When Pele capped Brazil national team's jersey at a very young age, he definitely was not the first shining youngster that football ever seen. He became one of the most shining, perhaps, and still a milestone when it comes to compare the newbies, but they kept on coming.
Then, everyone was looking for their Peles, which were not growing on trees of course. Now is the time of Messi and any promising player is compared to him; will he become the next Messi? Why? Is Messi over already?
As the football market gets more and more aggressive, despite the financial difficulties that the world currently undergoes, the expectations from promising youngsters pile up. They sometimes pile up so high that the weight of it all is unbearable, even unbearable for an experienced player.
Talents like Pele or Messi are not easy to find as mentioned above; they do not grow on trees. It is a matter of education and training from very young ages, but that's not all. You cannot insert flair to a kid who doesn't have it at all. Train him all you want, teach him the game but if he doesn't have the God-given talent, all you will get is a hard-working lad, running his ass off in the field but rarely managing as much a wonder-kid would do.
And the fact is, they should not be expected to, since it is not fair. If you are Messi then you are discovered at the age of 14 and are brought to Spain all the way from Argentina as an investment. You are a project. But if you only are a juggler of the ball with soft ankles and a decent view of the game you can still succeed, you do not need to become a top star playing in Barça, do you?
Players such as Messi do a very bad thing to their coevals. Since finding quality players get more and more difficult, and top-class teams are making a collection of any, everyone is looking at their youngsters. Someone from those racks will come up and save them all! Either by playing until old age in the club, becoming an icon, and running the team from success to success; or just financially, signing one of those majors and bringing a nice revenue to their home team.
Whichever the case is, teenagers are really on the spot lately and thanks to managers like Wenger who build whole Premiership contending team upon them!
Do I say it cynically or honestly, believe me, even I don't know!