With the transfer window still open and many potential signings yet to be completed, it is difficult to judge incoming players from outside the Premier League on their potential impact next season.
Manchester City have moved swiftly in signing Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk and Jesus Navas from Sevilla, whilst Chelsea and Manchester United are increasingly being linked with moves for Polish forward Robert Lewandowski and Brazilian winger Hulk.
What we can speculate on is the impact of players already here in the Premier league. Players like Robin van Persie (Manchester United) and Gareth Bale (Tottenham) are sure to provide us with some excellent football over the coming season; however, we take a look at players who we feel will be the dark horses to providing entertainment next season.
The five players are as follows:
Daniel Sturridge | Liverpool
The 23-year-old Liverpool striker certainly made his mark since his move from Stamford Bridge to Anfield, netting ten times in 14 appearances.
It is clear to see he has the ability to score goals in a team which had been lacking a creative element. Rumours of Luis Suarez’s departure to Real Madrid is growing by the day and should the move take place, Sturridge could be the man to provide the goals.
With over four shots per game last season, Sturridge clearly has an eye for goal. Most will be surprised if he does not get 15 Premier League goals next season, providing he steers clear of injury.
Philippe Coutinho | Liverpool
Our second entry also plays for Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho looked like everything Liverpool had been lacking in the first half of the season: creative, skilful, a turn of pace and an eye for goal all point to a player with huge potential.
The likes of Steven Gerrard cannot get forward as much these days, and so it leaves room for a player of Coutinho’s ability to fill the gap with Gerrard dictating play behind.
Coutinho chipped in with three goals and five assists in his 13 appearances in the Premier League, very good stats by anyone’s standards!
Olivier Giroud | Arsenal
This entry may come as a bit of a surprise to most people; however, there are signs from the Frenchman, who signed from Montpellier last year, that he could become Arsenal’s main striking threat.
Giroud helped Arsenal with 11 goals and three assists in his 34 Premier League appearances in his first season. Now some would argue this is not a good enough return for a striker playing in an Arsenal shirt - which is very true when you look at the footsteps he has to follow in Robin van Persie.
However, not many of the world's most prolific strikers start with a bang, and I feel Giroud will have a bit more luck this coming season. An underrated player who could become very important to Arsenal.
Andy Carroll | West Ham
West Ham’s new £15m signing from Liverpool could be the catalyst to keep the Hammers in the Premier League once again next season.
After an unimpressive spell at Liverpool, his true ability and confidence began to emerge once more under Sam Allardyce. The powerful forward scored seven and assisted four in his 24 games for West Ham last season. It is Carroll’s other statistics which make for interesting reading, though. He was in the top five players in the league for shots per game, and in the top ten for the most fouled player.
Everyone knows about Carroll’s ability to strike the ball as he showed in his Newcastle days, and with set-pieces high on the agenda of Allardyce’s training regimes, it is vitally important that Carroll wins free-kicks in deadly positions as he presents a great aerial threat. A clever buy for the Hammers.
Romelu Lukaku | Chelsea
Our final pick unsurprisingly goes to the powerful Belgian forward Lukaku.
On loan from Chelsea following his £18m move, Lukaku was an inspiration at West Brom, especially after star striker Peter Odemwingie announced his desire to leave.
Lukaku’s 17 league goals in 35 appearances certainly made Chelsea take notice. It will be interesting to see if new manager Jose Mourinho wants to keep him at the club this year; however, most would agree it would be foolish to loan him out again.
Mourinho moulded Didier Drogba into a lethal striker; can he do the same with Lukaku? Only time will tell but the future looks bright for the 20-year-old, especially if his playing days are now at Stamford Bridge.
Look out for more goals from him next season!
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