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Five lesser known youngsters to watch this season

Tuesday 19th July 2016
Up and down the country, young footballers feel this is their year to finally break into the first team set-up. Marcus Rashford and Kelechi Iheanacho have shown that this is possible last season and many will want to be following in their footsteps. The following five are youngsters are those already around the first team as well as the ones who want to take the next step in their footballing development.

1) Demarai Gray- Leicester City - Age 20



Being a Premier League winner at the age of just 19 isn't the worst start to a career and Demarai Gray has already achieved that. After joining Leicester City last January from Birmingham City , he helped bring the title back to the King Power in what was one of the most extraordinary seasons the Premier League has ever witnessed. Known for his fantastic pace as well as his superb skill and touch on the ball, Gray has racked up many plaudits with the way he fitted into Claudio Ranieri's side at such a young age.

Some may say that he is an established member of the first team at Leicester, however, that doesn't mean there isn't more to come from the winger. Last season he was involved in 40 games but did only manage to score 2 goals (all comps). He will, of course, be wanting to improve on that this year and with Leicester competing in 5 different competitions, we are sure he will.

2) Josh Murphy- Norwich City - Age 21

After an extremely successful loan spell at MK Dons in a poor season for the whites, Murphy got praise for his hard work, before returning to his relegated parent club. Altogether he managed to score 7 goals along with getting 8 assists. A solid season for the 21-year-old. After struggling to break into the first team at Carrow Road prior, this could be Murphy's season to shine.

Relegation to the Championship is tough to take and fresh blood could rejuvenate a seriously talented Norwich City side. With Cameron Jerome as City's main striker and star winger, Nathan Redmond moving to Southampton the door is wide open for Murphy to showcase his talent.

3) Zach Clough- Bolton Wanderers - Age 21



After some successful performances in the Championship and cup last year, Zach Clough has a chance to improve on it this term albeit in a lower league. After rejecting a big-money move to Bristol City in January, Clough managed to find the net 7 times in 28 Championship games.

Much like Kevin Nolan, the tricky English forward is another prospect from the Bolton academy. With lightning pace and a lethal finish, the young Manchester-born forward could be a real handful for League 1 defences this year and could be a serious help to Phil Parkinson in his attempt to get Wanderers back to at least the second division of English Football.

4) Reece Oxford- West Ham United - Age 17

The youngest ever player to feature in a competitive game for West Ham is already an achievement in itself but to also famously “pocket” Mesut Ozil is something else!

Reece Oxford looks as if he can go on and surprise the footballing world with feats this season. At only 17, Oxford has control and understands the game especially well, his vision and technical precision at centre back and as a defensive midfielder has allowed Hammers boss Slaven Bilić to deploy him in numerous positions.

His talent will show through this season and over the upcoming years. It may still be a bit too soon to see him regularly in the first team set up, but if given the chance the England under 17 captain has the ability to be special.

Can Reece Oxford get enough game time this season ?

5) Lewis Cook- AFC Bournemouth - Age 19

Another talent to come via the Academy at Leeds and someone who has been likened to Jack Wilshere is Lewis Cook.

The York-born central midfielder managed 47 appearances for the whites last year and he will be looking to improve on his involvement this campaign. Due to his efforts, Bournemouth signed him in early July and he will bolster their midfield area as the Cherries look to improve on their 16th place finish in their 2nd ever Premier League season.

Comfortable on the ball with both feet, great short passing and a good turn of pace, Cook has rightly seen nothing but praise in his short professional career. One to watch this year and a possible leader of both Bournemouth and his country in the future.
Jamie Britt
Liverpool FC fan, official club member. Liverpool and the Premier League is my thing but I take a serious interest in European as well as lower league football ! Still waiting for Liverpool to win a league title.....!!

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