With the 2017/18 Premier League season about a month away, this article takes a look at a few promising youngsters who could really cement their places in their respective clubs and also make a name for themselves in what is considered to be the best football league in the world.
1. Lewis Cook (Bournemouth)
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The first player on the list has already done something that no English captain has done since 1966. Yes, he is only the second English skipper after Bobby Moore to lift the World Cup trophy at any level after leading the U-20s to glory in South Korea. Cook moved to the Vitality Stadium in the summer of 2016 after impressing Eddie Howe during his spell with Leeds United. He bagged the Football League Young Player of the Year in what turned out to be his final season for Leeds United. With Jack Wilshere’s loan term expiring at the end of last season, Cook should be getting a lot more playing time this season. Cook, who had a pass completion rate of 79% for Leeds in the 2015/16 season and made 62 tackles is a promising box-to-box midfielder who will be looking to nail down a spot in the starting line-up in the upcoming campaign and is of course one to look out for.
2. Tammy Abraham (Swansea City)
The Chelsea striker on loan at Swansea City is another youngster to look out for. Having spent last season on loan at Bristol City in the second tier of English football, Tammy Abraham narrowly missed out on the on being the Championship’s top scorer finishing 4 goals behind Leeds United’s Chris Wood. A 6′ 4″ tall striker, Tammy had an outstanding season with Bristol City where he managed to find the net 23 times in 107 shots having an impressive conversion rate of 21.5%. With Swansea lacking the firepower upfront, Tammy will surely give them the much needed goals which would help Swansea avoid another relegation battle. His height could also make him a threat from set pieces and he could head home those perfectly curled free-kicks of Gylfi Sigurðsson. Paul Clement and Swansea fans would be hoping he replicates his Championship exploits and does not end up like their record signing Borja Baston who could only manage 1 goal during the whole campaign.
3. Will Hughes (Watford)
Will Hughes secured a move to Watford from Derby County for a reported £8 million deal. Hughes made his debut for Derby aged just 16 and was touted to be one of England’s brightest midfield prospects. He will bring in the much needed creativity to a Watford side that could only manage 40 goals in the entire campaign last year which was also the 5th least number of goals scored last season. Hughes had a healthy successful pass completion rate of 83% last year and also made 38 interceptions along with having a decent 59% successful take ons showing he has got the potential to also break attacks and become a solid box-to-box central midfielder in the years to come.
4. Harry Maguire (Leicester City)
Harry Maguire was arguably Hull’s best defender despite only being 24 years old in a dismal campaign which ended in relegation to the EFL Championship. He chipped in with 2 goals and also made 41 tackles, which was the most by a Hull City defender last season. This season he made the move to the King Power Stadium, home to a club which surprised everybody with their miraculous season of 2015/16 which saw them lift the Premier League for the first time in their history. Maguire switched Hull for Leicester for a reported £12 million fee rising to £17 million with potential add-ons. He would replace the aging centre-backs in Wes Morgan and Robert Huth. Harry’s 41 tackles were also more than the tackles made by Huth and Morgan. He won 68% of his aerial duels which were also substantially more than Leicester’s title-winning centre-back partnership. His pass completion rate of 76% was also higher than Moragan’s 68% and Huth’s 70%. Thus, Maguire should prove to be a very good signing for Leicester and could prove to be a rock at the back in the years to come.
5. Jan Bednarek (Southampton)
The final player on our list is Southampton’s latest acquisition Jan Bednarek. Bednarek who is a 21 year old Polish centre-back joined the club from Lech Poznań after an impressive display in the Polish league where he made 34 appearances in all competitions for Lech Poznań. Despite only being 21 years old and not having received a call up to the senior international side, Jan is already considered to be a future first team regular for both club and country. At Southampton, he could be getting a lot of opportunities to prove his mettle this season with the departures of experienced players like José Fonte and Martín Cáceres. A club that has found it tough to keep its best players could be set to lose another of their better players in the form of Virgil Van Dijk with a few clubs rumored to be interested in the Southampton captain. Having lost quality defenders, Southampton would be looking at players like Bednarek to fill the void and this could also give Jan the chance to showcase his talent and really stamp his authority at the back.