Whether it be a Michu-at-Swansea affair or the redemption of a player long written off, we have asked our writing staff to look into their crystal ball and suggest where the best pleasant surprise will come from in 2014/15.
Once you're finished checking out what they had to say, feel free to add your own picks and explanations via the comments section at the bottom.
Alex Chick (Twitter: @alex_eurosport):
Tom Cleverley - Not strictly a youngster, but given the actual Book of Revelation culminates in the second coming, who better than TC23 The Brand? Here’s the thinking: Cleverley looked as bad as any footballer can look last season; bereft of confidence and guidance, he admitted that the constant ridicule had got to him. But Louis van Gaal will see a hard worker, an accomplished passer and a key component of the solid platform onto which he can graft United’s flair players. And he’ll tell him what to do. If Jordan Henderson can come good, so can Clevz.
Tom Adams (Twitter: @tomEurosport):
Remy Cabella - Newcastle's most expensive signing in nine years has looked the part in pre-season and scored 14 goals in Ligue 1 last year for Montpellier. Cabella, still just 24, has a real bag of tricks and can play anywhere across the front. He has a good shot and is unpredictable - a rich man's Laurent Robert. Magpies fans love a flair player and Cabella has the qualities to become a real local hero on Tyneside. By the 2015-16 season he'll probably be playing for Paris Saint-Germain.
Sean Fay (Twitter: @Sean_Fay):
Kieran Trippier – The young Burnley right-back will enter the Premier League with little fanfare but will finish it on every fantasy football team in the country and possibly in Roy Hodgson's England squad. The 23-year-old loves to bomb up-and-down the right flank and has a simply wicked delivery that strikers love to attack and centre-backs hate to defend. He's had an incredible 23 assists over the last two Championship seasons (12 last season, 11 the campaign before) and is getting better defensively as he matures as a player. The step-up in class will be a big test, but right-back is one of England's weakest areas and a successful campaign in the top flight will put him right in the discussion when the Euro 2016 places start being discussed in earnest.
Liam Happe (Twitter: @liamhappe):
Ronald Koeman – Don’t get me wrong, we’re not going to discover in 2014/15 that Koeman is suddenly a tremendous, world-class manager. He boasts a very mixed resume as a gaffer and always manages to hit his head on a glass ceiling at a certain point in his tenure or with a certain level of club – similar to David Moyes, really. But remember what he’s taken on at Southampton: a side to whom eighth place was amazing, and who are expected by many to go down merely because they’ve cashed in on a lot of their valuable stars. A fair number of key players from their rise over the last few years remain, and so far they’ve been quite thoughtful in re-investing their bucketloads of cash. All Koeman has to do is not completely screw up and he will be universally praised for leading a Saints renaissance. Cynical, yes, but titles such as ‘revelation of the season’ are often awarded by the more romantic fans and media outlets alike – so don’t be surprised if this gig turns into a sweet one for Ronnie.
Dan Quarrell (Twitter: @Dan_Eurosport):
Danny Ings - We've seen it so many times before when a top Championship marksman struggles to make the step up to the top flight. However, we are all going to be very pleasantly surprised this season with Burnley striker Danny Ings set to prove everyone wrong and deliver. The reason why Ings will be different to the likes of Robert Earnshaw, Danny Graham and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is very simple: he's really very good. The ex-Bournemouth man scored 26 goals as he was named the Championship Player of the Year last season, making him a Liverpool target at one stage. Well, Brendan Rodgers may just find that the classy and prolific striker's value has increased markedly this time next season. Burnley may well go straight back down, but Ings will get his big move.
Reda Maher (Twitter: @Reda_Eurosport):
Kasper Schmeichel – It’s always risky predicting the form of a goalkeeper moving up a division, as the marginal differences between the Championship and Premier League can seem exponential for the man between the posts. But, after being harshly cast aside by Manchester City, Schmeichel has come back the hard way and has finally grown out of his father’s shadow to mature into a top international goalkeeper. Still only 27, he is yet to reach the peak age for his position and – having watched him defy England in brilliant fashion before the World Cup – you get the sneaky feeling he could be the Foxes’ stand-out player next season.
Fraser Forster - Forster is an obvious prospect to emulate the great Peter Shilton by becoming the first Southampton goalkeeper in decades to become England's first choice. Having completed a £10 million transfer from Celtic, Forster can look forward to a larger pay packet and some meatier action in the Premier League than the less salubrious confines of the Scottish Premiership. His outstanding form in the Champions League over the past two years was rewarded with a first England cap against Chile last November. He was part of the England squad at the World Cup finals in Brazil with the national coach Roy Hodgson a firm admirer of his talents. Some commentators said he was not properly tested in the Scottish Premiership. The man nicknamed 'The Wall' by the Spanish media after he defied Barcelona in Celtic's 2-1 in 2012 has the chance to challenge Manchester City's Joe Hart ahead of Euro 2016.
Marcus Foley (Twitter: @mmjfoley):
Erik Lamela - The forgotten man of Tottenham’s disastrous 2013-14 campaign may just emerge as the revelation of this campaign. When critiquing Lamela’s first season in the Premier League, it would be remiss not to consider the circumstances surrounding his move. At the age of 21 Lamela was reluctant to leave Roma but was cajoled into the switch after the club felt the money Tottenham had offered was too good to turn down; Tottenham were a Tim Sherwood -ed chaotic mess for much of last season and he was plagued by injuries. Consider now that he is fully fit, has had a year to settle into new surroundings and has a compatriot in Mauricio Pochettino at the helm. A recipe for success.
Carrie Dunn (Twitter: @carriesparkle):
Ashley Young - He has had a marvellous pre-season, switching to the position of wing-back, albeit mostly in the ridiculous and vaguely nonsensical International Champions Cup. Could Louis van Gaal be the man with the plan to revitalise his once-promising since-languishing career?
A completely split field!
- Sports & Recreation
- Premier League
- Tom Cleverley
- Remy Cabella
- Ronald Koeman