10 players to watch out for this season
Published 11/08/2014 | 02:30
From eye-catching World Cup stars to those with a point to prove, here are the 10 Premier League players to watch out for as the new season prepares to kick into gear.
1. Robin van Persie
2013-14 was a poor season for United and it certainly did not see Van Persie – injured for some of the time – at his best.
But the striker had a decent World Cup this summer with Holland under Louis van Gaal and, with the latter having now taken over as Red Devils boss, that partnership may well continue in the same vein, perhaps even with Van Persie captaining the team as they look to bounce back.
2. LUKE SHAW
Another United summer recruit of whom much is expected. Following a sparkling campaign with Southampton, the 19-year-old left-back played at the World Cup for England before joining the Red Devils for £27m.
The midfielder has had a disappointing summer as part of a Brazil side whose home World Cup campaign spectacularly imploded, but, prior to that, he was a relatively unsung hero of City's Premier League title-winning effort last term and will be eager to deliver the goods once more.
4. ANDER HERRERA
United's struggles last term saw more questions than ever being asked about the quality of their midfield.
Herrera has been brought in this summer as a potential answer and the Spaniard has already made an impressive start to life with his new club, shining on his debut in the friendly against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
5. SEAMUS COLEMAN
The rapid progression Coleman made last season under Roberto Martinez was explained, firstly, by the manager's ability to correct a flaw in the Donegal man's game and, secondly, the player's willingness to learn. Something clearly clicked between the pair as Coleman ended up scoring more goals from open play than any other full-back in Everton's history. Yet, one outstanding season is not enough.While a question over his consistency will remain if Coleman's form dips, this year could cement his status as one of Europe's best right-backs.
6. DANIEL STURRIDGE
With Luis Suarez now departed, the onus will be even greater on his former Reds strike partner Sturridge to continue producing goals for the Anfield outfit.
7. STEVEN GERRARD
The Merseysiders' captain has retired from England duty, meaning Gerrard's focus will now be entirely upon the pursuit of silverware with his club, something he came so agonisingly close to securing last term before that elusive Premier League title slipped away from the midfielder once again.
8. DIEGO COSTA
At least as many, if not more, questions were being asked about Chelsea's forward line as about Manchester United's midfield last season. Enter Spain striker Costa, who had a disappointing World Cup but has been in scintillating form over the past couple of years for Atletico Madrid and looks set to ravage Premier League defences in the coming campaign following his switch to Stamford Bridge.
9. CESC FABREGAS
Spain midfielder Fabregas left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2011 as a true Premier League star.
It will be interesting to see whether he can reclaim that status having joined Chelsea this summer and, only aged 27, it would seem he still has plenty to offer.
10. ALEXIS SANCHEZ
Another major signing for the Gunners following on from the capture last summer of Mesut Ozil. Forward Sanchez arrived at the Emirates Stadium in July off the back of an eye-catching contribution to Chile's fine effort at the World Cup and there is a feeling he could be the key to an even more serious title challenge from the Londoners this time out.