New Kids On The Block – Barkley , Shaw , Zaha , Redmond , Eriksen

greenshot_2013-09-13_13-10-25There is plenty of negativity surrounding the England set-up at the moment but there are also reasons to be optimistic, with a number of quality youngsters emerging.

These players have the potential to take the Premier League by storm this season. They could even find themselves on the plane to Brazil next summer should England qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Here are the top five under-21 players to watch out for this term, a list almost entirely made up of English talent:

Ross Barkley, 19 – Everton

Barkley has been touted as Steven Gerrard‘s successor in the England side, such is his immense promise and potential. The Liverpool-born midfielder is physically strong, demands the ball, can take players on, and execute a pinpoint pass with either foot. He also has a fierce shot. Barkley and Jack Wilshere are the future of England’s midfield.

Luke Shaw, 18 – Southampton

The left-back caught the eye of the Premier League big boys last season, his first as a professional. To the relief of the Saints, he signed a new long-term contract. He has been likened to Gareth Bale, the world’s most expensive footballer. He has pace, trickery and is solid defensively. His chances could be limited at international level for the time being, but there is a chance he could be converted into a winger.

Wilfried Zaha, 20 – Manchester United

The winger first grabbed United’s attention in November 2011 when he inspired Crystal Palace to a shock League Cup win at Old Trafford. He stood out in Palace’s promotion season either side of his move to United. Zaha has plenty of pace and can beat players with ease, although he can be guilty of trying too many tricks. He has yet to make his Premier League debut but will make a big impact when given his opportunity by David Moyes.

Nathan Redmond, 19 – Norwich

Redmond has pace to burn and could leave Premier League full-backs with nightmares. The winger has already opened his Premier League account. He has excellent close control for someone so quick and is a constant threat in the final third. The former Birmingham man will go far, that much is for sure.

Christian Eriksen, 21 – Tottenham

The Denmark international was one of the bargains of the summer. Spurs landed the midfielder for just £11.5million during the latest transfer window. He has already played in a World Cup, regularly in the Champions League and has three league titles under his belt. Eriksen has superb technical ability and an eye for a pass. He will light up the Premier League.

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