As featured on NewsNow: Football news

SCOUTING REPORT: The 5 League One whizkids being watched by Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea

Recently we took a close look at the five players from League Two who we believe could be playing in the Premier League soon.

This time, we turn our attention to a quintet of League One stars who may well be making their way up the ranks in the not-too-distant future.

Below is a list of five League One youngsters who believe could be on the radar of Premier League teams ahead of the summer transfer window.

Top 5 League One prospects

Harry Maguire - Sheffield UnitedDefender

21-year old defender Harry Maguire (pictured above) comes with an extremely highly rating at Sheffield United.

The Sheffield-born centre-back, who has represented the England U21 team, has been with the Blades since arriving from Barnsley's youth academy as a 13-year old in 2006.

Maguire made his first team debut for United in the Championship in April 2011 and has gone on to play more than 150 times for the South Yorkshire club, including more than 45 league outings in both the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons.

In February, both Liverpool and Chelsea were credited with interest in Maguire with reports suggesting that Reds scout Neil Richardson was in the stands to watch him in action in their FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest.

Maguire, who has been dubbed 'the new John Terry', was also watched by Chelsea in the Blades' FA Cup replay with Fulham earlier in the month with some reports suggesting the Blues may make a £5million bid for him in the summer.

Manchester United and Southampton have also been keeping an eye on Maguire who is almost certain to be playing top flight football at some point next season whether it be with Liverpool, Chelsea or another club in England's premier division.

Jake Bidwell - BrentfordDefender

The 21-year old defender has already spent time with a Premier League club - Everton - but now finds himself a key member of Brentford's League One side.

Left-back Bidwell, born in Southport, came through the Toffees' youth academy as a goalkeeper before switching to defence and then signing a scholarship deal with the Goodison Park outfit in 2009.

A first team debut in the Europa League against BATE Borisov soon followed but his senior opportunities dried up on Merseyside and Bidwell was loaned to Brentford in 2011.

A number of loans in varied length succeeded his initial spell at Griffin Park which ultimately led to a permanent deal in June 2013 after more than 70 senior appearances as a loanee.

Since signing on a less temporary basis, Bidwell has made the left-back position his own at the London club which was made evident by his Football League young player of the month award for January.

And his influence on the Brentford line-up, which currently sits second on the third tier table, is certainly not lost especially when considering the following comments from manager Mark Warburton, who had a big say in bringing the youngster to the borough of Hounslow.

"Jake is 20 years of age and has played 100 games already. That is a testament to his attitude on and off the pitch," Warburton told BBC Sport in February.

"He applies himself so well. He comes in every morning to work. He always does extra after training, working on key aspects of his game.

"He wants to be the best he can possibly be. He is an outstanding young professional.

"He has the desire and hunger to learn. There is loads more development still to come and I believe he can play at the highest level."

Cyrus Christie - Coventry CityDefender

Another defender who has scope to swiftly move up the grades, Cyrus Christie comes with an element of toughness as he is the nephew of former boxers Errol and Lloyd Christie.

The 21-year old Coventry City right-back has already been linked with Championship clubs Bolton, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town and Huddersfield Town as he continues to play a key role at the Sixfields Stadium.

Christie underwent work experience-like loans at Conference clubs Nuneaton Town and Hinckley United in 2011 and those spells helped develop him into the promising defender he is today.

Late last year, it was reported that Sunderland had been showing interest in Christie and could quite possibly make a £1million bid in the summer which would surely turn the heads of the cash-strapped Sky Blues.

The Coventry-born Christie has over 100 matches experience for his hometown club, who will find it hard to hold onto his services at the end of this season, particularly after comments the player himself made in December regarding his contract in the West Midlands.

"The gaffer (Steven Pressley) talked to me about staying until the end of the season and I said I am more than happy to do that if that's the case," Christie told the Coventry Evening Telegraph.

"A lot could change between now and then but there's no rush on my contract front.

"My contract is still under negotiation but I don't deal with any of that - it's all done between Steve Waggott and my agent.

"I think I have shown in my performances that I am willing to put in a shift for the team - this is where I started my career and it obviously means a lot to me and I will keep giving 110 per cent in every game."

Josh Brownhill - Preston North EndMidfielder

18-year old midfielder Josh Brownhill has impressed so much in his debut season with Preston North End that he has attracted the interest of a number of Premier League clubs.

The Warrington-born Brownhill joined the Lilywhites' youth academy at the beginning of the 2012/13 season after spending time with Manchester United as a schoolboy and has already gone on to appear more than 25 times in all competitions.

Brownhill's performances this term have alerted the likes of former club United as well as neighbours Manchester City while Tottenham, Fulham and Southampton have been credited with an interest in his services.

The teenager has been likened to Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey due to his vision, passing ability and goal nous which has him being tipped to make the move to a top flight club either this summer or soon thereafter.

Dele Alli - MK DonsMidfielder

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson has enormous wraps on Dele Alli, labelling him as 'one of the most gifted 17-year-olds this country has ever seen'.

They are significant words from the boss who in the past has compared the England U17 & U18 international to Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard.

Alli made his debut for the Dons as a 16-year old in 2012 and has gone on to feature no less than 40 times for the Buckinghamshire outfit, scoring eight goals.

A product of Milton Keynes, attacking midfielder Alli scored his first senior hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Notts County in March which shows just how much ability he possesses.

Liverpool have been running the rule over Alli this season, sending scouts to watch him on a number of occasions, and reports suggest they could make a move for him at the end of the campaign.

Furthermore, MK skipper Dean Lewington told Robinson earlier this term that 'the boy can be anything he wants' which indicates that he is an extremely exciting prospect for the future of English football.

 For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook:

Video of the day:

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free