There is always much hype when young players make their debut on the brightest stage of all. The bright-eyed players make headlines bursting onto the scene as a young 16 year-old putting many teenagers into a mix of awe and shame. However, the raised expectations of young debuts can cause some of these talents to falter and not reach up to their valued potential. With that in mind, just who were the youngest Premier League players of all-time and did they live up to the hype?
The 6 youngest Premier League players ever
6th. Jose Baxter (16yrs 191 days)
There was much hype about some of Everton’s youngsters at the start of the 2010’s yet very few reached their true potential. Whilst Ross Barkley enjoyed some success, the same can’t be said for the likes of Jose Baxter who debuted in 2008 against Blackburn for The Toffees.
Baxter’s pace made him a threat but his raw ability continued to hinder his career throughout the rest of the decade. After failed spells with the likes of Oldham and Plymouth, Baxter has since relocated to the US featuring as a prominent player in the second tier of American football with Memphis 901.
5th. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (16yrs 176days)
As Aston Villa battled for Premier League survival in the mid-2010s, they tried a whole host of different options such as untried youth prospects. Enter Rushian Hepburn-Murphy as the young striker debuted in 2015 against relegation rivals Sunderland.
His opportunities remain limited and despite loan spells with Cambridge United and Tranmere Rovers, Hepburn-Murphy was eventually released from his contract. However, he remains fifth on our list of the youngest Premier League players ever.
4th. Aaron Lennon (16yrs 129 days)
There were very few players ready to deal with the explosive pace of Aaron Lennon when he debuted for Leeds in 2003 – taking on the club he would be best associated with in Tottenham Hotspurs. It was his move to Spurs that rocketed him into a regular starter in the English top flight where his pace and trickery caused havoc for the very best defenders in the game today. It has led to a stellar career for the winger featuring prominently in North London for a best part of a decade before spells with both Everton and Burnely.
3rd. Izzy Brown (16 years, 117 days)
Third on our list of the youngester Premier League players ever, Izzy Brown was considered one of the best prospects at Chelsea during Jose Mourinho’s second spell with the club. The big-haired attacker joined the club having appeared briefly for West Brom in 2014 and impressed with his tenacity.
The move to Stamford Bridge didn’t pan out well for Brown who was forever kept on the backburner and sipped to sides such as Vitesse Arnhem, Rotherham and Luton Town whilst seemingly stuck in the vast depths of Chelsea’s reserve system.
2nd. Matthew Briggs (16yrs, 65days)
Sometimes, the weight of expectations can cause too much pressure for a young player to handle. That happened to Matthew Briggs who debuted for Fulham in 2007. Unable to cope with the rigorous demands that were expected of him after debuting, mental health issues forced Briggs to take a break from the game.
He enjoyed a return to the game with Chesterfield in 2018 before further issues forced him to drop lower playing for non-league side Dartford Town. Briggs has still enjoyed some success though regularly featuring for the Guyana national team playing alongside some Premier League veterans such as Neil Danns.
1st. Harvey Elliott (16yrs and 30 days)
The youngest player to ever feature in the Premier League came from one of the strongest sides in recent memory. It happened in May 2020 when Harvey Elliott was given a debut by Liverpool against Wolves just as they were close to securing the season’s league title. Elliot looked promising on his debut and featured several more times on the bench before renewing his deal with Liverpool for several more years at the start of the 2020/21 season.
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