PART DEUX – The homegrown players Alex Keble believes have the best chance of succeeding in the Premier League in 2023–2024

Jul 18, 2023

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LONDON, England – According to FBRef, Colwill has been averaging 5.16 progressive passes per 90 during the past year, which places him in the 92nd percentile among center-backs in the top five leagues in Europe. He has attempted 85.94 passes on average over the past year, which puts him in the 99th percentile.

Colwill’s technical ability does not, however, come at the expense of traditional defense, in contrast to so many excellent ball-playing center-backs of his generation. He is a dominant center-back who is strong and well-rounded and capable of controlling the air.

The rarest of rarities can be found in the central midfielder for Aston Villa: a young, talented English footballer who is performing at a high level in the Premier League while somehow avoiding attention. A player this talented, reliable, and young would be expected to be accustomed to pressure by this point.

The start of the season is anticipated to be Ramsey’s absence, but it shouldn’t take long for him to start grabbing attention and forcing his way into the senior England team. The 22-year-old has an odd build, and when at his best, he weaves around the middle of the field before rushing in late to score, evoking the image of an antiquated central midfielder that is uncommon in today’s game.

This may be the reason Emery has chosen to employ Ramsey on the left side, where he can dribble forward on the counterattack and drift diagonally towards the middle.

It is evidently effective. Only three players Ramsey’s age or younger scored more goals and assists in the Premier League last season: Erling Haaland, Gabriel Martinelli.

His involvement in goals in 2022–2023 all occurred after Emery’s appointment, with the exception of two. Ramsey should definitely become well-known after a complete season with the Spaniard.

The Manchester City center-back, who spent the previous season on loan at Burnley, has traveled a similar route to Old Trafford, and while he hasn’t garnered as much attention as the England goalie, Harwood-Bellis is still a name that many are familiar with.

That is because he led the defense that notably didn’t allow a single goal in the tournament while captaining England’s Under-21s in each of their six games during the European Championship.

The focus now shifts to his club future and if he will play for the champions or go to another Premier League team.

Similar to Trafford, Harwood-Bellis excels in his position’s technical qualities and appears at ease with the ball against Kompany’s possession-focused Burnley.

However, if he ends up at another club, the expectations of the role might alter, and in that scenario it would be interesting to see how he adjusts and grows.

Another graduate of the Man City Academy, 21-year-old Palmer, feels as though he is at a similarly crucial crossroads and may be considering a loan move for the 2023 to 24 season.

Given that he has only ever started three senior games, it is clear how highly Guardiola views him as an impact sub for City’s first team, but something needs to change when he reaches an age where regular first-team play is essential.

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