Manchester United’s Zidane and Manchester City’s new Neymar

Manchester United's Zidane and Manchester City's new Neymar

Less than a month remains before the start of the season in the English championship. And Premier League clubs begin intensive preseason preparations. Particular attention is paid to the clubs of the so-called “Big Six”. Of course, mostly everyone keeps an eye on the leaders, the newcomers. But the tight preseason tournaments are also good for the fact that young players can develop there.

It is not uncommon for a bright game in the preseason to be the reason for a player to book a place in the main team and to become a prominent figure in a top club for the whole season. That’s why we offer you a list of young players you should pay attention to and see their potential during the preseason for the “Big Six”.

Alejandro Garnacho 

While MJ is struggling to step up with big-name newcomers, fans of the club can rejoice with the 18-year-old Argentine. He already has a call-up to the Argentine national team, training experience with Lionel Messi and even a debut in the main team. Garnacho scored a double in the FA Youth Cup final and went the way of Rashford and Scholes, winning United’s Young Player of the Year award.

Two years ago the winger moved from Atletico Madrid to MJ for £420,000, preferring Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund. Garnacho’s idol was Cristiano Ronaldo. Given the Portuguese’s current situation and his desire to leave the team, Alejandro could lift the fans’ spirits and become their new favorite. Eric ten Hag’s experience in discovering young talent is also encouraging.

Charlie Patino 

Mikel Arteta is trying to build a solid team, and the signing of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City for £45 million is impressive. But Arteta has brought in Saka and Smith-Rowe, who are already playing an important role in the team. That speaks to the coach’s desire to rely on his own youth. So we can expect more discoveries in that direction. Patino could be the next such player.

The Canaries’ academy pupil quickly won the sympathy of the fans when he scored in his debut game for the adult team in the League Cup last December. “Arsenal won the battle for Patino in 2015 for a reason, ahead of Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City. Successful work in this area could be the key to Arsenal’s return to its former positions. The experiences of Sack and Smith-Rowe should inspire Patino and reassure fans.

Harvey Vale 

Chelsea’s top academy player showed good form last season and has already earned a place in the starting lineup. Now the Blues are in an era of change, and it often brings these young players into the starting line-up, giving them room to break through. Rhys James and Mason Mount came through Chelsea’s youth teams, which will motivate Vale and his peers. The 18-year-old Vale is even somewhat similar to Mount. He’ll try to prove on the tour that he’s worthy of more chances in the main team.

Thomas Hill

The Reds had a fairly active summer campaign, acquiring Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsey. There were attempts to acquire Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund, but Jurgen Klopp turned them down, saying the player was simply unavailable. There has been speculation that Liverpool still need to look for midfield reinforcements, but Klopp sees perfectly well the capabilities of the immediate reserves.

And the coach’s lack of ambition to get a star in midfield at all costs motivates those young players who expect to break into the main team. Hill is one of them. He needs to impress in the coming weeks. Thomas has passed almost every level of Liverpool’s academy, and now he is one step away from fulfilling his dream. If successful, it will be a powerful and beautiful story for all fans.


We’re no longer talking about the academy here, but a promising player who needs to prove himself in the preseason. Kaikie was acquired in April 2021 by City from Fluminense for 8.5 million pounds, which already speaks of high hopes. The 19-year-old winger has been compared to Neymar, with Liverpool and a number of Spanish clubs following him.

And now Kaika has both a competitor and a potential role model by his side, Erling Holland. Kaikie made his debut for the main team last season in the FA Cup game and played a month later against Norwich in the Premier League. There are many stars at the Etihad, so the Brazilian will get his main chance during preseason. And his future practice depends on it.

Harvey White 

The 20-year-old White has yet to make his Premier League debut, but he will get a chance to prove himself in the preseason. He has already played for the main Spurs team in the Europa League and FA Cup. He is a fairly versatile player, good in attack and defense, so the potential and flexibility is high – it is important to channel it all and, perhaps, to specify his position and goals.

Zidane Iqbal 

The very name of this player obliges a lot and exerts pressure. And the coaching staff believes in him, which led to the signing of the 19-year-old until 2025. That happened in June – six months after his Champions League debut against the Young Boys. He was born in Manchester but plays internationally for Iraq, where his mother is from. He joined United at the age of nine and signed his first professional contract last year. Iqbal played 16 games for the Under-23 team last season, scoring two goals.

Tino Anjorin 

Well, of course one can’t help but follow this 20-year-old player, who may be familiar to some from a brief visit to Lokomotiv. He also had a rental experience at Huddersfield, Southampton showed interest in him. However, Chelsea did not agree to sell Anjorin, seeing great potential in him.

Interestingly, he made his debut for the Blues’ main team quite some time ago – he played in the League Cup in September 2019, but then sought practice in other teams. As we know, Chelsea doesn’t hesitate to get rid of players by scattering them on rentals, but Anjorin was taken on a U.S. tour this time. Seems like a sign of confidence and a chance to prove himself.