10 young stars to watch during the 2012/13 Premier League

With the 2012/13 Premier League season getting under way this weekend, here are 10 under 21 players whom I think will raise a few eyebrows in England’s top flight this season:

Steven Caulker (20 – Tottenham – Centre Back)

I’ll get the one-and-only defender out of the way first (I’ve actually ordered them in alphabetical order).  Steven Caulker has spent the past 3 seasons out of loan, working his way up the leagues.  From Yeovil, Bristol City and last season, Swansea City, the big centre back is looking to break into the Tottenham Hotspur first team this season. Ledley King has retired but he still has the injury-prone Michael Dawson, experienced William Gallas, Younes Kaboul and new-signing Jan Vertonghen in his way.  He was part of the Swans defence that kept 14 clean sheets in their debut Premier League season and started all 4 of Great Britain’s 2012 Olympics matches.  Comfortable on the ball and decent in the air, Caulker has a bright future ahead of him.

Kerim Frei (18 – Fulham – Winger)

The Austrian-born, former Swiss under 21 and wannabe-Turkish international only made cameo appearances in the Premier League last season under Martin Jol, making just 6 starts and completing 90 minutes on just 3 occasions.  One year old and 12 months to settle in, now 18-years of age, Kerim Frei will be looking to show his skills on a more frequent basis at Craven Cottage this season.  Used on the left wing, he has the likes of Damien Duff (played the majority of last season on the right wing), Pajtim Kasami and Alexander Kacaniklic to compete with for a starting place.  Hasn’t mastered the dribble just yet and does play a simple passing game, Kerim Frei has good technique and he will only get better with age.

Eden Hazard (21 – Chelsea – Winger)

Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea have spent a lot of money this summer improving their midfield.  The most expensive of those signings has been Lille’s Eden Hazard, who had previously been linked to both Manchester City and United.  Despite a comical failed backheel in the Community Shield last weekend there is much expected of the Belgium forward who scored 20 goals in Ligue 1 last season.  Rotation is expected in a midfield that now contains an abundance of talent, but provided he can bring over his form from France, Hazard can expect to play a big part in Chelsea’s team this season.

Pajtim Kasami (20 – Fulham – Midfielder)

Another young midfielder in the Fulham squad, Pajtim Kasami was given limited time in the Premier League last season but did get a chance to impress in the Europa League.  With Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu departed and Clint Dempsey requesting a transfer, a space has opened up in the centre of Fulham’s midfield.  Moussa Dembele, Steve Sidwell and Mahamadou Diarra remain, but Kasami has been given the number 8 shirt which suggests he may be in Martin Jol’s first team plans this season.

Ryo Miyaichi (19 – Wigan Athletic – Winger)

Loaned out to Bolton Wanderers for the second half of last season, Arsene Wenger has sent Ryo Miyaichi out on loan again this season too.  Roberto Martinez’s Wigan side like to play with the ball on the ground which should benefit the skilful and pacey Japanese winger.  He failed to score in 14 games with Bolton, but did create a number of opportunities for his team mates.  On the opposite wing he’ll have Victor Moses, provided the Nigerian does not force a move away from the DW Stadium between now and the transfer deadline.  These two will offer a good attacking threat for the perennial relegation candidates.

Victor Moses (21 – Wigan Athletic – Forward)

Only 21 years old, Victor Moses has been around for a few years now since he broke into the Crystal Palace first team at the end of 2007 after scoring for fun in the youth teams.  In the second half of last season, Moses started showing his potential at Wigan.  Prior to that, I thought he’d underperformed for a long time, barely scoring or assisting.  A pacey winger who frequently takes the ball past defenders, Moses scored a couple of goals at the end of last season when Wigan got some form together to pull out of and away from relegation.  If Wigan are to continue their good form at the end of last season and make a rare good start to the season, expect Moses to be a key part of that.  Provided he’s not sold.

Oscar (20 – Chelsea – Midfielder)

Another of Chelsea’s big summer signings, Oscar was given the infamous Brazil number 10 shirt for the London Olympics.  Looks like a great future awaits this Brazil, a playmaker who likes the ball at his feet and who gets on the scoresheet too.  He’s competing with Juan Mata and Frank Lampard for that role behind the striker at Stamford Bridge though, but Di Matteo is going to give him his opportunities.  The Premier League’s tougher than the FIFA under-20 World Cup where Oscar shined in 2011, and tougher than the Olympics too, but I have no doubt Oscar will succeed.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (19 – Arsenal – Winger)

Impressed on the cameo opportunities Arsene Wenger gave him last season, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain even got called up and participated in Euro 2012.  A youngster that Arsene Wenger hasn’t sent out on loan one thing that bodes well for the former Southampton youth.  Technically-gifted, pacey and likes to take full-backs on, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has everything to become a top winger in the Premier League.  Gervinho, Andrei Arshavin and maybe Lukas Podolski will be rivals for the starting left forward position, but I’d expect Oxlade-Chamberlain to get more time to impress than he did last season.

Raheem Sterling (17 – Liverpool – Winger)

Anticipating playing time in the Premier League this season, Raheem Sterling has been built up with high expectations from Liverpool fans over the past 12 months or so.  The former Queens Park Rangers youth scored for fun in the youth leagues, but this season he is amongst the seniors having been given shirt number 31.  It may take a while to get a run of games in the team, but Liverpool don’t have a great deal of wide men; Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Joe Cole to be precise.  So Sterling should get time.  He’s very quick and with an eye for goal.

Jack Wilshere (20 – Arsenal – Midfielder)

If Jack Wilshere ever recoveries from his long-term injuries and can find the form he was showing when he was playing, he’s certainly got a great future ahead of him.  He impressed during a half season loan at Bolton Wanderers in 2010 which lead to him playing 35 games for Arsenal the following season.  He was involved in most of Arsenal’s good work going forward, has great technical and passing ability.  Needs to learn how to tackle, but he’s still young and provided he finds his full fitness this season, then Jack Wilshere has the ability to be a star.

Written by Barrie.

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7 thoughts on “10 young stars to watch during the 2012/13 Premier League

  1. R.e. Caulker

    Bassong has joined Norwich and Dawson on his way to QPR.

    Caulker also won player of the year awards at both Yeovil and Bristol City

  2. Sterling is still very raw and I don’t think we’ll see him pushing into the first team beyond a few matches. He’s certainly showing the signs of being a clever, tricky player but he’s undoubtedly going to find the EPL a big step up. He’s small and still slight of build. Regardless of your skill, it takes an adjustment to deal with the raw physicality of top flight football.

    Might find that he becomes an option off the bench with 15 left in the game, the time when his pace and trickery could be used to best effect.

  3. A few from the Spain Under 19s could make a breakthrough, Suso should have chance at Liverpool. Also Dennis Suarez should be loaned out from City, bags of potential. I also sense Ross Barkley will have a big season at Everton. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Steve Clark, look at the likes of George Thorne and Saido Berahino.

  4. Hi Rob,

    Re: Caulker – the article was written and submitted hours before the Sebastien Bassong deal was announced. I’ve updated it now.



  5. Hi Brad,

    Nice points. Sterling looks like he’s getting a few opportunities at the moment with Joe Cole’s injuries. We’ll see how the season goes for him. Maybe I wrote this 12 months too early.



  6. Hi James,

    I will keep a look out for those names. However, David Moyes has said he plans to loan out Ross Barkley to the Championship this season. Whether that happens for him or not (I suspect it won’t be difficult to find someone interested), I don’t think he’ll get a great deal of time in the Premier League this season, just like he didn’t last year.



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