With the return of the Premier League just days away, fans are excitedly clearing their schedules for the coming weekend of top level football.
We have seen another summer where mouth-watering sums were paid out for players such as Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata and even Kyle Walker.
Every season, however, springs a few surprises with a few lesser-known names hitting their stride early in the campaign. Who can forget the impact Riyad Mahrez had for Leicester at the start of the 2015/16 season? Michu also wasn’t a name many expected to be on top of the goalscoring charts after the first few weeks of the 2012/13 campaign. The Spaniard went on to score 22 goals in all competitions that term.
So, let’s take a look at five players who may just spring a surprise this season.
5. Anthony Knockaert (Brighton & Hove Albion)
The Frenchman is coming off the back of a hugely impressive season, picking up the Championship Player of the Year award and also grabbing 15 goals and five assists during the 2016/17 season.
If Knockaert can pick up where he left off at the end of last season, then he may well spring a surprise or two in the Premier League.
4. Tammy Abraham (Swansea City)
Abraham is a Chelsea loanee who will line out for Swansea this season. The 19-year-old striker is an exciting talent and did nothing to dampen expectations during the summer as he bagged himself three goals during pre-season.
Swansea’s main striker, Fernando Llorente, is set to miss the first game of the season at Southampton and this may well mean a chance for Abraham to hit the ground running.
3. Demarai Gray (Leicester City)
Gray has been linked with a big money move for much of the summer to a number of clubs, including Bournemouth, Everton and Liverpool.
There is a good reason for the level of interest in the exciting winger but he will have a job on his hands to wrestle a first team spot away from Mahrez or Marc Albrighton should he stay at Leicester. Gray has huge potential and could well be a surprise package this season if he gets a run of games.
2. Roque Mesa (Swansea City)
The Spaniard was signed during the summer from Las Palmas for £11 million and after impressing in pre-season, he looks like a bargain at that price.
Mesa brings a much needed aggression to Swansea’s midfield and with his added eagerness to get on the ball, he looks like he could have a big role to play in the Welsh outfit’s upcoming season.
1. Dominic Solanke (Liverpool)
Solanke is another Chelsea youth product and has already impressed since joining the Anfield club in the summer scoring three goals in pre-season.
Solanke has looked more comfortable this summer than Divock Origi and with lasting concerns over the fitness of Daniel Sturridge, the former Chelsea man may well have a big impact early on in the season.
Kieran McCarthy, Pundit Arena