Marc Iles turns the spotlight on three of the young Wanderers players who could break into the senior scene this season

DEBATE rages on among Wanderers fans about whether the club have harnessed their young talents enough in recent years.

Some argue that home-grown players have been denied their chances at first team level and not given a chance to flourish, while others maintain that the quality of players coming through the system simply isn’t of sufficient standard.

There was a slight impasse in Dougie Freedman’s stance at the tail end of last season when Andy Kellett and Oscar Threlkeld made a high-profile breakthrough to feature in the final couple of games.

Before them, Tom Youngs, Chris Lester, Georg Iliev and Zach Clough had all made the very fringes of the side, while Hayden White made a memorable debut at QPR for the injured Tim Ream.

Josh Vela, Conor Wilkinson, Cian Bolger, Sanmi Odelusi and Tom Eaves sought most of their football elsewhere on loan.

But who will get their chance this season?

Here, Marc Iles looks at the three young players most likely to make an impact at senior level.

CONOR WILKINSON This summer’s success story has shown he is not out of his depth at senior level.

Wilkinson was brought in from Millwall with a big reputation and his physical size sets him apart from a lot of the youngsters coming through the system.

He has the swagger that all good front men seem to have but more importantly he has the knack for scoring goals.

A good record for the first team and the under-21s in the last couple of months might just have sealed a place on the bench against Watford on the opening day.

JOSH VELA Wanderers have waited a long time for the midfielder to overcome his growing pains and get his promising career back on track.

Last season’s loan spell at Notts County has proved he can handle week-in, week-out football, and it is hoped his fellow academy graduate Joe Riley can follow suit during his spell out on loan at Oxford.

Vela has to slug it out with Jay Spearing, Medo Kamara and Liam Trotter for the deep-lying midfield role but he appears to be in the manager’s thoughts.

OSCAR THRELKELD Right in the thick of it over pre-season, Threlkeld’s versatility across the back could be the key to him being in the first team picture.

The Radcliffe defender burst on to the scene as emergency cover at right-back last season and let no-one down, now he appears to be second choice in that position after Alex Baptiste left for Blackburn and Joe Riley has been loaned out to Oxford.

Threlkeld is powerfully built and looks like he can handle himself at the higher level – and has a perfect mentor in Kevin McNaughton.