BEST YOUNG ENGLISH PLAYERS

Here’s our six reports on a selection of our favourite young English players. More profiles can be found in the goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, wingers and strikers sections, with more club and nation specific pages as well. Below, you’ll find profiles covering backgrounds, styles, strengths and weaknesses, while providing links to where you can find out more about them.

You can find our best and most detailed reports in the Scouted Football Handbook, our quarterly magazine in which we profile 25 of the world’s best up-and-coming talents, with additional features and interviews also included.

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LAST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 7, 2022

Trevoh Chalobah

Chelsea's Trevoh Chalobah

DATE OF BIRTH

05/07/1999

positions

Centre-back

CLUB

Chelsea

NATION

England

CHALOBAH

14

HEIGHT

1.90 metres

PREFERRED FOOT

Right

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

background

It is possible that Trevoh Chalobah could have broken into the Chelsea senior team a little earlier, but three senior loans have served him well. Two spells in the Championship, in addition to his 2020/21 spent in France with Lorient, has seen him blossom into a dominant ball-winner in midfield, or as a centre-back in a three.

 
 

 

 

STYLE OF PLAY

Chalobah does have some on ball limitations. He struggles to progress play with his passing, which is problematic playing in the midfield of a big team. Likewise, moving with the ball through traffic is not one of his strengths either.

It really lends him to have a higher ceiling as a centre-back. From there, these limitations are less problematic, and his ability to carry the ball into space quickly and proactively comes to the fore.
Regardless of whether he is playing in midfield or defence though, Chalobah is an elite ball winner that leverages his incredible athletic profile into being a nuisance off the ball.

He is fast, agile and robust in the challenge as well – the perfect profile to be the most aggressive defender in a back three that will step out of the defensive line and pressure the ball carrier. But likewise, playing in midfield he has the freedom to be almost as aggressive as he wants to be, turning him into a massive roadblock for opposition teams trying to progress the ball.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi

DATE OF BIRTH

07/11/2000

positions

Wide attacker

CLUB

Chelsea

NATION

England

HUDSON-ODOI

20

HEIGHT

1.77 metres

PREFERRED FOOT

Right

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

background

Callum Hudson-Odoi’s inevitable development into a top-level talent has been clear for some time. Dominance at youth level for Chelsea and an Under-17 World Cup title as a key player in one of the most dominant youth international teams in recent history underlined that. A chequered injury history since then has been the only thing threatening to derail his progress.

STYLE OF PLAY

Hudson-Odoi is elite, or around the elite level, in a number of categories. But first and foremost, he is an incredibly good ball-carrier, whether it be charging into space in transition, or beating a player on the dribble.

Importantly, when he does this, he can continue on into the final third and be extremely damaging, proving himself to be an adept progressive and creative passer, as well as a good goal scorer during his time playing at youth level. The goalscoring has tailed off at senior level as he continues to play in more reserved roles with less license to charge forward.

While it is an asset for most players, Hudson-Odoi’s versatility has been a key factor holding him back at Chelsea. However, Thomas Tuchel’s insistence on playing him as a wing-back seems to have subsided in 2021/22, and the Englishman has got back to his best, playing predominantly off the left.

Josh Dasilva

Brentford's Josh Dasilva

DATE OF BIRTH

23/10/1998

positions

Number 8

CLUB

Brentford

NATION

England

DASILVA

10

HEIGHT

1.84 metres

PREFERRED FOOT

Left

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

background

A breakthrough players in the 2019/20 season for Brentfotrd, Josh Dasilva was a standout midfielder in the Championship with Brentford. He was a striker in Arsenal’s youth teams before Thierry Henry (then-Arsenal U-19 coach) dropped him into deeper positions, initially as a left-sided defender then into midfield.

Despite helping Brentford achieve promotion to the Premier League, he had to wait seven months before he could make his first appearance for the club in the first division as a serious hip injury sidelined him for the entirety of 2021. Back on the pitch, Dasilva is capable of helping Brentford build toward Premier League safety.

STYLE OF PLAY

He’s a dynamic midfielder. Dasilva plays as an right-sided 8 for Brentford, making key contributions in every phase of play.

An impressive athlete, he has good burst and change of pace, as well as the power to sustain big runs over long distances. He looks a couple of inches taller than his listed 6’0” and his solid core means he can withstand challenges.

His athleticism is a key to his ability as a ball-carrier. Dasilva coordinates his physical attributes with good technical skill to break pressure in congested areas then drive into open space with poise and power. Dasilva’s general technical level is strong too. He has good touch and technique in his passing and dribbling, and is also a very decent ball-striker. Around the penalty area, he is adept at sliding clever through passes into runners or shifting the ball to shoot from the edge of the box with his strong left foot. 

He doesn’t offer much defensively, but he has the basics skills to do so. His mobility enables him to cover a lot of ground, his robustness in contact can disrupt opponents, and his long legs can knick the ball away.

Eberechi Eze

Crystal Palace's Ebere Eze

DATE OF BIRTH

29/06/1998

positions

Attacking midfielder

CLUB

Crystal Palace

NATION

England

EZE

10

HEIGHT

1.79 metres

PREFERRED FOOT

Right

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

background

Ebere Eze suffered a lot of rejection in formative years, having been dropped by Arsenal, Fulham, Reading and Millwall before joining QPR as a 17-year-old. That didn’t stop him from establishing himself as a genuine superstar in the Championship with exciting skillset and high-level ceiling once he broke into the first-team, though. He made his big move to the Premier League move in 2020, joining Crystal Palace for a fee of around £20 million.

Eze became a regular in Roy Hodgson’s side, offering an alternative attacking threat. An achilles injury stunted his progress at the end of last season, and he’s now making a tentative return to football in a refreshed Palace side under Patrick Vieira.

STYLE OF PLAY

Eze was an extraordinary player in the Championship. He combined graceful touch and technique with explosive bursts of speed, making him a dangerously dynamic attacker. He offered similar bursts of brilliance in his first Premier League season too.

Ball-carrying ability is a key aspect of his skillset. He has the control and athleticism to eliminate multiple players and drive into open space. His coordination in tight spaces is good, as is his ability to withstand contact. Eze regularly bounces through challenges or skips over tackles using tight touches to keep possession and explosive burst to create separation. Similar to an NFL QB (Lamar Jackson) in ability to extend sequences, turn out of pressure and exploit space.

Eze is good at manipulating the ball to create separation to shoot or draw a foul too, and is efficient at linking play across final third, probing defences with fast combinations. He has potential as a creative passer – with decent vision and touch to see/attempt killer passes – but has some inconsistencies also.

He has potential as a proactive defender: solid technique in defensive duels to jockey ball-carrier, and has the athleticism to match opponents, recover defensive positions or press the ball effectively. Unfairly criticised for perceived lack of work-rate.

Reece James

Chelsea's Reece James

DATE OF BIRTH

08/12/1999

positions

Right-back

CLUB

Chelsea

NATION

England

JAMES

24

HEIGHT

1.80 metres

PREFERRED FOOT

Right

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

background

Reece James has been at Chelsea since the age of six. A two-time FA Youth Cup winner, two-time U18 Premier League champion, Toulon Tournament winner, Toulon Team of the Tournament, Toulon Tournament Player of the Final, UEFA European U-19 Championship winner, his youth career was prestigious.

But it was a loan spell to Wigan during the 2018/19 season that provided the Cobham graduate with his first taste in senior football, and it was Frank Lampard’s arrival at Chelsea that gave him a chance at his boyhood club. He hasn’t looked back since, establishing himself as an important player under Thomas Tuchel.

STYLE OF PLAY

Reece James has played on the right side of a back three, as a wing-back, a full-back, and even in an all-action midfield role at Wigan.

Physically, James is stocky, strong, and unrelenting. He moves quickly enough to cause concern, as well as combining it with a strength that makes him a powerful runner. His stamina means  he can hit the same velocity in the first minute right until the last too.

A great crosser of the ball, his ability to find team-mates on the run from dead-ball situations makes his distribution arguably his greatest asset. He has a catalogue of different deliveres into the box, utilising his strong technique to whip all kinds of crosses into danger ous areas.

Defensively, his athleticism enables him to cover big spaces in behind the defence, and his physicality is a huge asset in one-v-one duels. All in all, James is a well-rounded full-back.

Tariq Lamptey

Brighton's Tariq Lamptey

DATE OF BIRTH

30/09/2000

positions

Right-back

CLUB

Brighton

NATION

England

LAMPTEY

2

HEIGHT

1.63 metres

PREFERRED FOOT

Right

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

background

While Chelsea have done a better job of blooding young academy players into the first-team in recent years, there will be many players taht decide to forge a pathway away from the club. Tariq Lamptey is one of them.

He made the move to Brighton & Hove Albion in the winter of 2020, and his decision to leave Chelsea has been thoroughly vindicated. Away from Stamford Bridge, Lamptey has been able to break into a Premier League team and establish himself as one of the league’s most exciting young players.

STYLE OF PLAY

As a miniature player, Lamptey is always going to struggle body-to-body, but he has shaped his game around his best asset: his electric pace. His speed allows him to command the entire right flank, making direct runs at the opposition full-back near the penalty area at one end, before just as quickly recovering to make an intervention near his own box.

Already he is developing a great tactical understanding working within Graham Potter’s three-man defensive system, recognising when he has cover to push forward and stretch the field, or when he needs to tuck in and provide defensive cover himself.

Perhaps his best defensive attribute is the amount of cover he can provide his team when they have attacking set-pieces. It is so hard to launch direct balls to counter Brighton from these situations because Lamptey can cover the ground so quickly.

With the ball at his feet, he can be a little bit untidy. However, his directness constantly puts defenders into stressful situations where they are in danger of giving away penalties. His excellent agility when moving at speed makes it very difficult to tackle him cleanly.

Noni Madueke

PSV Eindhoven's Noni Madueke

DATE OF BIRTH

10/03/2002

positions

Right wing

CLUB

PSV Eindhoven

NATION

England

MADUEKE

10

HEIGHT

1.82 metres

PREFERRED FOOT

Right

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

background

Former Tottenham Hotspur academy player Noni Madueke has had a blockbuster start to life as a professional footballer, rapidly announcing himself on the youth football circuit in Holland since his 2019 arrival.

Madueke made it abundantly clear with his straight-line dynamism, strong ball-carrying ability for his age and ability to turn ball dominance into tangible opportunities that he was ready for first-team football.

Under Roger Schmidt, Madueke has been used as a right-sided forward or right-winger, often from the substitutes’ bench to accentuate his outstanding physical attributes.

STYLE OF PLAY

He has high-level potential as a dribbler, makes smart decisions which often end in goals or assists and has strong command over his technical ability even when moving at pace. Combined with his natural athleticism, Madueke has the potential to play multiple positions and in multiple setups, although against high-lines he will naturally be most devastating.

For a player so young, the core attributes which often develop a little later such as honed ball-striking technique from good locations and the ability to ride multiple challenges are already in place. 

Should he continue to add to the building blocks currently aiding him in becoming one of the Eredivisie’s most explosive players, there is nothing to suggest he cannot be a top-five leagues calibre attacker.

Mason Mount

Chelsea's Mason Mount

DATE OF BIRTH

10/01/1999

positions

Attacking midfielder

CLUB

Chelsea

NATION

England

MOUNT

19

HEIGHT

1.80 metres

PREFERRED FOOT

Right

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

background

Mason Mount’s arrival on the scene has seemingly broken the glass ceiling at Chelsea. At times it seemed he would never get a look in, but after consistently excelling on loan spells with Vitesse and Derby County (where he starred under his eventual manager at Chelsea, Frank Lampard) he eventually got his opportunity and took it with both hands.

Like Reece James, Mount is now an established first-teamer at Chelsea, fulfilling important roles uner Lampard and now Thomas Tuchel.

STYLE OF PLAY

Mason Mount is relentless. He has moulded himself into a pressing machine that harasses defenders for 90 minutes and can match them physically with immense core strength.

The things he can do with the ball have been evident since he was 17. He is a great goal scorer from an attacking midfield position or as an interior, but also someone that can play the killer pass with great accuracy and without hesitation.

Nit-picking weakness is not easy, but compared to his other strengths, his dribbling in one-on-one situations where he can isolate a defender could be improved.

An area that he could work on that could really help him improve when playing up front is in the air. As noted above, he has a strong core that should help him win more duels despite his lack of height if he can better understand how to use his body in these situations.

Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham. Foden because of his value to City, Sancho because of his move to Manchester United, Bellingham because of the complete package he presents.

It’s difficult to look past Jude Bellingham in terms of potential. If you want more obscure names, look at players like Levi Colwill, Fábio Carvalho and Marcus Edwards.

Football Manager is all about being creative, so look for the lesser-known names in your saves. Keane Lewis-Potter is perfect for lower-half Premier League sides while Noni Madueke would be a good fit for European-level teams. There’s countless names to pick from.