Welcome back for the third edition of Premier League Talent Scout. If you've been following, then you know what we're all about here. If not, here's a recap:
At Premier League Talent Scout, we take a look at all the English Premier League games played over the weekend and identify the top five U-21 players from those games, in the hopes of unearthing and tracking the biggest Premier League and world stars of tomorrow.
If you haven't read the previous editions of Premier League Talent Scout, the second edition can be found here, and a link to the first edition can be found in that article.
After another weekend in which Manchester United and their youngsters dominated the opposition, it looks like Manchester United will likely dominate another edition of Premier League Talent Scout, but there are other talents to be discussed.
Please read on.
Although I initially planned to only give honorable mentions on the rare weeks when there is an explosion of U-21 talent, I've decided the honorable mentions section will now be a regular feature in every edition of Premier League Talent Scout from here on out. This week, two players who missed out on the top five due to injury make the list of honorable mentions.
Martin Kelly (21)—Liverpool, Right Back
Martin Kelly made the cut for the top five in the last edition of Premier League Talent Scout, but misses out in this edition as he had to leave the game against Bolton in the 30th minute due to injury. Up until then, he had put in another composed performance and received loud applause for his efforts from the crowd when substituted.
Danny Welbeck (20)—Manchester United, Striker
Like Martin Kelly, Danny Welbeck made the cut for the top five selections in the last edition of Premier League Talent Scout, and was actually considered to be the brightest U-21 talent of last week.
This weekend, Danny Welbeck continued his good work, and even scored the opening goal against Arsenal for Manchester United, but had to be taken off in the 35th minute with a hamstring injury.
Team: Wigan Athletic
Position: Left Wing
Though not as magical as he was in his first two games of the season, both of which ended with him being selected as the Man of the Match, Victor Moses still managed to be quite a force for Wigan Athletic in the team's 2-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers.
Alongside Franco di Santo and Hugo Rodallega in a front three, Moses was able to make numerous powerful shots on goal, and the added pressure he put on the QPR goalkeeper and defense eventually paid off as Franco di Santo scored his second and third ever league goals for Wigan Athletic.
Wigan Athletic have had the easiest possible start to the English Premier League, going up against the three promoted teams; one after the other. Thus, their current total of five points is likely a bit inflated from what it would've been if Wigan were forced to play against higher quality opposition.
It will be interesting to see how Victor Moses and Wigan adjust to the tougher challenges ahead.
Position: Central Midfield
Pajtim Kasami's inclusion on this list probably comes as surprise to followers of Premier League Talent Scout, as well as regular EPL fans, but due to the lack of significantly more impressive youngsters at winning teams this weekend, Kasami's solid debut for Fulham gets him into the top five.
Though Fulham lost 2-1 to Newcastle United last weekend, Pajtim Kasami had a solid starting debut for the team and showed confidence on the ball. He was not afraid to shoot from distance either.
It will be interesting to see if Kasami will still be able to pick up starts for Fulham now that Bryan Ruiz has joined the team, but the youngster should definitely be an active part of the Fulham squad over 2011-12 season, and had a bright future ahead of him.
Team: Manchester United
Position: Right Back
Last week, Chris Smalling was an honorable mention for the top five. This week, he has easily earned his place back among the top five, after starting at right back in Manchester United's 8-2 demolition of Arsenal.
In his fourth consecutive game for Manchester United this season, Chris Smalling excelled at right back, defending strongly as well as attacking dangerously with great pace. He was arguably Manchester United's best all-round defender in the match.
It's safe to say at this point that he will likely continue to be Manchester United's starting lineup for the rest of the season, provided he does not get injured or fatigued.
Team: Manchester United
Position: Centre Back
Phil Jones is the first player on Premier League Talent Scout to be featured among the top five three times in a row. However, with excellent performances week-in-week-out, Jones is definitely deserving of the honor.
Against Arsenal, it was just business as usual for Phil Jones. He was incredibly strong in the air, and anticipated Arsenal's attacks well.
Along with Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones has been called up to the England national team squad for the next two Euro 2012 qualifier matches on the back of his excellent performances for Manchester United.
At present, things only seem to get better for Sir Alex Ferguson and his new class of youngsters.
Position: Right Midfielder
At long last, Jordan Henderson showed that he may just be worth the large amount of cash spent bringing him to Anfield.
In his third match at Liverpool, Henderson was arguably the best player on the pitch (maybe behind Luis Suarez), and picked up the opening goal for his hard-working efforts in the 15th minute.
With Raul Meireles now at Chelsea, and Alberto Aquilani on loan at AC Milan, Jordan Henderson has been given a clear vote of confidence by Liverpool and now must prove that he deserves the team's trust.
What do you think of this week's selections? Any players you think should've made the top-five cut that didn't? How about the players on the list, do you believe any of them should've been excluded?
Make your opinion known in the comment box below. I look forward to reading your comments and discussing them with you.
(Ashley Young had a magnificent game against Arsenal, scoring two goals and recording three assists. It's a shame he isn't actually as young as his name suggests. At 26, he is in the prime of his career, and five years removed from being eligible for this list.)