In last season’s English Premier League (EPL), Jacob Ramsey, Conor Gallagher and Armando Broja were just three of the youngsters who made waves, breaking into the first teams of Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Southampton respectively. While Ramsey is expected to continue where he left off under the tutelage of Villa head coach Steven Gerrard, Gallagher and Broja have returned to parent club Chelsea after their impressive loan spells (although Broja is being tipped for a summer transfer). But which players are most likely to follow these young stars to make a name for themselves at the top of the English game? Get ready, because in this FIFA 22 Predictions article, we predict 5 under-21s who could make their way into their respective clubs’ first teams this season.
FIFA 22 PREDICTIONS: Breakthrough Star of EPL #1 - Levi Colwill (Chelsea)
It’s a summer of transition at Stamford Bridge. For starters, the club is under new ownership after Todd Boehly bought out Roman Abramovic. But there have also been several departures of top players, including two top center backs, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. One of the implications of that could be more playing time for the promising Levi Colwill. The 19-year-old spent last season on loan at Huddersfield Town and to say he impressed would be an understatement.
Playing on the left side of a back three, Colwill flourished, helping Town make an improbable run to the Championship play-off final (in which he, unfortunately, scored the decisive own goal – a rare blot on his copybook). His performances were so good that in January, Leicester apparently asked to take over his loan deal. Levi Colwill’s ambition shone through in an interview with The Athletic.
“I think I’m ready. I’ve learned a lot this year, so hopefully the next step will be in the Premier League with Chelsea, Huddersfield or whoever,” he said.
“I’ve improved my defensive side a lot. I’m winning more headers and being more aggressive. When I was playing for Chelsea’s Under-23s, I wasn’t as much of an aerial threat. But now I can win headers, I can challenge more. I still have a lot to improve. I need to work on my defensive side, scoring, and things like that. I’ll always be looking to improve.
FIFA 22 PREDICTIONS: Breakthrough Star of EPL #2 - James Garner (Manchester United)
Another club rebuilding this summer is Manchester United. Midfield reinforcements are high on new manager Erik ten Hag’s shopping list after a series of high-profile player departures; Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard are among those who have left the old Trafford in search of pastures new.
This could offer James Garner the opportunity to impress the Dutch gaffer. Last season, the 21-year-old shone on loan at Nottingham Forest, scoring 4 goals and providing 8 assists as the Tricky Trees earned promotion to the top flight for the first time in 23 years.
James Garner is composed on the ball and a threat from set pieces, valuable qualities that could persuade ten Hag to give him game time next season. If the former Ajax boss is reluctant to play Garner, Forest will want to sign the midfielder for another season and give him a deserved chance at Premier League level.
FIFA 22 PREDICTIONS: Breakthrough Star of EPL #3 - Tayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace)
The Irish left back looks set to follow in the footsteps of fellow academy product Tyrick Mitchell by making his way into the Crystal Palace first team in the coming seasons. An adventurous fullback who loves to get forward, the 18-year-old is known for creating chances – and he’s not short on defensive ability either. While his path to the starting XI may be hindered by the aforementioned Mitchell, one thing that helps the Dubliner’s cause is the fact that he can play in a more advanced midfield role if needed.
If Eagles boss Patrick Vieira decides not to throw Tayo Adaramola into the first team this season, the youngster will almost certainly be sent out on loan to a Championship club, with Preston among those reportedly interested. Either way, Palace has an exciting prospect on its books.
FIFA 22 PREDICTIONS: Breakthrough Star of EPL #4 - Carney Chukwuemeka (Aston Villa)
When we say that a young English player is attracting interest from Borussia Dortmund, we know that he must be a huge talent. Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham are among the stars to excel for the German giants in recent years and the latest name to be linked with a move to the Westfalenstadion is Carney Chukwuemeka of Aston Villa.
The star player of England’s U19 European Championship-winning summer, Carney Chukwuemeka captained the team and played in every game of the tournament, even scoring the second goal in the Young Lions’ 3-1 extra-time win over Israel in the final. He made 14 appearances for Villa in 2021-22, making two appearances in the starting lineup. A midfielder with strength, skill on the ball and impressive composure expects him to play more for Steven Gerrard in the coming season.
FIFA 22 PREDICTIONS: Breakthrough Star of EPL #5 - Liam Delap (Manchester City)
Another star of England’s triumphant European U19 Championship team, Liam Delap is a powerful striker who has made 60 appearances for Manchester City in his senior and junior teams, scoring 46 goals and providing 16 assists along the way. He is highly regarded at the Etihad, with manager Pep Guardiola once describing him as an “outstanding striker”, although he may struggle to find first team chances in 2022-23, with big summer signings Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez expected to enter the starting XI immediately.
It is more likely that Liam Delap will get his chance to shine on loan at another club, with Southampton among those reportedly interested in striking a deal. In fact, the Saints could be a good fit for the 19-year-old; last season, Chelsea striker Armando Broja impressed on loan at the south coast club, proving that youngsters will get playing time under Ralph Hasenhüttl.
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