There is so much young talent out there to look out for at the moment. Some of the 5 boys I’m going to talk about have already began making a name for themselves, others are just waiting for their time.
- Karamoko Dembele – Celtic, Winger
At just 17 years old and 5’6, Karamoko Dembele has made 3 first team appearances already for Celtic, including multiple squad inclusions for SPL and European games. Like many talented young players, Dembele was raised in South London, where there is a growing culture for producing talented ballers like Jadon Sancho and Ebere Eze. Eligible to play for England and Scotland, he has represented both at youth level, and is currently part of the England U17 squad. As a player, his strengths are his electric pace, agility and his technical ability on the ball. The boy’s got skill, and will pose an attacking threat for any team as he and his career starts to grow. Only 5’6, though, something he’ll need to improve on is his strength, which is a crucial asset to have if he wants to reach the top of his game, and for me it’s something more wingers should work on as it can be so effective, as we’ve seen with Adama Traore, and championship ballers like Bright Osayi-Samuel. Despite this, he’s got some serious feet which is so hard to defend against. When players can run that quick with the ball, the fullback can’t do much. This asset could see him reach the very top and I would personally compare him to Ansu Fati for Barcelona. He’s strong on both feet, and can hit them from range, and this will force defenders to really analyse him before games, and the best option to stop him would be to double up on him. This boy is one to watch, another up and coming English star. Remember the name.
2. Tariq Lamptey – Brighton, Right Back
This guy is going to play for England one day. Brought up in West London playing grassroots football for Larkspur Rovers, a team I used to play against, Chelsea spotted the youngster and took him into their ranks. After spending 11 years in their academy and a season in and around the first team squad, he made the brave decision to leave and join Brighton. What a decision. The 20 year old has quickly made a name for himself since moving south on January deadline day last season, and his standout attributes include his pace, attacking threat and crossing ability which modern full backs really are required to have. What impresses me as well is his maturity and composure when it comes to defending. He doesn’t make rash challenges, is relaxed on the ball in dangerous areas which suits the way Brighton play, and always seems to pick out the right pass from the flanks. He’s strong as well, and has serious stamina, getting up and down the wing all day. For just £3million, Brighton secured themselves a real bargain. With so much competition for the right back spot in the England team, I still think it won’t take long until Lamptey is pulling on the England shirt.
3. Marcus Forss – Brentford, Striker
A player I don’t think is getting enough recognition at the moment. Brentford’s Finnish striker Marcus Forss. He moved over to England aged 13 to join West Brom’s academy on a two-year scholarship, but he was released. He then joined Brentford’s B team, and has been progressing ever since. He was eventually promoted to the first team and joined Wimbledon on loan. He scored 11 goals in 19 games for a team that only just avoided relegation, which is an incredible return. He’s struggling to get many starts at all this season because of Ivan Toney’s ridiculous form, but he has scored 6 goals already. 1 goal every 53 minutes is something incredible, and still only 21 years old, he has the potential to become a top striker. He likes to dribble and hit them from distance, he has a very powerful shot and is a top finisher. He may still need to work on winning aerial duels, but once that’s sorted Brentford have yet another complete striker on their hands. He could be a premier league striker one day. Watch out for this guy.
4. Charlie Kelman – QPR, Striker
He’s only just turned 19 years old, but Charlie Kelman already has bags of football league experience, joining QPR from Southend United in the most recent transfer window, despite interest from Tottenham. He scored 61 goals in one season for Southend’s youth team, and was promoted to their first team to make his professional debut at just 17 years old in 2019, and has scored 6 goals already on the professional stage for a poor Southend side. Before this, he was developing himself over in Texas, playing youth team football for FC Dallas. A big move to make for a young English kid, and one which has paid off as QPR picked him up. A club which is often short for options so gives opportunities to youngsters, this is a great move for him, and despite being signed to initially link up with the under 23s, he has been included in 3 match day squads. He’s a player who does sometimes come deep to collect the ball because of his good technical ability, but he also likes to make runs and get between centre halves to score proper strikers goals. He can head the ball, and has big power on his shots, as shown when he scored from inside his own half in League 1 last season. Once this boy gets minutes we should see what he’s about, and hopefully he shows us all why clubs like Tottenham were after him, and smashes it in the championship for QPR.
5. Harvey Elliot – Liverpool (on loan at Blackburn), Winger
Last but definitely not least we have Harvey Elliott. What a baller. Born in Surrey, South West of London, he was brought up playing for a few academies, most notably Fulham. He made his senior debut at an incredible 15 years old, and his career has since got better and better. He became the youngest player to ever play in the premier league at 16 years and 30 days in 2019, and was subsequently snapped up by Liverpool. Having made a couple of first team appearances there, he’s now playing his football in the championship on loan at Blackburn, and he’s already scored his first goal. Quick, skilful, and a direct runner, he’s causing teams all sorts of problems and is a nightmare for championship defenders at the moment. He has been described as a ‘quiet teenager with arrogant footballing ability’, and he’s starting to show that. He has the ability to set up a lot of goals with the way he drags defenders towards him, and chip in with goals, whilst providing a huge threat on the counter attack. He’s an incredible talent, and one who is destined to have a great career at the top of the game if he keeps working hard and at a club like Liverpool, he’s got the right surroundings to maintain that in the future.