Fans love nothing more than seeing a young player come up through the academy and make their mark in the first team.

Despite limited opportunities for youngsters to stake a claim, recent years have seen the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold , Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount make the step up for their respective sides.

And it seems the progress of those stars has given clubs renewed confidence to develop the talent already in their ranks.

With a whole host of teenagers and academy graduates taking centre stage during the Carabao Cup this week, we’ve ranked five of the best youngsters who’ve impressed so far this season.

Youngsters are hoping to emulate the stars of today
(Image: Getty Images)

Harvey Elliott

Elliott won a penalty for Liverpool against Arsenal
(Image: Action Images via Reuters)

The 16-year-old has hit headlines for the right and wrong reasons, after serving a 14-game FA ban for mocking England captain Harry Kane.

Probably not the best foot to get off on, but on the pitch he’s shown exactly why he is considered one of the most exciting talents around.

His displays in pre-season, and against MK Dons and Arsenal in the cup, have shown a maturity beyond his years.

He was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet against the Dons, rattling the crossbar twice, while also playing in his teammates with some expert passing.

And against Arsenal he won his side a crucial penalty to get them back in the game.

Liverpool are still awaiting their tribunal to determine how much they’ll pay for Elliott, after he switched Fulham to join them in the summer.

But early signs suggest they’ve already bagged a bargain. 4/5.

Gabriel Martinelli

(Image: Getty Images)

Arsenal had one of their best transfer windows in recent memory, signing five players with another to join next summer.

But of all the new arrivals, it was Martinelli’s switch from the Brazilian league which went under the radar.

Overshadowed by £70 million record buy Nicolas Pepe and the additions of David Luiz, Kieran Tierney and Dani Ceballos; Martinelli was largely unknown.

Yet his performances have already had Gunners fans calling for him to be handed a regular first-team spot after netting seven goals in as many appearances.

The 18-year-old has scored on all four of his starts for Arsenal – the first player to do so since legendary frontman Ian Wright.

He has largely been used in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, but has also gained valuable minutes off the bench in the Premier League.

And there are surely only more to come. 5/5.

Mason Greenwood

Greenwood is a valued member of the first-team squad
(Image: Getty Images)

Such is the hype around Greenwood that it is easy to overlook the fact that he has only just turned 18.

The Man Utd striker is already a first-team regular despite his tender years, featuring in 10 matches this season and scoring twice.

He grabbed the winner in the Europa League clash with Astana to score his first United goal, before following that up with one the following week against Rochdale.

A first Premier League start is still forthcoming, but boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has continually called for his services off the bench.

And his last performance saw him bag a crucial late winner in the under-21’s clash with Doncaster in the Football League trophy. 4/5.

Billy Gilmour

Gilmour keeps United’s Fred at bay
(Image: Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Frank Lampard has already shown he is willing to give youth a chance after taking over at Chelsea in the summer.

And in 18-year-old Billy Gilmour he has his next star in the making.

The midfielder made his first-team debut in the Premier League draw with Sheffield United back in August, and followed it up with a start in the 7-1 Carabao Cup drubbing of Grimsby in the last round.

Gilmour had his request to be loaned out this season rejected by Lampard, who clearly has him in his plans for the campaign.

He started the midweek clash with Man Utd and looks to have a bright future.

3/5

Read More

Mirror Football’s Top Stories

Tommy Doyle

(Image: Action Images via Reuters)

The grandson of former Man City players Glyn Pardoe and the late Mike Doyle made his first-team bow in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win over Southampton .

City fans were delighted 18-year-old Tommy was handed his debut for the clash, and he produced a promising display at the heart of their midfield.

He crunched into a few big tackles, and showed some nice touches on the ball, including one beautifully threaded pass.

His first-team debut has followed two performances for the under-21’s this season, one of which saw him score the winner against Bradford.

Doyle still has some way to go to match the legacy his grandfathers left at City, but he’s made a decent start. 3/5

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/5-premier-league-academy-youngsters-20759176