Premier League Breakout XI

Aakash Rao
4 min readDec 20, 2023

Welcome back to my blog, and today we will be taking a look at the best 11 of emerging players in the PL ( in my humble opinion, of course.)

GK: Bart Verbruggen

The Dutch goalkeeper recently signed for Brighton in the summer transfer window, but has already shown why he was worth the 20 million spent on him. Apart from a calamitous error against Bournemouth, the Dutchman has been quite impressive whenever he has gotten to start ahead of Jason Steele. While he may not be the undisputed number one as of now, his potential is clear to see, and he should definitely blossom into a quality goalkeeper in a season or two.

RB: Rico Lewis

The Manchester City graduate hasn’t necessarily been playing right back for City this season, but I had to include him due to his exceptional performances for the Citizens. The Englishman has been phenomenal in both the PL (when he’s played) and the Champions League, playing with confidence and skill to showcase why he has been trusted by Guardiola to feature in important games.

CB: Jarrad Branthwaite

The Everton centre-back is not really having the ‘break-out’ season of his career considering he was already a regular starter last season, but this season he has truly emerged as one of their standout defenders. The Toffees have been hit hard by a brutal 10-point deduction for breaking the PL’s financial rules, but the young Englishman has remained resilient and unfazed despite his young age. He has rescued the Everton defence countless times with vital interventions and precise tackling, and he will be key to the Toffees avoiding relegation.

CB: Jan Paul van Hecke

The Dutch defender is the second Brighton player to feature in this article, and rightly so. Van Hecke has been a rock in defence for the Seagulls, clinching a starting spot over summer signing Igor. He is still only 23 years old and will surely establish himself as a key player at Brighton in the coming seasons.

LB: Destiny Udogie

Destiny Udogie has been (arguably) the most unexpected high flyer this season for Spurs, as he has come back from his loan at former club Udinese and established himself as one of the best fullbacks (on current form) in the league. His attacking prowess and speed have allowed Spurs to utilise him well down the left-hand side, and the only way is up for the young Italian.

CM: Pape Matar Sarr

Spurs have had back-to-back players in this 11, as Pape Matar Sarr undoubtedly gets a spot in this team. The Senegalese has been sensational for Tottenham this season, establishing himself as a starter over veterans like Lo Celso and Hojbjerg. The 21-year-old's presence in midfield and creativity have been vital to Spurs’ success, and he will be overjoyed at finally breaking into the starting lineup and establishing himself as a standout performer for the Lilywhites.

CM: Lewis Miley

The Newcastle Academy product may have had his breakthrough due to an unfortunate injury crisis, but he has taken to professional football like a duck to water. He has been quite exceptional for Newcastle in midfield, making the difference in the final third and defending well too. He scored his first PL goal against Fulham as well, and hopefully we get to see many more goals from the young Englishman.

CM: Jack Hinshelwood

Another Brighton player makes the list in the form of Jack Hinshelwood. Another Englishman who is an academy product, the young midfielder has featured recently for Brighton, even scoring his first PL goal against Brentford. He was asked to play right back against Arsenal after Joel Veltman’s injury, and surprisingly, he did an exceptional job despite the Seagulls losing. I watched that game and was pleased at his tenacity and skill, which will hopefully improve even further under RDZ.

LW: Jeremy Doku

The Belgian was a mega-money signing for City in the summer transfer window, and despite reservations that he may struggle to adapt to the PL, he has proven to be one of the best dribblers in the league. His end product has been exceptional as well, and he truly has the potential to become one of the world’s best if he remains at City and hones his craft under the tutelage of Guardiola.

ST: Julian Alvarez

Another Manchester City youngster who has made a name for himself this season, Julian Alvarez, has finally broken into the starting 11 despite his preferred striker role being taken by Erling Haaland. The Argentine struggled to start for City despite starting for Argentina and winning the World Cup, but has blossomed into a ruthless forward this season due to increased gametime. He has scored, assisted, and created chances for this city team, effectively replacing KDB to the best of his abilities.

RW: Cole Palmer

Our final player in the starting XI is a City Academy graduate. However, he currently plies his trade at Stamford Bridge. The Englishman has been highly impressive for Chelsea despite being a recent signing who was earmarked for the future and is already a key player in the dressing room. He kept the Chelsea midfield ticking in Nkunku’s absence and will most likely feature on the wing now to play alongside the Frenchman. Nevertheless, you can be sure the Mancurian will continue to be a creative beacon now and in the future for the Blues.

That’s all for this article, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Do look out for more articles coming your way in the near future, as well as a podcast I hope to be starting before the year is out. Do let me know of any content you would like me to cover there, and till next time, adios!



Aakash Rao

An avid Manchester United fan and football/music blogger!