The start of the 2018/19 campaign sees not only fans hoping for an improved season for their favourite teams but also players hoping to leave their mark on the Premier League. There will be a number of new faces looking to announce themselves to a wider audience and the following five players could end the campaign with a string of impressive performances and enhanced reputations behind them:
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson may well have pulled off the signing of the summer in the shape of 22-year-old midfielder Max Meyer. For so long hailed as Germany’s next superstar, Meyer surprisingly entered the summer months as a free agent, following a bitter dispute with former employers Schalke 04.
The German international refused to sign a new contract at the Veltins-Arena, though the Bundesliga outfit’s loss is Palace’s gain. Since being moved into a deeper role in the middle of the park by Schalke boss Domenico Tedesco, Meyer’s game has flourished and the Selhurst Park faithful can look forward to the sight of the German pulling the strings in midfield before playing a defence-splitting pass.
Palace’s number seven has all the qualities to help the London outfit push for a top-half finish and it would come as no surprise to see some of the Premier League’s biggest sides try to prise the midfielder away from Selhurst Park, this time next year.
New West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has made nine major signings this summer as he looks to propel the Hammers up the Premier League table, with the most impressive arrival undoubtedly that of Brazil international Felipe Anderson.
The 25-year-old playmaker enjoyed a chequered five-year stay in Italy ‘s Serie A with Lazio, where he was often criticised for his inconsistency, though there can be no questions asked of the Brazilian’s talent. Comfortable on the ball and always prepared to take on his man, Anderson will add flair and creativity to the Hammers’ attack and despite being at the club for just under a month, seems to take over the role as crowd favourite.
At £36 million, there will be pressure on Anderson to deliver the goods and should he succeed, the Irons could find themselves in contention for a European spot.
A member of England’s Under-17 World Cup winning side last year, Callum Hudson-Odoi seems set to play a first-team role at Chelsea under new manager Maurizio Sarri.
Still only 17 years old, the mercurial winger was arguably the Blues’ most impressive performer throughout pre-season, particularly during last week’s clash with London rivals Arsenal, when the teenager gave Gunners right-back Hector Bellerin a torrid time. Lightning quick and equipped with a box of tricks, Hudson-Odoi seems perfectly suited to Sarri’s preference for quick, attacking, adventurous football.
Despite having the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro ahead of him in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, the Englishman could expect to make a number of substitute appearances this campaign and cause his more senior team-mates to look nervously over their shoulders.
Leicester City managed to beat a number of Premier League rivals to the £25 million signing of highly-rated James Maddison this summer and the 22-year-old could prove to be a revelation in the top flight.
Since leaving Coventry City for Norwich City in 2016, the attacking midfielder’s game has come on in leaps and bounds and his 15 goals in 49 appearances last season for the Canaries saw him earn his big-money move to the Foxes. Expected to line-up behind star striker Jamie Vardy, Maddison’s impressive technique and clever football brain should see him become Leicester’s chief creator in the final third of the pitch.
Whilst Claude Puel’s side will undoubtedly miss the mercurial talent of the departed Riyad Mahrez, the England Under-21 international could make the Foxes faithful forget the Algeria international. Should he succeed, the 2018/19 campaign could see Maddison rewarded with a first England cap.
Newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers have been one of the Premier League’s most active sides in this summer’s transfer market, as they look to establish themselves in the top flight and the arrival of Adama Traore will add an extra dimension to their attack.
Whilst spending £18 million on a player unproven in the Premier League may be somewhat of a gamble, the former Barcelona youth academy graduate is blessed with a superhuman blend of raw pace and power. After a frustrating spell at Aston Villa, the 22-year-old winger saw his game improve drastically at Middlesbrough under manager Tony Pulis and ended last term with five goals and 10 assists to his name. Whilst he must improve his consistency and work on his end product, the Spain under-21 international is unplayable on his day – which is what attracted Chelsea to him, earlier this year.
Now, Traore has the perfect opportunity to showcase his talents to a wider audience and if he can improve his all-round game it will be only a matter of time before Europe’s major clubs come calling.