10 players set for a breakout season

Every season produces new stars and here are 10 who we might know a lot more about come next May.

1. Alex Pritchard, Tottenham:

The England U21 winger was outstanding on loan at Brentford last season and will hope to follow the path of Ryan Mason and Harry Kane this term. He will start in the Europa League group stages and might earn some league trust as winter draws in.

2. Rolando Aarons, Newcastle:

The teenage winger gave brief glimpses of his talent last season before injury intervened. This season he could be Toon’s local replacement for Hatem Ben Arfa — though he signed from Bristol City aged 16. Has been honed by Peter Beardsley ever since.

3. Jordon Ibe, Liverpool:

‘Raheem Who?’ Ibe has pace, guile and a fearlessness similar to Sterling. After an impressive pre-season in Malaysia, where he scored a cracker, Brendan Rodgers declared the winger to be in his first-team plans for the season.

4. Idrissa Gueye, Aston Villa:

A box-to-box midfielder who has big boots to fill in replacing Fabian Delph, the Senegal international has looked sharp in pre-season. He may yet follow Delph after admitting he wants “a big club later”.

5. Jack Butland, Stoke:

Asmir Begovic’s move to Chelsea offers a great chance for the goalkeeper to cement his place as a Premier League regular. After four loan spells and one England appearance, Butland could pressure Joe Hart and give Shay Given a real fight for the number one shirt.

6. Bertrand Traore, Chelsea:

17 goals in 33 games on loan for Vitesse Arnhem last season has increased the buzz over Burkina Faso winger Traore. Chelsea went to great lengths to get his work permit but his starts will be limited to cup competitions — for now.

7. Jefferson Montero, Swansea:

The Ecuadorean winger was a devastating impact sub for Swansea last season, coming on to trouble tired defenders late on. He will want more starts this term — no defender will look forward to seeing him.

8. Jordy Clasie, Southampton:

Cut his teeth under Ronald Koeman at Feyenoord and is an ideal replacement for Morgan Schneiderlin at a third of the price. He was Feyenoord captain and has the technique, intensity and temperament to run the midfield. Another Saints bargain.

9. Matt Ritchie, Bournemouth:

17 assists and 13 goals in the Championship does not guarantee success in the Premier League, but it’s a decent return for Ritchie, who was in League Two with Swindon when Bournemouth paid £500,000 for him.

10. Troy Deeney, Watford:

The Watford captain has scored 20 goals for the last three seasons and holds the key to their hopes of survival. There may be a new team playing behind him, but Deeney represents Watford’s past, as well as its present.


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