The breakout Premier League star to watch at your club this season
Chelsea (Ruben Loftus-Cheek)
You have to go back 15 years to find the last time a Chelsea academy product established himself in the first team - John Terry - but Loftus-Cheek seems a decent bet to follow in the footsteps of the current Chelsea captain.
A true all-rounder, Loftus-Cheek is a central midfielder capable of shielding the defence, before bursting into attack to provide key contributions in the final third, too. His stamina and strength are impressive, but he boasts good technical quality.
Jose Mourinho was highly critical of Loftus-Cheek’s contribution in a recent post-season victory over Sydney, questioning his work rate and decision-making in possession. But that hints Mourinho believes Loftus-Cheek has great potential, and he should be involved in Chelsea’s Premier League title defence this term. The fact he hasn't been sent out on loan suggests as much.
Crystal Palace (Patrick Bamford)
It’s a coup for Crystal Palace ahead of a host of rivals. I’m so pleased he chose us over others to help develop his game
Palace needed more options up front, and the loan signing of Bamford from Chelsea provides them with a pacey, hard-working striker with the potential to establish himself at this level.
Fresh from hitting 17 goals with Middlesbrough last season, a step up to the Premier League seemed inevitable and Palace could suit him nicely. With Alan Pardew playing two quick wingers, plus Yohan Cabaye's through-balls from the centre of midfield, Bamford should get plenty of goalscoring chances.
He’s determined to establish himself at his parent club, however, and a fine campaign at Selhurst Park could see him return to Chelsea in time for next season, albeit as Mourinho’s third-choice centre-forward. Upon joining Crystal Palace he penned a new three-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
Everton (Tyias Browning)
With Sylvain Distin finally departing to join newly promoted Bournemouth, and John Stones looking set for a switch to Chelsea, Roberto Martinez might be forced to give opportunities to youngster Browning.
Having been in the Everton youth system for a decade, Browning made his Premier League debut last season - something of a baptism of fire, as a substitute in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.
“He showed incredible composure and great pace,” said Martinez. “He's a phenomenal defender who gave us real penetration.” It’s not often you hear a manager praise a player’s penetration, but that summarises Browning’s technical quality.
Like Stones, he’s comfortable at right-back but seems more likely to become a regular in the centre of defence. Martinez will surely purchase another defender before the end of the transfer window, but Browning will also be in his thoughts.