The pearls of the Premier League 2021-22

It is a time of generational change in England. Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp are renewing their squads, as are all the hopefuls to hunt down Manchester City and Liverpool. Clubs like Manchester United or Arsenal continue to blame the departure of coaches like Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger, although the Londoners seem to have found the key with the hiring of Mikel Arteta. And in turn, with the reconstruction of the squad in which the Gipuzkoan is involved. The relays, also in other clubs, have been going strong. New stars appear in clubs across the country, and even several of these youngsters have already enjoyed prominence with their respective teams.

Phil Foden, 21, Manchester City

The fact that Foden is still 21 years old is more surprising than his inclusion on this list. Not in vain has it been the win that the fans and a panel of experts award to the best young player in the Premier League. The one from Stockport took the award for the second consecutive year after a season in which he has once again taken a giant step. Another one. Of the youth player who debuted with the first team at just 17 years old in 2017, only the number remains. His 47 has become a number to be reckoned with. Whoever wears it at Manchester City is capable of unblocking a stuck game or resolving any matter. Foden has been a key part of City’s path to the title, and this season he has enjoyed more starts than any other. Whether in the playmaker, false nine or extreme. He is an idol at the Etihad, and the best thing (for his team, the worst for the rest) is that he still has a lot of room for improvement.

Bukayo Saka, 20, Arsenal

Headache from any side that intervenes. Bukayo has finished exploding this season. He already had a relevant role last season, earning the title and even participation in the last EURO 2020 with England, although he was one of the protagonists of the final. One of the footballers who missed from eleven meters. Despite his youth, the Londoner has not been daunted this year. He has had the confidence of Mikel Arteta and has shown that he is capable of assuming stripes. And this story has only just begun. Saka is, along with Emile Smith Rowe (21 years old), Gabriel Martinelli (20 years old) or Aaron Ramsdale (23 years old), present and future of an Arsenal that wants to return to the forefront. With 12 goals and 7 assists, 2021-22 has been his most productive season.

Reece James, 22, Chelsea

He is solid defensively. It is robust. He is powerful, fast and tremendously technical in attack. Reece James hasn’t surprised anyone this season, but he has continued with his unique upline. He has enjoyed more minutes and has taken advantage of them. When Romelu Lukaku was injured midway through the season, James took over scoring responsibility and was even the team’s top scorer for weeks. He deflated slightly, like all of Chelsea, after the sanctions against Roman Abramovich and the process of selling the club, but in addition to his good work in defense and attack, he showed his versatility. He is capable of playing on both wings, either as a winger or as a winger, but he can also act as a central defender and even as a midfielder.

Connor Gallagher, 22 años, Crystal Palace/Chelsea

Energetic, hard-working and technically gifted. Connor has an exquisite first touch and a fantastic vision of the game. He is capable of stealing, driving and scoring. He did so against Everton in one of the best goals in the Premier League. A screamer, as they say in England. A bit for him is worth hollering. Gallagher played the 2021-22 campaign at Crystal Palace on loan, alternating various roles within midfield. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has already made it clear that he is counting on him for next season.

Dejan Kulusevski, 22, Tottenham

He arrived in January from Juventus, but in just half a season he has managed as many assists as Kevin De Bruyne, chosen as the best player of the course in the Premier League. Eight in all. Kulusevski has been one of the main culprits in Tottenham’s return to the Champions League after a subdued start to the campaign for North Londoners. Another versatile footballer, capable of playing on the wing, in midfield and as a midfielder. He presses, he steals, and he gives out. He combines, he plays easy. But he is also decisive. As well as eight assists he has scored five goals in his three months in England.