PL 2019-20: Five youngsters with most minutes played so far

Widely acclaimed as the most competitive league in the world, the Premier League has often proven itself to be an unforgiving ground for the youngsters over the years, given its intense level of competition and the rough-and-tough nature of the English game. 

That is one of the main reasons why the process of transition from the academy to the senior ranks in English football, especially in the Premier League, is a relatively long one as compared to the other elite leagues in Europe. 

While some of the bright emerging talents seem to fade away and struggle to get to grips with the level of competition, there are others who manage to hold their own in front of more accomplished stalwarts right from the onset. 

The abrupt emergence of young talents in the Premier League is a cycle that keeps on repeating itself year after year but only few of them manage to push on for long-term success. 

The 2019-20 season of the Premier League has also taken kindly to some of its sparkling young guns, and with that in mind, let us take a look at 5 youngsters with most minutes played so far.

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Aaron Ramsdale has played every minute of Bournemouth’s Premier League campaign between the sticks so far (Getty Images)

1. Aaron Ramsdale (1440 minutes)

Well, it’s hard to see too many young goalkeepers playing regularly in the Premier League but the ongoing season has already witnessed two top-quality England U-21 shot-stoppers, Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson and Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale, outperforming some of the more established names in the business. 

When it comes to most minutes played, Ramsdale is right up there with several others in that list, having started each of Bournemouth’s first 16 games between the sticks played every minute of the club’s Premier League campaign so far. 

Backed up Eddie Howe to take up the No.1 role ahead of veterans Artur Boruc and Asmir Begovic, 21-year-old Ramsdale has already repaid the manager’s confidence with a string of fine displays in goal. A tally of 3 clean-sheets in 16 appearances might not make for impressive readings but that that largely been down to some questionable defending at the back.

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Declan Rice has been a standout figure for West Ham in the middle of the park (Getty Images)

2. Declan Rice (1440 minutes)

Having enjoyed a fine breakthrough season under Manuel Pellegrini last time around, the 20-year-old West Ham youth graduate has once again featured as one of the mainstays of the club’s midfield in the ongoing campaign. 

Rice has not only played every minute of the Hammers’ Premier League campaign so far but he has arguably been of the brightest sparks in what has otherwise been a disappointing start to the season for the East Londoners. 

As per whoscored, the England international boasts of a pass success rate of 90, inlcuding 3.8 long balls, 1.3 aerial duels, 3.1 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game and it is easy to figure out from those numbers as to why he is regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League. 

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Caglar Soyunce has been an integral component of a Leicester City backline that has conceded only 10 goals in 16 games (Getty Images)

3. Caglar Soyuncu (1440 minutes)

The Turkish international was largely anonymous at the King Power Stadium last term following his move from Freiburg in the summer of 2018 but he has established himself as a key figure at the back for the Foxes under Brendan Rodgers this season, having benefitted from the departure of Harry Maguire to Man United

Soyuncu has been an integral component of a Leicester City backline that currently boasts of the best defensive record in the Premier League (10 goals conceded in 16 games), and the Turk has been instrumental in the Foxes’ surge up to 2nd in the standings. 

The 23-year-old’s unprecedented rise in English football is well backed up by the numbers. As per whoscored, Soyuncu boasts of a pass success rate of 89.3, including 3.2 aerial duels, 1.8 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 5.5 clearances per game, figures which lie testament to his burgeoning reputation as one of the best rising central defenders in the Premier League.

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Youri Tielemans has been a key creative outlet for Leicester City (Getty Images)

4. Youri Tielemans (1412 minutes)

Ironically, Tielemans has been in the mix from such a young age that we often tend to forget that he is still only 22. 

The Belgian, who joined Leicester permanently this past summer on the back of a successful loan spell from Monaco during the second half of the previous campaign, has started each of the Foxes’ 16 games in the Premier League so far, contributing with 3 goals and 3 assists.

James Maddison and Jamie Vardy have stolen most of the limelight has Tielemans has been equally instrumental in Leicester City’s raging success under Rodgers this term.

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Ben Godfrey has been a rare shining light for Norwich City in the Premier League (Getty Images)

5. Ben Godfrey (1400 minutes)

Having conceded 34 goals in 16 games, Norwich City currently have the second-worst defensive record in the Premier League. However, amidst all the club’s woes in the top-flight this season, 21-year-old Ben Godfrey has been of the shining lights of a sinking Canaries ship sp far.

While the likes of Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley and Timm Klose have struggled with injuries, 21-year-old Godfrey has been an ever-present at the heart of the defence for Daniel Farke’s side and he has certainly given the fans something to cheer about.

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