Youth Is The Future More Than We Think

On the brink of a brand new Premier League season, the make-up of squads throughout the division could start to take a different shape.

There has been a resurgence of young players making an impact at the top level over the last couple of seasons, as well as on the international stage.

With transfer fees and wages continuing on their upward spiral, there has to be a breaking point. The resulting impact could well have already paved the way for young players to be given a chances sooner than they would have done in recent years.

It is understandable that clubs outside of the top six will struggle to name a squad of 25 players to start a season. Funding such is costly, even with the riches that the Premier League brings but it is starting to happen to the top six.

Look at the top six sides last season – the promising Phil Foden has forced his way into the Manchester City Premier League winning side, while Chelsea have seen Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi break through and look likely to add Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham to the list this season. Liverpool are looking likely to lean on Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson as Spurs have often blooded young players under boss Mauricio Pochettino with Harry Winks the latest.

At Old Trafford, United have spent money on youth this summer and going against the very point here by adding our very own Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James from Swansea but have already seen Scott McTominay feature heavily in the past couple of seasons. Arsenal have seen Riesse Nelson, Ainsley Maitland Niles and Joe Willock break into their first team.

The beauty of youth team players is that they do not take up a spot in the Premier League squad so it does make you wonder how clubs outside of the top six do not spend more on their youth academy. With the way that youth is starting to be used across the football world, it may prove beneficial from a number of perspectives.  

Palace themselves have struggled to name a 25-man squad on more than one occasion, and will not have been alone. The need to dip into the youth academy may be seen more often during this up and coming season.

It has happened before with success, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the obvious example from the last couple of seasons but there have been none of note since Wilfried Zaha. At the moment there is plenty of talent in the youth set up with the likes of Luke Dreher, Nya Kirby and Sam Woods all looking for their chance to impress.

It has been much publicised that South London is a hotbed of talent with a number of players being successfully scouted in the area. The likes of Joe Gomez, Jadon Sancho (who was busy for helping Dortmund win the Super Cup against Bayern Munich at the weekend), Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi all grew up South of the Thames and none of them found their way to Palace.

There have been plenty before them and there will be a lot more to come and while it is difficult to find every talent within the vicinity of Selhurst Park, more must be done to ensure very few of those, who should be the future of our club, slip through our fingers.

Some will come and go, Sullay KaiKai to name but one was highly rated for a long time but whether or not fans believe he had a fair chance, it just did not work out and is now plying his trade at Blackpool. Ryan Inniss is another who has been very well thought of for some time, he is still at the club looking to break through.

The make-up of a Palace side always used to include a number of players that came through the youth ranks and it would be welcome to see a return to that.


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