Five youngsters who won't make a breakthrough this season; featuring United and Spurs hopefuls
An article that bares on the hinges of a blog writer’s nightmare, The Boot Room has decided to take the plunge and predict the future. With a media frenzy over young talents at top clubs, usually English youngsters, the hype around a breakout revelation is becoming ridiculous, playing culprit to many young men crumbling under the attention and expectation of media and fans. The Boot Room hopes these 5 young men prove us wrong, if they do please feel free to let us know about it (@tbrfootball), but the prediction is that the players mentioned will not be a revelation this season, much to the disagreement of many. Here’s why.
After a strong u20 campaign, calls for Pereira’s integration into the first team squad have since come from the terraces surrounding Old Trafford. The Brazilian talent has since had a pre-season to impress Louis Van Gaal and as will be hoping he has caught the eye to play more first team minutes this year, especially with the exit of fellow South American Angel Di Maria.
However, Pereira’s path to the first team is far from simple. A likely 4-2-3-1 formation is to be operated in Van Gaal’s philosophic footballing ‘balance’ this season with Memphis Depay, a £31 million investment, playing in the hole behind Rooney; he’ll be alternating with ‘false right-winger’ Juan Mata unexpectedly. Pereira’s favourite role is behind the striker, but he can play across the the attacking positions, and with the experienced talent ahead of him; his first team chances look bleak.
His youthful build won’t enable him to drop deeper in his search for first team action either, with a strong defensive midfielder needed in those positions. For this season, his main position could become the bench if a loan opportunity doesn’t arise before the end of the transfer window.
A Theo Walcott type winger from Germany is how many would describe Serge Gnabry with a similar aesthetic look and play style to his teammate, Gnabry possesses slightly more then Walcott did at 20 years old. The German has a stronger upper body allowing him to utilise both his pace and his strength. Although the young man is talented, his lengthy injury means he’s lacking fitness costing him the chance to impress fully during pre-season.
Wenger, being prone to suffering tactically die to injury, is likely to leave him out, especially with fellow youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring a confidence boosting, Community Shield winning goal against Chelsea before the season opened. It’s not that Gnabry is out of favour, it’s just that others are ahead of him. A loan move would enable him to avoid disappointment this season, with West Brom seeming the most likely of destinations.
With a severe lack of firing power at United this season, many have tipped Wilson to flourish. The young English man enjoyed the annual u23 Toulon tournament while arguably he was outclassed by Chuba Akpom, he started and finished as their first choice striker. First choice isn’t a word that will be used for him at his club this season however. Overshadowed by the number of strikers at Old Trafford last season cost him minutes while the consistency of Rooney this season will mean he is again being labelled as a prospect.
An improvement of position and awareness that may well come with experience is needed for Wilson to earn a starting eleven spot, while his innate ability to find the net needs to be shown on every chance he gets this season, if not the media will be stumped as to why a ‘future star’ hasn’t progressed as they predicted over the 2015-16 season.
One assured performance against Liverpool last season, ending with an 100% pass completion on his debut, famously landed Loftus-Cheek in the swirl of the media’s high hopes for this season. He is a joy to watch, a player fans love since he does the basics right, gets stuck in and has an impressive amount of flair; all while being homegrown.
This youngster may get the most first team minutes out of the 5 players mentioned, however the players currently in the two defensive positions Chelsea play with are world class at what they do. Matic has fit in perfectly since his Stamford Bridge return while last season’s table topping assist leader Cesc Fabregas makes Chelsea tick. There is simply no place for Loftus-Cheek. He hasn’t got the experience or ability of the previously mentioned players meaning a place on the bench is his 2015-16 destiny. Although, do expect a few starts against smaller sides and many bench appearances for this fine young talent from England.
Off the back of a superbly successful loan spell at Brentford, Pritchard may get his chance at Spurs, thanks to Harry Kane. The striker has shown Pochettino that Spurs have an array of English talent coming through the ranks. At 23 Pritchard has never been given a chance at Spurs but he will be given one this season. Whether he can cut it in the Premier League remains to be seen but he’ll need to show his best form during his time on the pitch otherwise he could be finding a new club come next season.
A first team chance is certain, however he may only appear from the bench. Like Pereira’s situation, Pritchard can operate both wings but prefers a central positon. The problem is Eriksen, Lamela and Chadli all seem to be senior favourites of Pochettino meaning there’s no room for Pritchard. A solid combination behind this attacking trio in Bentaleb and Mason means the former Brentford loan star will warm the bench this season, much to the dismay of many media outlets.
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