After an elongated 2019/20 season, the English Premier League is back. As usual, there has been plenty of transfer business with each team getting ready to give it all once the opening whistle blows. But which players are likely to shine over the coming months ahead? Sit back as we go through club by club and highlight the likely Premier League stars of the 2020/21 season, naming one per club.
Premier League stars 2020/21
Arsenal: Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang
Much of the headlines surrounding The Gunners in the off-season was about the status of current club captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. Rumours about his departure to bigger European clubs have been rife for months but an FA Cup victory has persuaded their Gabonese talisman to stay for a few more seasons.
No-one offers a bigger goal threat than Aubameyang and, with a refreshed attacking lineup including a settled Nicolas Pepe and dynamic veteran Willian, Aubameyang should be hoping to steer the Gunners back into the top 4 as well as vie for the Golden Boot. He’s been one of the biggest Premier League stars for several seasons so there’s no reason to think that will change.
Aston Villa – Douglas Luiz
While Jack Grealish often steals the headlines for Villa, it’s their Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz who could certainly be their key man for the year ahead. A vital cog in midfield, Luiz provides good cover for the defence and is a vital source of generating attacking moves.
Having secured a spot in the Brazilian national team and finally gained a full season of Premier League football, Luiz will look to become the midfield general Villa need to help grind out results and stay clear of the relegation zone.
Brighton & Hove Albion – Adam Lallana
After narrowly avoiding the drop last year, Brighton have been busy trying to add members of their squad who can give them an edge over their rivals. Enter Adam Lallana. Signed on a free after leaving Liverpool, Lallana’s skill and eye for a pass will give them a much needed presence in the attacking third.
With the departure of Aaron Mooy to China, Lallana will also become one of their main set-piece takers and help Brighton get the goals they lacked last season and find vital points whenever they can get the opportunity.
Burnley – Dwight McNeil
Burnley enjoyed a good season last time out and one of the highlights of the campaign was the emergence of Dwight McNeil. The young winger has been winning plaudits for his lightning pace and flashy skills which has given defenders a hard time throughout the league.
The youngster will be looking to add more goals to his game this time around and provide The Clarets with the explosive winger they need to complete one of the more underrated attacking trios in the entire division.
Chelsea – Kai Havertz
One of the big money moves of the off-season but undeniably one of the Premier League stars to keep an eye on this season. The £75m deal taking Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen to Stamford Bridge has a lot of people talking. With pace, excellent passing skills and a keen eye for goal, the young German prodigy could be the X-factor that Chelsea have lacked since the departure of Eden Hazard.
Havertz will be the centerpiece of a scary new attack for The Blues following the additions of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech so don’t be surprised to see Chelsea in the title hunt from the very beginning.
Crystal Palace – Jordan Ayew
Whilst Wilfried Zaha may be the star at Selhurst Park, it’s actually Jordan Ayew who has proven himself to be the most consistent player for The Eagles. His 9 goals last season earned him the Player of the Year award and has made the difference for Palace when many of his colleagues failed to produce. Roy Hodgson will be calling on the Ghanaian’s good form yet again this year if they want to avoid another relegation dogfight.
Everton – James Rodriguez
The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti was a statement by Everton’s owners that they are looking for a step-up in quality they have backed this up with the signing of James Rodriguez. The Colombian has arrived after a tumultuous time with Real Madrid and is looking to prove to the world why he was so hyped just a few years ago.
Having worked with Ancelotti twice before, Rodriguez should adapt quickly to life at Goodison Park and finally give the Everton the extra spark it needs to breakthrough into the European qualification spots. He could prove himself one of the Premier League stars or he could flop. It’s going to be fun to find out which.
Fulham – Aleksandar Mitrovic
Back in the top flight after one season away, Fulham have kept the majority of the squad who went down 18 months ago. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though as they will have a proven talisman upfront in Aleksandar Mitrovic. Powerful in the air and lethal in the penalty box, Mitrovic has proven himself to be a consistent performer at the highest level scoring 11 goals in his last EPL campaign in the 18/19 season. These goals will be crucial if Fulham want to avoid being relegated back to The Championship straight after winning promotion.
Leeds United – Pablo Hernandez
Back in the top flight after 17 years away, Leeds United will be looking to cement their spot within the EPL and rebuild on their past achievements. To do this, they will need to look to the experience and knowledge of Spanish midfielder Pablo Hernandez to help their cause. Despite being 35, the veteran has several seasons of Premier League experience under his belt from his time at Swansea, where his craft and eye for a pass made him a regular presence in the starting 11. Leeds will need all of these skills on full display if they are to avoid the drop and maintain a spot in the Premier League.
Leicester City – Harvey Barnes
Leicester just narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification last season and have several promising young talents breaking through into the first team. The most promising is perhaps Harvey Barnes, who proved himself to be one of the best young Premier League stars last season, with 6 goals in 37 games.
Barnes has proven himself to be a regular menace in the final third and linked up well with fellow attackers Jamie Vardy and James Maddison. Barnes will no doubt look to build further on his skills and potentially become the new star attraction at the King Power Stadiums.
Liverpool – Trent Alexander-Arnold
Not much has changed over the off-season at Anfield with Jurgen Klopp thoroughly believing that if it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it. Without much changes in personnel, fans will be hoping that their big names continue to grow and Trent Alexander-Arnold could just about be set for superstardom.
Already one of the best right-backs in the world, Alexander-Arnold has been steadily improving his attacking output with goals and assists increasing season by season. If his rate of development continues to grow over the coming months, then Liverpool could find themselves with England’s next big superstars shining amongst their ranks.
Manchester City – Phil Foden
With David Silva leaving at the end of last season, City are looking for someone to step-up and fill his spot in midfield. This could be where Phil Foden finally gets the chance to prove to Pep Guardiola that he is ready to claim the place for his own. Foden has shown over the past year or two that he is capable of adding the drive, passes and tenacity that his predecessor Silva was so well-known for. It’ll be up to Foden to show this now and prove to everyone that he is now ready to make the step up as City look to regain the title they lost last season.
Manchester United – Bruno Fernandes
It’s unlikely that any player has had such a positive impact on a squad in recent times than what Bruno Fernandes has had at Old Trafford since joining in January. With 8 goals in just 14 games, the Portuguese attacker has lived up to the hype and helped United become one of the most in-form sides in England since the return from the lockdown hiatus.
His ability to create something out of nothing and find the net has a lot of comparisons being made to another former Portuguese winger who played for United and Fernandes looks set to be the player that helps United finally become title challengers once again.
Newcastle – Callum Wilson
Newcastle have been crying out for a striker for several seasons and, after their Joelinton gamble failed, The Magpies have turned to Callum Wilson as their next big hope. Wilson’s £20m move from Bournemouth comes as the Englishman looks to bounce back from a disrupted season last time out that ended with relegation for The Cherries.
Wilson knows what it takes to shine in the Premier League and will be reunited with former teammate Ryan Fraser giving him some familiar faces to work with. Combine this with the enigmatic nature of Allen Saint-Maximin and The Magpies turbulent attacking woes could be finally laid to rest.
Sheffield United – Aaron Ramsdale
Very much the surprise package of last season, Sheffield United will be looking to prove that their exploits last year were not a fluke. Unable to resign Dean Henderson, The Blades have recruited former Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale to be their first choice shot stopper for the season ahead.
Ramsdale played well for Bournemouth last season despite their relegation and will look to repay the faith shown by senior figureheads at Bramall Lane by helping showcase The Blades steely resolve that did them so well last season. He will need to be one of the best goalkeeping Premier League stars if Sheffield United are to repeat the trick.
Southampton – Danny Ings
After a miserable time with Liverpool, Danny Ings was back to his best last season smashing in a career best 22 goals and proving himself to be the second best English striker in the Premier League.
Ings will no doubt be leading the line for The Saints once again and he will have his sights set firmly on winning the Golden Boot come the end of the season. His goals will be vital for Southampton to stay clear of the drop zone and cause those in the top half of the table some major headaches along the way.
Tottenham – Harry Kane
Last season was not the best for Spurs with their lowest finish for several seasons and the loss of Harry Kane killed off any chance of qualifying for the Champions League. With his fitness issues now solved, Kane will be looking to return all guns blazing as he looks to get Spurs back into the top four.
Kane will know that the Euros are approaching at the end of this upcoming season and will be keen to ensure that he will back to his very best in the Premier League before leading the Three Lions on their elusive hunt for that elusive major trophy.
West Brom – Charlie Austin
It is hard to look at the West Brom side and find any names who have much in the way of bonafide top-flight experience. However, their lead striker Charlie Austin is one of a few in the squad who has previously shone in the top flight with both QPR and Southampton.
With a previous best of 18 goals in a Premier League campaign, Austin knows he has all the skills required to succeed at the top level once again. This form could be vital and make the difference as to whether The Baggies are able to fight off relegation over the coming months.
West Ham – Michail Antonio
Having been always on the periphery of the West Ham squad, Michail Antonio looked like a player reborn at the end of last season and he was certainly one of the Premier League stars during lockdown.
Antonio’s form on the return from lockdown made him one of the best strikers in the league and saw him capture the July 2020 Premier League Player of the Month award. If Antonio can carry that form onto into the new season, he could very well be the X-factor West Ham needs to propel them further up the table.
Wolves – Raul Jimenez
Wolves have been threatening to break into the top five over the past couple of seasons and they could finally do this in the season ahead if Raul Jimenez continues his form from last year. The Mexican striker ended up with a career best 17 goals last season in the Premier League and his composure and finishing ability are up there with the very best in the League.
If Jimenez can continue his rich form alongside his teammates, then don’t be too surprised if Champions League football is seen at Molineux in the not too distant future.
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