John Barnes was one of the finest young players to grace the English game when he joined Watford at the age of ripe age of 17 in 1981. Having watched English football for almost 40 years and showing a keen eye for young talent, Barnes has studied the Premier League’s most promising players and selected his current best U23 Premier League XI.
Caoimhín Kelleher (GK)
Kelleher is a Goalkeeper that is highly rated at Liverpool. I have seen him a few times in the academy and he has impressed me each time I have watched him. He also is mentioned a fair bit in the Irish press which must be a good sign.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB)
– Manchester United
Considering Manchester United have not had the best of seasons, he is a player that has stood out to me from the beginning of the season by being so consistent. A proper defender who enjoys a slide tackle, but also, I like that he’s good enough on the ball to come forward and be a decent attacking right back. For me, with his defensive qualities, he is the best defensive right back in the country.
Fikayo Tomori (CB)
Despite Chelsea spending a lot of money in recent years, it is good to see a young defender come through the ranks. He is quick and strong on the ball, but also is a very good defender.
Joe Gomez (CB)
Even though he is so young, you can see what a great talent he is. It is good for him to have Van-Dijk alongside him as a steady influence. He is quick, strong in the air and good on the ball.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (LB)
What can’t I say about this player? Someone who has shown his maturity and class since the moment he put on a Liverpool shirt. His abilities going forward are better than some attackers in the league, his crossing and shooting skills being second to none. Trent is very quick and strong, both on and off the ball.
Phil Foden (CM)
– Manchester City
A player who has not started that many games, but the minutes he has played this season you can see his sheer quality on the ball. Playing for England and being named the player of the tournament in the FIFA U17 World Cup, Foden scored twice in the final and showed how much ability he has.
Youri Tielemans (CM)
– Leicester City
Tielemans is a young player but has so much experience already in his career. He was a good player when he played at Ajax, showing his quality on the ball and his ability to create. You can see why he is now playing in the Premier League from his experience and what he has shown so far.
Mason Mount (CM)
Coming from Derby County with Tomori and Frank Lampard, he has worked so hard to come back to Chelsea and start as many games as he has done this season. It shows what a great talent he is, he has a big future for sure.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (RW)
Before his injury, he showed what great footballing ability he has. He is quick and strong on the ball and I hope he can come back stronger than before and keep working hard.
Tammy Abraham (ST)
A good Centre Forward and someone who has done a lot better than I and many people expected. Seeing all the goals he scored in the Championship, and to then coming into the Premier League as Chelsea’s number one striker, shows what a talent he is and how hard he is working.
Another player who people don’t realise is as young as he is. He is Everton’s main player, who has helped them out this season in a huge way. He is quick, strong, scores goals, and is a real handful for defenders.
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