Phil Foden

The 2020/21 Premier League season has reached its halfway point after 19 games for most teams. This unprecedented season has delivered its fair share of surprises and breakthroughs, with Manchester United currently at the top as nine different teams have spent time in first position.

Hence, Football Castle brings together a list of the best Under-21 players in this season’s Premier League.

Illan Meslier

The French goalkeeper has been impressive between the sticks for Leeds United and it is even more impressive that he didn’t make his league debut until february 2020. Having joined the Yorkshire side on loan to be backup, he benefited from an eight-game ban for Kiko Casilla and hasn’t looked back since. 

Meslier was immense for Leeds to see off the final games of last season as they won the Championship title. The 20-year-old has kicked on in the Premier League this season with a string of impressive performances, keeping six clean sheets having made 67 saves so far despite conceding the most goals (34) as Leeds have been breached by superior opposition in Marcelo Bielsa’s expansive style.

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Phil Foden

The ‘Stockport Iniesta’ has been outstanding as he has been afforded more minutes at Man City following the exits of David Silva and Leroy Sané. The England international has registered a number of scintillating displays this season, scoring four goals and two assists.

His stock seems set to rise in the coming weeks with Kevin De Bruyne set to miss up to six weeks of action. Crucially, Foden is highly-rated by Pep Guardiola, earning his manager’s praise after a goal and assist in the win over Chelsea.

“So proud. He never drops nothing, energy, how he helps… He can play in all four attacking positions, he has a sense of goal. He’s a guy we rely on incredibly. He’ll be top player, so clever, so calm. Another great performance!” Guardiola said.

Wesley Fofana

The 20-year-old has proven a revelation since he joined Leicester from Saint-Étienne for £36 million. The centreback’s technical ability, speed and aggression have been a big boost for the Foxes who have well moved on from Harry Maguire’s time at the club.

Part of the solidity has seen Brendan Rodgers’ men sit two points worse off the top in third place. What marks Fofana out is his pace and flexibility which make him one of the most exciting defensive talents in Europe. At this rate, the Frenchman is destined for the very top and is in the perfect surroundings at Leicester.

Pedro Neto
Pedro Neto has become a key player for Wolves. (PA)

Pedro Neto is the biggest benefactor from the sale of Diogo Jota to Liverpool as he is enjoying more minutes this term. The Portugal international has shone and is already one better than his goal contributions from last season with four goals and three assists.

Neto came to prominence for Wolves at Arsenal in November on the night Raúl Jiménez suffered a horrific skull fracture. He scored the opener and set up Daniel Podence for the winner, before scoring another late winner against Chelsea weeks later.

Neto’s pace, trickery and wonderful left foot make him a livewire who is perfect for the Premier League as he is already one of its most exciting youngsters.

Reece James

James started the season with a thunderbolt from 25 yards on opening day against Brighton as a sign of things to come. The 21-year-old is enjoying a wonderful season as his undoubted potential is being harnessed by Frank Lampard’s team this season. 

James is instrumental for Chelsea at both ends of the pitch as his crossing from right-back is the highest in the squad as well as his unperturbed defending. James is staking a serious claim as the best right-back in the Premier League this season and must get out of a current run of five defeats in eight games to push on.

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka has been sensational for Arsenal since making his debut in 2019, registering the most assists for the club in that time. The 19-year-old is one of the first names on the team sheet as his versatility and creativity make him undroppable.

The Gunners have a lot to thank Saka for engineering them out of a seven-game winless run during which they failed to score from open play. Alongside Saka, his academy teammate Emile Smith Rowe has been a huge creative boost behind Arsenal’s upturn in form as he was brought in against Chelsea and they have gone unbeaten in four games since.

Smith-Rowe is creating two chances per game and has chipped in with three assists in only five games as his movement, passing and hunger have revitalised the team.  

Who is your best Under 21 Premier League player in 2020/21? Let us know in the comments below!


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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