Our Football Index expert Ryan Bradford brings us a one to watch from every Premier League team going into the new season.
Lucas Torreira – Torreira, 22, impressed for Uruguay at the recent World Cup and could add some much needed ‘bite’ to Arsenal’s midfield this season. His former coach Marcello Donatelli described him as the second-best midfielder in Europe behind Busquets. If he can live up to that praise for Arsenal next season he will be very much one to keep an eye on!
Diego Rico – The Spanish full-back will be unknown to most causal football fans. Bournemouth signed him from Leganes this summer, after reportedly fighting off competition from Borussia Dortmund and Benfica. He is banned for the first few games of the season due to a suspension he picked up in his last league game for Leganes, but, if and when he establishes himself in the first team after that, he could be a very shrewd PB option at a decent price.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh – After a stellar season with AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch league last season, where he was the top scorer with 21 goals, Jahanbakhsh was expected to further enhance is burgeoning reputation at the World Cup with Iran and catch the eye of some of the big clubs from around Europe. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite happen for him during the tournament as Iran went out narrowly in the group stages. Brighton decided he was still worth taking a punt on him though, and if he can replicate anything like the goalscoring form of last season, I would expect his price on the Index to rise significantly!
Chris Wood – Signed from Leeds last summer, Wood scored a respectable 10 Premier League goals last season. With Burnley on the cusp of group stage Europa League football, there should be plenty of PB opportunities for Wood during the upcoming season, who, at currently less than £1 on the Index, represents decent value.
Aron Gunnarson – At the time of writing, very few Cardiff players are available to buy on the Index so if you are looking to add a Cardiff player to your portfolio then Gunnarson looks to be your best (and perhaps only) option!
Callum Hudson-Odoi – Despite the fact he won’t even turn 18 until November, there is much excitement surrounding Hudson-Odoi. He has starred for Chelsea in pre-season and the expectation is that he will very much be part of their first team squad this season. He may be a little pricey on the Index at the moment, but I still think he is worth investing in given his immense potential, especially if you are prepared to hold him long-term.
Max Meyer – Signed by Crystal Palace on a free from Schalke. Big things were expected from Meyer as a teenager coming through the ranks at Schalke, but he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype yet. Still only 22, Meyer is still young enough to improve and is definitely one to watch out for this season.
Andrade Richarlison – Signed from Watford this summer, big things will be expected of the reported £50 million-pound man. He started very brightly for Watford under Marco Silva last season, but after Silva was sacked, he faded quite badly and never really picked up again. It will be interesting to see if he can consistently reproduce his early form from last season because if he can, he is likely to be destined for bigger and better things.
Jean Michael Seri – He was heavily linked to a move to Barcelona last summer after an impressive 16/17 season. However, Seri wasn’t able to replicate the same type of form for Nice last season, so Barca’s interest cooled. Fulham decided to snap him up, and by all accounts they have a very talented midfielder on their hands who has a great eye for a through ball. I expect to do well for Fulham next season – definitely one to watch.
Ramadan Sobhi – The young Egyptian winger showed glimpses of star dust last season for Stoke but that was mainly in substitute cameo appearances. If he can get more regular game time for Huddersfield this season, then I expect him to catch the eye.
Harry Maguire – Heavily linked with a move to Man United this summer after starring for England during the World Cup. The affectionately named ‘slabhead’ has improved immeasurably in the last couple of seasons and should he perform well for Leicester again this season, they may not be able to keep bigger clubs at bay come next summer’s transfer window.
Xherdan Shaqiri – Signed from Stoke during the summer, he got Liverpool fans excited with a stunning overhead kick against Man United in pre-season. If he can produce more moments like that for Liverpool during the season, then he should provide plenty of opportunities for dividends.
Riyad Mahrez – Man City’s record transfer signing. He was voted Premier League player of the season when Leicester won the league in the 15/16 season. Since then, Mahrez has only showed occasional flashes of brilliance as he looked for a move away from Leicester. He finally got his wish this summer, and with better players surrounding him, I expect him to shine for City this season.
Paul Pogba – As we enter Pogba’s third season since his return to Man United from Juventus, the expectation on Pogba to consistently produce the goods has never been higher. He was outstanding for France as he led them to World Cup glory this summer but hasn’t been able to consistently hit the same heights when playing for Man United, yet. If the addition of Fred in Man United’s midfield frees him from his defensive shackles, it could allow Pogba to dominate this season and realise his immense talent.
Kenedy – According to WhoScored, Kennedy was one of Newcastle’s best performing players last season. Signed from Chelsea after a successful loan spell, Kennedy has bags of talent and Newcastle could be the place that finally allows him to showcase it.
Mohamed Elyounoussi – Signed by Saints in the summer, presumably as a direct replacement for the outgoing of Dusan Tadic. He is a tricky winger who averaged a goal every three games in the Swiss league for Basel last season, as well as chipping in with plenty of assists. It remains to be seen whether he can carry that sort of form into the Premier League, but if he can, then there should be plenty of value in his share price.
Lucas Moura – Signed by Spurs from PSG in January, Moura has taken a little time to settle to the English game. His impressive performances in pre-season for Tottenham however would suggest he has now fully acclimatised to the English game, and is ready to consistently produce the sort of form that persuaded PSG to fork out on his signature in the first place.
Gerard Deulofeu – The former Barcelona man has bundles of talent but has never really stayed a club long enough to show it on a consistent basis. He was starting to shine for Watford last season until injury derailed his season somewhat. If he can stay injury free this season, then Watford may not feel the departure of Richarlison to Everton too heavily.
Felipe Anderson – A player of undoubted quality who in previous years was heavily linked to a move to Man United. Anderson is a versatile midfielder who is strong both offensively and defensively. If he performs for West Ham to his capabilities, there could be a lot of bigger clubs wondering how they missed out on signing him.
Ruben Neves – He his probably Wolves’ best player and perhaps one of most talented players to ever play for the club. He was made captain of Porto when still only a teenager and has always been destined for the very top. With Wolves’ promotion to the Premier League, Neves has the perfect place to showcase his enormous talent next season. If he does, I can’t imagine he will stay at Wolves beyond this season.