It may surprise the current generation to know, but there was a time when the Premier League had significantly less foreign imports than it does now. In the early days of the league, high-priced foreign talent was not nearly as prominent as it is now, with a lot of home-grown talent making its way to the forefront of the English game and making names for themselves as they went.
Talent, Brilliance, Genius. Some of the superlatives that we associate with some of the most remarkable footballers in England’s top flight. Words that may also go some way to describing the players chosen in the recently announced Premier League team of the season. But as the dust settles on this ever iconic moment and fan debates over the chosen XI begin to heat up, we can perhaps turn our attention to another XI that would be just as interesting to consider; those who have been the rotten apples of this season and caught the eye with some dreadful performances. There is certainly no personal glory for the footballers unlucky enough to be involved in this team, and even less superlatives to credit them with or compare to the best. Using the classic 4-4-2, which players have earned the unwanted honour of a place in this team?
Full Name: Kylian Mbappe Lotin
Age: 18 (20/12/1998)
Current Team: AS Monaco, Striker.
A little bit of history…
The MLS is back under way for the 2017 season, with FC Dallas and Seattle aiming to retain their titles as Supporters Shield and MLS Cup champions respectively. Dictate the Game are huge MLS fans and in particular, New York Red Bulls supporters, therefore we thought we would put together 11 players that you should look out for whilst watching MLS this year.
Despite it being over 25 years since Yugoslavia disbanded into 6 separate countries, I thought that it would be interesting to see what kind of XI could be created by combining all of the current footballing talent from the countries which used to form Yugoslavia. I scouted across Europe’s top leagues to pick out the best talent from the countries that made up the country (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo) and formed them into a compelling XI.
The Sky Bet League Two is known as a breeding ground for some of the countries top talents. Many players who have gone on to play in the Premier League and represent their country at international level have been originally given an opportunity in League Two. Many players who are currently representing England such as Joe Hart, Adam Lallana and Michail Antonio have played in League Two, are here is the best XI of the current crop of League Two’s best young players.
Christy Pym – Aged 21
The former England u21 international had a turbulent 2015/16 season, but after impressing manager Paul Tisdale in training, Pym is now Exeter’s first choice man between the sticks and has contributed a massive part in a club record run where The Grecians have gone unbeaten in 11 games and counting.
Matt Clarke – Aged 22
The Suffolk born defender signed a 3 year deal with Pompey in July after leaving Ipswich. The Tractor Boys may come to rue this decision after the 6″2 centre back has formed a great partnership with Christian Burgess to shore up Portsmouth’s defence and help the 2008 FA Cup Champions to challenge for promotion.
Kyle Howkins – Aged 20
Hawkins is on loan from Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion, and the young man is rated very highly by youth coaches at The Hawthorns. He has slotted nicely into a formidable Mansfield Town defence this season, making 16 appearances for The Stags.
Jack Whatmough – Aged 20
The Pompey youth product first appeared for the first team aged just 16, and since then the Gosport born centre back has made over 50 appearances for club. The young defender suffered a serious knee injury which has kept him out for over a year, but the signs are looking promising and the comeback is rapidly approaching for Whatmough.
Ollie Watkins – Aged 21
The exciting youngster burst into Exeter’s first team back in the 2014/15 season, and has slowly worked his way up from the occasional bench appearance to starting place, and he’s now a vital player for Exeter. His 10 goals and 5 assists have helped his Exeter side to an impressive run and are currently sat 4th in the table, whilst Watkins is drawing much attention from Championship and even Premier League clubs.
Cameron McGeehan – aged 21
After youth spells at Chelsea and Fulham, the Kingston born central midfielder signed on permanent terms with Luton in 2015, and since then he has been influential in The Hatters midfield, and despite a recent injury sidelining the young talent, the future is bright for McGeehan.
Tom Lapslie – Aged 21
After signing professional terms with Colchester United back in 2015, the dynamic central midfielder has really come into his own since dropping into League Two, and he has shown that he can play at a much higher level, standing out among many. He’s made 22 starts this season in a season where the Essex outfit will be looking to go back into League One.
Oscar Threlkeld – Aged 22
After a loan spell at the Pilgrims last season, the Bolton born midfielder waved goodbye to his hometown club and joined Argyle on a permanent basis. Since returning, Threlkeld has been a key player in Argyle’s promotion bid, playing 27 games this season and chipping in with a few vital goals and assists. He is a very popular figure at Home Park and has been tipped to play at a much higher level.
Billy Waters – Aged 22
After joining The Robins upon their relegation from the football, the Epsom born attacker was given a chance to flourish in the National League, and after an impressive 11 goals in his first full season as a professional footballer, Waters is looking to better that this season, having already scored 9 and assisted 2 after just over half of the season gone. An exciting prospect.
Arnold Garita – Aged 21
The Cameroon born forward is currently on loan in deepest Devon at Plymouth Argyle, and from what fans have seen so far, the 21 year old has a big future in the game. The 6″2 striker is known for causing havoc in opposition boxes, and is having such a good season at Home Park, he’s extended his loan until May. Play-offs are the aim for Plymouth Argyle, and with Garita leading the line they have a very good chance of achieving that goal.
Scott Kashket – Aged 20
Despite being just 20, Kashket has had a colourful career so far. After almost completely leaving the game after being told he wouldn’t make it, the man from Chigwell pick himself up, dusted himself on and persevered with his career. He’s currently on fire playing for Buckinghamshire outfit Wycombe Wanderers, and with his 8 goals this season averaging at a goal per game, he’s very much a wanted man.
That was Dictate The Game’s best League Two young XI? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know on our twitter (@dictatethegame), or in the comments!
Written by Saeed Moulai.
The 2016/17 Premier League season is shaping up to be one of the most intense and memorable seasons ever. With arguably 6 teams still in the title race, and pretty much all of the bottom half of the League looking over their shoulder at the drop zone, combined with the addition of new managers such as Pep at City, Conte at Chelsea and Jose at United, this season has the potential to be the most scintillating one ever.
But with all this attention, we now look to the players who are often ignored, not in the headlines but still do a very important job for the team. Here is Dictate The Game’s Premier League XI of Underrated Players.