Four Premier League players who have put a big price tag over their head this year

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It's been a crazy season, that's for sure. Thankfully, it's not quite over yet and there's plenty time left for a few twists and turns. It's been one of those years where anything seems possible and these four guys have ripped up the script and made the very best of it. We give a special mention to Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy here, but enough has been written about them already.

Marcus Rashford

Still only just 18-years-old, Marcus Rashford burst onto the scene at the end of February with two Europa League goals against FC Midtjylland. He followed this up with another brace against Arsenal in United's next game to help them win 3-2 and by this point, the Rashford hype machine was well and truly up-and-running.

The teenager didn't net in his next five outings for United, but just as people were starting to doubt whether he had the ability to keep up his scoring exploits, he followed this up with another pivotal goal in the Manchester derby to help his side emerge as narrow 1-0 winners.


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Rashford only seems to score important goals, which for an 18-year-old is really quite special indeed. Don't expect him to move anywhere permanently this summer, but the youngster may be loaned out to help inflate his burgeoning transfer value.

Virgil van Dijk

Southampton took something of a risk when they splashed out on £11.5 million on Virgil van Dijk from Celtic last summer. His performances in the Scottish Premier League had gained him wide acclaim, but success north of the border does not always necessarily follow when a player moves to the Premier League.

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But in the case of van Dijk, the transition has been seamless. The Dutchman has been ever-present for Southampton this campaign, one which has been very positive for the south coast side as they sit seventh in the Premier League table.

Van Dijk also made his international debut for the Netherlands this season and has gone on to make two more appearances for the Oranje. Given his rapid development, if any side comes in for the defender this summer they will have to pay at least double what Southampton shelled out last year.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League

Dimitri Payet

Dimitri Payet has been recognised as one of European football's top talents for some time now, but this always came with the adage that his achievements were only attained in the French league. This is no longer the case.

The French playmaker has now proved that he can do it at the very highest level and he has been terrifying Premier League defences all season. He is the Hammers' top scorer and has also provided the most assists for his side, despite being out for just over a month between November and December.

During his time on the sidelines, the Hammers only won one of seven games, something which gives some indication of his enormous impact on the side. Since his return he has inspired Slaven Bilic's men to fifth place in the table - just one point behind Manchester City in fourth. If Payet can blast his side to a Champions League place it would be one of the stories of the season, which is no small feat given this year's crazy plotline.

Manchester United v West Ham United - The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round

Odion Ighalo

You would have been forgiven for not having not heard of Odion Ighalo before the beginning of this season, but now it's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore him.

The Nigerian international arrived at Watford from Granada in 2014, having scored an ordinary 33 goals in 137 appearances for the Spaniards over two different spells. The powerful striker seemed more suited to the hustle and bustle of Championship football than La Liga, something that proved to be exactly the case after he scored 20 goals in 35 games during his first campaign with the club.

Arsenal v Watford - The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round

Moving up to the Premier League so soon was a big ask, but remarkably Ighalo has managed to almost replicate his goals-per-game ratio in the top flight, with 15 from 30 appearances. Don't be surprised to see some big clubs coming in for the 26-year-old over the summer.

A Watford side who are almost guaranteed to be playing Premier League football next term won't let him go on the cheap.

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