Who will be the stars of the show in 2013/14?
1) Wilfried Zaha
Manchester United’s January purchase of Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha is yet another fine example of Sir Alex Ferguson’s astute transfer business.
The 20-year-old will likely feature on the right wing for United, replacing the outgoing Nani and the young Englishman will be ardently trying to make an impression on the Premier League in his debut season. Expect goals, skills and tenacity from this England youngster whose future looks very bright indeed.
2) Philippe Coutinho
Another sound bit of January transfer business was Brendan Rodgers’ signing of Brazilian ‘wonderkid’ Coutinho who’s made a decent start with Liverpool this term but, mark my words, the best is yet to come from the 20-year-old. Expect flair, energy and dynamism in abundance – he will be a key player for the Reds for years to come.
3) Jack Butland
The highly rated Birmingham keeper signed for Stoke City in January and, if Stoke can stay up, he’ll make all the difference next term. Stoke’s defensive record has taken a bit of a hit of late but this future England number one is exactly what they need to add security between the sticks. In a few years, he’ll likely go head-to-head with the likes of Joe Hart and Fraser Forster for the England spot.
4) Romelu Lukaku
We’ve seen what this young man can do in raw form this term with his 14 league goals and 7 assists for West Brom where he’s been on loan from Chelsea. He’ll likely return to Stamford Bridge next term where he’ll be raring and ready to go and fight for his place in the Blues’ first team. If he can get his playing opportunities, he could prove himself to be exactly the kind of firepower Chelsea need up front.
5) Jack Wilshere
We all know about Wilshere’s immense ability but we also know about his fitness – this term he was just getting back into his stride for the Gunners before he picked up another niggle. He’ll have the summer to rest and recuperate and I’m expecting next season to be his coming of age.
6) Thomas Ince
Whether he ends up at Liverpool, Tottenham, or Manchester United, expect that this 21-year-old will introduce himself to the Premier League next term. He is still very much a diamond in the rough – we know what he can do in the Championship and we’ll see how he makes the step up next term.
7) Lewis Holtby
This Spurs’ maestro hasn’t had quite the impact Andre Villas-Boas would have hoped for since his premature move in January. However, now that he’s had the back-end of this season to adjust from the Bundesliga to the Premier League, expect him to hit the ground running next term. Expect an abundance of creative attacking play, vision, skill and a bunch of assists.
He will prove himself to be the creative nucleus Spurs have needed since the departure of Luka Modric and he may just have enough potential to eventually be better than the Croatian.
8) Phil Jones
We’ve seen glimpses of his incredible talent this year – Sir Alex is spot on when he described him as an ‘animal’ – he really will be one of the Premier League’s best players in the years to come, whether as a defensive midfield enforcer or as a solid centre-back. Jones has got all of the ingredients to make a world-class defender for Manchester United.
9) Stevan Jovetic
Linked with Arsenal and Manchester City this summer, I have reason to believe this Fiorentina forward will be making waves in the Premier League next season, wherever he ends up. Expect goals, goals and more goals along with some tricks, some twists and some magic. Defenders beware.
10) Radamel Falcao
We’re not sure where he’s going yet but it looks increasingly likely that he’ll be on a flight to England this summer. European football’s most-wanted man can have his pick of the continent’s elite clubs. He may decide to stay in La Liga but if he emigrates, I’d bet he’ll end up at Chelsea.
If he does, there’ll be stopping the Blues – I wouldn’t be surprised if whoever lands this signing goes the season unbeaten next term.
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