With the Premier League season now just over a week away, we take a look at the youngsters who shone last season but may face a reduced role in the coming campaign.
Every season has its surprise packages, and last year was no different with a handful of youngsters taking their chance to impress at the top level.
But with widespread changes in managers and players during the summer, some of the Class of 2015/16 could be set for a season of bench-warming this time around….
5. Reece Oxford, West Ham
Reece Oxford sprung to prominence in Slaven Bilic’s first Premier League game, becoming West Ham’s youngest ever player. His assured performances at the heart of the defence last season, and his displays for England U20s have led to an £18million price tag being slapped on the centre-back.
However, the sheer number of defenders at West Ham could lead to a lack of first-team opportunities, and Oxford may need to take a back seat this year, to fulfil the talent he undoubtedly has.
4. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Man Utd
The young Manchester United defender impressed under Louis Van Gaal last season, but with Mourinho now in the manager’s seat, Borthwick Jackson had been reportedly informed he was one of the players told he’s not in the managers plans for the coming season.
However, while we’re expecting him to stay, the youngster may have to spend more time developing his game with the U21s, or even going out on loan, with Luke Shaw not back to fitness and Matteo Darmian expressing his willingness to also play on the left.
3. Sheyi Ojo, Liverpool
Coming in to the Liverpool first team towards the end of last season, Ojo impressed Liverpool fans with his mature performances at a young age. With a goal and an assist in pre-season, he appears to be knocking on the door of the first team. However, manager Jurgen Klopp is considering loaning out the 19-year-old, citing a potential lack of first-team opportunities in the coming season as the reason, as he competes with Coutinho, Mane, Wijanldum, Lallana and Firmino for a place in the team.
2. Kelechi Iheanacho, Man City
Iheanacho was one of the highlights of a largely disappointing campaign for City last term. Scoring 16 goals in total and finishing with the best minutes to goals ratio in the league, the Nigerian is being tipped for big things. However, with Guardiola bringing in Nolito and Aguero certain to be first choice striker if fit, chances may be limited for the 19-year-old in the coming campaign, as Guardiola looks to overhaul the team that flattered to deceive last year.
1. Marcus Rashford, Man Utd
The teenager that needs no introduction; four goals in his first two games and the winner in the Manchester derby have propelled Rashford to star status in Manchester. After scoring eight goals in 18 appearances and playing for England at Euro 2016, the future looks bright for the 19-year-old Mancunian. Yet, following the purchase of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rashford has accepted he may face a more reduced role this season as he looks to continue to develop in to one of the Premier League’s best strikers. Even though on current evidence, it looks like it may be him that teaches Zlatan a thing or two….
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 31, 2016