There are players that you watch out for if they're playing. Players that you'll tune in just to watch. And players that you're intrigued to see how things will play out with.
Well, we've compiled an (almost) list of who to keep an eye on in the 2021/22 season. We've gone for players for a variety of reasons, too - and we've gone for a mix of leagues: the Premier League of course but also the Championship, LaLiga, Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, Serie A... along with a few from Turkey, Portugal and the Netherlands' top flights.
Some on our list are new signings that we're captivated to see integrated into a new setting. Others on this list have huge potential and this could be a massive season in their upwards trajectory. There are those, too, who perhaps have unfinished business: maybe the last campaign didn't go quite how they expected.
And in the case of some players, it's a mixture. Who are the players you're most excited for this season? Tweet us @FourFourTwo (opens in new tab) and let us know.
1. Achraf Hakimi
The most expensive African footballer of all time seemed like the headline arrival when he touched down in Paris - and though his signing has since been trumped by bigger names, Achraf Hakimi fixes a perennial weak spot in the PSG side with class and pace in abundance.
Mauricio Pochettino has a habit of polishing good full-backs into world-class ones so seeing Hakimi under him could be explosive.
2. Adam Armstrong
With Danny Ings and Jannick Vestergaard gone, Southampton look in real trouble of going this season. Last season's slow slump into relegation form for the latter half of the campaign is extremely worrying.
So Adam Armstrong arrives with a big responsibility on his shoulders. He's consistently netted in the Championship for Blackburn but now his physicality, speed of thought and pressing will be pushed to the max under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
3. Albert Sambi Lokonga
Albert Sambi Lokonga looks like a Rolls Royce of a midfielder; never in a rush, deft on the ball and positionally precocious for his age.
The new Arsenal signing was signed as "depth" according to the Gunners but with Thomas Partey struggling with injury in the last year and Mohamed Elneny a more conservative option in midfield, the 21-year-old Belgian could well be given more minutes than he bargained for under Mikel Arteta - and he's likely to flourish in a possession-based team.
4. Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic is an ace card to play in the Championship. Ex-boss Scott Parker didn't seem to trust him in the Prem after his international penalty miss last year against Scotland, opting for loan lads Ademola Lookman and Josh Maja instead.
But Mitrovic has a point to prove, now. At 26, he's approaching the prime of life and wants to prove he's capable of hacking it in the Premier League. What better way than by firing Fulham to promotion?
5. Ansu Fati
At just 18 years old, Ansu Fati has been tentatively labelled the next Messi ever since he was old enough to play for Barcelona's a-team - but now with the real Messi gone, he's gone a chance to make his own name.
Fati is one of the few defence-stretching players available to Ronald Koeman. The world is watching to see how he recovers from the injury that kept him out of Euro 2020 and whether he can start delivering on the promise he's shown from such a young age: the stage is his, now.
6. Aurelien Tchouameni
At just 21, Aurelien Tchouameni might be the most exciting thing to come out of Monaco since the Monegasques won the title a few years back.
The dynamic midfielder has been on the radar for the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United but with Monaco looking back to their best, he could well be develop into a stunning all-round player over the next 12 months.
7. Boubakary Soumare
Leicester City signed Boubakary Soumare from Lille, seemingly in the event of Youri Tielemans ascending to a whole new level this season and departing soon after. Soumare is young, energetic, careful in possession and defensively disciplined - but actually, watching him alongside Tielemans is going to be a lot of fun.
Soumare complements both the Belgian and defensive pivot Wilfred Ndidi nicely - and that's without factoring in James Maddison. The Ligue 1 title-winner looks like he'll be eased into the Premier League - but should Leicester hit full speed this season, their midfield looks capable of bullying other teams off the park. Brendan Rodgers has played a diamond in the past and this is a signing that facilitates a potential move back to the system.
8. Boulaye Dia
Senegalese international Boulaye Dia signed for Europa League champions Villarreal this summer and looks to be a shrewd buy already. He certainly ran Chelsea ragged in the Super Cup.
Dia is a monster in transition. He's quick, composed and links play nicely in Unai Emery's 4-4-2 formation. Villarreal hit the Champions League this time out and Dia could be one to watch under the lights.
9. Brennan Johnson
Wales international Brennan Johnson played on loan at Lincoln City last season and helped the Imps into the play-offs. Now, he's back with parent club Nottingham Forest and looks the real deal.
Forest may well have to ward off bigger suitors. The attacking midfielder has flair and an eye for goal: at 20 years old, he could well be moulded into any kind of player this season under Chris Hughton.
10. Bryan Brobbey
Brian Brobbey has already scored in the Europa League for Ajax. He was supposed to be the next bright young thing through the club's famed production line - only he joined RB Leipzig at the conclusion of his contract.
As an understudy to Andre Silva in Leipzig's side this season, Brobbey could well develop into a phenomenal threat. At just 19, he already has the technicality and physicality to thrive in Germany.
11. Brian Mbeumo
French winger Bryan Mbeumo joined for a club-record fee and outlasted the other two icons in Brentford's front three of him, Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma. He was right to stick it out in London and has helped earn promotion.
While all eyes are on Ivan Toney and his goal exploits, Mbeumo is a different kind of weapon; slight, able to cut in and capable of linking up telepathically with his striker. There'll no doubt be interest from bigger clubs watching the 22-year-old this season.
12. Bryan Gil
Old-fashioned wingers are a dying breed - especially in the Premier League. That alone makes left-footed left-winger Bryan Gil exciting enough to tune in for.
But watching how Nuno Espirito Santo fashioned a partnership from Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez begs the question of how Gil will combine with Tottenham's forwards. Nuno's sides tend to move from back to front in a blink of an eye and Gil seems tailor-made to get forward and whip in balls for others.
13. Callum Styles
The Bury Baggio has played in midfield and at full-back and last season, Callum Styles was part of a Barnsley side that reached the play-offs. This season, he's building on a reputation.
Styles has a low centre of gravity and superb close control. He's only 21 too: this could well be the season that he earns a move to a bigger side, like Michael Olise last year.
14. Calvin Stengs
Nice have made a few good signings over this summer and now boast a frontline that could feature Amine Gouiri, Justin Kluivert, Alexis Claude-Maurice and Kasper Dolberg. But the most exciting to watch of the lot may well be Calvin Stengs.
Elegant and effortless on the ball, the right-winger glides across the pitch like a less forceful Arjen Robben. He's brilliant to watch and could well bag himself plenty of assists with the raft of talent available in the Nice side.
15. Cameron Jerome
Yeah, that Cameron Jerome.
He's now 35 but the veteran striker had a renaissance last season for MK Dons. Now he's back in the Championship with Luton Town, not quite playing the Akinfenwa role for the division but still capable of moments of magic for a side who need goals. There's life in the old striker, yet.
16. David Alaba
Real Madrid couldn't have replaced Sergio Ramos with someone this different if they tried. Where the old captain was brash, aggressive and summoned the troops with barks across the backline, Alaba is measured and cultured, with his actions doing his talking.
And that's just assuming that he plays at centre-back for Los Blancos. The Austrian has shown in the past he's capable of filling in just about anywhere on the pitch and with Carlo Ancelotti showing throughout his career that he's willing to bend to his players' will, Alaba might well be lining up in midfield with Casemiro or Kroos at some point. Whatever happens, it's going to be spectacular to witness.
16. Dayot Upamecano
Julian Nagelsmann's job at Bayern Munich is difficult. Die Roten often prefer company men who will refer to the Bayern values, rather than insert their own. Young revolutionaries like Pep Guardiola have won things - it goes without saying for Bayern - but they often cause friction.
Nagelsmann bringing in Dayot Upamecano as his general is symbolic. This guy sits slap-bang in the centre of the back three, which fluctuates into a back four too, and he's schooled in the German's style. He's everything that Bayern want in a centre-back and could well be key in determining just how loved Nagelsmann becomes in the top job.
17. Dejan Kulusevski
It's hard to believe that Dejan Kulusevski is just 21 years old. The Swede is a blunt instrument capable of devastating threat in the final third.
Watching him under Massimiliano Allegri will be fascinating. Paolo Dybala flourished under Big Max first time around and seeing such different profiles in the Juventus set-up this time around makes it all the more intriguing as to how the Italian will re-set his team.
19. Demarai Gray
Demarai Gray should have been huge by now. There was a small era within his Leicester City career where he was playing out right for the Foxes, forcing Riyad Mahrez in the no.10 slot behind Jamie Vardy. He looked superb there.
Things didn't quite work out at Bayer Leverkusen, making the switch to Everton all the more perplexing. What exactly has Rafa Benitez seen that the rest of us haven't? We're about to find out - but if he can recapture past glimpses of potential, the Toffees may have stumbled upon a bargain.
20. Denzel Dumfries
You saw him tearing up and down the right flank for the Netherlands as one of Frank De Boer's madcap wing-backs at Euro 2020. Now he's the Achraf Hakimi replacement.
A hell of lot less stylish - but still named after a Hollywood actor - Denzel Dumfries is a bullet train of a player who fits into a very particular kind of role. He's not great defensively but in attack he could well be integral. If Simone Inzaghi utilises th