The late 1990s saw Premier League clubs import a vast number of foreign players. This had a wide-ranging impact on football in England. One of the negative effects was on lower league players who were not given a chance over the foreign imports.
By the start of the millennium, advancement to the top flight of English football had became virtually impossible unless a player went up with a promoted club.
That tide has slowly started to change. Young, exciting players from the lower leagues are being signed to Premier League clubs. These players are rarely immediate starters, but a few years down the line they become key members of the squad.
The most notable example of this is Manchester City and England keeper Joe Hart.
Hart started 54 games for League 2 Shrewsbury Town before making the £600,000 move to Manchester. Hart went on to beat out long-term Republic of Ireland keeper Shay Given for the starting job at City.
However, older players have also started to make the step into the Premier League.
Grant Holt made his name at Shrewsbury before moving to (then) League 1 Norwich. His goals have taken Norwich up two divisions and kept them safe in the Premier League this season. Norwich defender Russell Martin, Wolves center back Roger Johnson and Newcastle's Mike Williamson played on the same Wycombe Wanderers team in the 2005/06 season.
Here are five players who might be able to make the same step up in the next few seasons.