Derby County midfielder Will Hughes, Leicester City defender Liam Moore and midfielder Alex Pritchard, who is on loan at Swindon Town from Tottenham Hotspur, are on the three-man shortlist for the Football League Young Player of the Year award.
The winner will be announced this Sunday at the Football League Awards 2014, which take place at The Brewery in London.
Presented to the best player in the Football League under the age of 21, or in the season in which he turns 21, the award celebrates the emergence of young playing talent at the league’s 72 clubs.
Previous winners include Gareth Bale, Fabian Delph and Wilfried Zaha, while a third of all players registered with Football League clubs are currently eligible to be considered.
Here, Sky Sports takes a look at the three nominees in more detail, with the shortlist drawn up by a panel of judges that included sponsors, media and members of the Football League.
Will Hughes (Derby County)
One of the most talked-about youngsters in the English game, midfielder Hughes has been a fixture in Derby’s side for the last two seasons – and he doesn’t even turn 19 until April. The youngster made his debut at the age of 16 in November 2011 before really establishing himself from the start of 2012/13 with a series of eye-catching displays in the Rams’ engine room. His comfort on the ball and ability to pick a pass have seen him progress through the England Under-17 and Under-19 squads to the Under-21 side. Hughes was also named the Football League’s Young Player of the Month for November 2012.
Liam Moore (Leicester City)
Born in nearby Loughborough, Moore is living the dream by turning out for the club he supports - and is making great strides while doing so. The 21-year-old has progressed rapidly as a regular in Nigel Pearson’s starting XI with his strength and poise marking him out as a defender of some repute in the Foxes’ push for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship. Six-footer Moore is a member of the England Under-21 squad having previously earned Under-17 honours, while his outstanding form this season was recognised with The Football League Young Player of the Month award for September 2013.
Alex Pritchard (Swindon Town)
Midfield schemer Pritchard is on a season-long loan with Swindon Town from Tottenham Hotspur and has shown why he is so highly-rated by the Premier League club. His role means he is behind many of the Robins’ attacking moves as he probes at opposing defences and carves out chances for his colleagues while also adding vital goals of his own. Still only 20, and having previously been on loan at Peterborough United, Pritchard has made great strides in Sky Bet League 1 for Swindon this season and is a popular figure at the County Ground with seven goals registered in all competitions. He is also an England Under-20 international.