BPL players to watch out for this season: Club by club

(Written a couple of weeks ago, so stats will have changed by now!)



One to watch:
Alexis Sanchez
Can he perform to the levels at which he performed last season? Or is he a one season wonder? AFEfootballnews predicts that he’ll shine once again!

Star signing:
Petr Cech
The only signing they’ve made so he had to be star signing! He will add experience to the team and also more confidence within their defence.

Point to prove:
Mesut Özil
It’s about time he performed consistently isn’t it?
He’s come nowhere near justifying his £43 million price tag in the 2 previous seasons he’s had at the Emirates, so he’ll be hoping to (finally) shut those critics of his up.

Breakthrough star:
Alex Iwobi
Jay-Jay Okocha’s nephew apparently!
The youngster played brilliantly in some of Arsenal’s pre season games and will be hoping that “Le Professeur” will give him a chance to do so again during the season.

Aston Villa


One to watch:
Jack Grealish
Last season’s breakthrough star, and just about one of the only bright things to come out of Villa’s 2014/15 campaign.
He’ll be hoping to really make a name for himself this season and become Villa’s main man.

Star signing:
Rudy Gestede
Part of Blackburn Rovers’ deadly strikeforce last season, alongside Jordan Rhodes, he has fantastic heading ability and is a natural finisher.
He may not be as good as Benteke was for Villa, but he should still make an impact.

Point to prove:
Jordan Okore
A highly rated Center Back, but injury hampered the Young Danish stars season last year.
This season he’ll be hoping that Sherwood allows him to bounce back and get his chance in the first team.

Breakthrough star:
Jordan Amavi
An under 21 French international with a bright future ahead of him, he’ll be looking to prove himself at the top level now.



One to watch:
Callum Wilson
Easily their main man, he proved to be a top class player with a hat-trick in last Saturday’s away win over West Ham.
Keep an eye on him this season, he could be the difference between Bournemouth surviving or going down.

Star signing:
Max Gradel
To me, it was a real surprise to see someone of his quality join a club of Bournemouth’s size (I mean no disrespect by that) but fairplay to them for being able to lure him in.
The ex Leeds winger is an awesome dribbler of the ball and should prove to be a right handful for the Cherries this season.

Point to prove:
Glenn Murray
The former Crystal Palace man will be looking to prove that he can hack it at the highest level, as he couldn’t do it at Selhurst Park.

Breakthrough star:
The whole squad
Can they hack it in their first ever Premier League campaign? I believe they can.
It will be a huge mountain to climb for Eddie Howe’s side, but if they perform as well as they did in The Championship last year, they will definitely have what it takes to survive.



One to watch:
Diego Costa
The Spaniard who used to be a Brazilian, the self proclaimed 26 year old, the man who loves a good scrap on the field.
Costa is many things, but most of all, he is a clinical finisher, and will provide the goals for Mourinho’s men once again.

Star signing:
At £21 million,this could be a steal.
Seems very similar to the deal which took Alexis to Arsenal last season (both are brilliant players, but not good enough to beat Messi, Neymar and Suarez into Barca’s first team).
An impressive debut against West Brom last Saturday saw him grab a debut goal and gave an indication as to what we can expect to see from him this season.

Point to prove:
Radamel Falcao
Almost hard to believe that he’s been given a second chance of playing in The Premier League (especially when he’s now signed up for the Champions!).
He will be looking to forget 2014/15’s nightmare season at Old Trafford, and start again (even cutting his trademark locks off!).
There’s no doubting the man’s ability in front of goal, and if there is one man who can get his confidence back up, it is “The special one”.
Time will tell if we’ll ever see the real Falcao again.

Breakthrough star:
Ruben Loftus-Cheek
in a Chelsea team that has loaned out over 15 players for this season, you must have to be doing something right to have stayed put at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho has already openly confessed his admiration for Loftus-Cheek, stating that he ” could because big player, very soon”.
A tall but versatile and commanding Central Midfielder, he was given a 3 game run at the end of last season (when Chelsea had already won the league and Mourinho thought he’d give his youth players time to play about).
He’ll be hoping to truly impress this season.

Crystal Palace


One to watch:
Yannick Bolasie
Last season’s main man, The DR Congo international’s skills on the ball impressed many.
He truly highlighted his importance to the team when, on the 11th of April 2015, he scored an 11-minute hat-trick against Sunderland in a 4–1 away win, becoming the first Crystal Palace player to ever score a hat-trick in the Prem.

Star signing:
Yohan Cabaye
Could prove to be an awesome signing for Palace, as he has previous Premier League experience, playing for Newcastle United and also had Champions League experience, during his time at Paris Saint-Germain.
Many bigger clubs, including Arsenal and Liverpool had previously tried to negotiate terms with him, but he decide to sign on at Selhurst Park and in doing so, could turn out to be one of the surprise stars of the season.

Point to prove:
Marouane Chamakh
Ok, so he’s never been a great player, but we all know that for Palace he could be a more than decent player.
The Moroccan, once of Arsenal, will be hoping that he can have one last chance to prove his worth to Premier League fans.

Breakthrough star:
Patrick Bamford
The on loan Chelsea striker had an impressive season on loan at Middleborough in The Championship last season, bagging 17 goals in 39 games.
He is a great finisher of the ball and at Palace, should be given enough playing time to really get his career on track in The Premier League.



One to watch:
Romelu Lukaku
A prolific finisher, even at a young age, since his permanent arrival at the club for a record £28 million a year ago, he has been providing the goals consistently for Martinez’ side and will continue to do so again this season.

Star signing:
Gerard Deulofeu
Guess who’s back … Back again, Gerard’s back, tell a friend.
Back for a second time, following his loan spell at Goodison Park during the 2013-14 season, he has now signed permanently from Barcelona.
The winger has electrifying pace and can provide the team with assists, a good signing for the Toffees.

Point to prove:
Arouna Koné
Just 2 goals in 19 games over 2 seasons at the club has people wondering why a guy who scored 11 in one season at Wigan has been able to perform well yet.
Injuries have hampered his time at Everton, there’s no doubt about that, but he is a player who, on his day can be a real handful to deal with.
If he can stay fit this season, he’ll prove his doubters wrong, having already scored 1 and assisted 2 in the first 3 games of this season.

Breakthrough star:
Brendan Galloway
Now that Leighton Baines has picked up a serious injury, and looks set to be out for a long period of time, expect to see Galloway step up to the first team.
A left back who’s not shy of a tackle, he’s tall and quick too, and will provide Martinez with a glimpse of the future, if his impressive display against Southampton is anything to go by.

Leicester City


One to watch:
Riyad Mahrez
What a season he’s already having!
The Algerian has scored 4 goals in his first 3 games of the season and is looking like being Leicesters main man, providing deadly pace, unique finishing ability and a certain glow about his play.
Get him in your fantasy football teams now I say!

Star signing:
Shinji Okazaki
Following his £7 million move from FSV Mainz 05, he scored a goal in his second game for the club, and they should be able to expect a few more from him too. He is a proven goalscorer at the top level and is third in Japan’s top goalscorer  rankings.

Point to prove:
Andrej Kramaric
At £9 million, the Croat is  Leicester’s record signing, but if the truth be told, I think most people would not even know who he is, he made 11 appearances last season and scored just 2 goals.
This season however, he has the chance to redeem himself and prove to the Foxes faithful fans that he can be a hit for them.

Breakthrough star:
Gökhan Inler
OK, so he’s 31 years old I know, but he has never played in the Premier League before, so this is his chance to prove his worth in the best League in the world.
The experienced Swiss international will add some defensive power to their midfield and will most likely prove to be a hit at The King Power Stadium.



One to watch:
Philippe Coutinho
The creative spark in the middle of the park.
He works hard to create chances for his team, providing the assists as well as the goals, no wonder those in The Kop love this man.

Star signing:
Christian Benteke
At £30 million his price tag on arrival from Aston Villa may seem a little hefty, but there is just no doubting Benteke’s eye for goal and with the likes of Coutinho, Henderson and Firmino creating chances for him this season, he’s bound to score a healthy amount of goals.

Point to prove:
Lazar Markovic
The Serbian, arrived at Anfield from Benfica for £20 million at the start of last season, but failed to make a lasting impression.
The good news for him (and Liverpool fans) is that he is still only 21 years old and so he has time on his hands to grow in confidence and in ability too.
Expect to see better performances from him this season.

Breakthrough star:
Joe Gomez
A defender who can play in any position along the back four, he made a name for himself at Charlton last season, despite being only 17 years old.
He has already made 3 League starts for Liverpool this season and looks to be a vital part of Rodgers’ plans for the future.

Manchester City


One to watch:
Sergio Aguero
The leading goalscorer in The Prem last season and has been one of the most consistent players in recent years.
When he plays well, so do City, simple as.

Star signing:
Raheem Sterling
Can he live up to his hefty price tag?
Perhaps not, but there’s no doubting the fact that Sterling has the potential to be special … If his attitude and commitment problems are solved first. If Pellegrino plays him often, he’s bound to play well.

Point to prove:
Samir Nasri
Been a member of the squad ever since he led the Arsenal exodus and stabbed Wenger in the back, but can he secure a place in City’s starting eleven?
It’ll be tough for him with the competition for that Central Midfield role, including the likes of Yaya Toure and David Silva, but if he can find a stable run of good form, then he may just find an opportunity to prove himself.

Breakthrough star:
Kelechi Iheanacho
AFEfootballnews isn’t sure how to pronounce his name either, but in good time, the world will know this young Nigerian’s name.
A striker with a keen eye for goal, he impressed during City’s pre season games and will be expected to get a few games here and there during the season.

Manchester United


One to watch:
Memphis Depay
Could be as important and as influential for the reds as Ronaldo was back in the day, if used correctly by LVG.
The young Dutchman had an impressive season with PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie last season and will bring with him, bags of pace, skills galore and a brilliant free kick scoring record.
Keep an eye on him.

Star signing:
Morgan Schneiderlin
Some may argue that Schweinsteiger, Martial or Darmian will be bigger signings, but I believe that the signing of Schneiderlin from Southampton will be the most significant one for United, as he is a tough tackling Midfielder who takes no prisoners.
The kind of player they’ve lacked since the days of Paul Scholes and Roy Keane.
He may not score goals or even create them, but he’ll put his foot in and do the dirty work that the other players wouldn’t.

Point to prove:
Daley Blind
In truth, he didn’t have the worst season for a debutant in The Premier League last season, but he can be expected to do better.
Occasionally deputised at left back by Van Gaal last season, his strongest position is in the defensive zone of the Midfield, where this season, he may play alongside Schneiderlin.
If those two form a decent partnership, then United could become a very tough team to play against.

Breakthrough star:
James Wilson
Personally, I’ve heard many United supporters give high praise to this young man, also saying that he should be given more playing time, and I’d have to say that I agree with them.
Van Gaal is a fan of rotating formations and so on, so I’m sure we can expect to see him get a few games during the season.

Newcastle United


One to watch:
Aleksandr Mitrovic
A prolific striker in the Belgian League for RSC Anderlecht, he scored over 25 goals last season, including a Champions League goal against Arsenal.
He’ll be looking to become a fans favourite at St. James Park and could easily do so if he gets off to a good start.

Star signing:
Giorginio Wijnaldum
Could prove to be one of the signings of the summer, if all goes to plan for him.
The Dutchman was famed in the Eredivisie for being a Midfielder with an eye for goal, but also the creative spark to make chances for his team mates.
He scored on his debut on the opening weekend of this season’s Premier League campaign and will  hope to continue that form.

Point to prove:
Siem De Jong
Arrived in England, as yet another Eredivisie Midfielder with a glistening reputation, but injury soon hampered his Newcastle career.
If he can stay fit this season, he will most likely prove his worth and fit in effortlessly alongside his Dutch compatriot, Wijnaldum in the Central Midfield role.

Breakthrough star:
Chancel Mbemba
Turned up to his first game, wearing a tuxedo, if that doesn’t scream superstar, then I don’t know what does.
The young Congolese Center Back was a hit in the Belgian League last season, becoming another prodigy of Anderlecht’s youth set up, and gaining a reputation as a tough tackling, commanding defender.

Norwich City


One to watch:
Cameron Jerome
The main man for The Canaries in The Championship last season, providing the goals consistently and will be expected to do the same again this season.
Having had former Premier League experience with Stoke City, hell be hoping to prove his former critics wrong, and perform to the best of his abilities.

Star signing:
Graham Dorrans
Having spent last season on loan at Carrow Road, the Scotsman has now made his move a permanent one.
A great career move for him, as he is guaranteed to play often in their starting eleven and will become a key player for them during the season.

Point to prove:
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel
Whatever happened to this bloke?
The former Sporting Lisbon goal machine has seriously struggled during his time at Norwich, having hit just one goal when they were last in the Prem (2013-14) and then scored just 5 goals on loan at Saint-Etienne last season.
Everyone of us knows that he has the ability to bang in the goals, its just a matter of hitting form.
So … over to you Richard son of DogsPenis!

Breakthrough star:
Andre Wisdom
Yet another loan spell for the Liverpool youngster, having previously spent time playing at Derby County and West Bromwich Albion.
This season could be make or break time for his Liverpool career.



One to watch:
Graziano Pelle
Became a hit last season as he finished the season as the Saints’ top scorer.
The Italian is great in the air, but equally as brilliant with his feet and we can surely expect to see him ripping nets up during the course of this season.

Star signing:
Jordy Clasie
“The Dutch Xavi” as he was nicknamed at Feyenoord, has a brilliant technique on the ball and fantastic visionary skills, allowing him to assist many goals for his teammates.
If history is anything to go by, then he will live up to his last name and be a “Clasie” signing for Southampton.

Point to prove:
Gaston Ramirez
The Uruguay international has become a bit of a forgotten man at St. Mary’s, having spent last season at now relegated Hull City, but he used to be a spectacular player with a real eye for goal.
If he can rediscover his former qualities, then he could be a hero in the midfield for Southampton this season.

Breakthrough star:
Matt Targett
Having already started the first 3 games of the season for The Saints, he’s looked impressive and consistent at the back for them.
This could be the season he makes his name.

Stoke City


One to watch:
Bojan Krkic
A serious injury during last season ended his campaign just as he was finding his form.
The man formerly known as “The next Messi” is capable of doing incredible things, and will be expected to fully fulfill his potential this season and beyond.

Star signing:
Xherdan Shaqiri
An incredible signing for Stoke and an indication as to the direction in which the club is heading, for bigger things, as they attract bigger names.
Shaqiri is a world class player and has Champions League experience with Basel, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich.
Hell be a truly vital player at The Britannia Stadium.

Point to prove:
Ibrahim Afellay
Another former Barcelona player, he joined Stoke from Olympiacos, in order to reboot his career, and is guaranteed to start game after game for them.
He’ll provide them with goals and assists if he can play at his best.

Breakthrough star:
Jack Butland
With the departure of Asmir Begovic to Chelsea, its now time for the young England international to take over in goal.
During his first 3 games of the season, he’s already shocked many with a load of impressive saves and I’m sure we’ll see a lot more from him as the season goes on.



One to watch:
Jermaine Defoe
Seemed like a big fish in a little pond last season as Sunderland often performed dismally, he was the main man by far for The Black Cats.
He’ll be looking to keep Sunderland up this season, but it will be a huge mountain to climb.

Star signing:
Yann M’Vila
Exactly the kind of player that Sunderland have been missing, a tough tackling Midfielder who isn’t afraid to put the challenges in.
Hot headed at times, but he has the ability to be a vital part of a team.

Point to prove:
Danny Graham
The former Swansea City striker has had an awful run in The Premier League and seriously needs to prove himself.

Breakthrough star:
Duncan Whatmore
Scored a goal in Sunderland’s opening day defeat to Leicester and the England under 21 international looks like he could have a bright future ahead of him, whether it be in the Premier League or elsewhere.

Swansea City


One to watch:
Bafetimbi Gomis
3 goals in his first 3 games of the season, Gomis is on fire.
Swansea fans were left fearing the worst when Wilfried Bony packed his bags and joined the Arab money gang at Manchester City in January, but it looks like they can relax a little more now as they may have found his ideal replacement.
Expect him to be their main man this season.

Star signing:
Andre Ayew
Looking like being the signing of the summer, especially considering the fact that he didn’t cost the Swans a thing (except the cost of his wages obviously!).
The Ghanaian winger is experienced at Champions League and World Cup levels and is an impressive signing made by Garry Monk, who will surely prove to be a vital part of the clubs European push this season.

Point to prove:
Leon Britton
Can he still hack it at the highest level?
The Central Midfielder is viewed as a Swans legend, having been at the club since the dark days of playing in League 2 (and nearly falling out of the football league) he’s seen it all!
But with competition for places getting tougher each season, is his time at the Liberty up? Or can he prove his worth once more? Time will tell!

Breakthrough star:
Matt Grimes
Scored against York in the clubs 3-0 win in the Capital One Cup in August and looks to be a youngster with much potential.
A Central Midfielder, he can pass the ball effortlessly, and has a keen eye to score goals as well as create them.
Hell be hoping to make a good impression this season.

Tottenham Hotspur


One to watch:
Christian Eriksen
Last season’s main man when it came to creating chances and will again be hoping to be the spark within the Spurs Midfield in this one.
The Danish international has the ability to pop up with goals of his own from time to time and is definitely a vital part of Pochettino’s team.

Star signing:
Clinton N’Jie
The Cameroon youngster signed from Lyon, is expected to be one for the future.
For his national side, he’s already scored 6 goals in 11 games and they see him as an ideal replacement for legendary striker, Samuel Eto’o.
Big shoes to fill there, mate!

Point to prove:
Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor has become the forgotten man at White Hart Lane, falling down the pecking order under Pochettino’s ruling.
It’s hard to say whether or not the Togolese striker will ever play for the club again, but i f he does, he’ll certainly need to try and prove that his goalscoring days are not completely dead and gone.

Breakthrough star:
Delle Alli
Tipped to be a future England star, Alli is naturally a Defensive Midfielder, but has an unusually decent goalscoring record for a player in that position.
He spent last season back on loan at former club MK Dons, and having already scored his first ever goal for Spurs this season, hell be hoping that Pochettino’s continues to give him a run in the team.



One to watch:
Troy Deeney
Captain and their star striker, they will rely on him to bang in the goals this season and if history repeats itself, then he will certainly do so.
A clinical finisher, he deserves his chance to shine at the highest level.

Star signing:
Victor Ibarbo
Lightning pace, in fact he is one of the quickest players in the footballing world today.
The Colombian international will create chances for the Hornets down the wing and should also contribute with goals.

Point to prove:
Etienne Capoue
The Frenchman shine for Toulouse during his time in Ligue 1, but failed to create a lasting impression at Spurs during last season.
He will most likely fit into a defensive Midfielder role for Watford and could well return to his former form.

Breakthrough star:
Nathan Ake
The Dutch Left-Back is just one of about thirty odd players who have been sent out on loan by Chelsea this season, but he is one that shows much promise!
Hard to tell if he will play often but if he does, he may make a name for himself.

West Bromwich Albion


One to watch:
Darren Fletcher
The former Manchester United man was made captain by Tony Pulis last season and changed their season drastically.
He’s a real leader within their team and is instrumental in the heart of their midfield.

Star signing:
Salomon Rondon
The Venezuelan hitman became the Baggies record signing in the summer when he was signed from Russian side Zenit for £15 million.
He is a striker with a real eye for goal, is strong in the air as well as on the ground and could prove to be a very good signing for West Brom.

Point to prove:
Ricky Lambert
Since moving from Southampton to Liverpool, the veteran striker struggled to make an impact at Anfield and has now made a move to the Hawthornes in search of a first team place.

Breakthrough star:
Serge Gnabry
The young German winger has been sent out on loan by Arsenal, and if he plays often enough we may see what he’s really capable of.
Quick on the ball, and a decent finisher too, he’s tipped to be a star in the near future.

West Ham United


One to watch:
Mauro Zarate
With star striker Enner Valencia out for a long time with an injury, all hopes will turn to the Argentinian for the goals and there’s no doubting his ability.
He scored In the Hammers 2-0 opening day away win at Arsenal and if the right chances fall to him, he will surely take them.

Star signing:
Dimitri Payet
What a signing he will be for West Ham.
He has it all, pace, skills, creates chances, scores goals, he’s an all round talented player and could prove to be the signing of the season if things go his way.

Point to prove:
Andy Carroll
Can he maintain an injury free season?
Last season he was playing well for West Ham, until injury kept him out for the rest of it, in fact, he has not been seen since.
If he comes back from injury and manages to stay fit though, he could prove to be a useful player for Bilic’s side.

Breakthrough star:
Reece Oxford
Impressed in the Europa League qualifiers at the beginning of the season and then kept Mesut Özil quiet all game long at the Emirates.
The 16 year old has only just finished his time in high school, but is looking like a really promising player with tons of confidence and a keen eye to play a deadly through ball.
Keep an eye on him!

So, who’s your one to watch this season?
Who’s your favourite signing?
Let AFEfootballnews know in the comments section below!

Posted by Arron Fôn Evans.

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