Premier League Players Headed For the Big Six
There is no doubt that there are many fine players in the Premier League. Last season English teams conquered Europe winning both the Champions League and the Europa League. The so-called ‘Big Six’, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, have dominated the league and the headlines. Despite this, when one begins to look at the remaining fourteen teams there is still plenty of talent to be found. Here is a quick look at some players who look as if they are headed for one of the top teams.
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
There has been a huge amount of activity around Wilfried Zaha this summer with Arsenal working hard to secure him. This is no surprise considering the performances he has put in since leaving Manchester United for Crystal Palace in 2014. He appears to be entering his prime as shown by his 10 goals and 10 assists last season. Considering the poor season that Palace had, this is even more impressive. It can’t be long now before one of the big clubs manage to secure his services.
David Brooks – AFC Bournemouth
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder had an outstanding season last year at Bournemouth. David Brooks always brings an impressive amount of energy and seems to come to life in the final third of the field. He drives at the defenders to create chances for his teammates and himself. Last season he scored seven goals and provided five assists, and as a result, is currently valued at €30 million. If he continues in the same way, next season it seems highly likely that one of the top teams will make a move for him.
James Maddison – Leicester City
It didn’t take long for people to start taking note of James Maddison during his first season at Leicester City. Over the course of the season he created 100 chances for his teammates, more than any other player in the league and two more than Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. He is a young English player and this is sure to make him even more attractive to top teams. Manchester United have been working hard to secure his services this summer and there are reports than an £80 million transfer could happen before the end of the window.
Declan Rice – West Ham United
Declan Rice is well known from his performances for West Ham and the English national team. He generally plays as a midfielder but has shown himself to be a fine defender thanks to his skills at reading the game and dispossessing the opposition. He was recently valued at £60 million, which may make him too expensive for some clubs. However, despite this it is likely that a team such as Manchester City or Manchester United will make a move for him in the future as both are keen to sign top English talent.
Ruben Neves – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Two seasons ago Wolverhampton Wanderers paid Porto £16.11 million for Ruben Neves, and they must still be pleased about getting such a good deal. Last season Wolves stunned many people with their first season back in the top flight and Neves was a vital part of this. On the pitch, he demonstrates excellent passing skills, a fantastic positional awareness, a strong strike from a distance and he is a natural leader. Given all of this, it can’t be long before he starts to attract attention from some of the top teams and there has already been talk of Manchester United making a move for him.
Jamaal Lascelles – Newcastle United
Newcastle United did not have the best season last year, finishing in thirteenth place, but despite this, they conceded very few goals, six less than Manchester United, who finished sixth. Much of this is down to captain Jamaal Lascelles who proved himself to be a fantastic defender. He is able to read the game well and as a result times his tackles excellently, and he is also a natural leader. While he seems to be very much at home at Newcastle, he would also fit in well at teams such as Arsenal and Manchester United.
Abdoulaye Doucoure – Watford FC
Abdoulaye Doucoure has been consistently impressive since Watford returned to the Premier League. From central midfield, he averages about two tackles per game, but unlike many players in his position, he has also shown himself to be effective in the final third. Last season he scored 6 goals and provided 3 assists. At just 26 years old, it is likely that he is entering the prime of his career and he has made no secret of the fact that he wants to play in the Champions League. If he maintains his form next season, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of the Big Six were to sign him next summer.
Diogo Jota – Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
There was a great deal of surprise when Diogo Jota agreed to join Wolves rather than return to Atletico Madrid and try to secure a place on the first team. However, Wolves have certainly been reaping the benefits. He recently scored the team’s first goal in Europe for 40 years and last season he scored 9 goals and provided 6 assists in the Premier League. He is hugely energetic and was a vital part of the team’s seventh place finish. At just 22 years old, it can’t be long before one of the big teams tries to snap him up.
Lucas Digne – Everton FC
During his first season in the Premier League with Everton, Lucas Digne certainly attracted a lot of positive attention. Following his arrival from Barcelona last summer he showed himself to be one of the league’s best full backs thanks to his defensive and technical abilities. Everton paid just £20.2 million for him, and it certainly seems like a good deal. He is a tough tackler, possesses a huge amount of energy and he has shown himself able to score from both dead ball situations and from a distance. He would probably be valued far higher now and it can’t be long before any of the top teams short on left-backs try and make a move.
Ryan Fraser – AFC Bournemouth
Manager Eddie Howe has been guiding Bournemouth from strength to strength and Ryan Fraser is currently his star player. Last season both fans and the squad voted him as their Player of the Year and it is not hard to see why. He scored 7 goals and provided 14 assists in 35 games, making him one of the best attackers in the league. He excels at crossing, he has the ability to drive the ball at opponents and he has a fantastic work rate. There has been interest from Arsenal this summer and it wouldn’t be surprising if this is his final season with the Cherries.
Wilfred Ndidi – Leicester City FC
Two seasons ago, Leicester City paid KRC Genk £16.7 million for Wilfred Ndidi as a replacement for Ngole Kante, who had moved to Chelsea. At first the signing was greeted with scepticism by some who thought that he wouldn’t be able to replace Kante; however, he has proved his doubters wrong and gone from strength to strength over the last two seasons. Last season he finished with 83 interceptions and 143 tackles, more than any other player in the league did. If he maintains this form next season then it seems likely that one of the big teams will show some interest and he could even find himself joining Kante at Chelsea.
Felipe Anderson – West Ham United
West Ham signed Felipe Anderson last summer for £36 million and this is still their record transfer fee. He has an excellent first season in the Premier League, showing himself to be a true Brazilian player with all the dribbles, tricks and clean striking that they are known for. Some have expressed doubts over his work rate and he was absent occasionally last year, but despite this, when at his best he is very exciting to watch and he has shown that he can rival the league’s top players. Last season he scored 9 goals and provided 4 assists and while he may not yet be a secure starter for a top team, he is the kind of player that when brought on can have an immediate impact, and as a result, is likely to attract some attention from the top teams.
Miguel Almiron – Newcastle United
The Paraguayan international Miguel Almiron has only been with Newcastle United for a few months and while he is yet to score, he has certainly made an impact. He accelerates well, is very fast, passes well and strikes the ball well. He looks as if he will require a bit more time to develop before moving to a top team, but if the last few months are anything to go by, it won’t be very long.