Football’s biggest domestic competitions managed to compete their seasons amidst turmoil in the world. It’s been a tough old period, but now it’s time for us to look forward.
The Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A all came through safely and, despite the empty stadiums, there was no shortage of drama on the pitch as players became used to the new reality.
Hopefully, we’ll see crowds back in before too long, possibly introduced gradually, because without the fans and their undying passion for the game… football is nothing.
And there are some fantastic talents emerging in the English top tier, players who can get the fans off their seats and can take the roof off the stadium. That’s what the beautiful game is all about, so let’s take a look at five of the stars who can light up the league.
Mason Greenwood – Manchester United
Fans of Manchester United are looking much happier than they have for a few years. The Red Devils had a superb end to the season for a number of reasons, but on the playing front, two stand out.
The signing of Bruno Fernandes in the January window was an inspired move by head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and then the rise of young star Mason Greenwood was the other big success, as the 18-year-old became the third teenager in Manchester United’s history to score 17 goals in all competitions.
With Europa League games to come, he could surpass the achievements of George Best and Wayne Rooney and that would be some accolade.
The emergence of Greenwood has been one of the big Premier League 2020 news headlines, and supporters in Salford and beyond are trying not to get carried away. But the young striker could well turn out to be the best finisher seen at Old Trafford since the great Denis Law wowed the crowds in the late 1960s and early 70s.
Billy Gilmour – Chelsea
Head coach Frank Lampard has guided Chelsea into the 2020/21 Champions League and he’s moving to strengthen his squad with the signing of Timo Werner already confirmed.
But Lampard has given youth a chance at Stamford Bridge, partly due to a transfer embargo but mainly because that is his ethos, and Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James have all had impressive seasons.
The next on the production line is young Scot Billy Gilmour. He joined the academy in 2017 and last season broke into the first team, making six appearances.
He’s a pocket battleship, but with outstanding technical ability, great intelligence and awareness and the ability to create chance after chance for his team-mates. He looks like a natural successor to N’Golo Kante and Werner and co. could well be the beneficiaries.
We’ll be working on our SBOBET tips for the coming season and when the Premier League 2020 betting markets search for a challenger to the top two, then Manchester United and Chelsea will be at the front of the queue if they make good signings and these two young stars continue to shine.
Pablo Hernandez – Leeds
Leeds United are back in town and if some of the older Premier League fans expect to see a ‘play the man and the ball’ type of side, famous at Elland Road in times gone by, they might be in for a surprise.
Head coach Marco Bielsa has built a side which likes to play football which is easy on the eye and Spanish midfielder Pablo Hernandez has been the stand-out performer. He was Player of the Season at Elland Road for the third season in succession as Leeds stormed to the title, scoring nine goals and making nine assists in 36 appearances.
It’ll be good to see how he gets on in the top flight.
Dwight McNeill – Burnley
Turf Moor fans believe they have the most naturally gifted player in their ranks for many a season and are tipping McNeill for a long and successful career for club and country.
His pace, trickery and brilliant delivery have won him England Under 21 recognition and since breaking into the first team in January 2019 he’s made 11 assists in a season and a half.
The Clarets’ record of two top-10 finishes in the last three seasons owes much to their superb defence and potent strikers, but McNeill now adds another component.
Youri Tielemens – Leicester City
Belgian international Tielemens joined the Foxes on loan in 2019 and signed from Monaco last summer in a £40m deal. He’s a natural replacement for Riyad Mahrez who departed for Manchester City, with his ability to unlock a defence at will, his direct running and superb awareness.
Leicester fans will be disappointed they narrowly missed out on Champions League football, but if Tielemens continues to develop they have reason to look forward to 2021.
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