With the Uruguayan biter now plying his trade in Spain, we enter the 2014/15 Premier League season with a host of fantastic players all primed to try and sweep the board for personal accolades. Or perhaps we'll be shocked by a winner from out of nowhere.
Our writing staff continue the big countdown to the opening weekend by having a stab at who will be the English domestic division's standout star this time around.
As always, add your own entries at the bottom via the comments section.
Alex Chick (Twitter: @alex_eurosport):
Eden Hazard - Alexis Sanchez will boss the first two months. Sergio Aguero will be unstoppable – except by injury. Cesc Fabregas will remind everyone of his quality. Daniel Sturridge and Robin van Persie will be deadly in front of goal. But the best player will be Chelsea's Belgian maestro.
Tom Adams (Twitter: @tomEurosport):
Aaron Ramsey - One little injury and this prediction could end up looking a bit silly, but there is a case to be argued that Ramsey will be the finest midfielder in the Premier League this season. And, with Suarez gone, it's a more open field in general. Ramsey has looked sharp as a tack in pre-season and is maturing into a supreme performer, capable of rifling one in from mid-range or unpicking a defence with a scooped pass over the top. Plus he's the kind of amiable personality the press get behind - and a regular man of the match - both of which help his profile when it comes to this kind of award.
Sean Fay (Twitter: @Sean_Fay):
Cesc Fabregas - It was a toss-up for me between Fabregas and the man who has finally come through to replace him at Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey, but I'm plumping for Fabregas as Chelsea look more likely to win trophies. Simply put, the man is class, and absolutely perfect for the Premier League. Its quicker tempo suits his direct style so much more than La Liga or the Spanish national team. There is a remarkable stat that shows that Fabregas has completed more through balls in the Premier League over the last five seasons than anyone else – yep even though he has been out of the league for three seasons.
Most through balls in the last 5 PL seasons: Fabregas (64 in 52 apps), Silva (62/130), Rooney (48/150), Nasri (45/149), Lampard (41/145)
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 2, 2014
He will score plenty, set more up, and make himself the main man at Stamford Bridge. With better quality around him than he ever had at Arsenal, that means bad news for the rest of the league.
Alexis Sanchez - A truly outstanding player, who has lived for too long in the shadows at Barcelona. Like Ozil before him he will hit the ground running as Arsenal get off to a great start to their campaign. Unlike Ozil, Sanchez will have the physical and mental strength to keep going and stay confident even when he suffers the occasional lean spell. It won't be enough for the Gunners to contend for the title, but they'll have the best chance of being this season's Liverpool: exciting, exhilarating, doomed to fall short.
Liam Happe (Twitter: @liamhappe):
Juan Mata – You know what? I reckon United’s miserable campaign last year and Mata’s false start at Old Trafford will be but a smokescreen. Under Louis van Gaal in his first full season at the club, Mata has all the tools to do what he did for a Chelsea side who simply didn’t feel he fit into the overall picture, for whatever reason. It’ll take a great start from LVG and his troops overall to allow such a scenario, but I’m confident Mata will have a belter in 2014/15.
Dan Quarrell (Twitter: @Dan_Eurosport):
Sergio Aguero - It has been an incredibly frustrating last 18 months or so for the Argentine forward, who has been blighted by persistent niggles and muscle injuries. He was dogged by fitness problems last season, but incredibly he still managed to plunder 28 goals in 34 games. There is no doubting his quality, but it's amazing how quickly many forget just how special he is. Real Madrid and Barcelona have made no secret of their admiration for the 26-year-old, but a huge new contract and a very special season will re-establish Aguero as the best attacking player in the Premier League. This will be a campaign that sees him stay fit and flaunt his class once more.
Reda Maher (Twitter: @Reda_Eurosport):
Alexis Sanchez – Grossly undervalued by a Barcelona team which understandably bows to the ego of Lionel Messi, Sanchez is a phenomenal athlete and technician, with a work-rate that will suit the Premier League. A tough little cookie to boot, he should be able to handle the hustle and bustle of English football and is just the kind of signing that could revolutionise a team. His addition – plus the returns of Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey – will benefit the team, not to mention Mesut Ozil, who is now a world champion and will feel the pressure to create eased somewhat. Sanchez dominates matches and could be the star of the season.
Alexis Sanchez - I have had the privilege of watching this guy twice at Wembley over the past nine months, and he was highly impressive on both occasions. He helped Chile flog England in a 2-0 win last November, and his movement was pivotal in Arsenal's 3-0 success in the Community Shield against Manchester City on Sunday. Premier League player of the year is a subjective thing, but there is no reason why Alexis won't show Barcelona what they are missing. Has all the attributes required to be a rousing success in England.
Marcus Foley (Twitter: @mmjfoley):
Philippe Coutinho - Coutinho cost Liverpool £8.5 million in January 2013; a pittance for a footballer as lavishly talented as the diminutive Brazilian. Only Luiz Felipe Scolari knows why he was not selected for the World Cup but an extended break will serve Coutinho well as looks to assume the mantle of one Luis Suarez - something he is utterly capable of.
Joshua Hayward (Twitter: @JoshuaHayward99):
Diego Costa – A clearly unfit Diego Costa, like the rest of his adopted national side, had a stinker at the World Cup. He looked off the pace, out of touch and completely bewildered at just how bad Vicente del Bosque’s side were. But there is absolutely no doubt of the quality that Costa possesses. The Brazilian-born hitman helped Atletico to the La Liga title last season as well as a spot in the Champions League final. Were he fit for the showpiece event in Turin then he surely would have lasted more than 10 minutes, and the outcome may have been a little different. That aside, Chelsea’s acquisition of the striker will prove to be the best bit of business this summer. Alexis Sanchez was a terrific signing for Arsenal, but Costa will fire the Blues to Premier League glory this season. The Spaniard’s physique, aggression, persistence and raw talent will set him apart in England’s top flight – not to mention his goal-scoring prowess.
Carrie Dunn (Twitter: @carriesparkle):
Alexis Sanchez - Watching the Emirates Cup, he appears completely at home already without a lengthy acclimatisation period, and although he has a lot of hype to live up to, I think he will.
Alexis Sanchez - 4 votes
Eden Hazard - 1 vote
Aaron Ramsey - 1 vote
Cesc Fabregas - 1 vote
Diego Costa - 1 vote
Juan Mata - 1 vote
Sergio Aguero - 1 vote
Philippe Coutinho - 1 vote
- Sports & Recreation
- Premier League
- Alexis Sanchez
- Cesc Fabregas
- Sergio Aguero
- Aaron Ramsey