Author : Vishal Menda
A youngster on the cusp of a first-team spot is always an extremely exciting sight; for you never know how explosive a talent he can well and truly be until he gets that elusive opportunity.
It also gives the manager the chance to strengthen his squad (to an extent) without having to spend a penny.
Now identifying the best teenagers in the league is not easy. But that task has been made a little less complicated because a couple of them have had quite splendid starts to the season.
Below is a list of the most exciting teenagers in the Premier League:
Luke Shaw in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Crystal Palace at St Mary’s Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Getty Images)
Luke Shaw (Southampton)
The 18-year-old, who is a product of the famed Southampton academy, broke into the first-team last season and is already a regular in Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Having being likened to former Saints player Gareth Bale, the left-back is equally adept at defending and going forward, and has been involved in everything that is good about his side’s great start to the season.
And it is comes as no surprise that most of the big clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester are after his signature.
Shaw will have to wait for a place in the national set-up, what with him being third-choice (or fourth) as the likes of Ashley Cole, Leighton Baines and Kieran Gibbs are ahead of him in the pecking order.
Raheem Sterling celebrates his goal during the Capital One Cup second round match between Liverpool and Notts County at Anfield on August 27, 2013 in Liverpool, England. (via Getty Images)
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
It is a pity that the 18-year-old is better known for his off-field antics that his performances on the pitch.
The winger lit up the early half of the league last season with some impressive performances in the red of Liverpool, managing an impressive 36 appearances.
What Sterling brings to the Merseysiders is a different dimension to the attack with his direct running, pace and dribbling skills.
Brendan Rodgers loves to blood youngsters into his side, but the arrival of the likes of Victor Moses will increase the competition for places in the side; something that should help bring the best out of him.
Serge Gnabry celebrates after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Swansea, Wales. (Getty Images)
Serge Gnabry (Arsenal)
18-year-old Gnabry is held in high regard by everyone in London Colney, including Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
So much so, that the winger has found himself increasingly involved this season due to injuries suffered to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott.
Having turned out three times this season, the German has shown flashes of his raw potential on the flanks and could go on to be a decent addition in the Gunners squad.
And even though he missed a penalty in the League Cup game against West Bromwich Albion, Gnabry did score his first goal in Arsenal’s colours against Swansea City in the league.
Adnan Januzaj is congratulated on his goals by Robin Van Persie and Michael Carrick after victory in the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at Stadium of Light on October 5, 2013 in Sunderland, England. (Getty Images)
Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United)
The 18-year-old is the perfect modern attacking midfielder; a floater that links up midfield and attack beautifully.
The Belgian-born youngster, who moved to Old Trafford from Anderlecht in 2011, is in the final year of his contract and the likes of Juventus, Barcelona and cross-town rivals Manchester City have been monitoring the situation closely.
A beautifully balanced and technically gifted player, Januzaj scored two incredibly well-taken goals as United came from behind to defeat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light over the weekend.
The youngster, who made the bench in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game as United manager, could prove to be the spark that ignites United’s stuttering start under new boss David Moyes.
Ross Barkley celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Everton at Carrow Road on August 17, 2013 in Norwich, England. (Getty Images)
Ross Barkley (Everton)
The 19-year-old box-to-box midfielder si in the mould of Steven Gerrard and it would come as no surprise if he were to one day fill the Liverpool’s skipper’s boots in the national team.
The Englishman, who made his England debut in the recent FIFA World Cup qualifier against Moldova, has enjoyed a stellar start to the season having already scored twice, including a stunning goal on the opening day of the season against Norwich City.
After the departure of Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United, Barkley has made the midfield slot his own and looks set to be a vital cog in Roberto Martinez’s engine room.