From the former Barcelona striker who has already scored against Liverpool’s SENIOR side to the ‘Polish Eden Hazard’ gunning for Aston Villa… the stars of the future to look out for in the FA Youth Cup Final tonight
- Aston Villa and Liverpool will face off in the FA Youth Cup final on Monday
- The Youth Cup final is available to watch live on BT Sport from 7.15pm
- The Premier League pair’s youth sides are bursting with potential stars of future
- Villa duo Louie Barry and Carney Chukwuemeka have made strides in senior side
- Reds’ Mateusz Musialowski has been given the nickname of the ‘Polish Messi’
The Premier League is done and dusted, but it will be the youngsters’ turn on Monday evening when Aston Villa face Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup Final.
The Under-18 edition of the famous trophy is a proven pathway for players to launch their careers, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Mason Mount and a certain Class of 92 among the stars to go on to greater things since picking up a winner’s medal.
It is the Reds’ second cup final appearance in three seasons, while Villa’s youngsters are appearing in the showpiece for the first time since 2010.
The game at Villa Park could be the start of a star’s journey and here Sportsmail picks out the names set to play in the final who could go onto big things…
Aston Villa and Liverpool face off in the FA Youth Cup final at Villa Park on Monday evening
Likely to be the most well-known name on this list following his heroics against Liverpool’s senior side earlier this season, which saw him hailed as a ‘little Vardy’ by Jurgen Klopp.
The former Barcelona starlet sensationally scored against Klopp’s Reds after Villa were forced to field a team completely made up of academy players following a Covid-19 outbreak in the senior side in January.
Aside from that memorable moment, Barry has been doing the business for the youth team with 19 goals and five assists in all competitions this season, including a wonderful strike in a 4-1 semi-final win against West Brom last week.
Louie Barry has been tipped as a future star and sensationally scored vs Liverpool’s senior side
Nicknamed the ‘Polish Eden Hazard’ for his close control and dribbling skills, Musialowski is a well-known name among Reds fans despite only arriving in August 2020.
The 17-year-old already has an award to his name after winning Liverpool’s goal of the month for March after taking on seven players before scoring a wonderful solo goal against Newcastle U18s, breaking Mohammed Salah’s six-month streak for the award.
He ran the show in the semi-final against Ipswich with a dazzling display which included the opening goal, and a similar performance against Villa could put him in good stead for first-team minutes next season.
Mateusz Musialowski is nicknamed the ‘Polish Messi’ for his impressive control and dribbling
Another Villa starlet who has already made strides in the first team, FA Youth Cup top scorer Chukwuemeka has been on fire during the team’s run to the final with seven goals despite playing in midfield.
Villa’s CEO Christian Purslow described the England Under-17 international as the best in the country at his age last year and he has already attracted the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City among others with his notable presence and ability on the ball.
He was handed his first-team debut against Tottenham recently, where he put in an assured display and was unlucky not to score after hitting the post. Stopping Chukwuemeka could be key to Liverpool’s hopes of victory on Monday.
Goalscoring midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka is already making strides in Villa’s first team
Another player with eye-catching physical superiority at this level is attacking midfielder Balagizi.
Liverpool nabbed Balagizi from Premier League rivals Manchester City at the age of 10 and he has since been earmarked as a player of huge potential, with a notable hat-trick against Leicester in the last-16 of this competition among his 22 goals overall this season.
The England U17 international signed his first professional contract in September and has already spent much of this season training with the senior side. Klopp could be watching him eagerly on Monday.
James Balagizi was nabbed from Manchester City aged 10 and has 22 goals this season
A right-back with five goals to his name this season tells you a little bit about the type of player Kesler is.
The 18-year-old has made the bench in four Premier League games this season, with sections of Villa fans clamouring for him to replace injured Matty Cash for the final few top flight games after his eye-catching displays at youth level this season.
Kesler does have a first-team appearance under his belt courtesy of that FA Cup clash and with second choice in the position Ahmed Elmohamady set to leave this summer, the youngster’s step up to the first-team squad next season seems only a matter of time.
Kaine Kesler (right) is a regular for the Under-23s and is in the goals despite playing right-back
The only player on this list to have already played in the Champions League, Koumetio is another player to watch out for in the final.
The big French defender was a half-time introduction for Fabinho against FC Midtjylland in December and has been a fixture in Liverpool’s first team training sessions this season, notably nutmegging Sadio Mane during a session.
‘Billy the Kid’ is also a U23 regular despite being only 18 himself, and his inclusion in the heart of defence could be key to stopping Villa’s dangerous attack.
Frenchman Billy Koumetio (right) has already claimed a Champions League appearance
Another young regular in Villa’s U23 side, Ramsey was named Premier League 2 Player of the Month for April after a stunning five goals and two assists in three games.
The creative midfielder, who can play as a No 8 or No 10, faces a race to be fit in time for the final after missing the last two rounds but his inclusion would be a huge boost for the side.
His older brother Jacob has made 21 Premier League appearances this season and those around the club project a similar rise for Aaron. He is another name that first-team manager Dean Smith will no doubt be watching closely.
Aaron Ramsey is second of the Ramsey brothers who are seen as first-team hopefuls at Villa
A Wirral-born striker who is another with a more-than-handy goal return at youth level, with 13 goals in 27 appearances this season.
But it is the 17-year-old’s off-the-ball contributions that are often noted in his displays, with Woltman often operating as a false nine for the U18 side.
With Roberto Firmino playing in a similar position for the first team, it’s not hard to see how Woltman might fit into Klopp’s team in the future should he continue his progression.
Max Woltman is a talented forward who impresses with his off-the-ball work as much as goals
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