10 EFL youngsters who could play in the Premier League.

By Jacob Sznober

“Jacob is the second guest writer on my blog and is someone I can turn to as my ‘lower league expert’ as he is a Shrewsbury fan with much knowledge of the English leagues. We became really good friends at University as we both shared a passion for football and so I’m glad he’ll be contributing to AFEFootballNews.”
Name: Ryan Woods

Age: 23

Club: Brentford

League: Sky Bet Championship

Position: Defensive Midfielder

The former Shrewsbury trainee has been a key player in the Brentford team this season, using his work rate to pressure the opposition whilst also having the ability to dictate the tempo and recycle the ball in possession.

His determination to win the ball back and lay it off to a more attacking player makes him one of the first names on the team sheet.

It is perhaps no surprise then that he has already made just under 200 appearances in all competitions in his career. Having signed a four year deal last summer, it is obvious that Brentford don’t want to lose Woods; but if a top flight team comes knocking, they may have to sell.

Name: Che Adams

Age: 20

Club: Birmingham

League: Sky Bet Championship

Position: Forward

Adams started his career in non-league, playing for the likes of Oadby and Ilkeston before getting a lucrative move to League 1 side Sheffield United.

Arguably, it was his time in non-league football that helped him grow into the player he currently is, playing in a similar style to Andre Gray (who also had a spell in non-league with Hinckley and Luton) in that he has an abundance of pace, but compliments it with his strength on the ball.

This makes him a powerful force to be reckoned with in any of the forward positions he occupies. Not only can he score goals (12 goals for Sheffield last season) but he can also make them too (6 assists for Birmingham this season). With 2 caps for England U-20s under his belt, it may be only a matter of time before a Premier League club makes an offer.

Name: Ben Garratt

Age: 22

Club: Crewe

League: Sky Bet League 2

Position: Goalkeeper

He may be the only player in the bottom division of the EFL in this list, but Ben Garratt has as much chance of playing in the top flight of English football as all the others on this list.

The shot stopper came through the youth ranks at Crewe, famous for producing talents such as David Platt, Neil Lennon and Danny Murphy, among others. He quickly became Crewe’s regular goalkeeper half way through the 2013/14 season at the age of 18, and has kept his spot due to outstanding reactions in one-on-one situations and the ability to come and comfortably claim the ball from corners and crosses.

Garratt has racked up 157 appearances in his career so far and was awarded with the Player of the Season award last season. However, his time at Crewe may be coming to an end with his contract running out at the end of the season and clubs like Aston Villa sniffing around. So don’t be surprised to see him sign for a Premier League side soon!

Name: Will Hughes

Age: 21

Club: Derby

League: Sky Bet Championship

Position: Midfielder

Will Hughes is a name most have heard of, and is probably the best young English talent outside of the Premier League right now.

The young playmaker has excellent close ball control and precision passing, making him a nightmare to play against when in form. He has already played in over 180 competitive matches at the age of 21, which could have been more but for a cruciate ligament injury which kept him out for most of last season.

Hughes also has experience with the England U-21s, debuting at just 17 and having been capped 19 times. It is a surprise that a Premier League club hasn’t already snapped him up, but with Liverpool and Everton being the most recent top flight clubs to be interested in the creative midfielder, perhaps it’s just a matter of time before you see him playing for either club.

Name: Ronaldo Vieira

Age: 18

Club: Leeds

League: Sky Bet Championship

Position: Midfielder

Vieira has started to impress at Elland Road this season in Leeds’ bid for promotion.

Having come through the Leeds academy, the Bissau-Guinean has made 33 appearances this season, delighting fans with his technical ability and determination to win the ball. His hard working attitude and composure on the ball shows what potential this he has.

Time will tell whether the tough tackling individual could hold his own in the Premier League in the future, but a top flight club should definitely take a punt on this lad if Leeds fail to achieve promotion.

Name: Hélder Costa

Age: 23

Club: Wolverhampton

League: Sky Bet Championship

Position: Winger

The Angolan born winger had been on loan from Benfica this season before signing for Wolves permanently in January for £12.75m.

He has been a stand out player for a team that has had a tough season, being ever-present in the starting line-up with 39 appearances so far, scoring 11 and assisting 11 times in all competitions. The tricky winger has become Wolves’ top goalscorer in all comps and is joint 7th in the Championship assists table.

Hélder, who is eligible to play for Portugal, has played 6 times for the Portuguese U-21’s scoring 3 goals, and also played in the national team during the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

Although he only signed for Wolves in January, it would be surprising from this seasons performance if he isn’t playing Premier League football by this time next season or early the season after.

Name: Ryan Sessegnon

Age: 16

Club: Fulham

League: Sky Bet Championship

Position Left Back

This exciting youngster has had an astonishing debut season for Fulham so far.

The attacking full back plays with no fear, being able to defend and attack effectively in equal measure. His blistering pace gives him the ability to run up the wing to cross or shoot, whilst also being useful to catch attacking players whilst in defending situation.

So far he’s played 25 times for Fulham, scoring 6 and assisting 3 goals. He also became the first player to play in the FA Cup who was born in the year 2000. 

Sessegnon is touted as being a future star for the English national team, already having 5 caps for the U-19s.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with the Left Back, but it seems that the youngster will be staying at Fulham next season, but surely they can only hold on to him for so long.

Name: Leonardo Da Silva-Lopes

Age: 18

Club: Peterborough

League: Sky Bet League 1

Position: Midfielder

Da Silva-Lopes is another who has been impressing of late, becoming a first team regular for the Posh this season, appearing 39 times and scoring 3 goals.

His ability to switch the play effectively and play long searching through balls, whilst also being able to go passed his man with ease has made him difficult to play against and an asset to the team.

Da Silva-Lopeshas been linked to numerous Premier League clubs this season including the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.

Name: Rico Henry

Age: 19

Club: Brentford

League: Sky Bet Championship

Position: Left Back/Wing Back

Henry has everything you want from an attacking wing back; a great deal of pace, high work rate, good technique on the ball, ability to find a good cross as well as being solid at the back.

He was hot property when playing for Walsall last season but unfortunately picked up a shoulder injury last summer and has been unable to show his true potential in the Championship this season, only picking up 9 appearances.

However, if he can play with the confidence he played with before he picked up the injury, it won’t be long before he gains the attention of a Premier League side.

Name: Dominic Iorfa

Age: 21

Club: Wolverhampton

League: Sky Bet Championship

Position: Right Back

Iorfa is a player with a lot of experience for such a young lad, appearing 91 times for Wolves in all competitions at just 21 years of age.

He’s a Right-Back by trade, but can also help out at Centre-Back due to his physical stature (he’s 6’ 4”) and strength. His pace and work rate also make him a good CB but are utilised more in the RB position, helping out the winger or wide forward both in attack and defence.

His ability hasn’t gone unnoticed as he has bagged himself 12 England U-21 caps. Dominic has recently fell out of favour under Wolves boss Paul Lambert, and with West Ham reportedly interested in the defender, are his days of playing at the Molyneux numbered?

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All pictures taken from google image searches of players names.

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