With the Premier League season just a day away, I (Oli Price-Bates) am going to give you my Premier League XI to watch out for next season. I’ve stuck down 3 defenders, 5 midfielders and 2 strikers.
David de Gea – Manchester United
After an opening season of criticism, De Gea started to show some of his Atletico Madrid form, and has now built up a confidence which will make him hard to be beaten. Still a weakness for him is his ability to deal with crosses, but that will come with the more Premier League games he plays.
Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham
The ex-Ajax defender will not only be a dominating presence at the back, but will score a good amount of goals for Spurs, too. Similar to Vermaelen, the two ex-teammates will have to lock horns in the massive Arsenal v Spurs derby.
Davide Santon – Newcastle
Not a centre half I know, but the full back is set for a big season. Showing glimpses of his best, Santon is expected to open the season at left back for the Geordie club. I think this is his season to really come out of his shell and fulfil the massive potential he has.
Ashley Williams – Swansea
The Swansea centre half had a great debut season in the Premier League, and with Kyle Bartley signed for the Swans, they will look to cement a solid partnership.
Lucas Leiva – Liverpool
Often a scapegoat for Liverpool fans, Lucas showed glimpses of top form before his long-term injury. With a solid pre-season behind him, I fancy Leiva to shine and be a contender for team of the season.
Michu – Swansea City
This lad has signed from Rayo in La Liga and is a very shrewd buy from the new Swansea boss. Michu is known for his goal-scoring a only cost the club a few million, a good passer of the ball too, he will fit right in at Swansea.
James Milner – Manchester City
This one will raise a few eyebrows, but I think Milner has a big season to come. He often comes under criticism but his work-rate is second to none. In Manchester City’s new formation he can be used wide right or in the centre of midfield.
Santiago Cazorla – Arsenal
The new superstar at Arsenal following van Persie’s departure, Cazorla brings a Cesc like quality to the Gunners, which they never directly replaced until now. Santi brings more experience to the side as well, and knows how to win. If you haven’t heard much of this guy, it won’t be long before you do.
Shinji Kagawa – Manchester United
As a Dortmund follower I am gutted to see a player of such quality at Manchester United, but there is no doubt he will do very well there. The only problem I see for him is game time. With Robin van Persie signed, opportunities down the middle of the park (where he thrives) will be limited. If Fergie treats him right, they have a real gem on their hands.
Carlos Tevez – Manchester City
What more can we say about Tevez? Two seasons ago he had a fantastic year, and with the Mancini bust-up last season, we thought we’d never see him again. However a good pre-season later, Tevez is gearing up to fire again with Aguero in City’s powerful looking strikeforce.
Fernando Torres – Chelsea
The £50million striker was heavily criticised due to his lack of goals, but even during a barren spell, he managed to link up well with teammates, and created many chances. With Drogba gone and a quality midfield behind him, I think Torres can get a few goals early on in the season and if he can do that, don’t expect him to look back.