Five best academy players to emerge from EPL clubs in the last few years

Author : Prayank Sam

Players like Messi, CristianoRonaldo,Gareth Bale and the likes have all emerged from youth academy of some or the other team and have proven to be very promising players, making a name for themselves.

Here is a list of top five youth players which have made an impact on their team and are predicted to be the upcoming stars of their respected teams or else the transfer window.

5. Chuba Akpom (Arsenal)

Akpom plays as a striker for Arsenal and England U-19. He has been playing for Arsenal since he was 6 and signed his first professional contract with Arsenal in October 2012.

Just two months after signing, he was named in the first team squad for a match against Olympiakos in the Champions League. He has already made 2 appearances for Arsenal’s first team squad.

He came in as an early replacement for an injured Giroud in a match against Sunderland in the current season. Apart from his first team appearances, Akpom was also selected for Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Asia where he made two appearances and scored 3 goals.

Although he hasn’t had many opportunities in the first team squad until now, the pacy frontman has been doing well in the England U-19 squad as well with 6 goals of 8 appearances so far.

4. Ravel Morrison (West Ham)

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 06: Ravel Morrison of West Ham charges upfield during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at White Hart Lane on October 6, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Morrison who priorly played for Manchester United’s youth squad was transferred to West Ham United in the winter transfer market of 2011-2012 season.

He was given out on loan to Birmingham City for 2012-2013 season and made 30 appearances for them, scoring 3 goals. He has been doing quite well since he has come back to West Ham scoring 4 goals in 8 appearances so far in the current season.

Deemed as a ‘brilliant footballer’ by Sir Alex Fergusson, he showed great talent in the youth squad at Old Trafford and is doing the same for The Hammers. No wonder United fans have been upset on him being let-go by the club.

3. Ross Barkley (Everton)

Barkley joined Everton when he was 11 and entered the first team squad in 2010-2011 season. He was loaned out to Leeds United for 2012-2013 season and to Sheffield Wednesday for the 2011-2012 season.

He rejoined Everton in the current season and scored a goal on the opening day of the season against Norwich City. The match ended in a draw but Barkley was named the man of the match. He has scored 2 goals out of the 8 appearances he has made for Everton this season.

With such accolades coming his way already, no one can deny the fact that he’s going to prove to be a great asset for Everton who have him on contract until 2016. He joined the senior squad of England national team in August 2013 and has already made an appearance this year as a substitute for Jack Wilshere in the World cup qualifier match against Moldova which England won 4-0.

David Moyes and Jose Mourinho are also keen on signing him up and look forward to the winter transfer window.

2. Luke Shaw (Southampton)

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 28: Luke Shaw of Southampton in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Crystal Palace at St Mary

Shaw joined Southampton at the age of 8 and entered their under-18 team at the age of 15. He plays as a left back for the first team squad of Southampton now.

His first team debut came off in January 2012 at a young age of 16 in the FA Cup and signed his professional contract the same year in May. Various clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have been chasing after him ever since his debut during the winter transfer of 2012.

Southampton were never ready to release Shaw and stated him as a big part of their future plans. Even Manchester United grew interest in him in the current season. But the Saints just aren’t ready to give him off, they signed a 5 year deal with him which makes the attacking left back stay at the club till 2018.

Shaw is often been compared to Gareth Bale, former Southampton youth product. Although he hasn’t yet scored for Southampton but has shown some exemplary skills in matches like the one against West Bromwich Albion which the Saints won.

1. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United)

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 05: David Moyes of Manchester United talks with Adnan Januzaj after victory in the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at Stadium of Light on October 5, 2013 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Januzaj began his career at United at the age of 16 after playing for a Belgian club Anderlecht. Currently he’s a part of the first team squad at the Old Trafford.

Januzaj came into limelight after his magnificent performance against Sunderland last week. This was his first start for United wherein he scored two astounding goals, much to the horror of the Black Cat fans. He assured a great comeback for the Red Devils.

He showed a great form in the pre-season games of Manchester United’s first squad and was termed as one of the best players. Many big clubs like Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid are already eyeing him on the basis of his debut start for United as his current contract with United ends with this season.

After the uproar against another former United youth academy star, Pogba’s move to Juventus in 2012, Moyes is under a lot of pressure by the board as well as the fans to keep the youngster at Old Trafford. It has been reported that Januzaj will receive a lucrative long-term contract from Moyes.

All the United fans have their fingers crossed that the deal goes through and they don’t lose another one of their emerging stars.

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