Here is a list of players that might set the Premier League alight this season. There are many more, but here are ten to keep your eye on. They are listed in club alphabetical order only;
Ashley Young Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Aston Villa
Many people raised a quizzical eyebrow when Aston Villa parted with Ã‚Â£9 million to prize Ashley Young away from Watford. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a Watford fan and I was one of them! I knew he was good, but Ã‚Â£9 million seemed to be way over the odds.
Well, disbelievers like me were beginning to be proved wrong last season when his powerful and direct running together with superb delivery from set pieces saw him gain rave reviews and international recognition.
I expect him to go from strength to strength this season and become an England regular and a crucial member of the side. At twenty-three he still has time to get better.
Daniel Agger – Liverpool
Agger had made the position in the middle of LiverpoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s defence alongside Jamie Carragher his own last season when he got injured. What appeared to be a simple metatarsal injury developed complications and ended in surgery.
The 6’3″ Danish centre half is getting back to full fitness now and will be determined to show that those who think he is the future of the Liverpool defence are right to put their trust in him.
Nani Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Manchester United
Remember Cristiano RonaldoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first season at United? He was good, but showed nothing to suggest that he would develop in the way he has. Nani is in many ways a similar player. He will have learned a lot last season and I would expect him to show us exactly what Sir Alex Ferguson saw in him when he brought him to the club last summer.
His decision making left something to be desired but Ronaldo was way too greedy when he first came to England. Nani might not become another Ronaldo but I am convinced he will become a very fine player in his own right. Remember, he is only twenty-one years old. There is a lot more to come.
Alfonso Alves Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Middlesbrough
The Brazilian striker is MiddlesbroughÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record signing. He showed why in his two-goal outstanding performance against Manchester United at the end of last season. He didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t show much other than that and I think that was due to a lack of fitness.
If he has managed to have a full pre-season then I would expect him to set the Premier League alight this season.
Steven Taylor – Newcastle
For the England under twenty-one side Steven Taylor has been an absolute colossus. He has produced world class displays and inspired his team-mates to bigger and better things.
When he puts on the England shirt he hardly puts a foot wrong. He looks good enough to challenge the likes of Ferdinand and Terry for their full England places.
For Newcastle, Taylor has never quite produced the same level of consistent performance. Now that he has committed himself to Newcastle for the foreseeable future it is time for him to make the next step up in his career. I expect him to have a magnificent season at the heart of the Newcastle defence and to make the current England centre halves keep a nervous eye on his performances.
Jermaine Defoe Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Portsmouth
After twiddling his thumbs on the Tottenham substitutes bench for so long, Defoe will be looking to re-announce himself both in the Premier League and for England.
He scored nine goals in twelve games at the end of last season for Portsmouth and has been fairly prolific wherever he has been.
He would love to ad to his twenty-eight England caps and this seasn he has a chance to shine with an almost guaranteed starting place at Pompey alongside his potential England partner Peter Crouch.
If he remains injury free, I’ve got a fiver that says he will be the top English scorer in the remier League.
Ryan Shawcross Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Stoke City
This is a young man with a great future ahead of him. Signed from Manchester United, he impressed enormously for Stoke City last season in their unlikely rise to the Premier League.
At just twenty years of age his limited experience will be tested to the full against e best the Premier League can throw at him.
Those who have seen a lot of Shawcross are confident that he will more than stand up to it and will be one of the stars of the season.
Kenwyne Jones – Sunderland
Unfortunately injured playing for Trinidad and Tobago against England back in June, he will miss the first part of this season.
He was getting better and better last season for Sunderland after his big money move from Southampton. He is a player who has everything. Pace, Power, strength, good on the ground and better in the air.
If he can add a few more goals to his game he will become one of the best. He is a genuinely frightening striker for defenders to play against and he is highly rated by Alan Shearer. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good enough for me.
Luka Modric Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Tottenham Hotspur
TottenhamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new Croatian midfield dynamo had a very good Euro 2008. Despite his slight frame his game looked perfectly suited for the high paced, high pressure atmosphere of the Premier League.
It often takes overseas players a while to settle to life in England and particularly the unique brand of football that is played. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expect Modric to have any problems adapting and predict that he will be one of the stars of the season.
Dean Ashton Ã¢â‚¬â€œ West Ham
Hopefully the peroxide blond striker can have an injury free season and show everyone what he is capable of. He got back to somewhere near his best at the end of last season, scoring some spectacular goals and earning his first England cap, all be it in a meaningless game and for only forty-five minutes.
This season, he should get the chance to score goals and to demonstrate the great understanding and touch he has around the penalty area. If anyone can challenge Jermaine Defoe for the top English scorer title it is Dean Ashton.
That’s ten players to look out for. Who would you add to the list?
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