The start of the 2013/14 Premier League season has already seen some fantastic performances from a number of young stars. The likes of Chelsea’s Belgian youngster Kevin de Bruyne have hit the ground running and English duo Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend have seen their early season form earn them an international call up for next month’s World Cup qualifiers. In addition to the large amount of exciting young talent that is gracing the Premier League this season, there are a number of top players above the age of 30 who are set for an important campaign in 2013/14. Below are 10 outfield players over 30 to watch out for this season.
Craig Bellamy (Cardiff City) – The performances of Craig Bellamy will be crucial in Cardiff maintaining their Premier League status. Aged 34, Bellamy has an abundance of experience playing at the highest level and his footballing ability and know how will be crucial for the club both on and off the pitch. After a bright start to the season with victory against Manchester City last weekend, Cardiff will be hoping to continue this form throughout. Bellamy will be instrumental in Cardiff City achieving anything of note this season.
Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) – The 32-year-old Berbatov began life at Fulham well last year and will be looking to take that form into this season. After last season’s disappointing campaign they will be looking to push for a top half finish this time around. They have made a number of useful additions to their squad including Darren Bent, Scott Parker and Adel Taarabt. Berbatov will be spearheading the attack of this new look side and will be important in guiding Fulham back into Europe this season.
Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United) – It looks like Newcastle will have another battle on their hands to stay in the division this season and 31-year-old Coloccini will be of the utmost importance to their survival hopes. Coloccini nearly left Newcastle in the middle of last season and the continued speculation over his future could have been partly to blame for the sides poor league performance. Despite a shaky start to this season, Coloccini gives some much needed solidity and experience to Newcastle’s backline and will be key in helping Newcastle as they look to advance up the Premier League table.
Samuel Eto’o (Chelsea) – Chelsea have this week confirmed the signing of 32-year-old Samuel Eto’o on a one year deal. Eto’o has a good relationship with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho having worked under him at Inter Milan and has a fantastic pedigree, having won almost everything there is to win in European football. A natural finisher, Eto’o will add much needed firepower to Chelsea’s suspect strike force of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku and could play a huge role as Chelsea look to prize the title back from Manchester.
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) – England captain Steven Gerrard, 33, will have to perform at his best if he is to help Liverpool climb back into the Champions League places come the end of the season. Liverpool appear to have bought well this summer and have started the season strongly with many seeing them as an outside tip for the top 4. Gerrard importance to Liverpool over the last decade is perhaps greater than that of any other player to any other club and he will need to have a stellar season if he is to bring success back to Anfield.
Phil Jagielka (Everton) – The 31-year-old Jagielka has a massive season ahead of him in 2013/14. It is important that Jagielka adjusts to the new management setup at Everton in order for them to repeat the success achieved under David Moyes in recent seasons. To date, Jagielka has always been a solid performer for Everton and has been integral in helping them achieving consistent finishes in the top half of the Premier League. With the England centre-back positions up for grabs ahead of the World Cup next summer Jagielka will be looking to impress with his best season yet.
Rickie Lambert (Southampton) – England’s new goal scoring hero has started this season well, scoring on the opening day at West Brom to help Southampton claim 4 points from their first two games. Last season Lambert finished as the top scoring Englishman in the Premier League with 15 goals as they maintained their status as a Premier League club at the first time of asking. The new additions at St. Mary’s have illustrated Southampton’s intent and Lambert will need to add to last season’s tally if he is to help Southampton achieve new heights and keep his place in the England setup for Brazil 2014.
Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) – Nolan has been one of the most consistent performers over recent years when he has turned out for West Ham, Newcastle and Bolton. He has a great knack of scoring important goals from midfield and is as captain will be a hugely influential figure at Upton Park this season. With England internationals Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing joining the club on a permanent basis, 31-year-old Nolan will fancy his chances of bringing European football to Upton Park this season.
Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) – 32-year-old Rosicky has a big season ahead of him. Rosicky did not hit the heights that were expected of him in his early Arsenal career, but with some good performances towards the end of last season and his early season form this year he looks like he is back to his best. With Arsenal facing a huge battle for the top 4 this year and once again competing on all fronts, Rosicky on top form will be a huge asset for them throughout their campaign. Arsenal have been unable to add any high profile players to their squad so far so a lot could depend on the form of Rosicky if Arsenal are to win their first piece of silverware since moving to the Emirates.
Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) – Nemanja Vidic, 31, will be crucial if Manchester United are to retain their title this year. Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea have all strengthened heavily, so Manchester United will be relying on last season’s squad to perform again this season. Vidic has been a man mountain at the back for Manchester United for a number of years but has struggled with injury in recent seasons. He is a fearless competitor with a wonderful ability to read the game and his vast experience will be a telling factor if Manchester United are to achieve success this season.
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