Andrey Santos, Kobbie Mainoo and the teenage wonderkids set for breakout Premier League seasons in 2023-24

Comments (0)
EPL Wonderkids GFX
There are host of talented teens looking to follow in the footsteps of Alejandro Garnacho and Evan Ferguson from last season

One of the joys of any Premier League season is when young players breakout and become household names almost overnight. Fans are always energised when a teenager, whether they are homegrown or otherwise, makes an impact on the first team, and heading into the 2023-24 campaign, there are plenty of talents who look set to emerge.

When GOAL produced this list ahead of the 2022-23 season, we predicted the likes of Alejandro Garnacho, Evan Ferguson, Romeo Lavia, Levi Colwill, Stefan Bajcetic and Julio Enciso would make their mark over the next nine months, so who do we believe will be able to do something similar this time around?

With the proviso that only players born in or after 2004 are eligible, and that players must have 15 or fewer Premier League appearances under their belt, here's the 2023-24 list of teenage talents who could breakthrough in the English top flight:

  1. Facundo Buonanotte (Brighton)
    Getty Images

    Facundo Buonanotte (Brighton)

    The most experienced player on this list in terms of Premier League appearances, Facundo Buonanotte played 13 times in the top-flight for Brighton last season, and even got himself on the scoresheet during a defeat at Nottingham Forest.

    The Seagulls paid around £6 million to bring the 18-year-old to the south coast from Argentine side Rosario Central in January, and it is hoped he will follow in the footsteps of Ferguson and Enciso in making an impact under Roberto De Zerbi.

    An attacking midfielder who can play further forward, he has been compared to Alexis Mac Allister in the past, and could yet end up being his compatriot's long-term replacement in the Brighton line up.

  2. Youssef Chermiti (Everton)
    Getty Images

    Youssef Chermiti (Everton)

    Youssef Chermiti is a new arrival into the Premier League having moved to Everton in the days leading up to the new campaign. The Toffees have agreed to pay an initial £13m for the 19-year-old, who arrives from Sporting CP.

    A physically imposing striker with a touch that belies his size, Chermiti scored three goals in the Primeira Liga last season, and arrives into Sean Dyche's squad to provide back-up for Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Given the England striker's injury issues, though, there is a good chance that Chermiti will get plenty of opportunities to impress over the course of the season.

  3. Bobby Clark (Liverpool)
    Getty Images

    Bobby Clark (Liverpool)

    The son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark, Bobby Clark joined Liverpool from the Magpies in 2021 and has made excellent progress since arriving on Merseyside. He made his first-team debut in August 2022, but his cameo in the 9-0 win over Bournemouth remains the 18-year-old's only Premier League appearance to date.

    An energetic central midfielder, Clark has been given opportunities to impress during pre-season by Jurgen Klopp, and as the Reds continue to redevelop their midfield, Clark will be hopeful of following Bajcetic into the team over the course of the season.

  4. Amario Cozier-Duberry (Arsenal)
    Getty Images

    Amario Cozier-Duberry (Arsenal)

    One of the stars of Arsenal's run to the FA Youth Cup final last season, Cozier-Duberry's displays certainly caught Mikel Arteta's eye, who included the teenager in his matchday squad on six occasions over the course of the campaign.

    Cozier-Duberry is yet to make his first-team bow, but the 18-year-old's tricky wing play has earned comparisons to Bukayo Saka, and there is some hope that he can become the England star's primary back-up over the next couple of years.

  5. Alfie Devine (Tottenham)
    Getty Images

    Alfie Devine (Tottenham)

    The youngest player to ever score for the Tottenham first-team, over 30 months have passed since Alfie Devine got himself on the scoresheet in an FA Cup win over non-league Marine, and he is still waiting to make his Premier League debut.

    The 19-year-old midfielder has been in plenty of matchday squads, and has been given the chance to impress Ange Postecoglu during pre-season. Devine, who won the Under-19 Euros with England in 2022, could yet be loaned out, but he certainly has the talent to be a top-flight regular in the future.

  6. Ben Doak (Liverpool)
    Getty Images

    Ben Doak (Liverpool)

    Liverpool fans have been charmed by Ben Doak on every occasion that he has made a first-team appearance, either in competitive action or in pre-season, and the Scottish teenager has a chance to lock down a role in Klopp's squad over the coming months.

    Having joined from Celtic in the summer of 2022, Doak impressed with his directness and no-fear attitude at both youth and senior level during his first year at Anfield, and though the 17-year-old has the likes of Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz ahead of him in the pecking order, do not be surprised if he is given plenty of opportunities in 23-24.

  7. Matheus Franca (Crystal Palace)
    Getty Images

    Matheus Franca (Crystal Palace)

    In what could be seen as one of the coups of the transfer market by the end of the season, Crystal Palace signed Brazilian wonderkid Matheus Franca in early August, paying Flamengo £17m to bring the 19-year-old midfielder to England.

    A move to the Premier League has seemed inevitable for Franca given Newcastle had a bid rejected for him in January while Chelsea held talks over a deal earlier this summer, but Palace have now won the race for a player whom Real Madrid and Manchester City have also previously shown an interest in.

  8. Luke Harris (Fulham)
    Getty Images

    Luke Harris (Fulham)

    Having scored 25 goals in 35 Premier League 2 games over the past two seasons, Luke Harris is clearly ready to make the step up to senior level, especially since that record comes as a midfielder, rather than an out-and-out striker.

    The 18-year-old made three top-flight appearances last season under Marco Silva and has already been called-up to the Wales senior squad, though reports suggest he could yet be loaned out before the end of the transfer window.

  9. Omari Kellyman (Aston Villa)
    Getty Images

    Omari Kellyman (Aston Villa)

    Aston Villa paid Derby County around £600,000 to sign Omari Kellyman in the summer of 2022, and having already featured in the Rams' matchday squad, he could now be set for a regular role in the first team at Villa Park.

    The 17-year-old midfielder impressed having been named in Unai Emery's squad for Villa's pre-season tour of the United States, and even played a role in assisting Emiliano Buendia for a goal against Newcastle.

    A Northern Ireland youth international, Kellyman is set to switch allegiance and represent England, and one day hopes to join the long list of Villa academy players to represent the Three Lions.

  10. Kobbie Mainoo (Man Utd)
    Getty Images

    Kobbie Mainoo (Man Utd)

    Excitement has been brewing at Manchester United around Kobbie Mainoo ever since he stood out despite being one of the youngest members of the club's FA Youth Cup-winning side in 2022, and this is set to be the season where he begins to earn more opportunities.

    The 18-year-old midfielder has impressed with his composure and passing ability, and while he has a chance of eventually breaking through this season, an injury suffered in pre-season means he will miss the first couple of months of the campaign.

  11. Lewis Miley (Newcastle)
    Getty Images

    Lewis Miley (Newcastle)

    As they prepare to return to the Champions League for the first time in 21 seasons, there is plenty to be excited about for Newcastle fans as they prepare to welcome Europe's elite back to St. James' Park while making a number of big-money signings.

    And yet, one of the stories of pre-season in the north east has been the performances of 17-year-old Lewis Miley, who has not looked out of place in Eddie Howe's team despite only having 14 minutes of first-team experience under his belt.

    An attacking midfielder, Championship clubs have enquired about a loan move given the form he has shown in Newcastle's friendlies, but Howe might be inclined to keep him around given his team's larger number of games.

  12. Diego Moreira (Chelsea)
    Getty Images

    Diego Moreira (Chelsea)

    In a summer where it's felt as if Chelsea are chasing a new teenage talent every week, the arrival of Diego Moreira on a free transfer from Benfica fell under the radar somewhat.

    The winger, who was the key man when the Portuguese side won the UEFA Youth League in 2022, struggled to force his way into the first team in Lisbon, but is regarded in his homeland as a senior international of the future.

    The 19-year-old could yet join what is likely to be an army of Blues' youngsters in signing for new sister club Strasbourg on loan, but Moreira certainly has the ability to be a squad player at Stamford Bridge if Mauricio Pochettino chooses to keep him around.

  13. Divin Mubama (West Ham)
    Getty Images

    Divin Mubama (West Ham)

    Of all the players on this list, Divin Mubama probably has the best chance of making an impact from the opening day of the season having shown himself to be ready for a role in the West Ham squad over the course of pre-season.

    The 18-year-old striker, who finished as the top scorer in the FA Youth Cup last season with eight goals as the Irons lifted the trophy, already has three Premier League appearances to his name, and scored his first senior goal in West Ham's triumphant Conference League campaign.

    With his strong build, Mubama is physically ready for first-team action, and with doubts over Michail Antonio having emerged and Gianluca Scamacca on his way out of the London Stadium, the teenager could even be thrown in from the start on the opening day by David Moyes.

  14. Ethan Nwaneri (Arsenal)
    Getty Images

    Ethan Nwaneri (Arsenal)

    Ethan Nwaneri made headlines back in September when he became the youngest player in Premier League history, making his Arsenal debut at the age of just 15 after coming off the bench at Brentford. That, though, remain his only first-team appearance to date.

    Despite that, the Gunners were able to fend off competition from Manchester City and Chelsea and convince Nwaneri to commit his future to Arsenal, where he will sign a professional contract when he turns 17 in March.

    Until then, he will be looking to catch Mikel Arteta's eye once more, with the young forward seen as having the capabilities to go right to the very top of the game over the next decade.

  15. Ashley Phillips (Tottenham)
    Getty Images

    Ashley Phillips (Tottenham)

    Regarded as one of the best teenage centre-backs in England, Ashley Phillips joined Tottenham this summer after they activated the £2m release clause in his contract at Blackburn Rovers.

    The 18-year-old arrives in north London with 14 first-team appearances under his belt from his time at Ewood Park, and though he won't be expected to start straight away, he adds depth to Ange Postecoglu's squad that might be required later in the campaign.

  16. Andrey Santos (Chelsea)
    Getty Images

    Andrey Santos (Chelsea)

    While a number of Chelsea's talented teenagers are likely to be sent out on loan before the end of the transfer window, Andrey Santos is expected to stay at Stamford Bridge and potentially force his way into the first-team picture sooner rather than later.

    The Blues paid £13m to sign the midfielder from Vasco da Gama in January, and though work permit issues meant he had to be loaned back to Brazil for six months, the 19-year-old is now ready to make an impact at Stamford Bridge.

    Notionally a defensive midfielder, Santos has shown an ability to get up and down the pitch as well as score goals, and as a veteran of 49 senior games already, should not need too much time to get used to the physicality of the Premier League.

  17. Ollie Scarles (West Ham)
    Getty Images

    Ollie Scarles (West Ham)

    Another member of West Ham's victorious FA Youth Cup team last season, Ollie Scarles has been spoken about as having the potential to be Declan Rice's long-term replacement at the London Stadium.

    A holding midfielder who can also play in defence, the 17-year-old made his first-team debut in the Conference League last season, with David Moyes describing his performance against FCSB as "exceptional".

    Though he lacks Rice's physical traits, Scarles' ability on the ball certainly sets him apart as a potential star of the future.

  18. Dane Scarlett (Tottenham)
    Getty Images

    Dane Scarlett (Tottenham)

    Having led the line for England U19s as they won the European Championship in the summer of 2022, Dane Scarlett joined Portsmouth on loan for the following campaign, but despite some headline-grabbing moments, failed to perform on a consistent basis during his first taste of regular senior action.

    The 19-year-old, who has been dubbed as Harry Kane's eventual successor at Tottenham for a number of years, is now back in north London, and found the net in Spurs' most recent pre-season match against Shakhtar Donetsk.

    Whether he is loaned out again will largely depend on Kane's future, but Scarlett certainly has the pedigree to step into the England captain's boots one day down the line.

  19. Lesley Ugochukwu (Chelsea)
    Getty Images

    Lesley Ugochukwu (Chelsea)

    In a move that came out of nowhere, Chelsea made Lesley Ugochukwu their latest teenage signing in late July when they forked out £23.5m to sign the defensive midfielder from Rennes.

    Dubbed 'the next Eduardo Camavinga' when he initially entered the first team, Ugochukwu played 60 games for the Ligue 1 outfit, and has shown himself to be a top talent with both physical and technical strengths.

    He could yet return to France this summer if the Blues opt to loan him to Strasbourg, but given his relative experience and undoubted potential, don't be surprised if Mauricio Pochettino decides to keep him in west London.

  20. Reuell Walters (Arsenal)
    Getty Images

    Reuell Walters (Arsenal)

    Arsenal have spent the summer looking for centre-back depth, and in Reuell Walters they might have a homegrown player who can step up over the next couple of seasons.

    The 18-year-old was included in the Gunners' squad for their pre-season tour of the U.S., with that selection coming off the back of nine appearances in the matchday squad in 2022-23.

    Walters, who can also play right-back, may still have plenty of learning to do, but don't be surprised if another Hale End graduate emerges at the Emirates over the course of this campaign or the next.

  21. Yehor Yarmoliuk (Brentford)
    Getty Images

    Yehor Yarmoliuk (Brentford)

    Having become the second-youngest player to ever start a Ukranian top-flight match for Dnipro, Yehor Yarmoliuk arrived at Brentford in the summer of 2022 and was initially added to the club's B team - the same side that Romeo Beckham currently turns out for.

    The 19-year-old midfielder impressed initially before suffering an injury that ruled him out of the second half of the campaign, but he has since been promoted to Thomas Frank's first-team squad and been handed a new five-year deal. Expectation is he will get plenty of chances in 23-24.

  22. Kadan Young (Aston Villa)
    Getty Images

    Kadan Young (Aston Villa)

    Kadan Young burst onto the scene at Aston Villa in late 2022, when some eye-catching performances during the club's mid-season training camp convinced Unai Emery to add the wide forward to his first-team squad.

    The 17-year-old was subsequently named on the bench six times over the rest of the season, and thoug Villa have been busy adding to their squad over the summer, there may still be room for Young to finally make his senior debut at some stage.