7 Teenagers Set to Star in Premier League Next Season

Tony MabertContributor IJune 5, 2012

7 Teenagers Set to Star in Premier League Next Season

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    It is important for clubs to invest money in established players who can go straight into the team, but it is just as vital for them to trust young talents to develop in the team.

    Next season should see a number of teenage players light up the Premier League. Some are already regular first-team players, while others are set to make their first significant impact.

    Here are seven young players who will all still be shy of their 20th birthday when next season begins and are destined to star in the Premier League.

Romelu Lukaku

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    After scoring a hatful of goals for Anderlecht in the Belgian league, Lukaku earned a huge £18 million move to Chelsea last summer.

    However, the young striker hardly saw any game time under the management of either Andre Villas-Boas or Roberto Di Matteo. He clocked up just 201 minutes of action in the Premier League last term.

    Now that Didier Drogba has left the club, there is a vacancy for a strong brute of a centre-forward in the Blues lineup, one Lukaku will be eager to fill, especially with fellow Belgian wunderkind Eden Hazard now at the club with him.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

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    The Ox turns 19 years of age just a couple of days before the new season kicks off, but he is already a fully-fledged England international.

    Despite only starting six Premier League games for Arsenal last season, England manager Roy Hodgson saw enough in the winger to take him to Euro 2012 as part of his 23-man squad.

    The former Southampton trainee has done little other than impress while playing the Gunners, and he can expect to do so on a much more regular basis next season.

Ross Barkley

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    Yet another excellent product of Everton's youth system, Barkley made his league debut for the club last August and would have done so sooner were it not for a long-term injury.

    The midfielder is still only 18, but at 6'2", he stands head and shoulders above some of his more senior fellow professionals.

    Barkley was limited to just six league appearances in his debut season, as he once again succumbed to injury. If he can stay fit, then he will be playing a lot more next season.

Ryo Miyaichi

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    Just like Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge before him, Miyaichi's loan spell at Bolton Wanderers in the second half of last campaign gave the youngster a solid grounding in Premier League football.

    The Japanese attacker was not able to help the Trotters avoid relegation, but he returns to Arsenal having shown Arsene Wenger he is capable of performing in the top flight.

    Miyaichi may face stiff competition for a place on the left flank for the Gunners, but if another club can take him on loan, then his burgeoning talent will not go to waste.

Kerim Frei

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    Frei could hardly be a more international player. Born in Austria and raised in Switzerland by his Turkish father and Moroccan mother, he now plies his trade in the English league.

    The 18-year-old made his debut for the Cottagers this season and opened his account for the club with a goal against Odense in the Europa League.

    Blessed with plenty of skill and dribbling ability, there is great potential in Frei as manager Martin Jol looks to build on a promising first season in charge.

Samir Carruthers

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    Alex McLeish's single season in charge of Aston Villa was a largely forgettable campaign, but one positive to take from it was the blooding of several young players at the club.

    While he may not have seen as much action as some of his more defensively-minded teammates, Carruthers showed real glimpses of promise whenever he came off the bench.

    Now, with new manager Paul Lambert bringing his philosophy of attacking football to Villa Park, the former Arsenal trainee can expect to be used a lot more often next season.

Connor Wickham

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    Wickham was one of the most coveted young players in England when Sunderland managed to prise him away from Ipswich Town last summer for a fee that could rise to as much as £12 million.

    The striker only turned 19 at the end of March but he is strong as an ox and towers over most other players at 6'3".

    The shock departure of Asamoah Gyan appeared to open the way for Wickham, but an injury sustained just five minutes into a match at Old Trafford in November has stalled his progress.