but he lacks for size and strength which could be a problem at first team level.

Honourable Mentions: Teden Mengi, Ethan Laird, Ethan Galbraith


Newcastle United



Stand Out: Tom Allen

Newcastle should be a hotbed of exciting young players but unfortunately the well is looking dry now. The pick of the bunch is Tom Allen, a lightening quick striker who will be loaned out to Accrington Stanley for the 2021 season. He made his first team debut in a 4-1 win over Rochdale, setting up a late goal himself after coming on as a substitute. Whether Allen is a Premier League talent is doubtful, he is 20 years old and was not used even when Newcastle were down to the barebones in January.

Honourable Mentions: Niall Brookwell, Jack Young, Lewis Cass


Sheffield United



Stand Out: Marcus Dewhurst

With the arrival of Aaron Ramsdale, Marcus Dewhurst’s outside chances of pushing for the Sheffield Utd squad were extinguished. The goalkeeper has instead re-joined Carlisle United on a season long loan and this time is expected to be the first choice (having been the reserve goalkeeper last season). Like Newcastle United, Sheffield should be a vibrant academy with plentiful exciting talents but there is precious little to pick from in their U23 and U18 age groups. Dewhurst has a chance to impress at Carlisle but little chance of ever becoming Sheffield United’s first choice.

Honourable Mentions: Zak Brunt, Kyron Gordon, Angelo Cappello


Southampton



Stand Out: Jake Vokins

The famed Southampton academy system is having a mini resurgence with players like Will Smallbone and Jake Vokins breaking into the first team and looking settled. Vokins is an aggressive, attack minded left back with an excellent passing range. He likes to drive forward with the ball and provide support to the attacking line, although this does come at the expense of his defending. The England U19 defender has already managed a goal for Southampton, in a 2-0 win over Huddersfield, and will be expected to feature more prominently this season having recently signed a four year contract.

Honourable Mentions: Alexandre Jankewitz, Christian Norton, Nathan Tella


Tottenham Hotspur



Stand Out: Troy Parrott

Probably the best-known player on this list, Parrott is already a full Irish international despite having only a handful of first team minutes to his name. A prolific goal scorer at youth level, Parrott is a natural finisher but he does have much more to his game than simply scoring. He likes to drop into midfield, reminiscent of Harry Kane, and dictate play from a deeper role when possible. He has already agreed to join Millwall on a season long loan where he will expect to impress against Championship opposition.

Honourable Mentions: Harvey White, Dennis Cirkin, Malachi Fagan-Walcott


West Bromwich Albion



Stand Out: Rayhaan Tulloch

England U18 international Tulloch signed a new four-year deal with West Brom in June and looks set to expand his role within the squad, having had encouraging words from Slavan Bilic. He scored nine goals and got four assists as a wide player for West Brom U23s and started to make his mark on the West Brom team in cup competitions. Tulloch has lightening pace and quick feet which he uses to run at opposition defenders regularly. The departure of Grady Diangana back to West Ham might open opportunities.

Honourable Mentions: Saul Shotton, Jamie Soule, Nick Clayton-Phillips


West Ham United



Stand Out: Ben Johnson

Quite a simple choice for West Ham. Ben Johnson broke into the starting XI following fellow academy graduate Jeremy Ngakia’s decision to leave the club for Watford. Johnson started the final three games of the season and was solid in the right back position. A converted centre forward, Johnson is surprisingly adept with the defensive side of the game. Where his game needs work is in the final third, he is not a natural crosser and often floats the ball instead of driving it dangerously. However, Johnson does provide an athletic and versatile player for West Ham with plenty of scope for improvement with more minutes.

Honourable Mentions: Conor Coventry, Jamal Baptiste, Xande Silva


Wolverhampton Wanderers



Stand Out: Taylor Perry

Wolves have a pipeline of young talent coming through, but Taylor Perry has managed to stay under the radar despite being given more opportunities than most. At just 17 years old Perry, an England youth international, has appeared in the Carabao Cup and Europa League for Wolves. The six-foot-tall central midfielder has no issues with the physicality of first team football and has publically spoken of his desire to get more regular game time in 20/21 following impressive outings in pre-season. More of a creative player than a goal scorer but Perry has still chipped in with his fair share for the youth sides, particularly he enjoys spectacular long-range goals. The level at Wolves is extremely high but Perry should be right behind Morgan Gibbs-White in the youth pecking order.

Honourable Mentions: Chem Campbell, Owen Otasowie, Christian Marques
 

blaze

Faith.
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
426
The Best Academy Prospects 2020/2021
The Guys You Have Never Heard Of

These players are the best of the guys you've probably never heard of - they all have less than 10 senior professional appearances but are promising players who could potentially play in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal



Stand Out: Folarin Balogun

English U19 centre forward Folarin Balogun has been subject of £8m bids by Brentford and Leeds. Arsenal have so far resisted but Balogun is keen on first team football. He got ten goals and four assists in fifteen U23 appearances last season. Balogun has electric pace and is a true fox in the box centre forward. He doesn’t get involved too much in build up play and his game revolves around finishing chances rather than creation.

Honourable Mentions: Tyreece John-Jules, Zech Medley, Harry Clarke



Aston Villa



Stand Out: Ben Chrisene

Signed from Exeter City, Chrisene, and England U16 international, had broken into the first team for the Grecians at 15 years old. Having been watched by every team in the country, it was Villa who stole a march by meeting all of Exeter’s demands for his signing. Chrisene’s greatest strength is his direct running and close control. Playing from a central midfield position, Chrisene runs at defenders like an old-fashioned winger.

Honourable Mentions: Louie Barry, Jacob Ramsey, Indiana Vassilev



Brighton & Hove Albion



Stand Out: Haydon Roberts

Presumed to be the next one off the centre-back conveyor belt for Brighton, the England U18 international has been subject of a loan bid from Leeds to replace follow Brighton defender Ben White. A comfortable ball-playing defender, Roberts displayed good game intelligence and positional awareness on his Brighton debut in a 3-1 loss to Aston Villa, in which he also managed to score. The knock on him is his physical development, he is undersized for a Premier League CB and lacks for a bit of pace.

Honourable Mentions: Peter Gwaris, Teddy Jenks, Taylor Richards


Burnley



Stand Out: Mace Goodridge

Goodridge joined Burnley from Newcastle in 2018 and had previously been at the Manchester City academy. At Burnley the midfielder has blossomed in their youth system, becoming a tireless presser and a dynamic presence in the Claret’s U23 midfield. Dyche, reticent to use youth players, has none the less had Goodridge in first team training for over a year. A serious knee injury set the prospect back a year in his development but he is now fully fit.

Honourable Mentions: Max Thompson, Lewis Richardson, Anthony Driscoll-Glennon


Chelsea



Stand Out: Faustino Anjorin

England U19 international Faustino Anjorin has been considered a prodigal talent in Premier League circles for many years. The attacking midfielder is 6’3” but has excellent close control and is full of flair. Rather than the usual lumbering dominance of tall players in the youth ranks, Anjorin plays like a smaller man. As is the modern trend, Anjorin plays in central midfield but runs at defenders often with pace and power. He has recently signed a new five-year contract as Chelsea have promised him a pathway to regular first team football.

Honourable Mentions: Xavier Mbuyamba, Ian Maatsen, Armando Broja


Crystal Palace



Stand Out: Brandon Pierrick

Pierrick is a player who should not be on this list as he should have had more first team football to date. Roy Hodgson has not fully bought into the youth programme at Selhurst Park but reports are that he has been given a remit of developing their Academy prospects in 20/21. Pierrick is a powerful winger with an eye for goal. He enjoys getting to the byline and beating full backs often. He is a natural fit for Palace’s counter attacking style.

Honourable Mentions: Tyrick Mitchell, Nya Kirby, Sam Woods


Everton



Stand Out: Ellis Simms

Simms scored 41 goals in 42 games for Everton U18 before being promoted into the U23 set up. A classic centre forward, Simms combines height and speed to become a difficult prospect for any defender. The concern with Simms is that he has been able to cruise through the youth leagues based on his physical capabilities rather than a technical prowess. He has been named on the bench for Everton twice since Ancelotti took over and perhaps 20/21 will see the England U18 international break into the team.

Honourable Mentions: Reece Welch, Ryan Astley, Nathan Markelo


Fulham



Stand Out: Jay Stansfield

Another former Exeter City player to make this list, Stansfield’s sale was met with fury by the Grecian’s board as Fulham took advantage of the EPPP system to pick up the talented forward for below market value. The England U18 international immediately caught the eye for Fulham, scoring 25 times in 15 games for their U18 team. The striker recently signed a professional deal at Craven Cottage and has been assured that a path to first team football exists for him. The 6”1’ striker has excellent close control and is, not surprisingly, a natural finisher.

Honourable Mentions: Matt O’Riley, Sylvester Jasper, Martell Taylor-Crossdale


Leeds United



Stand Out: Ian Poveda

Former Manchester City midfielder Poveda worked his way steadily into the Leeds team last season, managing four appearances. The diminutive attacking midfielder is a technically strong ball carrier who has impressed in his outings both for Leeds and England U20s, where has three goals in four games. A major strength of his is to cut in on his left foot from the right flank. As a youth player, Poveda had an eclectic career turning out for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Barcelona and Brentford. Now, aged 20, Poveda looks set to force serious minutes at first team level.

Honourable Mentions: Leif Davis, Joe Gelhardt, Robbie Gotts


Leicester City



Stand Out: Luke Thomas

Thomas was an unheralded prospect in the Leicester youth academy, having barely even played at U23 level, until Ben Chilwell’s imminent departure became clear. Thomas played the final three games of the 19/20 season and impressed with an assist in a 2-0 win on his debut. The England U19 international enjoys having the ball at his feet, he can pick out a pass and covers the ground well from deep full back positions. In fact, Thomas has seemed more defensively sound than the departed Chilwell. Despite the impressive cameos it seems unlikely Leicester will not purchase a reinforcement at full back for Thomas to compete with.

Honourable Mentions: George Hurst, Admiral Muskwe, Callum Wright


Liverpool



Stand Out: Ki-Jana Hoever

Liverpool’s Ki-Jana Hoever is a Dutch U18 player still trying to work out his best position. Usually deployed as a right full back, it seems unlikely that he will stay in that position given the presence of Alexander-Arnold and Neco Williams. Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders has spoken of him as a future defensive midfielder or a central defender, both of which would play to his strengths. The 18-year-old possesses a powerful running style, is very comfortable in possession and is surprisingly strong in the air. As a composed ball-playing defender he shows great potential to follow in the footsteps of the equally versatile Joe Gomez in the coming years.

Honourable Mentions: Leighton Clarkson, Billy Koumetio, James Norris


Manchester City



Stand Out: Taylor Harwood-Bellis

After an impressive 2019/20 campaign at youth level, Harwood-Bellis is now pushing for first team action and has been mentioned as a possible resolution for Man City’s shortage at centre back. Leeds United are also very interested in taking the England U19 international to replace Ben White. Something of a throw back defender, Harwood-Bellis enjoys the dark arts of defending and is a powerful aerial presence but, as with all Man City players, he is also confident on the ball but perhaps lacks the diversity of passing that the likes of Ki-Jana Hoever does. Considered something of a leadership figure at youth level, he does have a chance of becoming a solid Premier League player – even if Manchester Coty is not the best place to achieve that.

Honourable Mentions: Alpha Dionkou, Tommy Doyle, Adrian Bernabe


Manchester United



Stand Out: James Garner

Despite only being 18 years old, James Garner is a name that has been heard as a potential Premier League player for many years in youth circles. An England U19 international, Garner is perhaps only held back currently by his slim frame which is probably seen as detrimental for a defensive midfielder. The U23 captain is an excellent passer, understands his positional responsibilities and loves a tackle but he lacks for size and strength which could be a problem at first team level.

Honourable Mentions: Teden Mengi, Ethan Laird, Ethan Galbraith


Newcastle United



Stand Out: Tom Allen

Newcastle should be a hotbed of exciting young players but unfortunately the well is looking dry now. The pick of the bunch is Tom Allen, a lightening quick striker who will be loaned out to Accrington Stanley for the 2021 season. He made his first team debut in a 4-1 win over Rochdale, setting up a late goal himself after coming on as a substitute. Whether Allen is a Premier League talent is doubtful, he is 20 years old and was not used even when Newcastle were down to the barebones in January.

Honourable Mentions: Niall Brookwell, Jack Young, Lewis Cass


Sheffield United



Stand Out: Marcus Dewhurst

With the arrival of Aaron Ramsdale, Marcus Dewhurst’s outside chances of pushing for the Sheffield Utd squad were extinguished. The goalkeeper has instead re-joined Carlisle United on a season long loan and this time is expected to be the first choice (having been the reserve goalkeeper last season). Like Newcastle United, Sheffield should be a vibrant academy with plentiful exciting talents but there is precious little to pick from in their U23 and U18 age groups. Dewhurst has a chance to impress at Carlisle but little chance of ever becoming Sheffield United’s first choice.

Honourable Mentions: Zak Brunt, Kyron Gordon, Angelo Cappello


Southampton



Stand Out: Jake Vokins

The famed Southampton academy system is having a mini resurgence with players like Will Smallbone and Jake Vokins breaking into the first team and looking settled. Vokins is an aggressive, attack minded left back with an excellent passing range. He likes to drive forward with the ball and provide support to the attacking line, although this does come at the expense of his defending. The England U19 defender has already managed a goal for Southampton, in a 2-0 win over Huddersfield, and will be expected to feature more prominently this season having recently signed a four year contract.

Honourable Mentions: Alexandre Jankewitz, Christian Norton, Nathan Tella


Tottenham Hotspur



Stand Out: Troy Parrott

Probably the best-known player on this list, Parrott is already a full Irish international despite having only a handful of first team minutes to his name. A prolific goal scorer at youth level, Parrott is a natural finisher but he does have much more to his game than simply scoring. He likes to drop into midfield, reminiscent of Harry Kane, and dictate play from a deeper role when possible. He has already agreed to join Millwall on a season long loan where he will expect to impress against Championship opposition.

Honourable Mentions: Harvey White, Dennis Cirkin, Malachi Fagan-Walcott


West Bromwich Albion



Stand Out: Rayhaan Tulloch

England U18 international Tulloch signed a new four-year deal with West Brom in June and looks set to expand his role within the squad, having had encouraging words from Slavan Bilic. He scored nine goals and got four assists as a wide player for West Brom U23s and started to make his mark on the West Brom team in cup competitions. Tulloch has lightening pace and quick feet which he uses to run at opposition defenders regularly. The departure of Grady Diangana back to West Ham might open opportunities.

Honourable Mentions: Saul Shotton, Jamie Soule, Nick Clayton-Phillips


West Ham United



Stand Out: Ben Johnson

Quite a simple choice for West Ham. Ben Johnson broke into the starting XI following fellow academy graduate Jeremy Ngakia’s decision to leave the club for Watford. Johnson started the final three games of the season and was solid in the right back position. A converted centre forward, Johnson is surprisingly adept with the defensive side of the game. Where his game needs work is in the final third, he is not a natural crosser and often floats the ball instead of driving it dangerously. However, Johnson does provide an athletic and versatile player for West Ham with plenty of scope for improvement with more minutes.

Honourable Mentions: Conor Coventry, Jamal Baptiste, Xande Silva


Wolverhampton Wanderers



Stand Out: Taylor Perry

Wolves have a pipeline of young talent coming through, but Taylor Perry has managed to stay under the radar despite being given more opportunities than most. At just 17 years old Perry, an England youth international, has appeared in the Carabao Cup and Europa League for Wolves. The six-foot-tall central midfielder has no issues with the physicality of first team football and has publically spoken of his desire to get more regular game time in 20/21 following impressive outings in pre-season. More of a creative player than a goal scorer but Perry has still chipped in with his fair share for the youth sides, particularly he enjoys spectacular long-range goals. The level at Wolves is extremely high but Perry should be right behind Morgan Gibbs-White in the youth pecking order.

Honourable Mentions: Chem Campbell, Owen Otasowie, Christian Marques
Hey Sweeting, Who would be your top 2 across all the clubs for Striker, Winger, fullback, defender and MF?
 

big noyd

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May 20, 2016
Messages
3,132
is it an overreaction to think koumetio has already zoomed ahead of van den berg?
 

Sweeting

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Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
10,293
Hey Sweeting, Who would be your top 2 across all the clubs for Striker, Winger, fullback, defender and MF?
As with anything in youth football it would be an ever changing list but I would generally I would say (based on my previous criteria of these being youth players with less than 10 senior games)...

Goalkeeper: Joseph Anang (West Ham) & Gavin Bazunu (Man City)
Centre Backs: Ki-Jana Hoever (Liverpool) & Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Man City)
Full Backs: Jake Vokins (Southampton) & Ian Maatsen (Chelsea)
Defensive Midfield: James Garner (Man Utd) & Tommy Doyle (Man City)
Attacking Midfield: Faustino Anjorin (Chelsea) & Taylor Perry (Wolves)
Wingers: Rayhaan Tulloch (West Brom) & Brandon Pierrick (Crystal Palace)
Strikers: Troy Parrott (Tottenham) & Folarin Balogun (Arsenal)
 

Zoran

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Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
19,355
Pearce on Koumetio:

The teenager is set to drop down to the under-23s to get game-time in 2020-21 but he will continue to train regularly with the first-team squad. A senior debut is highly likely, especially if Liverpool don’t sign a replacement for Dejan Lovren. The pathway is there for him.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Sep 25, 2012
Messages
13,395
"... drop down to the under-23s..." is strange language when talking about someone who made one appearance at U23 level last season. That's a promotion not a demotion.
It's Pearce, for all his CV and various jobs reporting on football he doesn't actually seem all that clued up on football sometimes. You seem a hell of a lot more knowledgeable for a start as do a fair few others on here.
 

Sweeting

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Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
10,293
Premier League U23 Season Preview 2020/2021

Before the start of the 2020/2021 U23 season I will bring a preview of every team and some of the players to look out for.
Today we start with three famous Academies; Arsenal, West Ham United and Leeds United.


Arsenal
The Gunner’s finished in 6th position last season and saw success with the promotion of Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock to full time first team members.

Goalkeepers
Estonian Karl Hein and England U19 international Arthur Okonkwo will battle it out for the first-choice goalkeeper position, with a run at the first team squad an achievable goal if Dejan Iliev and Matt Macey depart as expected.

Defenders
In defence, Zech Medley has joined Gillingham on loan and Arsenal have brought in released Tottenham defender Jonathan Dinzeyi who will compete with Harry Clarke, Marc McGuiness and Daniel Ballard in the centre-back rotation – although Ballard may head out on loan again after a promising start to last season at Swindon was cut short by a long term injury. Tolaji Bola has been the automatic starter at left back for several years but his position in now under threat by 18-year-old Joel Lopez and Bola, at 21, may feel he needs senior football. Jordi Osei-Tutu and Zak Swanson have both left on loan so options at right back look thin with Ryan Alebiosu the only real option – however it is likely Cedric Soares will drop down from time to time.


Jonathan Dinzeyi

Midfielders
Emile Smith-Rowe has been promised a chance to compete with the first team, but it is expected he will still be a regular at U23 level. Promising 17-year-old Miguel Azeez will jump into the U23 rotation and he comes with significant hype as the latest “wonderkid”. Strangely Tim Akinola has been signed after being released from Huddersfield, much to the surprise of the Huddersfield coaching staff who went on record to say they didn’t see him playing at Arsenal’s level.

Forwards
Another bizarre signing – to round out a trio of weird ones – is twenty-year-old George Lewis who joins from Fram Larvik. The uncapped Rwandan winger was spotted in a televised 9v9 tournament while on trial for Norwegian Division 3 side Floya.

Sam Greenwood has been allowed to leave for Leeds and Folarin Balogun has attracted attention from Brentford which may open the door for 19-year-old striker Tyreece John-Jules to become the main striker. Although John-Jules is less heralded than Balogun he has shown first team potential and was on the bench for the Charity Shield.


Tyreece John-Jules has first team potential.

Conclusion
Arsenal have a strange mix of highly talented young players – Hein, Lopez, Azeez, Balogun and John-Jules supported by seemingly average squad players. They probably will be able to keep most of the squad together as first team opportunities are likely to be limited and that will help them build a strong season. I expect Arsenal to finish in the top four.

Transfers In
Jonathan Dinzeyi - Tottenham - Free
Tim Akinola - Huddersfield - Free
George Lewis - Fram Larvik - Free

Transfers Out
Sam Greenwood - Leeds - £1.3m
Matt Smith - Swindon - Loan
Zech Medley - Gillingham - Loan
Zak Swanson - Maastricht - Loan
Trae Coyle - Gillingham - Loan
Jordi Osei-Tutu - Cardiff - Loan
Nathan Tormey - Free Agent
Tobi Omole - Free Agent

Predicted League Position: 4th (Division 1)
Predicted Line-Up:
Hein
Alebiosu Ballard Clarke Lopez
Smith-Rowe Azeez Cottrell
John-Jules Balogun Lewis



West Ham
West Ham are newcomers to Premier League 2 Division 1 having been promoted from Division 2 as league champions in 2019/20. West Ham were league leaders every week from an opening day 3-0 victory over Fulham.

Goalkeepers
In goal this season they will have a choice between two England youth players; U21 international Nathan Trott, who spent last season as AFC Wimbledon’s first choice goalkeeper, and U20 international Joseph Anang. Trott is likely to go on loan again although there is an outside chance he will beat out Darren Randolph for the back up position and could get first team minutes given Szczesny’s recent injury record.

Defenders
Portuguese centre-back Oscar Cardoso was a disappointment having failed to make his first team debut when he was brought in to compete, however he excelled at U23 level. He will be hoping this campaign sees him get more chances. Ajibola Alese is a talented defender and he will be the regular of the side next to Tunji Akinola or Joshua Okotcha when Cardoso isn’t there. 16-year-old Jamal Baptiste has started for the first team in pre-season and could see significant minutes at U23 level. Ben Johnson’s promotion to the first team has seen him impress and opens the right back position for Will Greenidge and Harrison Ashby who move up from the U18s. Sam Caiger should be able to get regular game time at left back behind first choice Emmanuel Longelo.


Liverpool and Man City have previously tried to sign Ajibola Alese.

Midfielders
In midfield, the defensive minded Conor Coventry should be a mainstay unless he heads out on loan as he did last season. He has featured heavily for West Ham this pre-season and his public comments show he expects a first team chance this season. Alfie Lewis is the U23 captain but at nearly 21 years old he really needs some senior experience. Bernardo Rosa, a Brazilian midfielder, will likely round out the central three in a 4-2-3-1 formation, although he can also cover at full back. 20-year-old Ossama Ashley has arrived as a bit of a punt from AFC Wimbledon, having only entered the professional game two years ago when he was spotted playing for a local college. Lennon Peake, Keenan Appiah-Forson and Dan Chesters will be rotation options following their step up from U18 level.


Nathan Holland is unlikely to settle for a year in the youth ranks.

Forwards
Flying winger Nathan Holland joined West Ham in 2017 following his release by Everton and the 22-year-old had a breakout season for Oxford United in 2020. Burnley have made an approach with a view to offering him first team football, but West Ham should try to hold onto him and offer him that route themselves, especially as Grady Diangana returns to West Brom. If West Ham are sensible and move Holland into their first team then Amadou Diallo will continue to hold the left of midfield with Mesaque Dju and Dan Kemp battling for the right-hand side. Kemp had a loan spell at Stevenage last season and has generally been the more impressive of the two. (Dan Kemp joined Blackpool on loan shortly after publication)

As for centre forwards, Xande Silva is not trusted by David Moyes – as shown by his lack of appearances even when the club was down to just Haller as a recognised centre forward – and the 23-year-old should probably consider moving on. Oladapo Afolayan had a disappointing loan spell at Mansfield last season and may opt to stay close to home this time around while Sean Adarkwa will expect to be part of the rotation, and possibly first choice if the other two move to pastures new.

Conclusion
For this level West Ham’s squad is experienced and has a few very talented prospects. They’ll be a tough outfit for anyone in Division One.

Transfers In
None

Transfers Out
Jeremy Ngakia - Watford - Free
Jake Giddings - Crystal Palace - Free
Dan Kemp - Blackpool - Loan
Anouar El Mhassani - Free Agent
Reece Hannam - Free Agent
Louie Watson - Free Agent

Predicted League Position: 7th (Division 1)
Predicted Line Up:
Anang
Ashby Cardoso Alese Longelo
Coventry Rosa
Kemp Lewis Diallo
Afolayan



Leeds United
This is Leeds United’s first season in the Premier League 2, having gained Category One status, and they start, logically, in Division 2. They ended last season in third place in the Professional Development League just behind Nottingham Forest and fellow PL2D2 newboys, Burnley.

Goalkeepers
Elia Caprile will likely start as the U23s first choice goalkeeper with Kamil Miazek likely to join Huddersfield Town. Aaron Pilkington and Matthew Turner are nominally backups for Caprile but may find themselves forced out by 17-year-old new signing Dani van der Heuvel who joins from Ajax.

Defenders
Charlie Cresswell and Oliver Casey look sure to start the season at centre back. Casey, 19, was handed a first team debut last season and could be drafted into the first team should an injury crisis hit. Luke Lyons and Jamie Thornton will provide backup.

At right back, Leeds moved quickly to secure the signing of Cody Drameh from Fulham. The 18-year-old started for Fulham U23s last season and should make the role his own for Leeds this season. On the left flank, Leif Davis will be a regular ahead of last season’s U18s left back Joshveer Shergill unless he heads out on loan.


Cody Drameh

Midfielders
Alfie McCalmont recently became a full Northern Irish international and the best defensive midfield prospect on Leeds’ books although he may be tempted to head out on loan with several Spanish sides interested. Bobby Kamwa can do a similar job. Robbie Gotts has left so linking attacking and defence should be Polish midfielder Mateusz Bogusz, a talent in the centre of the park who has already voiced displeasure at not breaking into the first team. Jamie Shackleton may also find he is dropped down from time to time as he is unlikely to be a mainstay of a Premier League side. Another new signing in Joe Gelhardt will probably take the attacking midfield role as Leeds play a 4-2-3-1. Gelhardt has shown versatility throughout his short career at Wigan and that would allow former Arsenal striker Sam Greenwood to start in the most advanced position ahead of Niall Huggins and Niklas Haugland, although both are also highly rated. Charlie Allen has signed from Linfield but will probably begin the season in the U18s.


Joe Gelhardt should shine at this level.

Forwards
Jordan Stevens is likely to start on the right of midfield. The 20-year-old has been threatening to break into Bielsa’s team but that seems unlikely at PL level. Liam McCarron, who recently joined from Carlisle, should be competition. Stewart McKinstry is one of the more promising players at Leeds and the 18-year-old just signed a three-year contract. He will start on the left of midfield.

Conclusion
With many experienced Championship players expected to get regular game time then Leeds shouldn’t struggle too much in their first season at this level. Gelhardt and Greenwood should be a devastating partnership.

Transfers In
Sam Greenwood - Arsenal - £1.3m
Joe Gelhardt - Wigan - £900k
Cody Drameh - Fulham - £400k
Dani van den Heuval - Ajax - Free

Transfers Out
Matty Downing - Bradford PA - Free
Joe Stanley - Buxton - Free
Kun Temenuzhkov - Real Union - Loan
Rafa Mujica - Real Oviedo - Loan
Ryan Edmondson - Aberdeen - Loan
Harrison Male - Free Agent
Theo Hudson - Free Agent
Bryce Hosannah - Free Agent

Predicted League Position: 5th (Division 2)
Predicted Line Up:
Caprile
Drameh Cresswell Casey Davis
McCalmont Bogusz
Stevens Gelhardt McKinstry
Greenwood​
 
Last edited:

ILLOK

In the Danger Zone.
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
17,247
Highlights for the u18s 4-1 win against Leicester are up on the official site now.

This looks like a particularly good year group to me. Hill and Balagizi look really, really good in the midfield whilst Morton isn't a bad player either. There are no concerns about Hill or Balagizi athletically, which has been a concern with pretty much all of our recent midfield prospects.

Stewart obviously continues to impress up front and Harvey Blair looks like an interesting player. The new kids Frauendorf and Musialowski have scored for the 18s already.

Orzynski looks to be another good Eastern European goalkeeper we've snapped up.

It's been relatively easy competition so far for them (Crewe, Huddersfield and Leicester) but they've absolutely hammered them all.
 

Sweeting

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
10,293
Premier League U23 Season Preview 2020/2021 – Part II
Tottenham, Derby County, Crystal Palace


Tottenham
Spurs have been one of the better ran youth setups in the Premier League in recent years, but they limped their way to a 10th place finish last season – despite beating Liverpool 4-0 home and away.

Goalkeepers
England U21 Goalkeeper Brandon Austin has returned from a loan spell at Danish side Viborg but finds his path to the first team squad blocked by Joe Hart. He will likely go on loan again leaving Alfie Whiteman and Jonathan De Bie to battle for the number one shirt although Joshua Oluwayemi may be in contention also.

Defenders
Cameron Carter-Vickers looks set to end his time at Tottenham with Luton linked. Japhet Tanganga has committed himself to Spurs for the long term but he is unlikely to see too much first team action. He will probably start the season as the number one CB for the U23s. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Malachi Fagan-Walcott will also get plenty of game time at centre back with Aaron Skinner a depth option. Left back Dennis Cirkin looks relatively unchallenged for the role and Jubril Okedina had a strong season at right back so will expect to continue in that role.


Brooklyn Lyons-Foster will be a key defender

Midfielders
U23 captain Oliver Skipp has gone on loan to Norwich and a crowded midfield roster will be thinned out when Jamie Bowden, George Marsh and Jack Roles leave on also. Harvey White is a rising star who will train with the first team but most of his football will be at U23 level alongside Elliott Thorpe and Chay Cooper. 16-year-old Alfie Devine has arrived from Wigan and could be fast tracked through to the U23s.

Forwards
On the wings, Shilow Tracey must surely move on having recently turned 22 and having no real shot at first team football. J’Neil Bennett was regular U23 even before his aged promotion this year and Dilan Markanday should once again feature heavily. Jeremie Mukendi and Maurizio Pochettino will be squad depth. Former Leeds winger Jack Clarke is probably heading out on loan again having spent last season at Leeds and QPR.


J'Neil Bennett scored the first goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Troy Parrott has been loaned to Millwall and Kazaiah Sterling has been made available for sale meaning Rodel Richards, Kion Etete and Enock Asante will battle for the starting job upfront.

Conclusion
Spurs have a young team but should be significantly improved on their 2019/20 season as players enter their second year at this level but there is a distinct lack of firepower that could hurt them.

Transfers In
Alfie Devine – Wigan – Undisc.

Transfers Out
Luke Amos – QPR – Undisc.
Jonathan Dinzeyi – Arsenal – Free
Armando Shashoua – Atletico Baleares – Free
Troy Parrott – Millwall – Loan
Timothy Eyoma – Lincoln – Loan
Tariq Hinds – Free Agent
Phoenix Patterson – Free Agent
Rayan Clarke – Free Agent
Maxwell Statham – Free Agent

Predicted League Finish: 8th (Division One)
Predicted Line Up:
Whiteman
Okedina Tanganga Lyons-Foster Cirkin
Thorpe White Cooper
Markanday Richards Bennett


Derby County
Most football fans would probably be surprised to learn that Derby County are one of the best academies in English football. The 2018/19 U18 league champions were able to promote the majority of the team to U23 level and finished in an excellent 4th position even with star performers like Max Bird and Louie Sibley becoming first team regulars.

Goalkeepers
Matthew Yates has returned from a successful loan spell at Telford and will battle with new signing Emmanuel Idem for the goalkeeper’s jersey. Bradley Foster-Theninger is the most likely to provide backup from the U18s.

Defenders
Ethan Wassall and Joe Bateman train full time with the first team and will be the nominal starters at centre back unless loan offers come forward for them. Jordan Brown and Callum Minkley came through from the league winning U18 side and already have significant U23 experience. Eiren Cashin is new to this level and will likely be a depth option.

Lee Buchanan will likely start at left back with Archie Brown his main competition for the left back spot following Brown’s promotion from the U18s. Meanwhile Irish defender Festy Ebosele should beat out Kornell McDonald for the right back spot.


Festy Ebosele could push for first team action

Midfielders
Defensive midfielder Liam Thompson looks a sure bet for a starting position in his first season at U23 level, partnering Connor Dixon who trains with the first team. However, there may be significant game time for Jason Knight if he doesn’t hold down a spot in the first XI.

Forwards
On the left-wing Cameron Cresswell has shown flashes of his ability but could probably do with a loan spell and Tyree Wilson, 18, is a genuine first team prospect and should get the nod there often. Josh Shonibare has made a good impression for the first team this summer and will likely be kept around the first team while playing for the U23s. Morgan Whittaker broke into the first team last season but he will likely drop down a level from time to time.


Tyree Wilson is an exciting prospect

In attack, Jamal Hector-Ingram was consistently touted as a first team potential player following his move from West Ham last season but managed just one appearance. He will lead the line this term, backed up by Scottish U19 international Jack Stretton who scored 16 goals for Derby U18s last season.

Derby are a very strong team at this level and despite losing a lot of players to the first team they continue to look intimidating.

Transfers In
Emmanuel Idem – Canvey Island – Free

Transfers Out
Jayden Mitchell-Lawson – Bristol Rovers - Loan
Joshua Barnes – Stockport – Free
Alex Babos – Free Agent
Yohan Greco – Free Agent
Ethan Sephton – Free Agent

Predicted League Finish: 2nd (Division One)
Predicted Line Up
Yates
Ebosele Wassall Bateman Buchanan
Dixon Thompson Knight
Shonibare Hector-Ingram Wilson


Crystal Palace
Palace struggled in the Professional Development League last season but structural improvements have seen the club moved up to Premier League 2 for the first time. They start in the second division. Roy Hodgson has now been tasked with using these young players.

Goalkeepers
Oliver Webber is likely to be the starting goalkeeper with Jacob Russell and Rohan Luthra providing support. Both Russell and Luthra have been promoted from the U18 squad.

Defenders
Sam Woods had a short spell at Hamilton and Malachi Boateng won Academy Player of the Year in his first year as a professional. Alongside them, Nikola Tavares came close to first team action last season. Jude Russell will be expected to start at right back. Tyrick Mitchell is a leading light of the academy and hopes are he can become the “new” Aaron Wan-Bissaka. As first alternative to Patrick van Aanholt he will still play regularly at U23 level. Josh Williams can also play left back is unlikely to have a long-term future at the club.


Malachi Boateng can play a range of positions

Midfielders
Giovanni McGregor has been on the first team bench before he was loaned to Dartford last season. He turns 22 this season and surely needs to move on. Luke Dreher is a highly thought of central midfield talent, but his season ended through injury before it began last year, and he will need to build up his fitness again. Nya Kirby is an England youth international who has impressed in pre-season and has a real chance of breaking through this season. Sean Robertson, David Boateng and new signing Jake Giddings will compete for appearances too.

Forwards
Brandon Aveiro is a pacey forward player capable of playing out wide or as a number ten. The 19-year-old rejected a move to Benfica last season and could be the next in line for a first team breakthrough. Brandon Pierrick has every right to expect first team football, he has been the shining light of Palace’s academy system for a couple of seasons. Scott Banks is a Scottish youth international and just returned from a year at Alloa.


Brandon Aveiro

Upfront, Palace are limited in their options with TQ Addy and Robert Street the only recognised strikers as they move up from the U18 squad.

Crystal Palace have an outstanding talent or two but are largely well behind in comparison to the competition at PL2D2 level. This is set to be a tough campaign.

Transfers In
Jake Giddings – West Ham United - Free

Transfers Out
Joe Tupper – Havant & Waterlooville – Free
Jason Lokilo – Doncaster – Free
Dion Henry – Free Agent
Kian Flanagan – Free Agent

Predicted League Position: 13th (Division 2)
Predicted Line Up

Webber
Russell Woods Tavares Mitchell
Dreher Boateng Kirby
Pierrick Street Aveiro​
 
Last edited:

Sweeting

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
10,293
Highlights for the u18s 4-1 win against Leicester are up on the official site now.

This looks like a particularly good year group to me. Hill and Balagizi look really, really good in the midfield whilst Morton isn't a bad player either. There are no concerns about Hill or Balagizi athletically, which has been a concern with pretty much all of our recent midfield prospects.

Stewart obviously continues to impress up front and Harvey Blair looks like an interesting player. The new kids Frauendorf and Musialowski have scored for the 18s already.

Orzynski looks to be another good Eastern European goalkeeper we've snapped up.

It's been relatively easy competition so far for them (Crewe, Huddersfield and Leicester) but they've absolutely hammered them all.
There was a trialist who looked lively, wore 17, but I haven't been able to find out who it was.

Edit: Actually it was the 5-0 win over Huddersfield where they played. Wasn't on the teamsheet.