English talent is seen as a valuable necessity particularly with Premier League clubs because of the league’s rule making clubs have at least eight home-grown players in their squad which means English talent is desired amongst every club especially with certain English youth in the Premier League not being good enough to retain a starting place in the starting eleven. With a majority of hot prospects coming from the Football Leagues, Premier League teams often are willing to pay double figure sums to acquire them mainly because their value may increase in years to come making them avoid paying even more money when players have matured and gained experience in the future. Players such as Wayne Rooney who was signed at the age of eighteen by Manchester United from Everton for a fee of around thirty million pounds, and Frank Lampard who moved to Chelsea in 2001 for eleven million pounds at the age of twenty-three, are prime examples of players who have developed and increased in value over time.
This is why this story focuses on the best English talent coming through during this stage of English football and why these players will become essential to the national team in the future and how and why they are showing their potential currently. Players such as Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane are renowned English talents due to their scintillating form from last season, however these prospects may surprise a few with the majority playing in the Football League.
Not the most notable name in English football at the moment but Adam Armstrong has grabbed the attention of several clubs with his early season form whilst on loan at Coventry City in League One. At just eighteen, Armstrong seems to have all the attributes to become a clinical attacker with the striker bagging six goals in his opening eight appearances for the Sky Blues in his attempt to impress Newcastle boss Steve McClaren who considers Armstrong at this stage of his career to be of less importance in his plans than current forwards Ayoze Perez, Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran and new arrival Aleksandar Mitrovic. Armstrong has represented the England national team at under seventeen level where his creativity and instincts showed as he scored on his debut in a win against Turkey at the FA International Tournament. England have certainly noticed Armstrong’s potential as a call up to the under eighteen squad paid dividends when he scored again on his debut twice against the Netherlands and made it four in four in later under eighteen matches.
Newcastle like many Premier League clubs haven’t ignored Armstrong’s ability with him making fifteen first team appearances mainly from the bench for the first team but has failed to score in any of them. This was a similar approach Tottenham Hotspur took when sending Harry Kane out on loan to a variety of clubs and this has allowed Kane to produce a number of enthralling and memorable performances to claim his place in the Tottenham starting line up with experience gained from lower league loans earning him the title of second top goal scorer in the Premier League last season. This shows that Armstrong isn’t quite ready for the pressures of the Premier League yet but his loan move to Coventry seems to be allowing the player to develop and show his worth and with him claiming two of the Football League’s player of the month awards already, he certainly shows the potential to follow in the footsteps of Harry Kane and could be the twenty goal a season Newcastle desperately need with their constant stuttering form.
The attacking midfielder is another of the Tottenham English contingent with the little magician earning his reputation as an exciting, creative, goal scoring midfielder in the Championship and League One.
This has earned him plaudits with being League One’s player of the year whilst playing for Swindon and the Football League young player of the year whilst on loan at Brentford which has been seen as his breakthrough season as consistent performances at a higher level of football has shown his ability and determination to make it in the Premier League. Despite interest from numerous Championship clubs, Pritchard turned down the chance for regular first team football and has this season took his chances vying an opportunity around the first team at Spurs. However, the influential midfielder suffered an injury setback at the back end of last season and although he’s fully fit again now, he has only featured once from the substitutes bench but with other youngsters such as Harry Winks and Tom Carroll in and around the first team, Pritchard will have to show his quality in order to impress Mauricio Pochettino.
Definitely one to watch in the future and has shown to have the talent to emulate English stars such as Jack Wilshere and fellow team mate Andros Townsend but will have to prove his credentials soon in order push is way into the senior team.
Again another attacking midfielder who made his name known last season with a pulsating season with Bolton Wanderers resulting in Manchester United paying attention to his impressive performances.
Neil Lennon (Clough’s manager) described the nineteen-year-old as an outstanding talent after he scored in a two, two draw with Wolves to make it three goals in two games showing his match winning capabilities which the England national team could do with possessing after greats such as Wayne Rooney retire. Despite coming through the academy, Bolton may not be the future club which Clough excels at and their poor finishes at the end of previous seasons show that Clough may not go on to earn regular plaudits and trophies if he stays with Wanderers. Clough will be evaluating his options in the near future indefinitely to assess which club will be best to bring out the best in him.
Certainly a player who can make it in the Premier League and the England side however a change of club is needed in the future as Bolton aren’t looking like a side who will make it in the Premier League however a move to Manchester United may benefit him as last season they gave chances to several of their youngsters including Paddy McNair as well as Andreas Pereira showing that young players are given opportunities in the Premier League so Clough will benefit from a move.
Undoubtedly one of the best products of the Leeds United academy last season, Lewis Cook played thirty-seven league games for the Whites last season showing maturity beyond his years and versatility making him an irreplaceable figure in the Leeds United line up. It also earned him the LFE Championship Apprentice of the year award and with plenty more awards to follow, Cook is sure to open up several doors in his career with his versatility being key.
Cook operates as a defensive midfielder for the Whites usually and his qualities going forward have meant him being shifted to a more attacking role in the three-man midfield that Leeds operate in. But like Zach Clough, Cook shows no sign of progressing in his career by playing at Leeds United. The turbulence and chaos at the club is severely hindering the progress of young talent however, Cook seems to see the light at the end of the Leeds United tunnel with him signing a new two-year contract and describing in the Express that Cook found it “easy to turn down the opportunity” to join a Premier League team. The York born youngster is undoubtedly in the eyes of the National team for the future having previously featured frequently in the England under seventeen squad when they won the UEFA European Championship and he now plays in Sean O’Driscoll’s under nineteen squad. His ability is evident and he’s a Steven Gerrard in the making if his impressive performances continue.
He will one day captain Leeds United and who’s not to say that he won’t captain the England team in the future. Only time will tell but consistency is what wins’ teams games which is the reason why Premier League clubs are fighting over Cook.
It’s hard to believe that Patrick Bamford used so sit on the Chelsea F.C. bench and play regularly in their reserve team and with his performances last season, you would have thought Bamford had been a striker playing for the Chelsea first team with his finish to the season as top scorer for Middlesbrough with seventeen goals and a goal against Manchester City in the F.A. Cup gaining plenty of attention in the summer from Premier League clubs, eventually landing him with a loan move to Crystal Palace.
With Middlesbrough failing to gain promotion to the Premier League, Bamford opted with a loan move to a Premier League team to gain him the valuable experience Chelsea are looking for to implement him into their first team to compete with current stars such as Radamel Falcoa and Diego Costa as well as Loic Remy waiting in the wings. Bamford has played for the England youth set up only at under nineteen and under twenty-one level showing that his international experience isn’t developed yet but the question isn’t whether he has the ability, it’s whether he can perform consistently at a higher level. Winning Championship player of the year for last season isn’t an award to see in a bad way compared with the Premier League player of the year award with a majority of the stars in the Premier League who are British based having featured heavily in the Championship during their development. For example, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, both regular starters for Arsenal, both featured for Nottingham Forest and Bolton Wanderers respectively.
This season is Bamford’s breakthrough season in a way to catch the eye of Jose Mourinho and with controversy surrounding current striker Diego Costa, Bamford may stand a chance in future of starting for Chelsea if he can prove at Crystal Palace that he can be as clinical and as deadly as he was last season. He also adds to the list of English strikers pushing into the senior squad along with Harry Kane and England are in need of strikers for back up when players such as Wayne Rooney call an end on their career.