Premier League Players to Watch This Season

Premier League Players to Watch This Season

With the Premier League season now just under three weeks away, we’ve taken a look at some of the players to keep an eye on this term…

With every new domestic campaign comes a flurry of new players looking to test their worth in the world’s most competitive league. Whether they’re established players who have proved themselves in Europe’s other leagues, or young players coming through from the Championship, it’s always exciting to see the division lit up with fresh talent.

Last season, former Chelsea flop Mo Salah took the league by storm after being given a chance to shine by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp. The ‘Egyptian King’ bagged 44 goals and 16 assists throughout a memorable campaign at Anfield, where his new side reached the Champions League final. Nobody expected Salah to become the player he has today, with many doubting his ability to cut it in the Premier League following a far from successful stint at Stamford Bridge in 2014.

This time out, there’s sure to be some hidden gems uncovered over the gruelling 9 month domestic campaign, and we’ve taken a look at seven players that we think could be the ‘ones to watch’ in the Premier League this season. Have a read and let us know your thoughts by tweeting us @Oddschanger!

Andriy Yarmolenko – West Ham United

Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko joined West Ham from Borussia Dortmund earlier this month for an undisclosed fee. The 28-year-old wide man is one of many signings brought in by new manager Manuel Pellegrini as he looks to push for Europa League football, and we think this is a really shrewd move by the former Manchester City boss. Yarmolenko is from good pedigree, he’s played Champions League football for both Dynamo Kiev and Borussia Dortmund and is also a senior player at international level, turning out over 70 times for the Ukrainian national side. Similar to Marko Arnautovic, who will be deployed on the other side of the Hammers front three, Yarmolenko is a pacy, direct winger who always looks to play in behind. He’s not afraid of finding the net either, scoring 99 goals for Kiev throughout his successful 9 year tenure with the Ukrainian champions. With the acquisition of Yarmolenko, among other highly talented players, West Ham look to be a real force this season; they’re definitely one of the sides to watch this term, and we’re expecting Yarmolenko to be a big part of their potential success.

Ryan Sessegnon – Fulham

Fulham left back-turned-winger Ryan Sessegnon is one of the hottest prospects in world football right now. Tearing up the Championship at the tender age of 17, the England u21 international has attracted interest from clubs like Tottenham and PSG this summer, but it looks as though he will be staying at Craven Cottage as the West London outfit look to build on a hugely successful campaign that saw them win the play-off’s last term. After scooping both the Championship Player of the Year AND Young Player of the Year last time out, Sessegnon will be looking to hit the ground running in his first ever season in the top-flight. Originally a left full-back, he was converted to a winger midway through the season after Fulham recognised his ability in front of goal. After signing Southampton full-back Matt Targett on loan in January, Sessegnon was pushed onto left-midfield, and it’s safe to say he flourished in the role. Ending last season with a hugely impressive 23 goals in all competitions, the flying winger, who only turned 18 in May is definitely one to watch this season. It remains to be seen whether or not he’ll cut it in the Premier League, but we can’t wait to track his progress.

Ruben Neves – Wolves

Nobody could quite believe it when Wolves captured the signing of Ruben Neves from Porto last summer; the Portuguese international, who became the youngest captain in Champions League history when he led out Porto at just 17 years of age back in 2014, is for want of another word – incredible. Last season, Neves completely dominated the Championship with league winners Wolves. The 21-year-old playmaker bagged six goals in an extremely successful season at Molineux, with his attempt against Derby the undisputed goal of the season (potentially decade). Neves can completely dictate the tempo of a game and creates chances from absolutely nothing in midfield. He’s got a frighteningly good first touch and possesses incredible vision, picking out teammates effortlessly from the centre of the park. It’s all well and good doing this in the Championship however, but can he sustain this level of performance in the Premier League? In our opinion, definitely. Neves is  a player of the highest quality who will only get better when competing against the world’s best players. At just 21, he’s got a huge future in front of him, and there’s no doubt in our mind that he’ll take the Premier League by storm this season in an extremely strong Wolves team put together by one of the most promising managers currently in the game, Nuno Espirito Santo.

James Maddison – Leicester City

England u21 international James Maddison was one of the standout performers in the Championship last season. The former Norwich man, who attracted interest from a host of Premier League clubs including Southampton & Tottenham this summer finally decided to join Leicester for £20million in June. The 21-year-old is a creative central midfielder, who looks to move the ball forward quickly when his side are on the attack. One of Maddison’s biggest attributes is his ability from dead balls; he’s one of the best around when it comes to free-kicks so it’s going to be interesting to see if he can bag any in the Premier League this term. After losing talisman Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City a fortnight ago, Maddison has some extremely big boots to fill at the King Power Stadium. He’ll be expected to score at least 8 goals from midfield this season and also provide plenty of assists for the likes of Jamie Vardy up top. Will he have it in his locker to fulfil his potential at the top level? Watch this space…

Jannik Vestergaard – Southampton

Danish international Jannik Vestergaard is the latest player to have signed with south coast outfit Southampton. The towering central defender, who stands at an imposing 6ft 7, will be the tallest defender in the Premier League by some distance next term, which will give Saints’ back line the reassurance they crave after losing Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool in January. Although Vestergaard’s main attributes lie in his obvious arial ability and physicality, the former Borussia Mönchengladbach man is incredibly calm on the ball and looks to play out from the back. He’s got vast experience after making almost 200 appearances in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim, Werder Bremen & Mönchengladbach, so should find adapting to the Premier League a relatively straight forward task. Vestergaard has also represented his country, Denmark 28 times at u21 level, whilst also turning out 16 times for the senior side, scoring one goal in the process. Last season he became the Bundesliga’s most prolific defender after he bagged seven goals for Borussia Mönchengladbach, showing just what a threat he can be from set-pieces. Southampton have made a habit out of finding hidden gems and turning into world class players within a season or two, will we see a similar thing happen here with Vestergaard? We’re certainly excited to find out.

Bobby Reid – Cardiff City

Premier League new boys Cardiff City completed the signing of highly sought after striker Bobby Reid last month, and we think they’ve played a blinder. The 25-year-old front man, who was bought from Bristol City for a reported £10million has everything you’d want from a striker: pace, skill and a real eye for goal. Last term Reid took the Championship by storm, scoring 32 goals in all competitions at Ashton Gate in a season where the Robins were strong contenders for promotion throughout. Of course, the Premier League is a completely different ball game and it still remains to be seen whether or not Reid will cut it at the very top, however we’ve got a feeling he could be one of the surprise packages next season. Under manager Neil Warnock, Cardiff are a very direct side who look to get long balls in behind opposing defences, they need a player like Reid to make intricate runs in that all-important final third. With players like Josh Murphy and Junior Hoilett on either flank this season, Reid will get plenty of chances in an around the box as well. Many of his goals last season came in the form of tap-in’s inside the six-yard box, so with the right service we think Reid could endure a really successful campaign this time out.

Ricardo Pereira – Leicester City

Leicester have bolstered their defensive options by bringing in highly rated right full-back Ricardo Pereira from FC Porto. The 24-year-old joins the Foxes on a five-year deal for a fee in the region of £23million, and it looks to be one of the signings of the season. Pereira was a mainstay in Porto’s title winning side last term: he made 43 appearances for the Primeira Liga winners, and also featured seven times in the Champions League, making him a hugely experienced defender at the very top level. The talented defender also featured for Portugal at the recent World Cup in Russia, so is no stranger to playing against the worlds most elite players. Pereira will give manager Claude Puel another option in defence as current right-back Danny Simpson is the only out and out right sided full-back they currently have available. He can also be deployed on the right hand side of midfield however, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see him take up a more advanced position in certain matches so that players like Marc Albrighton and Dermerai Gray can be rotated. His main attributes lie with his pace and delivery from wide areas, so keep your ears pinned this season for Pereira as we think he could be one of the league’s surprise packages this term.