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Three Potential Premier League Surprises of 2015/16

The Boot Room

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Who doesn’t love it when a player blossoms overnight and becomes one of the fastest emerging superstars in the biggest football league in the world? As Winter approached us in the 2014/15 season we found potentially the next gem of the Premier League in Harry Kane, he’s young, English, has a good physical presence and completely mocked defences last season. Kane obliterated teams in both the Europa League and Premiership netting 31 times, it’s something we all love to see a player who comes out of the blue and brings a new spark when it’s needed. In search for the potential that the Premiership possesses, we asses which dark horses have the potential to steal the show.

Rudy Gestede – Aston Villa

‘’The Benin Benteke’’ so the Villa fans hope, they could’ve sealed one of the bargains of the summer should the former Blackburn Rovers striker become Villa’s next big thing. It wasn’t the replacement Villa were expecting when Christian Benteke departed to Merseyside for a staggering £32.5 million, however he holds all the same assests Benteke did when he arrived at Villa Park back in 2012, but has only set Villa back £6 million-pounds.

At 6’4 the Benin international holds a remarkable physical threat holding off defenders and completely destroying them in aerial battles, last season he netted 20 league goals for Rovers and has a total tally of 33 goals in 66 appearances for them, one-in-two, not bad at all.

The only problem for Gestede will be can he prove his potential is a league with such high-class? Villa are in a re-building process and are faithful he can be the key element to guide them to safety and emulate the heroics Benteke produced for three consecutive seasons. The step-up now for Gestede will be that he will no longer be scoring a hat-trick of headers against Birmingham City he will be up against a much more physical and aware defences week in week out.
The big, strong, physical physiques don’t come along to often in the Premier League, but it seems beyond reasonable that Gestede could follow the fortunes that Didier Drogba did and follow the success which Benteke and fellow Belgian Romelu Lukaku have produced at such young ages.

But these are the type of players that do thrive, they are literally a defenders worst nightmare, they are uncontrollable on the pitch and their diverse range of goals just means anything can be expected from them, long-range goals, penalties, latching on to loose balls and then the classic bullying of defenders in the air, it’s such a rare type of player, but a special one which means Rudy hosts the potential to be a massive force this coming season.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gestede leading the Villa line and creep towards the 20 goal mark in all competitions, he has the natural ability that fits in with Tim Sherwood’s dynamics, Gestede’s first Premier League season could be one in which he excels and earns an immediate reputation.

Ki Sung-Yueng

The Swansea centre midfielder receives such little credit for what he actually does for the club, he is ultimately overshadowed by fellow team-mate Gylfi Sigurdsson, but this could be the season for Sung-Yueng to step up and reach the class that his Icelandic colleague shows.

He was reportedly linked with a move to Arsenal, but the playmaker chose to continue his career at the Liberty stating first-team football is a necessity, knowing a step-up to Arsenal’s starting team is unrealistic he has shown his full commitment to the Swans and will hopefully continue to reward them. Last season saw the South Korean captain make 33 league appearances in which he scored in eight and found one assist, he will be hopeful of those figures to climb this season with manager Gary Monk reinforcing the squad with the likes of Andre Ayew.

Ki is now 26 years-old and he’s shown great potential all the way through his career at the likes of Sunderland and Celtic but as he grows ever older he needs to find his prime form in which his defensive game improves and he helps Swansea out more at the other end of the pitch, this is the only way Ki will feel safe about moving on to a larger club. Although they lost Wilfred Bony last year, Swansea didn’t lose their goalscoring momentum and still finished a highly respectable eight place.

Ki’s performances on the pitch see him control the midfield from deep and he also likes to press high into the opposition’s final third, hence why the defensive-minded midfielder managed to bag himself eight goals last campaign. His work-rate is second to none and with the likeliness of him upping his game this season, his impact on the team alone could help Swansea drive further towards a European spot.
With Swansea looking to push on, he could be the key player in the middle of the park and should his personal performances enhance, he could be in with a real chance of becoming a break-through player and earning a move to one of the Premier Leagues ‘Big boys’ by next summer should he make the headlines enough for the right reasons.

Troy Deeney

From life in a prison cell to now representing his club in the Premier League, Troy Deeney is one player whose love and desire for the game gives him an added drive, he wants to succeed. He’s scored for fun in all levels of competition, but identical to Gestede, the Premier League is something in which the Birmingham-born player has never experienced, however Deeney will be raring to prove that he is a worthy striker in this league who can still score for fun.

Deeney formed an immense strike partnership with Nigerian Odion Ighalo as the pair bagged 41 league goals between them, which helped Watford secure second in the Championship. Their last stint in the Premier League was an unsuccessful one last just one season between 2006-07, but things will drastically different this time should Deeney find his scoring boots straight away.

With previous clubs including Halesowen and Walsall, Deeney has shown how far he has come proving each year he is even more clinical, after excelling in Non-League, League Two, League One and also the Championship, at 27 years-old Deeney can be a true commander for the Hornets and after his long wait, he finally has his chance to prevail and emerge as a Premier League great. For Deeney to emerge as a star this season he won’t have to worry about the stress of matching Sergio Aguero for goal ratio, as long as he can keep Watford safe, he will do justice.

Jamie Vardy similar to Deeney, proved absolutely immense in the lower Leagues and his Premier League preview was a complete gamble as he was criticised as to whether he would be able to compete at that level, he did, he even earned an England first-team call-up. Now should Deeney follow suit, one promising season for him could see the later stages of his career earn him a valued reputation within the footballing world. With a total of 115 career goals Deeney will be hungry to add to that tally as he ultimately faces the most challenging but what could be most memorable season of his career.

Deeney will provide the ambition and determination to succeed, he has spent his life building up to this moment where he plays Premier League football, having huge set backs on the way including a prison sentence, should Deeney deliver the goods, it would be a great football fairytale for the striker.

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West Ham United

Signing Yaya Toure is not enough to gain support for West Ham board

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Photo: Getty Images.

West Ham United are believed to be close to appointing former Premier League winning coach Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager, and reports indicate that it could lead to a coup signing in his former player Yaya Toure.

The Telegraph make the claims as they say that previous talks between the Hammers and the free agent broke down, but the appointment of the Chilean would smooth matters and may make a deal more feasible.

In truth, the signing may not actually impress West Ham fans all that much. They have grown used to the signing of players who were dominating the game five years ago and are now past their best. The signings of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Patrice Evra over the past year have shown as much with mixed results.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The board are desperately seeking a way to get fans back onside as discontent grows and fans accuse them of not spending sufficiently to back their team and the signing of such a high profile player of immense quality may satisfy those wishes.

That may be the plan, but Yaya Toure made only two Premier League starts in 2017/18 and such a record bares terrifying resemblances to the likes of Andy Carroll, commanding a high wage whilst spending more time in the stands watching on than actually making an impact.

Toure could provide a spark and excitement, there’s no denying that he would be an invigorating addition, but he is not the long-term solution that the club require as fans cry out for players with potential and already at their best. His signing would be a mere distraction.

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Liverpool

Liverpool target Besiktas’ Anderson Talisca would add superb attacking depth

The Brazilian has recorded 28 goal contributions in Turkey this season.

Max Cohen

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Anderson Talisca
Photo: Getty Images

After Besiktas’ 5-1 home win over Sivasspor on Saturday, manager Senol Gunes strongly hinted that star attacker Anderson Talisca would be joining Liverpool this summer.

The possible signing of the Brazilian midfielder would be a superb acquisition for Liverpool, adding depth and quality to the club’s star-studded attack.

According to FourFourTwo, the Besiktas manager confirmed Talisca would be leaving the Turkish club for the Premier League after two years on loan from Benfica.

And Gunes dropped a massive hint that put Liverpool as the possible frontrunners in attaining his signature ahead of Manchester United.

“He might be rivals with Cenk Tosun,” Gunes replied when asked about Talisca’s English destination.

Of course, former Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun plays for Everton– leading many to jump to the conclusion that Talisca is headed to Anfield instead of Old Trafford.

(Photo by Ozan Kose/Getty Images)

The signing would represent a strong statement of intent from the Reds, as Talisca has enjoyed a stunning two seasons at Besiktas and is a burgeoning attacking talent.

In 47 appearances this season, the 24-year-old was involved in an impressive 28 goals, scoring 20 and assisting eight.

And the Brazilian’s past form shows this fantastic season is not a one-off. In 2016/17, Talisca bagged 17 goals and six assists, despite only featuring 33 times in all competitions.

While some might argue that the Turkish Super Lig has a poorer defensive standard than the Premier League, Talisca has proven his worth in European competition as well. In his time at Besiktas, he has notched five Champions League goals, as well as two goals and four assists in the Europa League.

The Brazilian youth international would add impressive offensive depth for Liverpool, as the Reds look to seriously challenge for the Premier League next season.

The purchase of the prolific attacking midfielder would be an ideal first step in assembling a squad that could bring Anfield its first league trophy in over two decades.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham have already identified Eric Dier’s £25 million replacement in Wilmar Barrios

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Photo: Getty Images.

Losing first team regulars may not be a complete surprise to Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino, and that may why be reports are indicating that the coach has already lined up an alternative to Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama should either move on this summer.

The Sun say that there is still interest in Dier, who will be at the World Cup with England, whilst Wanyama’s struggles with injury may mean that Pochettino looks elsewhere for the role of midfield enforcer.

They believe the target to be Boca Juniors’ 24-year-old holding midfielder Wilmar Barrios, a Colombian international who plays alongside Spurs’ Davinson Sanchez at international level.

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The youngster has become a key man in the Boca Juniors side but, perhaps unusually, has not caught the attention of many in Europe. Barrios has, though, developed a reputation as one of the best players in South America, particularly in his position, as he has become a linchpin protecting his back four.

That is protected in his very impressive stats, which show that he makes on average three tackles per game and 2.8 interceptions per match, compared to the 1.8 tackles and 1.3 interceptions for Dier playing in a very similar role.

Barrios’ intelligent reading of the game has drawn comparisons to Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, with both men guilt of diving into tackles on occasion despite all of their many strengths.

He may be raw, with no experience of playing in Europe, but at £25 million he could prove to be a bargain and Mauricio Pochettino’s return home to go on a shopping spree could provide a long-term solution to the holding midfield role which seems as uncertain as ever after the 2017/18 season.

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