What next after Bale, Allen and Ramsey? Here are five players who must embody the future of Wales

Like the Red Devils, the Dragons must perform a makeover within a golden generation long worn by the exploits of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen. As the time of retirement approaches for the latter, what succession is expected in Wales. Here are five names that must rekindle the fire among the Dragons.

1. Luke Harris (17, Fulham)

It was to the great surprise of the British press that the coach of the Welsh national team, Rob Page, have included 17-year-old Luke Harris in their squad for the last two Nations League matches. Indeed, the Fulham attacking midfielder has yet to play a single minute in Premier League. His only experience at the highest level remains half-time during the duel lost by the Cottagers in League Cupagainst Crawley Town.

Harris particularly impressed Page in the Fulham Youth Championships. Harris has been defending the colors of the London formation since he was nine years old and has skipped the stages within the different age teams. At 15, he was already defending the colors of the U18s and today he plays with the U23s, for whom he scored 13 times in 17 appearances last season.

« When you have someone like him with such phenomenal talent, you don’t look at the age of his ID card », said Page when defending his choice in front of the press. But the young Welshman, whose idol is Frank Lampard, will he have a place among the 26 lucky winners for the World Cup? It may still be too soon.

Luke Harris has yet to play a single minute with the Fulham first team, but he has already won over Welsh manager Rob Page. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

2. Brennan Johnson (21, Nottingham Forrest)

This player could however already prepare his suitcase for a trip to Qatar. The man will undoubtedly bring back some bad memories to Belgian supporters since it was he who equalized last June in the last minutes of the Nations League match played in Wales. A blow to the ambitions of red devils who could have hoped to nibble part of their delay on the Netherlands in the event of victory.

Brennan Johnson revealed himself to the general public last season at Nottingham Forest. It was within this club that he grew up playing in practically all age categories. The striker was one of the driving forces behind the team which managed to regain the Premier League. He shook the nets of the clubs of Championship 16 times and offered 9 goals to his partners.

Today, he continues his momentum among the elite as he has retained his place in the base eleven of Steve Cooper. Of the eleven starting players during the Playoffs of promotion, only three are still present today in the nucleus. To hold the road Premier LeagueNottingham Forest has been a real station hall this summer as 21 players have put down their training bags at the City Ground. Brennan Johnson stayed and has two goals to his name so far. With Wales, he is also now the most expensive player since his market value is estimated at 20 million euros, according to Transfermarkt. A man to keep an eye on.

Brennan Johnson has survived the many arrivals and departures that have animated the summer transfer window of Nottingham Forest. He is one of the architects of the return of the Reds to the elite of English football. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

3. Ethan Ampadu (22 years old, Venezia)

When Ethan Ampadu made his Welsh national team debut aged just 17, the sky seemed to be the limit for this very talented young defender. At Chelsea, he was considered one of the club’s great promises at the time, although he was not given much of a chance while at Stamford Bridge. In the five seasons since his first steps into pro football, Ampadu has had a string of hires, respectively at RB Leipzig, Sheffield United, Venezia and Spezia since this season. After each of these loans (except the last of course), the Welshman returned to London without getting his chance there, despite having regularly played in the clubs where he was. This is obviously not an ideal context to definitely launch a career.

In Wales, the national coach is totally under the spell of Ethan Ampadu. The central defender, now 22, is an indisputable starter in his team, even if his position in the chessboard has changed somewhat. Ampadu is indeed playing as a defensive midfielder. He now has 35 caps and may be the one to improve the record of Chris Gunter (109 selections).

Now in Spezia after a loan to Venezia (here in the photo), Ethan Ampadu has 35 selections at just 22 years old. The central defender plays as a sentry with the Welsh Dragons. (Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

4. Ben Cabango (22, Swansea City)

He is perhaps the least talented of the five men we are highlighting today. Ben Cabango is a regular starter for Swansea, one of two big Welsh clubs playing in the Championshipthe antechamber of the Premier League. However, he finds it more difficult to find a place in the core of the national team where competition for his position is quite fierce. But at 22, Cabango already has 107 English second division appearances to his name.

He is a solid central defender with an excellent passing game who has really blossomed in the past season. Only an injury in April darkened the picture. If he did not miss many league games, he was however absent from the last gathering of his selection. Quickly back on his feet, he is now ready to fight for a place among the 26 players who will fly to Qatar in November. « It’s hard not to think about it because I absolutely want to be part of the final selection for the World Cup »he has clearly stated in recent weeks in the media.

Ben Cabango clearly wants to be one of the 26 Welshmen who will play in the next World Cup. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

5. Neco Williams (21, Nottingham Forest)

Neco Williams was one of the biggest talents in Liverpool’s youth academy. Two years ago, at 19, he made his debut in the first team of the Scousers. Finally, he will play six and lift the trophy of champion of the Premier League. A title expected for 30 years by Liverpool and which fell in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.

The following season, he made a few rare appearances under the direction of Jurgen Klopp and even plays a few minutes in the Champions League. It was during his loan to Fulham, last year, that Williams will live his hour of glory. Within the London club, he plays a determining role in the promotion in Premier Leagueprompting Nottingham Forest to spend €20m to secure his services this summer. “He was a priority for us”, said coach Steve Cooper. Only two players have cost Nottingham more money this summer: Morgan Gibbs-White (30 million) and Taiwo Awoniyi (20.5 million).

While Williams plays as a right-back at Nottingham Forest, a place in midfield is reserved for him in Wales due to the quality of his feet. At 21, he already has 21 caps and 2 goals for the Dragons.

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