The Wonderkid Power Rankings: Liverpool & Man Utd pair force Chelsea duo off podium spots

The top ten best young players in the Premier League as Liverpool and Manchester United wonderkids shine on international duty.
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Welcome to 3 Added Minutes’ weekly Wonderkid Power Rankings – our way of tracking the progress of the best young players in the Premier League as they go about their ever-impressive business.

With the past week being an international break, our top ten gets a little bit… weird. Four players from last week’s rankings didn’t get any game time at all, including last week's top two of Cole Palmer and Malo Gusto – which means they get dropped down the ladder a little bit and we have a new number one. We also say goodbye, for now at least, to David Datro Fofana, who scraped in last week but loses out after taking a week off.

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Without any further ado then, let’s take a look at the latest top ten and see who’s made the grade this time around – and who we’ve pushed all the way to top spot…

10. Jarrad Branthwaite – Everton (⬇️ 3)

Branthwaite can thank his lucky stars that his exceptional previous form has proven enough to keep him in the top ten after missing out on playing time for the second week on the spin. Had more Premier League youngsters played and impressed over the international break, he would have been gone solely due to inactivity – but our former number one clings on for another week.

9. Teden Mengi – Luton Town (-)

Mengi made his England Under-21 debut when he came on as a substitute against Luxembourg, and while thirty minutes of action against one of the weaker teams in European football might not be the best stage on which to prove one’s worth as a budding international, he did pretty much everything that could have been asked of him.

For a defender who isn’t meant to be the strongest ball-player, he did well with his distribution, completing 26 passes out of 26, and even though the opposition weren’t the strongest he still managed two turnovers and a blocked shot in his brief time on the pitch. You can’t say fairer than that for half an hour of work.

8. Oscar Bobb – Manchester City (re-entry)

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The exciting your Norwegian hasn’t seen much action for Manchester City lately, but he shone for in the gorgeous new Norway string over the course of their two friendly matches against Czechia and Slovakia, bagging a brilliantly-taken goal in the former.

Bobb burst his way past two defenders like he was running the Gauntlet in Gladiators before smashing a left-footed striker inside the near post, a genuinely excellent finish. And while he didn’t chip in against Slovakia he offered plenty of creativity and threat in both games, dribbling the ball dangerously and passing it with impressive accuracy and creativity. A very promising display indeed.

7. Destiny Udogie – Tottenham Hotspur (⬆️ 1)

Udogie picked up his third Italy cap in a friendly game against Venezuela this weekend and played really rather well. We’ve spoken before about the way he always seems to be excellent going forward or in defence but rarely both, and this time it was his defensive work that shone – he committed a couple of fouls but didn’t get beaten on the dribble once all match and made plenty of telling interventions.

And while he didn’t offer much in the final third (one cross represented his total output) he did pass the ball very nicely indeed including some excellent direct passes which set attacks up farther down the pitch. After struggling horribly against Fulham last week, this was a pleasingly solid showing.

6. Malo Gusto & 5. Cole Palmer – both Chelsea (⬇️ 4)

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Here’s what we’ve decided with Gusto and Palmer – both lose four places because although they didn’t play at all this past week (rather surprisingly in Palmer’s case, although there were mutterings about a fitness issue), their form before that was too good for them to be punished too harshly for that. Both can expect to rise back up the ladder quickly once they get their boots back on for Chelsea.

4. Conor Bradley – Liverpool (⬆️ 2)

Bradley picked up his first goal for Northern Ireland in their 1-0 win over Scotland – and it was a beauty. The young right-back found himself on the left byline, cut back in across the box on the angle and drifted a perfectly-judged curling shot gracefully into the far right-hand corner of the net.

Oddly enough, he didn’t actually play particularly well otherwise against Scotland – he only managed three completed passes all match and was beaten four times on the dribble – but he was rock solid against Romania, when his defending was exceptional and he not a single opposition player managed to get past him.

3. Alejandro Garnacho - Manchester United (-)

The young winger played in both of Argentina’s matches over the past week, starting against Costa Rica and getting the second half against El Salvador – and while he didn’t pick up any goals or assists, there was plenty to appreciate in his performances.

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He came close to scoring a couple of times against Costa Rica, once when the ball was knocked off his toes as he was about to shoot from near the penalty spot, and again when he was denied by a smart save at the near post following a daring dribble past two defenders, but ultimately he had to settle for some neat and tidy passing and some flashes of flair. A very solid week, so Garnacho stay put at number three.

2. Kobbie Mainoo – Manchester United (⬆️ 3)

A confession, here – we didn’t expect Mainoo to be that good on Tuesday evening against Belgium. Not that we’re surprised that he can play a bit, of course, but the extent of the confidence and assuredness with which he ran England’s midfield was hugely impressive. It looks like we don’t have to worry about Jordan Henderson’s long-term replacement after all.

There was plenty to purr about in a display full of sharp movement, confident control of the ball and neat passing – including a couple of lovely through-balls, one to Jude Bellingham in particular which stood out. He could have been a little stronger in one-on-one situations at times, but that’s splitting hairs. He was excellent on and off the ball, and may have just bagged himself a spot on the flight to Germany.

1. Harvey Elliott – Liverpool (⬆️ 3)

There’s an argument that you can only be so impressive in a pair of Under-21 games against Azerbaijan and Luxembourg – but you’d have to work hard to make that argument stick in the face of Elliott’s performances. Two goals against the Azeris, two assists against Luxembourg, and even a chipped rabona pass to add to the highlight reel.

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And while he bagged a brace against Azerbaijan he was arguably even better against Luxembourg, His slide-rule pass into Jamie Bynoe-Gittens on a quick counter being the highlight, rabona passes aside. Just about everything he did turned to gold, and while his two goals were both fairly simple finishes, his movement to find space for them was exceptional. He’s been superb of late, and justly gets his first week at the very top of our top ten.

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