Gabriel Jesus and Dele Alli lead the Premier League's brightest young stars

Judging by its average age of 27.3 years, the Premier League is no country for neither old nor young men. While the oldest squad is Stoke City, at an average age of 29 years, Tottenham's squad is the youngest, with an average age of 25, and the next lowest is Liverpool, a full 12 months older with an average age of 26.

Which all goes to suggest the difficulty of breaking through as a youngster, let alone sustaining success, as Anthony Martial, 21, and Marcus Rashford, 19, have found at Manchester United this season.

ESPN FC selects its young team of the season so far, in fashionable 3-5-2 formation.

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland, 22)

Pickford was called into the England squad in October, a measure of the excellence of his displays in becoming Sunderland's first-choice keeper, an overworked role this season. The local lad is back in training after two months out with a knee injury so he shouldn't have to watch his club's relegation battle from the sidelines for too much longer. Whether Sunderland survive or not, a Premier League future seems guaranteed. The likes of Liverpool and Manchester City are on the look out for goalkeepers.

Defender: Harry Maguire (Hull, 23)

Maguire, 6-foot-2 and bulky, cuts a mountainous figure and possesses the typical assets of the traditional English centre-back, but he can play a bit on the floor as well. In the past week, he has kept both Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Liverpool's Roberto Firmino quiet with his bustling style. He also presents a significant threat from set pieces; it was his header that led to the Simon Mignolet mishap that gave Hull their first goal in Saturday's 2-0 win over Liverpool.

Defender: Mason Holgate (Everton, 20)

Everton took Holgate from the same Barnsley supply line as John Stones. Holgate has had to wait for his chance and has usually played in a back three, having become a regular at the turn of the year. There, he is learning from the experience of Ashley Williams and manager Ronald Koeman, a Dutch master of defending in his playing days.

Defender: Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough, 24)

Gibson might be the nephew of Boro chairman Steve Gibson, but there should be no accusations of nepotism. Young defenders are in short supply, and he just passed his 24th birthday last month. A determined competitor who learned the hard way on loan at Plymouth Argyle, York City and Tranmere Rovers, Gibson is winning admirers in a defence that is by far the stingiest in the Premier League's bottom half. Having scored 19 goals against 27 conceded, Aitor Karanka's team would be in big trouble without their defence.

Wing-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, 18)

Jurgen Klopp used the FA Cup -- albeit briefly, after losing to Wolves in the fourth round -- to give young players a chance. Only one has made a breakthrough to the full team, with Alexander-Arnold proving an able stand-in for Nathaniel Clyne, especially when Liverpool drew 1-1 at Manchester United last month, showing his ability on the overlap while keeping Martial quiet down his flank.

Wing-back: Leroy Sane (Manchester City, 21)

Of course, Sane has lately flourished as the left side of Manchester City's new attacking trident with Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, but a paucity of options sees him selected at wing-back here. Besides, Guardiola himself has selected Sane in that position, and though City have not won a game in which a defensive three has been attempted, the young German cannot be blamed too much for that. Having taken a while to bed in, his talent is becoming ever more apparent.

Midfielder: Tom Davies (Everton, 18)

Everton are always ready to throw in youngsters to see what might happen, but Davies' sudden explosion has come as a surprise. He was never given the advanced billing of a Wayne Rooney or Ross Barkley, but Koeman has unearthed someone who runs for the entire 90 minutes and has a keen eye for a key pass. Davies was Manchester City's destroyer last month, scoring one and supplying two more in a 4-0 Everton win.

Midfielder: Harry Winks (Tottenham, 21)

Mauricio Pochettino's trust in youth continues with Winks, another player who can follow the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier. A central midfielder who likes to push forward when possible and used most regularly as a substitute, he has supplanted Tom Carroll and Ryan Mason, fellow youth midfield products Pochettino shipped out to Swansea City and Hull City respectively.

Midfielder: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, 20)

In his second season as a first-team squad member, he has been a regular first-choice selection for significant parts of this campaign. The Nigerian has a trick or two up his sleeve, as might somebody who is the nephew of Jay-Jay Okocha, and links play up well between midfield and attack. He has to take a creative backseat, with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez around, but manager Arsene Wenger clearly sees a lot in him.

Forward: Dele Alli (Tottenham, 20)

The problem Tottenham face with Alli is bottling up expectations in a player who at 20 already looks like the real deal. Two full seasons in the Football League with MK Dons undoubtedly strengthened him, but Spurs perhaps never thought they had signed a player of such attacking gifts. Initially thought of as a central midfielder, he now thrives in a free role off Harry Kane, offering an intimidating goal threat, as previously invincible Chelsea found out when he scored both goals in a 2-0 win a month ago.

Forward: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City, 19)

Jesus has reminded big clubs that January can be a good time to add personnel. The Brazilian is galvanising City, finally playing the brand of attacking football that was expected from them when Guardiola pitched up at the Etihad. There are even smiles on the manager's face, though Sergio Aguero is not nearly so happy. Jesus was wanted by Europe's top clubs, and City had to wait until January to use him as he stayed on to finish the season with Palmeiras. Three goals in his past two games and incendiary attacking performances suggest the wait was worth it.