Five teenage sensations from the Football League to watch in 2015
With the winter window less than a week away from closing, Coral’s football experts got thinking about which lower league rising stars are worth watching?
Even if some of the teenagers we’ve picked out don’t make Premier League moves this time, they may do so in the summer, so are worth keeping an eye on. Here’s five of the best:
MK Dons box-to-box performer Alli, 18, is attracting interest from Newcastle United after reaching double figures for goals in League One. In fact, Karl Robinson’s prize asset is essentially averaging a strike every other game with 12 from 25 third-tier outings so far. The Dons are a tasty 10/3 to top their division this term.
At Ipswich Town since he was seven, midfielder Bishop has now broken into the Suffolk side’s first-team. Tractor Boys boss Mick McCarthy has bravely freshened up his engine room by including the 18-year-old, and that has alerted Liverpool. Bishop has even grabbed a senior goal, helping Ipswich get a 2-2 draw with fellow high-fliers Bournemouth.
Leeds United midfielder Cook, 17, is getting first-team exposure in a deep-lying engine room role where he has shown maturity way beyond his tender years. This teenage talent that has come through the ranks at Elland Road is excellent on the ball and willing to graft, so it’s no wonder the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United have been linked with him.
Birmingham City winger Gray, 18, announced himself by hitting a hat-trick in a 6-1 rout of Reading that cost Nigel Adkins his job as Royals boss back in December. Gary Rowett can expect big things from this brilliant Blues academy product, and has ruled out a sale to Championship leaders Bournemouth. Birmingham are 12/1 chances to finish in the top six.
Last, and by no means least, is Derby County midfielder Hughes, who has now racked up over 100 Championship appearances for the East Midlands outfit, and he doesn’t turn 20 until April! This shows amazing confidence in the player from Rams head coach Steve McClaren and Pride Park predecessor Nigel Clough, whose old club Liverpool have shown past interest. Derby are 11/4 second-favourites to lift the second tier title.