It’s still early in the Premier League season, but we’ve already had a lot of good football, and even some bad football. While the samples are incredibly small, certain managers’ tendencies for team selection are becoming noticeable, and some of them are real head-scratchers that leave fans (and perhaps players) wondering how certain players will be used at their club, if they even have a future.
Let’s take a look at 11 different players that could have an immediate impact either on their own club or on another club.
GK – Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United) – Lindegaard was Sir Alex’s no. 1 for a little while in 2012 before injury sidelined him and David de Gea took over. Lindegaard has been good in his time, and has expressed that he doesn’t want to be a backup but a no. 1 option again. He could easily make an impact and start at a number of other clubs, Premier League or elsewhere.
RB – Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea) – Azpilicueta is considered one of Chelsea’s best signings from last season, and for good reason. He was an inexpensive pickup and has shown a lot of quality at least in defense (his movement pushing the attack forward has not been the same as Branislav Ivanovic). But to this point, he has been used only once in three games, on the final set piece against Manchester United. He will likely be used more as the Capital One and FA Cups begin and the fixtures begin to pile up for the West London side.
RCB – James Tomkins (West Ham) – West Ham have kept two clean sheets in two games, so there is little reason as of yet to change the look of the back four. As the old adage goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But Tomkins has shown good quality in the past, including being a target for Newcastle, Tottenham, and QPR two years ago while West Ham were still in the Championship. At age 24, it’s arguable that he has yet to reach his ceiling. He’s been on the bench for West Ham’s first three Premier League games and remains unused, but he’s a key piece in an effective defense thus far that will be interesting to watch.
LCB – John Brayford (Cardiff City) – Brayford is a bit of a gamble in this list, as he has never played in the Premier League. He has, however, shown quality everywhere he’s gone. He’s almost equally a gamble for being in this particular position, as he has played right and left back, and earned a bit of a reputation for being good in attack from those positions. But Cardiff have allowed two goals in both of their first two matches so far this season, and Brayford is a cog to keep an eye on in case Malky Mackay decides to shake things up in the back line.