Saturday 25 January 2020

One for the future: Irish underage star included in prestigious list of the best young Premier League footballers

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

You are always run the risk of looking foolish when forecasting what young players might turn into stars in a few years time, but The Guardian's Next Generation list seems to be a reasonable assessor of talent.

The newspaper picks one player from each Premier League club as one to watch each year, shrewdly choosing Marcus Rashford as the Man United representative in 2014.

This year's list was released this morning, and it makes for promising reading from an Irish perspective. 16-year-old Dubliner Gavin Kilkenny, a winger who recently signed with Bournemouth from football factory St Kevin's Boys Club, makes the cut.

Kilkenny, an 'attack-minded winger with good feet, work-rate and technical ability' according to his youth coach at Bournemouth, impressed the Premier League club after arriving on a trial late last season.

He has been capped at U17 level and hopefully he follows the developmental curve of Rashford after he was picked on the same list two years ago.

Not since Damien Duff have Ireland had a winger who could marry the two most important traits for someone at the position - searing pace and an accurate delivery.

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