Playing at the highest level possible is the stuff of dreams, and every season, there are always prospects who will get their chance of making the breakthrough in the Premier League. In the 2023/24 campaign, a whole host of younger players are on the cusp, and we’ve picked out the ones who could realistically crack it this term.
After impressing at Bolton in League One on loan from Manchester City in 2022/23, it was thought goalkeeper James Trafford would be heading to the Championship this term to continue his development. However, after a stellar U21 Euros tournament with England, Burnley opted to buy Trafford and make him their number one on their return to the Premier League. The stopper now has the platform to perform every week, but he will have his work cut out, as The Clarets aren’t heading into many games expected to win, according to EPL match betting right now.
Spurs signed Destiny Udogie last summer and immediately loaned him out to Serie A outfit Udinese for a season. And, while some loans don’t end up going to plan, this one did, with the Italian getting plenty of senior action under his belt. The twenty-year-old has since returned to parent club Spurs, and under new manager Ange Postecoglou, has been the starting left back in a side that has so far kept two clean sheets from three outings. Udogie has already registered an assist, too, and is impressing down the Spurs left flank.
Ian Maatsen, 21, like Udogie, is another left back out to impress after enjoying a loan spell away from his parent club. Maatsen spent a successful campaign with Burnley in 2022/23, helping the Clarets gain promotion to the Premier League. But now he’s back at Chelsea and in and around the first team. At present, Manager Mauricio Pochettino looks like he may hang onto the young Dutchman, especially if Marc Cucurella heads out on loan to Manchester United. But, with both Burnley and West Ham among the admirers, if Maatsen could find regular first-team football this term, it’d certainly aid his development more.
Cole Palmer is at a crossroads where his fledgling career is concerned. He’s in and around it at Manchester City and has won everything there is to win and contributed to that success with important goals. However, at twenty-one, he’s still very much on the fringes and has only been thrust forward due to players leaving. If City decide to let the winger go this summer, it would be to another Premier League outfit, and getting that all-important regular senior football under his belt would give him the platform to flourish even more.
2023/24 will be a huge season for young players looking to make their mark in the Premier League. And many of them are already good enough to do themselves justice; it’s just whether clubs are willing to give them the game time to perform. The four mentioned above should be given just that, either at their parent clubs or out on loan elsewhere, and they could all be deemed a great success come May.