Rooney, Fabregas and Thierry Henry are but a few examples of young players that have flourished in England's top flight. But, who is going to be the next talent to light up the English Premier League? Here's a handful of young, raw talents that have all the right attributes to become World class players of the future:
Jack Wilshire (Arsenal)
The 18-year-old Arsenal midfielder has been creating a lot of noise around the Emirates for a number of years now and perhaps now the time has finally come for Wilshire to shine. Predominantly left-footed, Wilshire is an attacking midfielder who glides across the turf like a veteran of the game. His shrewdness for a cutting pass and ability to ghost in to the box undetected look set to pave a rewarding career for the young gunner.
Federico Macheda (Manchester United)
Federico Macheda is an Italian striker Machester United snapped up from Italian giants Lazio in 2007. Known commonly as Kiko, Macheda is a predatory goal poacher with a bag-full of handy tricks. The 19-year-old United star has made twelve Premier League appearances for Manchester United, scoring three goals, including an incredible solo goal on his debut against Aston Villa in 2008.
Jack Rodwell (Everton)
A bright future is expected of 19-year-old midfielder Jack Rodwell for both Everton and England. Everton fans certainly see Rodwell as the torch bearer for a shining future at Goodison and the young Englishman has certainly caught the eye of the Premier Leagues elite. His box to box nature makes him a rare breed. Rodwell is a gifted midfielder who just needs experience in order to become one of the most exciting stars in England. Rodwell has already made nearly 50 appearances for Everton, scoring two goals.
Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool)
Shelvey has yet to break into the Liverpool first team, but great things are expected of the England Under-19s captain. When at former club Charlton Athletic, Shelvey became the clubs youngest player to feature in the first team, aged 16 years and 19 days old. Jonjo Shelvey has made two appearances for Liverpool so far this season. He put in an encouraging performance against Napoli in a Europa league tie and recently made his Premiership debut, coming on briefly against Blackburn on 24th October 2010.
Jordan Henderson (Sunderland)
At the tender age of twenty, Henderson is already a permanent fixture in the Sunderland set up where he has established himself as a household name in the North East. In recent months Jordan Henderson has been in fine form and has even come under consideration by England head coach Fabio Capello, who is keen to give the Sunderland midfielder his first England cap. Henderson is rumoured to have attracted the attentions of Chelsea, who will see the young Englishman as a long term replacement for Frank Lampard. Henderson also won the Young Player of the Year award with Sunderland last season.
Carlos Vela (Arsenal)
Arsenal striker Carlos Vela arrived in the Premier League in 2008 as a hot prospect, set to shine the Premier League alight. Competing with the likes of Robin Van Persie, Nicholas Bendtner, Andrei Arshavin and now Marouahm Chamakh for a place in Wenger's staring XI, Vela has struggled to hold down a permanent place at the Emirates. But, when Wenger has called on the young Mexican Vela delivers. Combining pace with a predatory knack for a finish, Vela is certainly one of the most gifted attackers around today. Vela is already a regular feature for the Mexico national side scoring nine goals in thirty-three appearances.
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
The young Manchester United defender's career could easily be mistaken for a Roy of the Rovers comic book special. The towering defender started his career at non-league side Maidstone in 2007 and was quickly signed by Premier League side Fulham the following season. After spending a year at Fulham Smalling secured a move to Old Trafford, where he has been dubbed the new Rio Ferdinand. The bulky defender looks a fine prospect, possessing good strength, impressive distribution and despite the hype surrounding the lad, he seems alarming confident under pressure.