Wednesday, December 19

Wales

Wales’ rising stars vying to follow in the footsteps of Bale and Ramsey

By Phil Blanche, | 2mo
Ryan Giggs’ side top their Nations League group after beating the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

Wales’ so-called ‘Golden Generation’ reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016, with Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey leading the way.

Now Wales have more emerging talent under manager Ryan Giggs, with several youngsters helping them to top spot in their Nations League group after a 1-0 away win against the Republic of Ireland.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the young Wales players already making their mark on the international scene.

Ethan Ampadu

Ethan Ampadu of Chelsea is arguably Wales’ brightest young talent (Mike Egerton/PA).

The 18-year-old Chelsea midfielder is arguably the jewel in the Welsh youth crown. Broke into the first team at Stamford Bridge last season and possesses a wonderful range of passing.

Chris Mepham

Chris Mepham has been influential for Brentford this season (Richard Sellers/PA).

The ball-playing centre-back, 20, has starred in Brentford’s rise up the Championship and the Bees reportedly turned down a £10million bid from Premier League Bournemouth last summer.

Harry Wilson

The Liverpool midfielder, 21, is acquiring a reputation as a free-kick specialist after his stunning Carabao Cup effort for loan club Derby at Manchester United and his similarly spectacular Dublin winner.

David Brooks

The quick and elusive wideman, 21, has hit the ground running at Bournemouth following his £11.5m summer move from Sheffield United. Scored on his last two Premier League appearances.

Connor Roberts

The 23-year-old has ousted Chris Gunter from the Wales right-back spot. A real threat going forward and his form for Swansea has had the Premier League scouts circling.

Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith is on loan at Dutch club FC Twente (Mike Egerton/PA).

The Manchester City midfielder, 18, made his first start in Dublin and did not look out of place. Currently gaining first-team experience on loan at Dutch club FC Twente.

Tyler Roberts

Led the line against Ireland as he started for the first time. The 19-year-old has taken his chance under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds this season, scoring three Championship goals.

Ben Woodburn

Became Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer in 2016 at the age of 17 years and 45 days. Scored on his Wales debut against Austria in a 2018 World Cup qualifier and is currently on loan at Sheffield United.

Joe Rodon

Joe Rodon (left) has broken into the Swansea side this season (David Davies/PA).

Yet to win a senior cap, but the elegant centre-back was in the Wales squad for the first time in Dublin. Been linked with Manchester City after breaking into the Swansea side this season.

George Thomas

George Thomas is on loan at Scunthorpe (Martin Rickett/PA).

The versatile Leicester midfielder almost scored after coming on as a second-half substitute against the Republic. The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Scunthorpe.



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1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
12Leicester CityLeicester176472121022
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269
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