Last season saw Gareth Bale establish himself as one of the best players in the world. He was the Premier League’s third highest scorer with 21 goals and picked up the PFA Player of the Year award. It was not long before Real Madrid came calling and snapped up Bale for a fee of around £85 million.
While Bale truly introduced himself after scoring a hat-trick against Inter Milan at San Siro, it wasn't until last season where he finally had a breakthrough season and established himself as one of the best players in the world.
A lot of youngsters today are tipped for big things, and while Bale is one of them who has fulfilled his potential and become a top player, there are several others like Robinho that failed to do so.
Before I begin with the list, I would like to clarify that all these players have already introduced themselves as good players in the footballing world and possess massive potential. However they haven’t yet experienced the breakthrough season that Bale experienced last season, transforming him from a good player to one of the best in the world.
5. Christian Benteke
Probably the least likely to breakthrough as one of the world’s best this season from the list, mainly because he does not play for a big club. The Belgian single-handedly saved Aston Villa from relegation last season and has shown signs that he is capable of developing into a world-class player.
Scoring an impressive 19 league goals last season for a relegation threatened team has massively increased his reputation in Premier League. He has not reached the level of world-class strikers like Radamel Falcao or Robin van Persie just yet.
However the best way to truly establish himself as one of the world’s most feared strikers is to score the highest number of goals in the league, and Benteke is definitely capable of doing that.
4. Theo Walcott
Having made his England debut at the age of 17, Walcott was always tipped for big things.
Now at the age of 24, he is already blessed with loads of experience in the league and in Europe. Having already had a relatively successful season scoring 21 and assisting 14 times, Walcott is ready to put his name along with the world’s best players like this season.
Arsenal seem to be a renewed force since their opening day defeat and could possibly have a massive season, with Theo Walcott the driving force behind it.
Oscar is already a regular for Brazil and has displaced Juan Mata in Mourinho’s Chelsea team this season.
Last season saw Oscar appear a record 64 times for Chelsea, however he was frequently used on the right side rather than as a no.10.
This season however, Oscar has been preferred over Mata in the no.10 position by Jose Mourinho and has impressed, holding on to his spot. While everyone has seen the potential Oscar possesses, people still do not rate him as highly as other playmakers such as Ozil or David Silva.
The way Mourinho’s Chelsea is set up, it looks like we are going to see Oscar playing in his preferred position throughout this season and we may just see Oscar establish himself as one of the best ‘no.10s’ in the world.
2. Daniel Sturridge
Not so long ago, Sturridge’s career was threatening to fall apart when Chelsea decided they did not require his services and sold him to Liverpool in January 2013.
He went on to score 10 league goals in 14 appearances to finish off the season. The 24-year-old England international has already scored three goals this season and has led the line for Liverpool very impressively in the absence of star man Luis Suarez.
He is blessed with incredible talent and has shown his goal-scoring prowess this year. This may just be the year where Sturridge eclipses the likes of Robin van Persie and Suarez to win the Golden Boot that will establish him as one of the best strikers in the world.
1. Eden Hazard
One of the world’s brightest talents, Hazard has all the makings of being a Ballon d’Or winner in the future.
This season may just be the one where he truly fulfills his potential. Many people believe that Hazard is already one of the world’s best players, which may just be true.
However, with the amount of potential he possesses, he can reach the heights of Ronaldo and Messi one day. Last year saw Hazard nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award in his first season for Chelsea.
Under Mourinho this year, Hazard may just have a season similar to Bale’s last year and establish himself as the world’s best.
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