In today’s day and age, football is largely dominated by young players, who break through and make their spots permanent in the senior team. This has been prevalent now for some time and football has seen several youngsters make their name be it in the Premier League or La Liga or some other competition. Breaking records has also become a new normal for the young talent in the sport. The likes of Pedri, Phil Foden, and Erling Haaland have all made instantaneous impact since their senior team debut.
While some youngsters take time to accommodate to the intensity of the Premier League, some struggle to assert themselves, leaving them to pursue their careers elsewhere.
Playing in the Premier League is very different compared to other European leagues. The PL has a very high tempo and intensity, which drowns players under pressure and if they fail to settle right away, clubs look for other players. Here, we take a look at the 10 youngest players in Premier League history, and where they are now.
10. Jack Robinson – Liverpool – 16y 250d
Robinson began his career on a high, but a lack of playing time caused his career to take a dip. His football career commenced in Melwood before he made his Premier League debut for Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool against Hull City, coming on as a substitute and becoming the club’s youngest player in history.
However, in his four years at Liverpool, he only made 11 appearances and later began switching teams, having played on loan for Wolves, Queens Park Rangers, Nottingham Forest, Blackpool, and Huddersfield before permanently joining Sheffield United.
9. Reece Oxford – West Ham – 16y 236d
He signed his professional contract with the Hammers at the age of 16 and was immediately tossed into the senior team, where he made his Europa League debut as West Ham defeated Andorran outfit Lusitanos 3-0.
In August 2015, he made his Premier League debut against Arsenal, where he looked impressive in a 2-0 victory. However, his career did not turn out to be promising. The player was loaned to German club FC Augsburg, which later became permanent.
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8. Gary McSheffrey – Coventry – 16y 198d
The forward quickly created history when he made his Coventry debut under Gordon Strachan at the age of 16 against Aston Villa, becoming the club’s youngest player ever. His goal-scoring ability saw him score 53 goals for the club.
McSheffrey had a successful year with them before moving to Steve Bruce’s Birmingham. He went on to play for various teams before announcing his retirement. He is currently the manager of Doncaster Rovers.
7. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy – Aston Villa – 16y 198d
Much was expected of the Englishman early on in his career, following his debut for Aston Villa’s first-team seven years ago. He had replaced Christian Benteke in a 4-0 win over Sunderland. However, after three underwhelming spells at Cambridge, Tranmere, and Derby County, Villa were forced to release him.
The teenager quickly found a new club in the Cypriot First Division, with Pafos signing him. He now has another chance to rekindle his career and return to the Premier League.
6. Jose Baxter – Everton – 16y 191d
In his youth, Baxter quickly seized the opportunity when he was considered to play for Everton’s senior side in the Premier League. The 16-year-old came off the bench and was tagged as the youngest Everton player in the Premier League.
His career, however, fizzled, and he joined several clubs thereon. In 2020, he signed for USL Championship side Memphis 901.
5. Aaron Lennon – Leeds – 16y 129d
The Leeds academy product soared through the ranks and was promoted to the senior team. After coming on as a substitute in a narrow defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in August 2003, Lennon set the record for being the club’s youngest-ever player.
The winger impressed a number of Premier League clubs, and Tottenham were the first to cash in. Lennon spent a significant part of his career at White Hart Lane, making 364 appearances. He was also called up to the England national team. Lennon moved around, changing teams in the Premier League, before settling down at Burnley.
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4. Isaiah Brown – West Brom – 16y 117d
Brown had a flop career as well, and the only record he could set was becoming the Premier League’s second-youngest debutant. He only appeared once for the Baggies, in a 3-2 loss to Wigan.
Chelsea saw something special in him and signed him, but he repeatedly struggled to amaze Jose Mourinho. Isaiah became the unfortunate victim of pressure and hype and was eventually loaned out.
3. Matthew Briggs – Fulham – 16y 68d
Briggs was a spectacular player whose career took off when he donned the Fulham colours in Premier League 2006/07. But his playing time was cut short and he spent a lot of time swapping clubs. This resulted in the declination of the player’s career.
2. Harvey Elliott – Fulham – 16y 30d
The sky is the limit for Harvey Elliott, and the teenager is now playing for one of Europe’s best teams. The West London debutant was a teenage prodigy – one of the youngest to achieve stardom quickly. He made his debut against Wolves in the 2018/2019 season, breaking the record for the youngest Premier League debutant by 38 days.
After only a year of exploding onto the scene and proving his abilities, Liverpool came knocking and signed Harvey Elliott. He is now an essential member of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool squad, having recently scored his first Liverpool goal in a 9-0 drubbing of Bournemouth.
1. Ethan Nwaneri – Arsenal – 15y 181d
Mikel Arteta has hailed Ethan Nwaneri after making the 15-year-old the youngest-ever player to feature in a Premier League game.
Nwaneri was brought on deep into stoppage time in the win over Brentford to make his senior debut for the Gunners on Sunday. With the attacking midfielder being just 15 years and 181 days old, it means he has smashed the record previously held by Harvey Elliott.
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