10 Most Exciting Players to Watch in the Premier League Next Season
The 2012-2013 Premier League season is just weeks away, and if it follows the trend of recent EPL seasons, football fans are in for quite a ride.
Plenty of players young and old stepped up last season to make it one of the most exciting ever, and that's sure to be the case again this year.
Lukas Podolski is one of the biggest new names to watch in England this year after the German's big money move to Arsenal, but this year won't be just about the hot, young stars.
Who else are we excited to see next year in the Premier League? Read on to find out.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player many Arsenal and England fans were hoping to see much more of in the last year.
He had to settle for mainly substitute appearances on both sides, but this year should be a different story for the 18-year-old winger.
Ox may still have to fight with Theo Walcott for time on the pitch, but Arsene Wenger shouldn't let anything stop him from starting the Ox in the early goings.
His quick feet and physical playing style make him a perfect fit in the Premier League, and he will be key to the Gunners' hopes of ending their long trophy drought.
Andy Carroll disappointed fans almost from the start after his mega transfer from Newcastle to Liverpool in January of 2011, but at the end of last season and this summer with England, the big No. 9 started to turn things around.
Carroll was one of the most electric players in the first half of the 2010-2011 season with Newcastle and he looks to be regaining that form.
Though he had to settle for the bench under Kenny Dalglish much of last year, that shouldn't be a problem under Brendan Rodgers.
Carroll is a constant threat to defenders with his height and power, and if headers are as crucial in the EPL this season as they were at Euro 2012, Liverpool could see big things from their striker.
Papiss Cisse joined Newcastle in January and did everything he could to secure a top-four finish for the Magpies.
In the end, Alan Pardew's men had to settle for fifth, but with a full season with the Senegalese striker (alongside Demba Ba they're hoping), things could be very different this year.
Cisse scored 13 goals in the EPL during his five months on Tyneside, despite playing in just 14 games.
Newcastle made a very smart move blocking Cisse from participating in the Olympics with Senegal because they will need a strong start to the season both in European and domestic play.
Clint Dempsey may not be with Fulham when the season kicks off next month, but he'll be one of the most exciting players to watch no matter what team he's on.
The 29-year-old American star has had great success in his five years with the Cottagers, but he finally got the attention of everyone else last season thanks to his 23 goals in all competitions.
The attacker has been linked to every big club in England, but the latest reports have him going to Liverpool.
While the Reds may not be in the best position compared to other top sides, any big-name club will be a good change for the American.
Much like Papiss Cisse, Nikica Jelavic made a huge difference when he joined Everton at the beginning of the year.
The Croatian striker was almost unstoppable for the Toffees, scoring 11 goals in 16 appearances, including one in the FA Cup semifinal against Liverpool.
Despite only playing half a season for the club, Jelavic was the top scorer for Everton, and they'll need him to repeat his efforts this year.
Everton are coming off their best season in years, finishing above Liverpool for the first time since 2005. They missed out on European football due to their rivals winning the League Cup, but things could be different this year if Jelavic still has his scoring touch.
At the beginning of the summer, Arsenal needed more defensive help than offensive, but that's not the case now.
After months of speculation, Arsene Wenger brought Lukas Podolski to the Emirates in April, a smart move considering Euro 2012 would've only increased the German striker's value.
With Robin van Persie possibly on his way out of North London, the Gunners will rely heavily on Podolski to fill the scoring void, and he's just the man to do it.
The 27-year-old forward scored 18 goals for FC Koln last year, and with support from Mikel Arteta and hopefully Jack Wilshere, Podolski should have an easy time racking up goals in England.
Danny Welbeck was one of the best young stars of the EPL last season, and there's no reason he should be on the bench this year.
The Manchester United forward formed a good partnership with Wayne Rooney and showed he was capable of leading the line by himself as well.
Even at just 21 years old, Welbeck has plenty of experience with his club and his country. His 12 goals for United last season earned him a spot with England at Euro 2012, and he made Roy Hodgson look good with a wonderful back-heel goal against Sweden in the group stages.
The Red Devils missed out on the title on goal difference alone last year, and Welbeck can make up that difference with more starting opportunities this season.
You never know what you're going to get with Fernando Torres. This summer for Spain, he looked great against Ireland but was awful in his next start against Croatia.
He had a good substitute appearance in the Euro 2012 final, scoring one goal and assisting another to secure the Golden Boot, but that was against a tired, 10-man Italy.
It was a similar story for El Niño last year for Chelsea. He did manage 11 goals for the Blues, but he did not have a huge impact on his side winning either the FA Cup or Champions League trophy.
With Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka no longer in his way, Torres shouldn't have to worry about losing his starting spot right at the start of the season. Whether being the main man for Chelsea will help or hurt Torres return to his once awe-inspiring form remains to be seen.
Whatever happens, it will be fun to watch.
Fernando Torres' newest teammate Eden Hazard is, so far, the biggest EPL signing of the summer.
The 21-year-old Belgian winger signed for the European champions in May, and given the former Lille star had his choice of top clubs, he must've seen something special in Chelsea.
Hazard had been linked to Arsenal, Manchester United and more over the last year, so expectations are very high. Last season, Hazard scored 22 goals and added 16 assists, and his youth will fit perfectly in Chelsea's midfield.
Frank Lampard's future is still up in the air, Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel are not coming off their best seasons and Raul Meireles wasn't as consistent as expected. Hazard's power and explosiveness will be a powerful weapon for Chelsea this year.
There are two sides to Mario Balotelli, and both are quite frightening.
The Italian striker provided the assist for Sergio Aguero's league-winning goal in the dying seconds of Manchester City's final game against Queens Park Rangers and was the biggest star for Italy at Euro 2012, next to Andrea Pirlo.
Despite being in and out of the lineup last year, Balotelli scored 17 goals, many of them spectacular, and he scored three fantastic goals in Poland and Ukraine.
His excitement may be more due to his attitude than his football at times, but any time Balotelli is on the pitch, it is must-see TV.
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