Premier League: 5 Players who can take the PL by surprise

Published 08/31/2016, 2:15 PM EDT


The Premier League has never been short of surprises and excitement. New starts have risen from nowhere to catch the eye of the whole footballing world on so many occasions here. And after 24 editions, the attention now shifts to the 25th edition of the League. And so, the stage is open for new talents to showcase their skills and grab the attention and for the superstars to establish themselves firmly at the top.

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We take a look at a few players who can take the Premier League and its fan base by surprise with their performances.

ERIC BAILLY

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Club: Manchester United

Eric Bailly is quickly winning fans at Old Trafford with his commanding defensive style

“I want to progress to be the best that I can be and I believe working with Jose Mourinho will help me develop in the right way and at the right club.”
-Eric Bailly-

The Premier League has seen the entry of some of the biggest names in the managerial world and the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Manchester United was right at the top of those. All eyes were on Jose’s transfer market activities as fans around the world awaited the arrival of some big names. But Jose’s first signing was somewhat an unknown quantity from La Liga. United’s announcement of Eric Bertrand Bailly from Villarreal for £30m made lots of headlines as most didn’t know much about the Ivory Coast International. But few weeks into the league, the young defender has caught many eyes already with his no-nonsense defensive style.

Born in Bingerville in Ivory Coast, Bailly learned his trade from Spanish side Espanyol’s youth set-up. He made his way through to Espanyol first team and made 5 appearences for them before joining Villarreal. He was brought in as a replacement for the Arsenal-bound Gabriel Paulista and quickly won his place in the side. The 6 foot 2 inch defender was tried all across the back four and put in some impressive performances for the Yellow Submarines.

United had their fair share of injury troubles last season and struggled to put together a consistent defensive lineup. This could be one of the reasons why Jose was quick to bring in the Ivorian after what seems to be extensive scouting work. And having seen the youngster play, it must be said that it has been good scouting work indeed. The big question was how Bailly would adjust to the pacey and demanding Premier League and an injury to Chris Smalling meant that he had the chance to showcase his abilities straight away. Impressive is the word to use so far. Bailly’s physical presence and composure on the ball has given an early indication that he might grab a headlines this season. His manager Jose Mourinho had already backed him to ‘become one of the best around’.

And come the end of the season, Bailly could well be one of the newest stars in this league.

DEMARAI GRAY

Club: Leicester City

Gray has the pace and skills to trouble any defence in the League

The Premier League has never been short of throwing new young superstars into the limelight. Looking back at the grand entries of Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney, to the more recent arrivals of Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli, the Premier League has always been a stage for surprises.

Leicester City come into season after an extra-ordinary season that saw them beat all the odds to be crowned the Premier League Champions. Though many believe a defense of their title could be a very tough ask, they might well give it a fair shot as we have seen the passion the Foxes can put forward. Keeping hold of their superstars is the biggest challenge for the cub, but they might well have some new superstars up their sleeves. The recent arrival of Ahmed Musa is an indication that Leicester are not giving it away without a fight. But our attention is on a young English winger who arrived at the club last January.

Leicester activated Gray’s release clause of a reported £3.7m and completed the signing from Birmingham. He made 10 appearances, all of them as substitutes but showed glimpses of the threat he could become. The winger’s pace and tricks were enough indications of the problems that he will be able to cause the Premier League defenses. The consistency of selection for the Foxes meant that Gray had to be content with a substitute role, but his involvement in those 10 appearances were clear indications that this youngster has enough in him to become a superstar in the years to come.

Leicester City haven’t started the season in the best manner, but Gray was involved in winning a penalty for them on opening day but was not able to stop a defeat against the newly promoted Hull City. But given enough time and chances, Gray could evolve himself into a real threat for the Foxes.

ANDRE GRAY

Club: Burnley

 

Andre Gray was Burnley’s top scorer in the Championship

Another Gray makes our list and this time its Burnley’s frontman Andre Anthony Gray. Burnley already threw in a surprise when they completely outplayed Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side in the second week. And Gray was their hero as he capped off his impressive game with a goal. Burnley had Danny Ings during their last stay in the Premier League but his transfer to Liverpool following Burnley’s relegation caused a concern for the Clarets fans.

Gray was signed in August 2015 and had a fantastic season in the Championship where he ended up as the League’s top scorer with 25 goals. He was voted the Championship Player of the Year for his goal-scoring heroics.

Gray and Burnley will be hoping that the striker would be able to repeat his heroics in the Premier League, and going by the start of the season, he clearly looks a really deadly front-man.

The striker has made the news for the wrong reasons recently, but Gray’s pace and prowess playing up front could cause a lot of concerns for many Premier League defences as his goal against Liverpool on the second match day showed.

NATHAN REDMOND

Club:Southampton

Nathan Redmond scored on his debut for Southampton

 

Holding onto its key players has been a problem for Southampton over the past few years. This transfer window was no different as they saw Sadio Mane who had an impressive 2015-16 season for the Saints make a move to Liverpool like a few of his old team mates. Southampton have brought players in as well and one name that has caught our attention is that of Nathan Redmond. The young English winger had an impressive 2015-16 season with Norwich where he scored 6 times and was involved in most of the good things Norwich were doing. The move to the Saints might well prove to be a good one for the player and will have more chances and freedom to showcase his skills.

With brilliant pace and skills, Redmond is also considered a threat from dead-ball situations. And going by the early indications, Redmond certainly has settled into the team well. He scored his first goal for the club on his Premier league debut match for Southampton and has looked a threat in the opening weeks.

Redmond has put in few good performances for the England U21 squad and will be hoping to provide memorable moments for the Saints crowd. Though, there has been a change in the managerial position at Southampton, the current manager Claude Puel certainly seems to have Redmond clearly in his plans for the season.

ALVARO NEGREDO

Club: Middlesbrough

Negredo’s loan move to Boro might prove to be decisive in their fight for Premier League stay

When Manchester City announced the signing of Negredo back in 2013, the whole Premier League fan base was waiting to see what the much heard of Spanish striker can do in the Premier League. But after a very promising start to his time in Manchester, Negredo slowly faded away from the attention and eventually was struggling for a regular place in the team.

After returning to Valencia for a couple of seasons, Negredo is back in the Premier League, this time surprisingly with the newly promoted Middlesbrough side on a loan deal. The arrival of the striker made quite a lot of news as this was seen as a big coup by a newly promoted side. And there is no doubt that Middlesbrough will benefit from the experienced striker’s arrival.

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He has always had the ability to find the back of the net and this could well prove to be a vital factor for Aitor Karanka and his Middlesbrough side. And this second arrival to the Premier League could well prove to be more memorable than the last one. Going by the early indications, the Spaniard has not lost his eye for goal and with more playing time in store, Negredo could well lead the line for Boro more effectively than what he did for a star-rich Manchester City side.

The 6’1″ striker managed just 9 goals for Manchester City last time out, but he surely has the pedigree to find more goals for an extremely exciting Middlesbrough side who are looking to maintain their Premier League status in style.

 

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Thrishal Sunil

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