Premier League: 2013/14 Breakthrough XI

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Every year there are a certain few players who stand out not for being necessarily the best player, but for being a surprise.

The best example of this may be Javier Hernandez in his first season for Manchester United. He was hailed as a great young prospect, but no one expected the season he had.

Here are a team of players who may have their breakthrough season like Christian Benteke and Rickie Lambert did last year.

These players may already be hailed as great prospects, a respected veteran or may already be established in other league, but here is the breakthrough team of the 2013-2014 season.

Goalkeeper | Brad Guzan

Guzan had a very strong year last year, but is still heavily underrated. He pushed Ireland legend Shay Given out of the team early after and amazing match vs Newcastle.

However, Guzan's Villa side were very poor defensively, which made it hard for Guzan to keep many clean sheets. But with Villa looking refreshed and ready to go vs Arsenal, Guzan put in a good display (although Arsenal's finishing at times wasn't great), and Villa along with Guzan look set to possibly hit mid-table or higher.

The American shot-stopper is 28-years-old now so a breakthrough season is due. Guzan may be the difference for Villa this season.

Right back | Matthew Lowton

Another Villa player who broke into the team last year. He scored arguably goal of the season vs Stoke City and also looks promising for the season ahead. Lowton, now 24, came from the same Sheffield United youth team as Kyle Walker after being scouted by Leeds. In all Lowton has played 171 games in his career, but this could be his all important season.

Centre back | Kolo Touré

Toure had four very tough years at Manchester City. He found it hard to lock down a first team place and was banned for six months for taking his wife's slimming pills.

Overall Touré lost a lot of respect but has proved he still has what it takes to perform at the top level. Liverpool rescued him from his hell at Manchester City and he appeared for them on the opening day vs Stoke City. He made a decent showing for himself and the style of play Liverpool play suits Kolo. So this may be a season of redemption for the 32-year-old Ivorian centre back.

Centre back | Sebastien Bassong

Bassong Is another African defender who's been mistreated in the past. He came to the Premier League joining Newcastle in 2008  and had a wonderful season but then moved to Spurs.

He had three years at Tottenham at the end of which he moved on loan to Wolves. Still unable to get back to the level of his Newcastle days he moved to Norwich at the start of last season. He was decent there but this year, with some nice new signings for Norwich, Bassong should be able to shine again.

Left back | Luke Shaw

Shaw has been an exciting prospect for too long now, and still has the chance to appear for England at the World Cup next year if Ashley Cole or Leighton Baines have a poor season.

Having been at Southampton since he was eight Shaw's come through the same youth academy as Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott among others. So it's almost certain that he will succeed. Shaw started the season so well being the best full back in the league on the opening day.

Centre midfielder | Leroy Fer

Fer had a great European U-21 championships for Holland scoring two goals in the process. Fer has also played two games for the main national team.

Signing him came as a surprise to many Norwich fans this year as the 23-year-old has had two great years at FC Twente and was linked to AC and Inter Milan. Expect Fer to play one season for Norwich and then get snapped up by a bigger club.

Centre midfielder | Ross Barkley

Like Shaw, Barkley is a young English talent with a huge future and someone who opened the campaign amazingly vs Norwich with a man on the match performance, capped by a great goal.

Already compared to Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney, the 19-year-old has come through the same youth set up as Rooney, Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman, Francis Jeffers and Joey Barton. Martinez has already said, "whoever is performing well, will get played!" So as long as Barkley can keep up his form, he will have a great season.

Right wing | Nathan Redmond

Redmond is another young Englishman who many believe has a big future, he's also another Norwich City player, having moved from Birmingham where he was since 2002 aged eight.

Now 19-years-old, Redmond is looking to fulfil the potential thrown on him at an early age. He had a good game on his debut vs Everton grabbing an assist. Although he played much of that game on the left side Redmond is expected to be a right winger, although he can play either side.

Left wing | Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho had a great half-season at Liverpool last year, following an £8.5 million move from Inter Milan.

Despite a great start to his Liverpool career,some still doubt the 21-year-old and believe he will be best judged over a full season in the league and possibly a World Cup in his native Brazil. Whilst some still doubt him, others already see him as the long term replacement for Steven Gerrard, Coutinho has shown he has the technical qualities, but the mental qualities will come with more experience. In Coutinho's Liverpool career he's played 14 games, scored three and assisted seven.

He could this year be one of the league's best players, and the only way Liverpool will challenge for the top four is if he performs well.

Striker | Danny Welbeck

Welbeck has a lot of proving to do in my eyes. After only two goals in 40 games last year, Welbeck has to step up, although, after just one league game so far, Welbeck already has two goals, equaling his record from last season.

Welbeck is currently in the England squad so the whole country, in a way, hopes he does well this season, as the 22-year-old is a player you either rate or you don't.

Striker | Andreas Weimann

Weimann had a decent year last year, although was out-shined by Villa's star man Christian Benteke. The 22-year-old Austrian played 37 games and scored thirteen in all competitions last year, as well as getting two assists.

Weimann can play either up front or on the wing but seems to play a right forward role in Villa's 4-3-3 formation. His two goals vs Manchester United last year was probably his highlight, although having started this season well also, expect some more big performances.

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DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Andreas Weimann
Danny Welbeck
Nathan Redmond
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Philippe Coutinho

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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