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EFL: 10 talented teens making the breakthrough in the EFL

26 October 2016

With Tammy Abraham picking up the latest EFL Young Player of the Month award, what better time to look at some of the emerging youngsters currently playing in the EFL?

From the talented Tammy, to Exeter City's Ethan Ampadu, here are 10 of the top teenagers from the EFL's three divisions.

Tammy Abraham (19, Bristol City)

So, where better to start than with the EFL's Young Player of the Month for September?

Read more: EFL Young Player of the Month - Tammy Abraham

Abraham is on loan at Bristol City from Chelsea and has made a blistering start to his Robins career in the first quarter of Season 2016/17.

He has 11 club goals to his name in 16 appearances and also scored twice on his international debut for the England Under-21s, in a 5-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

What a result today , good to score two goals today on my first start for the England u21s ⚽️🎉

— Tammy abraham (@tammyabraham) October 11, 2016

Ethan Ampadu (16, Exeter City)

Another youngster to hit the headlines this season is Ethan Ampadu, who shot to fame after making his Exeter City debut in the EFL Cup against Brentford on 9th August as a 15-year-old, becoming the Grecians' youngest ever player.

His achievements didn't end there as he was named Man of the Match, before going on to make his full EFL debut a week later against Crawley Town in Sky Bet League Two.

The surreality of every young boy’s dream has been put on standby for the time being, though, as Ampadu returns to school amid his GCSE exams this coming year. 

After impressing in his handful of appearances, Exeter boss Paul Tisdale has been very cautious not to place too much pressure on the now-16-year-old's shoulders, as the Grecians work with Ampadu’s school in an effort to juggle football, education and plenty of rest, too!

TEAM NEWS: @ethanamp4 starts for City against @Brentford tonight and become the club's youngest ever

— Exeter City FC (@OfficialECFC) August 9, 2016
Will Henry (18, Swindon Town)

It took Swindon Town goalkeeper Will Henry just 15 minutes of his professional footballing career to save his first penalty at the age of 17, before he’d even signed a pro contract with the Wiltshire-based club.

The teenager compounded this penalty reputation in his first shoot-out against fierce rivals Oxford United in the Checkatrade Trophy, as the star of the show made a string of fine saves to gain an extra point for the Robins.

Ronaldo Vieira (18, Leeds United)

Born in Guinea-Bissau but raised in Portugal, Ronaldo Vieira – named after the Brazilian Ronaldo – has broken into the Leeds United line-up this campaign.

The 18-year-old is certainly one to watch over the following months and years, as he will look to emulate his initial burst onto the scene, where he impressed as a 16-year-old in Under-21 games. The midfielder has showed no signs of nerves since the step-up to first-team football, recently firing the Whites into the EFL Cup Quarter-Finals with the decisive penalty against Norwich City.

Read more: EFL Cup Round Four review

Notably, his twin-brother Romario – there's a pattern emerging here! – is also contracted to the Elland Road outfit and is expected to spend this season with the development side.

Ronaldo Vieira will turn into an exceptional player at Leeds without a doubt #lufc#mot

— Ryan (@LeedsUtdRyan) September 2, 2016
Leonardo Da Silva Lopes (17, Peterborough United)

With more than 1,000 minutes under his belt already this season, Peterborough’s Portuguese central midfielder Leonardo Da Silva Lopes has earned a variety of loyal enthusiasts for his performances.

Picked up by the Posh in 2015 after being spotted playing local junior football, the 17-year-old has netted once so far this season, impressing in the centre of the park.

⚽ GOAL! Peterborough 1-3 Swansea

Excellent long-range strike from Leo Da Silva Lopes

📻 @BBCRadioWales

— BBC Wales Sport (@BBCWalesSport) August 23, 2016
Adam Armstrong (19, Barnsley)

It's fair to say Adam Armstrong has made a goalscoring name for himself in the EFL.

Joining boyhood club Newcastle United at the age of nine, he moved up through the ranks to make his top-flight debut in 2014 against Fulham.

He spent last season out on loan at Coventry City, hitting 20 goals in 40 outings, and is now wearing the colours of Barnsley in 2016/17, after joining the Championship club for the latest loan spell of his career. He has three goals so far, including a fine effort against Preston which saw him win September's Goal of the Month.

Reds forward @AdamArma9 wins @SkyBetChamp Goal Of The Month, after his stunning winner at Preston!

— Barnsley FC (@bfc_official) October 14, 2016
Conor Chaplin (19, Portsmouth)

Conor Chaplin made his senior Portsmouth bow in December 2014. Four months later, the forward netted his first goal and claimed the LFE League Two Apprentice of the Year honour.

That was a sign of things to come, with the front man going on to hit double figures in his first full season as a professional; his 11 strikes helping Pompey to reach the Play-Offs.

This season, the 19-year-old has remained a regular fixture in Paul Cook's side, hitting three goals in September, including this special effort against Wycombe Wanderers...

WATCH: Cheeky & inventive from @officialpompey's @ConorChaplin19 – this is the @SkyBetLeagueTwo#GoalOfTheWeekend >>

— Sky Bet League Two (@SkyBetLeagueTwo) September 12, 2016
Ademola Lookman (19, Charlton Athletic)

Five goals last season, and three already this term – Ademola Lookman's profile in the game is growing at pace.

The LFE Championship Apprentice of the Year at the EFL Awards last season, 19-year-old Lookman, who celebrated his birthday this week, has become an important part of Russell Slade's team at Charlton.

Capped by England at age group level, Lookman is certainly an exciting youngster worth keeping a close eye on.

Great 3-1 win tonight against Germany! Pleased to get my first Goal and assist tonight 🙏 @England 🦁🦁🦁

— Ademola Lookman (@Alookman_) October 7, 2016
Ben Godfrey (18, Norwich City)

Although he's yet to make an EFL appearance for Norwich City, Ben Godfrey is doing all he can to work his way into the first-team picture.

Having won the LFE League Two Apprentice of the Year last term whilst at York City, the 18-year-old midfielder has impressed for the Canaries in the Checkatrade Trophy and EFL Cup, scoring in the latter during a 6-1 demolition of Coventry City.

So happy to make my debut tonight for Norwich and to score aswell was unreal!Thanks for the messages appreciate it👏🏾❤️ #ienjoycelebrating

— Ben Godfrey (@BenG0dfrey) August 23, 2016
Aaron Morley (16, Rochdale)

One of the latest EFL youngsters to be given a shot in the first team is Aaron Morley, who recently made his debut for Rochdale.

DEBUTANT: 16-year-old Aaron Morley made his first-team debut in tonight's match v Notts County. Congratulations, Aaron!

— Rochdale AFC (@officiallydale) October 4, 2016
The 16-year-old played a full 90 minutes in the Checkatrade Trophy against Notts County, more than holding his own in the Dale side, and manager Keith Hill reserved special praise for the first-year scholar.

“It was brilliant to be able to play Aaron tonight,” the boss said after the match, talking to “He has deserved it. 

“Age isn’t a concern for me. It’s the ability and the process of putting that ability into performances, and I think Aaron can do that.

“Aaron has not only completed 90 minutes tonight, I thought he was excellent.

“His passing is as good as you’re going to get at any level, not just this level. It’s like slo-mo time when he gets the ball, but trust me, the processes he goes through are very, very quick and are in timing with the Premier League, so if he adds to that then there could be a talent there for the football club.”

Social media

Of course, there are plenty more talented teenagers in the EFL.......

Let us know who we should be watching out for on social media:


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