With the 2019/20 Premier League season reaching its conclusion on Sunday, some managers have started to turn their focus towards next season - and even beyond.
Multiple youngsters have seen increased first-team minutes at their respective clubs over recent weeks, and you would expect a few more to get some time on the pitch during the final day of the season as well.
So with that said, here's a list of youngsters we're likely to see more of next season on the back of their recent performances.
1. Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas was such an unknown to those outside of the King Power, that he was completely missing from the official Fantasy Premier League game itself.
But the 19-year-old has certainly established himself as one to watch, having been voted the club's man of the match in their 2-0 win over Sheffield United. He created the first goal and never looked afraid of venturing forward, while also being solid at the back too.
With Ben Chilwell's future in the Midlands uncertain, Thomas may have staked a claim for a regular first-team spot next season.
2. Ben Johnson
Marcus Rashford was poor tonight for Man Utd but thought Ben Johnson did a terrific job on him. Real bright spot in another solid West Ham display ?? pic.twitter.com/LTLBGTxmzl— Toby Cudworth (@Toby_Cudworth) July 22, 2020
While the departure of Jeremy Ngakia will hurt West Ham fans, the recent displays of Ben Johnson will help to soften the blow, with the right-back acquitting himself very well in his two Premier League appearances so far.
The 20-year-old was particularly impressive against Manchester United's Marcus Rashford in the recent 1-1 draw, making the most tackles and clearances of any other player on the pitch.
He's also shown glimpses of his skills going forward and could certainly be a future part of David Moyes' side as the Scot increasingly turns to youth.
3. Ellis Simms
Though he's yet to play in the Premier League just yet, exciting young forward Ellis Simms was named on the bench by Carlo Ancelotti for their last game, and could break into the senior team next season.
He scored a staggering 46 goals in all competitions last year and has continued his fast development since being promoted to the reserves, with eight goals in his 15 Premier League 2 appearances this season.
Having attracted interest from across Europe, the Toffees may have to give him more game time in a bid to keep him, and a substitute cameo on Sunday could mark the start of him forcing his way into the first team sooner rather than later.
4. Tyrick Mitchell
Defending Adama Traoré is quite the task for your first Premier League start - as Tyrick Mitchell experienced on Monday.
But an injury to regular left-back Patrick van Aanholt, who may be out for the start of the 2020/21 season, may result in more opportunities for the youngster going forward.
Defensively solid, and with great anticipatory skills, he could certainly be a great player for Crystal Palace as Roy Hodgson looks to find younger prospects for his side.
5. Kelland Watts
SB on Kell Watts:— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 24, 2020
"There's a possibility [he could make his debut]. He hasn't played for something like five months so it'd be a big ask. He was out on loan and did very well and we're pleased with his progress." pic.twitter.com/NVrAMcSAGp
With Newcastle's defensive stocks taking a massive hit with multiple injuries, 20-year-old Kelland Watts could be in line for a start on Sunday, and even more opportunities at the start of next season if his experienced teammates don't recover in time.
A left-footed centre-back, he made 19 appearances for League Two side Stevenage this season and is an athletic player who boasts strong technical skills.
If he plays and does well against Liverpool's potent forwards on Sunday, expect Watts to stick around St James' Park next season and get more minutes for the Magpies.
6. Lloyd Kelly
Like Newcastle, Bournemouth have also seen many of their first-choice defenders sidelined for their final stretch of games. Enter Lloyd Kelly, who's admirably stepped up to partner Steve Cook as the club fight for top-flight survival.
The 21-year-old is a great technical player, and is unafraid of taking on opponents with the ball. An England Under-21 international, he's also versatile enough to play left-back, and is a great fit in Eddie Howe's ball-dominant style of play.
With Nathan Aké possibly on the move, Kelly could get more minutes in the Cherries' backline going forward.
7. Jake Vokins
He's seen little action this season, but if Ralph Hasenhüttl's comments are anything to go by - expect Jake Vokins to play more beyond his single league appearance.
Comfortable with the ball, he's a very capable defender, as well as being unafraid to take risks going forward. Making his Premier League bow against Brighton, his manager called his performance 'brave', putting him in the frame for more game time on Sunday.
With there being a lack of cover for Ryan Bertrand at left-back, Vokins could be a key rotation piece for the Saints during their 2020/21 campaign.
8. João Pedro
With Watford struggling for goals at the moment, Brazilian forward João Pedro may be the spark the club need to reinvigorate their style of play next season.
Sure, the 18-year-old isn't the finished product yet, and needs to work on his finishing - but he's a fantastic dribbler, and tireless runner on the pitch - which will certainly make him an eye-catching player to watch in the future.
He impressed in his 20-minute cameo in their defeat at West Ham, and a new manager could decide to use him more next year - depending on how well he develops over the summer.
9. Mace Goodridge
With Jeff Hendrick leaving the club in June, Burnley's midfield stocks are low and in need of investment at the moment.
Yet they could also give an opportunity to their youth - and Mace Goodridge would likely be in line for minutes if that's the case. A former Manchester City youth product, he's an all-action player capable of getting goals for his team.
He's been named to Sean Dyche's bench over recent weeks, and may be given more chances next season to stake a claim in their midfield going forward.
Source : 90min