Football Features

Where are they now? The youngest player for every Premier League club

By Squawka News

Published: 13:15, 27 July 2020

Harvey Elliott made Premier League history in 2018/19 when he became the youngest player to appear in the competition by coming on as a substitute for Fulham in a match against Wolves at just 16 years and 30 days old.

Not long after, he was signed by Liverpool and will be looking to continue his considerable progress under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp after some first-team appearances in his debut campaign.

Although Fulham are no longer in the Premier League, they look set to hold the title for youngest ever player in the division for some time. But where do the current Premier League clubs compare?

We’ve decided to take a look at each Premier League’s youngest ever player to appear in England’s top flight and what has happened since.

Some are familiar faces still plying their trade in the division, while others have fallen into obscurity.

Arsenal

Jack Wilshere

Age of Premier League debut: 16 years and 256 days

Premier League appearances: 182

Current club: West Ham

Wilshere became Arsenal’s youngest ever Premier League player when he made his debut aged 16 years and 256 days against Blackburn Rovers as a substitute for Robin van Persie in September 2008.

The midfielder still holds the record to this date but hasn’t made the progress in his career he would’ve hoped due to many injuries, now seeking to revive his career at West Ham aged 28.

Aston Villa

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy

Age of Premier League debut: 16 years and 176 days

Premier League appearances: 2

Current club: Pafos

Hepburn-Murphy set the Villa record when he came on at just 16 years and 176 days old in the Premier League game against Sunderland in 2015. He has only made one other appearance since and found himself loaned out to the likes of Cambridge United, Tranmere Rovers and, last season, Derby County — although he didn’t make a single appearance for the latter. Hepburn-Murphey has since sealed a move to Pafos in the Cypriot First Division.

Bournemouth

Matt Worthington

Age of Premier League debut: 19 years and 154 days

Premier League appearances: 1

Current club: Yeovil Town

Highly-regarded at the Vitality Stadium, the teenager was one of seven youth prospects to sign professional contracts at the start of the 2016/17 season, and he made his debut on the final day of the 2016/17 campaign as a substitute against Leicester City but his long-term future wasn’t going to be on the south coast as he swapped Bournemouth for Yeovil in January 2019.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Aaron Connolly

Age of Premier League debut: 19 years and 216 days

Premier League appearances: 24

Current club: Brighton & Hove Albion

Connolly came through the academy at Brighton and was handed his Premier League debut in a 4-0 defeat to Manchester City in at the end of August, as a substitute. Just over a month later, he was handed his first start and scored twice in a 3-0 win over Tottenham. Connolly netted once again on the final day of the season in a 2-1 away win over Burnley.

Burnley

Aiden O’Neill

Age of Premier League debut: 18 years and 47 days

Premier League appearances: 3

Current club: Brisbane Roar (on loan from Burnley)

O’Neill made his Premier League debut in 2016 during Burnley’s 2-0 win over Liverpool. However, since then the Australian has been going out on loan, first to Oldham Athletic then Fleetwood Town before spending last season with New South Wales-based Central Coast Mariners, as seen in this article’s featured image. You didn’t recognise him, did you?

He is now on loan at Brisbane Roar, making 18 appearances for them so far.

Chelsea

Jody Morris

Age at Premier League debut: 17 years and 43 days

Premier League appearances: 136

Current club: Retired

Morris came through the Chelsea ranks with his good friend John Terry, and he is still the club’s youngest ever Premier League player, having made his debut against Middlesbrough in 1996.

Morris went on to make 124 appearances for Chelsea before the midfielder moved on to play for clubs such as Leeds United, Rotherham, Millwall, St Johnstone and Bristol City. He is now back at his beloved Chelsea as assistant manager to Frank Lampard.

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Crystal Palace

George Ndah

Age at Premier League debut: 17 years and 340 days

Premier League appearances: 28

Current club: Retired

Ndah was a big striker and made his debut for Crystal Palace in the Premier League when his side faced Liverpool away from home in November 1992, a 5-0 defeat.

Ndah also plied his trade in the Football League with clubs such as Bournemouth, Swindon, Gillingham and Wolves.

Everton

Jose Baxter

Age at Premier League debut: 16 years and 191 days

Premier League appearances: 7

Current club: Memphis 901

Baxter made his league debut in August 2008 in a home match against Blackburn Rovers. He started the following game, which also made him the club’s youngest-ever starter, though he could not cement his place in the squad. He’s since represented Oldham Athletic and Sheffield United before returning to Everton from where he re-joined Oldham before leaving for Plymouth Argyle last summer. After a brief spell at Plymouth, Baxter is now in America with Memphis 901.

Leicester City

Emile Heskey

Age at Premier League debut: 17 years and 55 days

Premier League appearances: 516

Current club: Retired

Heskey made his debut for Leicester City when his side faced QPR in 1995. He went to score 33 Premier League goals for Leicester City before he moved on to Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa.

He also had a spell in the Australian League with Newcastle Jets and back in England Bolton, where he scored two goals in 33 league games.

Liverpool

Jack Robinson

Age at Premier League debut: 16 years and 250 days

Premier League appearances: 9

Current club: Sheffield United

Robinson made his Liverpool debut in an away game against Hull City in 2010 but his career never really took off and was subject to a few loan deals at Wolves and Blackpool.

The left-back is now 26 and back in the Premier League with Sheffield United, after spells at QPR and Nottingham Forest.

Manchester City

Micah Richards

Age at Premier League debut: 17 years and 119 days

Premier League appearances: 204

Current club: Retired

Richards was touted as one to watch when he made his move to Manchester City as he had all the physical attributes to shine as a defender. He made his debut in October 2005 in an away match against Arsenal.

Richards was at City for 10 years, with a short spell at Fiorentina in the 2014/15 season, before he moved to Aston Villa in the summer of 2015. He was released by the Villans at the end of the 2018/19 season and retired shortly after, now working as a pundit.

Manchester United

Angel Gomes

Age at Premier League debut: 16 years and 263 days

Premier League appearances: 5

Current club: Manchester United

On the final day of the 2016/17 season Jose Mourinho handed a number of United prospects a full Premier League debut, however it was the introduction of Gomes which was arguably the most high-profile of them all as he became the first player born in the year 2000 or later to play in the division when he replaced Wayne Rooney in the second half against Crystal Palace.

Newcastle United

Kazenga LuaLua

Age at Premier League debut: 16 years and 40 days

Premier League appearances: 7

Current club: Luton Town

LuaLua, highly thought of as a youngster, made his Premier League for Newcastle United in January 2018 but he could never emulate his brother, Lomana, and relocated to Brighton in 2011, first on loan, then permanently. After spells with QPR and Sunderland, LuaLua now plays for Luton Town.

Norwich City

Darren Eadie

Age of Premier League debut: 18 years and 100 days

Premier League appearances: 81

Current club: Retired

Eadie was a cracking young player when he came through at Carrow Road. He made his debut against QPR in the top flight when just 18 years and 100 days old. Injuries would blight his later career but he is still in the Norwich City Hall of Fame.

Sheffield United

Nicky Law

Age at Premier League debut: 18 years and 219 days

Premier League appearances: 4

Current club: Exeter City

Law became Sheffield United youngest ever top-flight player when, in 2006, he came on as a late substitute against Newcastle United. The midfielder has played for several clubs since leaving Bramall Lane including the likes of Rangers and Bradford City. He is now plying his trade in Devon with League Two outfit Exeter City.

Southampton

Luke Shaw

Age at Premier League debut: 17 years and 116 days

Premier League appearances: 156

Current club: Manchester United

Shaw burst onto the scene in 2012 when he made his debut in the Premier League for Southampton. He emerged as a fantastic talent and rightly got a big move to Manchester United.

Injury problems have stunted his growth as a player but his potential remains big.

Tottenham Hotspur

Stephen Carr

Age at Premier League debut: 17 years and 28 days

Premier League appearances: 377

Current club: Retired

Carr made his debut for Spurs in 1993 against Ipswich Town and went on to play 226 times for Spurs as a very reliable right-back.

He then went on to join Newcastle United and Birmingham before he retired in 2013.

Watford

Dion Pereira

Age at Premier League debut: 18 years and 42 days

Premier League appearances: 2

Current club: Unattached

The Hornets academy product made his Premier League debut as a substitute for the final seven minutes against Leicester City in May 2017 and would make one more league appearance before moving stateside with Atlanta United. Pereira is currently without a club, leaving Atlanta at the end of the 2019 MLS campaign.

West Ham United

Reece Oxford

Age at Premier League debut: 16 years and 236 days

Premier League appearances: 8

Current club: FC Augsburg

Oxford has played a few times for West Ham and to be fair to the lad, he has done a pretty good job, playing like a far more mature centre-back than his age suggests.

He has the attributes to become a very good defender in the future, but is not enjoying his permanent stay at FC Augsburg, moving last summer after an initially successful loan spell.

Wolves

Anthony Forde

Age at Premier League debut: 18 years and 10 days

Premier League appearances: 6

Current club: Oxford United

Forde came through the Wolves youth system and would make his Premier League debut against Chelsea in November 2011. Across the 2011/12 season, he’d make a further five appearances though would also suffer the ignominy of relegation. The Irish-born forward would ultimately leave, without having registered a goal, for Walsall before settling at Rotherham United and now Oxford United.