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Potential Breakthrough Stars of the 2023/24 Premier League Season


Potential Breakthrough Stars of the 2023/24 Premier League Season

Each season, the Premier League witnesses the breakthrough of young stars who have earned an opportunity to showcase their talent on one of the biggest stages. Last year, we saw Alejandro Garnacho, Levi Coliwill, Julio Enciso and Romeo Lavia all burst onto the scene, but now let’s look at who could follow a similar pathway to success.

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Cameron Archer – Aston Villa

Cameron Archer couldn’t have had a better start to the season after winning the U21 Euros with England and he will return to pre-season with a spring in his step. The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at Championship side, Middlesborough, where he boasts an extremely impressive return of 11 goals and six assists in 20 games.

Archer is a composed finisher who thrives on the shoulder of the defence, whilst also having satisfactory awareness which means he provides good link-up play, evidenced in the six assists last term.

With Villa competing in Europe next season, Archer will have a more important role which should see him play more often and even if he doesn’t start, he will be an incredible impact substitute. He can play as a lone striker or form a formidable strike partnership with Ollie Watkins, but in my opinion, he is already good enough to be starting in the Premier League and he deserves a chance to showcase his quality, whether that is at Villa or another top-flight team.

Kobbie Mainoo – Manchester United

18-year-old, Kobbie Mainoo, is by far the youngest player to feature on this list and the United faithful have been raving about the young midfielder for the last six months. Mainoo is a product of the United academy system and featured three times for the Red Devils last season, including a start against Charlton in the League Cup.

Firstly, unlike most players of a similar age to Mainoo, he has the maturity to back up his talent which is why Ten Hag has integrated him into the first team set-up. He is very complete as a midfielder, ticking boxes such as composure, progression, ball-winning, press resistance, versatility, dynamism and many more attributes.

With Fred reportedly on the move, Mctominay’s unknown future and Van de Beek unhappy with a lack of game time, Mainoo will have to take on plenty of responsibility and in my opinion, he is ready to tackle the challenge.

Jarrad Branthwaite – Everton

After spending last season on loan in the Eredivisie with PSV, Branthwaite has gained experience of first-team football and European action where he has developed into a very promising young centre-half. In the League, he featured in 27 games whilst starting 21 and he did become an integral part of Ruud van Nistelrooy’s defence in the second half of the season.

Branthwaite is very comfortable in possession and excels at switching the play from deep with his favoured left foot. Out of possession, he can defend well in the channels and in 1V1 scenarios which is extremely important in modern-day football. However, his anticipation and reading of the game is one of his biggest strengths, as he often regains possession for his side by intercepting passes into the striker.

In my opinion, Branthwaite walks straight back into Everton’s starting XI and I would like to see him slot alongside James Tarkowski. He would definitely become the Toffees' best ball-playing defender and he doesn’t currently have much competition.

Joao Gomes – Wolves

Joao Gomes moved to Wolves last season in January from Brazilian side Flamengo, in a deal worth £16M. Despite not being able to secure a guaranteed spot in the starting XI, he showed glimpses that proved he was worth the price tag, and he certainly left his mark on the opposition (5 yellow cards in 11 games).

As you can probably tell, Gomes is an aggressive midfielder who provides tenacious tackling and is a possession-regaining monster. Although it is a small sample size, he ranks in the top 1% of tackles across the top five European leagues and when you combine that with the energy he brings to the team, it is no wonder he is a nightmare to play against. Furthermore, he is comfortable in possession and under pressure, but it is hard to gauge his true quality due to the lack of games and just how poor Wolves were last season.

With the departure of captain and fan favourite Ruben Neves, Joao Gomes will be provided with more opportunities, and he could thrive alongside a more cool-headed midfielder.

Joao Pedro – Brighton & Hove Albion

The only new summer signing featured in this article is Brighton’s Joao Pedro, who signed for approximately £29M. He joined the Seagulls from a very average Watford side that finished mid-table, but Pedro displayed enough for Brighton to notice his quality. The Brazilian ended the season with 11 goals and four assists in 35 games.

Often deployed as a left-sided attacker, Joao Pedro was at his best when taking on responsibility, which can be highlighted by his on-the-field actions and the fact, he took over the captaincy for the last five games. Joao Pedro is comfortable receiving the ball under pressure, which allows him to roll his man and glide across the pitch using his physicality to breeze past the opposition. He also has great ball control, and he is confident in front of goal.

At just 21 years old, he has all the foundations to develop into a well-rounded attacker and Brighton is by far the best club to oversee his progress, as we have seen De Zerbi provide opportunities to his young prospects. For the fee Brighton paid, you would expect him to start behind Evan Ferguson and alongside Solly March and Kaoru Mitoma.