With the new Premier League season a little over a week away, we take a look at 10 established names expected to be among the ones to watch.
Petr Cech (Arsenal)
Moved across London in a high-profile £10million deal from Chelsea and the 33-year-old goalkeeper could prove to be what was missing for a sustainable Arsenal title challenge. Brings more than a decade of Premier League experience and a winning mentality to the Emirates and the Gunners defence should benefit from the Czech’s calming presence.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Sits out start of the season after guiding Chile to their first-ever Copa America title and Arsenal fans will be counting down the days to his return after his incredible impact last term. The 26-year-old scored 25 goals following his switch from Barcelona as he helped Arsenal retain the FA Cup and hint at even better things to come in north London.
Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
Turned down summer move to City after an £8million release clause was activated – then did a U-turn inside a week – and the England international could benefit from that decision to blossom into one of the best midfielders in the Premier League...if he can break into the City team. Box-to-box player who provides aggression, energy and passing ability but the 25-year-old must add more goals to his game.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Stood tall among his peers last season when he scooped both the PFA and Football Writers’ Association player of the year awards. Hazard’s goals and assists fired Chelsea to title glory and he has the ability to test any defence; the Belgium international’s next challenge is to take his game to the level of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Shouldering the burden of extra responsibility following the departure of Liverpool stalwart Steven Gerrard to the MLS. The England midfielder has taken over the captain’s armband at Anfield but is among the Premier League’s most improved players in recent years and has shown real signs that he is capable of leading from the front.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
The subject of the most talked about transfer of the summer and Manchester City will expect an instant return on their huge £49million investment. Young English talent has withered rather than prospered at City in the past but the former Liverpool winger has the talent to thrive and will hope to benefit from playing alongside stellar company.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Proven top quality and only proneness to the odd injury stops him running riot in the Premier League. But finished last season with nine goals in seven games and took that free-scoring form into the Copa America for Argentina. Now has over 100 goals in four years in English football and expect plenty more as City seek to reclaim the title.
Memphis Depay (Manchester United)
The skilful 21-year-old Holland forward has already drawn comparisons with Old Trafford great Cristiano Ronaldo following his £25million move from PSV Eindhoven. While such talk might be a little premature, there is no denying the Dutchman’s pace and ability and dead-ball threat adds another element to United’s attacking armoury.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United)
The first German to play for United brings World Cup and Champions League-winning pedigree as well as much-needed authority to Louis van Gaal’s midfield. Schweinsteiger turns 31 in August but, if he adapts to the quicker tempo of the Premier League, then United might just have pulled off one of the transfer coups of the summer recess.
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
This time last year the Spurs prodigy was more likely to go out on loan than light up the Premier League, but 12 months and 31 goals later and Kane is among the hottest talents around. The big question is whether the England forward can avoid ‘second season syndrome’ and hit the goal trail again.