The Top 5 Young Footballers in London

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Regarding the best young players in London-based football, there are certainly a number of choices. Some of the top young players in the league play in London, with some fantastic youth players being divided between Arsenal F.C. and Chelsea F.C. as the two teams are sitting high and mighty with their youth development and signings. Arsenal in particular is indeed a safe bet, as wetten.com will tell you, with Arsenal having been on a five-game undefeated streak largely thanks to their youth development. So who are the top five young footballers in London currently?

#5 William Saliba

William Saliba is a 21-year-old French defender who has shown some real skill already this season, as well as being able to play a strong game with France. While he may not have been a starting feature for the French, he is a definite starter for Arsenal. He has managed to start in every game for the London side, and has scored a pair of goals and an assist during his appearances.

Overall, Saliba could prove to be one of the best young defenders in the Premier League, let alone in London. With the right development, Saliba could easily make his way into the list of top defenders of the Premier League.

#4 Mason Mount

Mason Mount is currently one of the top performers with Chelsea. The player has managed to be a consistent feature for his team, moving the ball effectively, and able to play anywhere on the pitch, putting up five points across 15 games, and managing 27 tackles so far this season. The 23-year-old Englishman has performed admirably, and is certainly a player who bases his game around passing the ball accurately to create space for his teammates.

A true midfield maestro, Mount has made nearly 490 passes across 15 appearances, with 22 successful long passes. If Mount could work on his crossing accuracy, as well as work on propelling his team to some better performances, he could easily move up this list, but for now, Mount is a close fourth for the best young player in London.

#3 Declan Rice

Declan Rice has had an absolutely amazing season, as well as an amazing career thus far. Teams will be competing for this 23 year olds signature, as they have been fighting to sign him at many points during his career. Despite playing as a defensive midfielder typically, Rice has put up three points ni the season so far. His defensive stats have also been admirable with 146 recoveries so far as well as 25 interceptions.

In terms of setting up plays, Rice is a midfield catalyst, with nearly 1000 passes in just 16 appearances. It’s no wonder that Rice has been named as captain of his team, given how high his total workrate is, from defense to offense, if Rice has the ball West Ham fans can be confident it will result in something good. As well, Rice has been a large part of why David Moyes earned more time at West Ham United as manager. Sitting in third place for the best in the league doesn’t fully capture just how good this player is, but he still has time to move up this list during the season.

#2 Gabriel Martinelli

Gabriel Martinelli is the leading goal scorer in London, and at just 21-years-old, the Brazillian player still has a lot of room that he can grow into. Currently he has been benefiting from some stellar playmakers feeding the ball to him, including his attacking partner Gabriel Jesus feeding him the ball to help him score some stellar goals. While he might not be the best at passing the ball himself, his scoring ability has been top class so far.

Defensively he has managed 12 successful tackles on the year and has done well in recovering the ball. However, he isn’t very good at holding the ball himself, being dispossessed on duels more often than winning them. Overall, if he can improve his performance in keeping the ball, he could easily move up this list, but even in second place he is still an impressive player.

#1 Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka is definitely in a tight contest to be the top player on this list. With 11 points in 15 appearances, this Englishman has proven to be an irreplaceable 21-year-old player. Playing with Arsenal, Saka currently has the most assists with the team, as well as the most points of any player on this list, and second most in the league as a whole.

The midfielder has played amazingly during his time with Arsenal, and makes some amazing plays to create space for his teammates, which is a big part of the reason why his team is currently sitting on top of the league. The only drawback to Saka currently, is his minimalistic defensive contributions, however, that can also be attributed to his managers system for play, which sees the wide players stay farther up the pitch rather than coming to aid in defense. Overall, Saka is a player Arsenal will want to hang on to for as long as they can, because this young phenom seems like he will be a star player for a while to come.

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Honourable Mentions

Martin Odegaard: Team captain of Arsenal, Odegaard has managed some great performances this season, as well as tying Martinelli for the most goals with Arsenal. Odegaard was a very near runner up for the number five slot on this list.

Dejan Kulusevski: Kulusevski has had a fairly good season with Tottenham Hotspur. Currently the 22-year old midfielder leads the team in assists, and has done well for himself to earn a spot in the starting XI of the team given how much depth they have in midfield. He may not be the falshiest player, but his stand-up performances certainly earn him an honourable mention in this list.

Kai Havertz: Havertz is a strong player for his team, even after having to adapt to playing a striker position as opposed to his usual mid-field position. This change in position hasn’t hindered the player since coming to Chelsea though, as he still manages some impressive stats. He was a near miss from the top five in this list, but he is still certainly an amazing player.

But what do you think? is there anyone that should be on this list that we missed? Let us know down in the comments.

main image credits: Getty Images

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Having written with Overtime Heroics for two years as a variety writer, Alex Sorichetti now serves as a managing editor with the company.