The 2014/15 Premier League season is fast approaching with squads beginning to take shape and being run through their paces as pre-season continues. There are always plenty of young guns to keep an eye on in this division and Easyodds.com’s football tipster Tom Powell has picked out his five ones to watch ahead of the new season…
#5 Max Clark
Best Bet: Hull To Finish Higher Than West Brom @ 4/5
Hull’s versatile youngster is yet to make a breakthrough into the first team at the KC Stadium but is expected to be in manager Steve Bruce’s plans this term having recently been handed a new two-year deal.
Clark favours left-back but is adaptable all along the backline and has already caught the eye for his country having been capped at England U16 and U17 and was also involved with England U18’s training camp earlier this year.
Of course there is plenty of competition in the Hull squad at the back especially with Andrew Robertson set to join from Dundee Utd but the fact Clark can fill a number of positions means he has every chance of edging his way into the Hull squad and perhaps starting eleven at some point during the campaign and should be a first team regular in the not too distant future.
#4 Harry Kane
Best Bet: Tottenham NOT To Finish In The Top 4 @ 1/4
Harry Kane has only recently turned 21 so is still very young especially when you consider he has racked up 66 professional appearances already in his career and has helped himself to 17 goals in that time.
Granted, the bulk of those appearances and goals have come in the lower leagues but he has racked up seven league appearances for Spurs and netted thrice last term. The appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as boss at White Hart Lane should aid Kane’s development as the Argentinian manager is no stranger to blooding youngsters as we saw at Southampton.
Kane has seen plenty of pitch time in pre-season and was amongst the scorers as Spurs saw off Chicago Fire and with a lack of competition up front for Tottenham, I expect Kane to get plenty of Premier League minutes in 2014/15 as well.
#3 Diego Poyet
Club: West Ham
Best Bet: West Ham Top Half Finish @ 13/5
After penning a five-year deal at Upton Park there’s perhaps a touch of pressure on Poyet to perform well this season following his move from Charlton but he’s certainly go the ability to make an impact.
The son of Sunderland boss Gus, picked up Charlton’s player of the year award last season despite playing just 23 matches and only breaking into the team in January. Away from the club scene Poyet has the option of three nations to represent (born in Spain and raised in England to Uruguayan parents) he has already played for the England U16s and been called up the U19 training camp.
West Ham aren’t short of numbers in midfield but Poyet will represent Allardyce with a Plan B which is something they may have to call on a few times this campaign.
#2 Matt Targett
Position: Defender (Left-Back)
Best Bet: Southampton Top Half Finish @ 7/4
The production line at St Mary’s continues to rumble on and it will have to following a mass of high profile departures already this summer and rumours are rife that there are more to come.
Any number of Saints players could have found their way into this list (Sam Gallagher, Harrison Reed, Sam McQueen, Jake Sinclair to name a few) but Matt Targett could be the one who is fast tracked to Ronald Koeman’s first team. The left-back could be a natural replacement for the departed Luke Shaw and already looks to be first choice having played 242 of Saints’ 360 pre-season minutes thus far.
A breakthrough to the first team wasn’t far away last season as Targett found himself on the bench plenty of times and the step up looks to be on the cards this term.
#1 Jack Grealish
Club: Aston Villa
Position: Midfielder (Winger)
Best Bet: Aston Villa Top Midlands Club @ 3/1
A lot is expected of Aston Villa’s Birmingham-born winger who is expected to make quite an impact at Villa Park this season.
With Paul Lambert limited in the transfer market and having to utilise his youth team as well as his previously shunned fringe players Grealish should find himself playing plenty of matches this term. Last season’s stint at League One’s Notts County will have done him the world of good as he racked up 37 appearances and helped himself to five goals which led to a couple of substitute appearances for Villa at the end of last season.
Villa lack creativity which was massively apparent as they limped to a 15th place finish last season and Grealish could be the man to get them moving in the right direction in 2014/15.
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