With less than three weeks to go for the start of the new 2012/13 Premier League season, we look at five young players who are expected to make the breakthrough to the first-team this season.
1. THOMAS EISFELD (ARSENAL)
Eisfeld was signed from the Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund in January for a fee around £500,000. The 19-year-old German has been the part of the Gunners’ reserve squad, but played a couple of pre-season games this year and scored two goals in the process. Good passing, vision and intelligent movement makes him a typical Arsenal player playing under Arsene Wenger and expect him to get a few substitute appearances in the Premier League this year.
2. LUCAS PIAZON (CHELSEA)
At only 18-year-old, the Brazilian joined the Blues from Sao Paulo in 2011 for a fee around £5m and arrived at Stamford Bridge in January 2012. The young forward was named the Chelsea Young Player of the Year in his first season after he had stared in the FA Youth Cup Final against Blackburn Rovers. The Brazil U-17 international has been on the fringes of the first team since last season and is expected to make the breakthrough after impressing during the pre-season friendlies.
3. SUSO (LIVERPOOL)
Jesus Fernandez Saez commonly known as Suso arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2010 from Spanish side Cadiz CF. The young Spaniard has made great strides in the Reds’ reserve and made his first team debut at the tender age of 16 as a late substitute in a friendly against Borussia Moenchengladbach. The attacking midfielder was very impressive for the Spain U-19s during the European Championships this summer and was also the part of Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the US. Suso is expected to be on the fringes of the first-team this season and may make a few substitute appearances in the league.
4. DAVIDE PETRUCCI (MANCHESTER UNITED)
The highly-rated Italian midfielder joined Manchester United from AS Roma’s youth academy in July 2009. Petrucci has been a regular performer for the United reserves and has impressed everyone with his eye for spectacular goals and impressive passing, but has been terribly unlucky with injuries. With Paul Pogba leaving the Red Devils during the summer, the 20-year-old is expected to feature in Sir Alex Ferguson’s first-team plans this season after impressing for the Reserves last season with eight goals in 25 starts.
5. HARRY KANE (TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR)
Kane is one of the products of Tottenham Hotspur’s youth academy. The 19-year-old had highly successful loan spells at Leyton Orient (2009/10) and Millwall (2012). The England U-19 international has been a regular goal-scorer for the reserves and has also made six appearances for Tottenham in the Europa League last season. Kane has impressed the new manager, Andre Villas-Boas in pre-season and is expected to be Spurs’ third choice striker this season.