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5 Young Players Who Will Set the EPL Alight Next Season

Danny McCannContributor IJuly 3, 2013

5 Young Players Who Will Set the EPL Alight Next Season

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    With plenty of movement already in the summer transfer window, and still just under two months left of frenetic activity, who will set the EPL alight next season?

    This slideshow takes a look at the potential young players who will make big impacts in the top flight.

    All players that made the list are under-23 and have either shown glimpses of their talent last season, or come from other leagues to showcase their youthful skills in the most watched league in the world.

    Gareth Bale won both the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player awards last season, and still only 23, he is already a contender to be nominated again next term.

    The following slides include other players in a variety of positions who could be pivotal to their respective clubs' chances of EPL success, be it champions, top four or surviving relegation.

    The likes of Jack Wilshere, Raheem Sterling are young English talents who have a big season ahead of them but haven't made this list.

    A breakthrough season for the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Philippe Coutinho made them ideal candidates to set the EPL alight and they, along with three others, are talked about in the following slides.

    Take a look and see if you agree,

Coutinho Will Be the Catalyst in Liverpool's Bid for UCL Spot

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    Philippe Coutinho arrived at Anfield in the January transfer window for what can only be described as a bargain considering the impact he made.

    A reported £8.5 million fee was paid to secure his move from Inter Milan, and the diminutive Brazilian playmaker is fast on his way to becoming a fans favorite.

    The 21-year-old made 13 appearances for the Reds, scoring three times and making seven assists, (stats provided by the official Premier League website).

    A report from David Maddock of the Mirror highlighted Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers' delight in Coutinho's signing.  He said:

    He’s a real find for us in terms of the price we have paid. Hopefully his value will be much greater than the cost in the coming years.

    His goals have proven he is going to be a top player, and teams will want to close down the space he has more.

    Coutinho is set to star at Anfield, and it is a surprise that Inter were willing to let him go.  

    He has a great touch and shows natural Brazilian flair with his ease of passing and ability to drift past players.

    He will be heavily involved in a high percentage of Liverpool's goals next season, and with his first full EPL campaign ahead of him, he will impress as well as, if not more than fellow Brazil midfielder Oscar did at Chelsea last term.  

Future Best Right-Back in the World

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    Rafael Da Silva had his best season at Old Trafford last year and cut out many of the mistakes that he had been prone to in his naive start for the Red Devils.

    But under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson he has developed and worked hard on his positioning and decision-making.

    Last season saw Rafael stand out as one of the best right-backs in the league, and if he continues on the same path, he will be considered as one of the best in the world in a couple of years.  

    His often erratic and petulant nature would sometimes scupper United, such as when he was sent off early in the second half against Bayern Munich in the UCL quarterfinal in 2010.

    Arjen Robben went on to score the decisive goal after United were left to play with 10 men for most of the second half, but these sorts of blunders are becoming less common now.

    Scoring three goals and making five assists last term has made the 22-year-old an attacking force down the right, and his partnership with Antonio Valencia has been close to rivaling Gary Neville and David Beckham at times.  

    Having extended his stay at United to 2016, as reported on the website of the Premier League, the Brazilian will be a pivotal player for David Moyes in his first season in charge at Old Trafford.

    And Moyes will surely allow Rafael to flourish in the same way that the likes of full-backs Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman did at Everton

    Refer to one of my previous articles highlighting Rafael as one of United's top five players last season.

Potential to Be the New Drogba

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    Romelu Lukaku spent last season on loan at West Brom and what a season he had.

    The 20-year-old Belgian international netted 17 times in 35 appearances, in what made people stand up and think this is one serious player.

    The striker even made the PFA Young Player of the Year shortlist such was his impact in the EPL.

    Lukaku became only the sixth player to score a top-flight hat-trick against Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson's reign, according to the Daily Mail.

    That came in the final match of the season at The Hawthorns, in the incredible 5-5 draw to taint Sir Alex's final match in charge of the Red Devils, and topped off what was an impressive campaign for the Belgian.

    Now back at Chelsea, and with the return of Jose Mourinho the "Special One," he is primed to take the UCL and EPL by storm.

    According to Greg Stobart of Goal.com, Lukaku is set to stay at Chelsea, despite lots of interest from other EPL clubs to go out on loan again, but Mourinho is keen to keep him. .

    With Chelsea reportedly chasing Napoli's Edinson Cavani, as reported by Sky Sports, Lukaku may only be a squad player.

    But in an ironic twist, if you are to believe the report by Charles Perrin of the Express that Demba Ba could possibly be loaned out to Lukaku's former club, West Brom, there could be a strong chance that the young striker will be given the chance to excel.

    With a potential FIFA World Cup place for Belgium's talented team on the cards, Lukaku will want regular football to cement his inclusion for the national side.

Dark Horse Cornelius

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    Andreas Cornelius is a name many football fans will not have heard of, but next season the EPL could see a new star striker emerge.

    According to the Daily MailCardiff City recently signed the Danish forward for a club record £8.5 million from FC Copenhagen.

    The 6'4" striker will provide an aerial threat for the newly promoted side in their debut season in the EPL, and to see what he is all about, check out the video above.

    The 20-year-old scored 18 goals in the Danish Superliga last season and was rewarded with a call-up to the international stage.

    Reported in the Daily Mail, Cornelius was eager to impress at his new club in a bid to help his international career, he said:

    The Danish national team always wants players playing in foreign countries, especially in the English Premier League.

    If I can improve as a player at Cardiff City, which I think I can, then I can be a better player for the Danish national squad as well.

    He has the potential to cause problems for opposition defenses due to his height and strength and could make an instant impact in Cardiff's bid to survive their first EPL campaign.


Zaha Star Performer

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    Wilfried Zaha has all the attributes to be a superstar, and at Manchester United he will have the biggest platform to showcase his talents.

    Signed by Sir Alex Ferguson last season, the 20-year-old will be carefully used by David Moyes in his debut season at Old Trafford.

    Zaha starred in Crystal Palace's victory over Watford in the Championship playoff final, and he confirmed to a massive audience that his raw talent was certainly worth United splashing the cash to secure his services.

    It is expected that Moyes won't rush him, though, and he may not be a regular starter considering United have plenty of wide men at the club.

    However, Nani could be leaving The Red Devils soon with the likes of Arsenal, Juventus and Monaco all rumored to be interested in the winger, if Metro reports are to be believed. 

    The England Under-21 has pace to burn and has slick tricks to make good defenders look poor, and although he isn't the finished article, the confidence he will have from being a United player will only improve him.

    It's hard to see him playing more than 20 league games, but that may be all he needs to impress England manager Roy Hodgson enough to select him for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, should they make it, of course.

    Zaha wraps up a top five young players to watch this upcoming season, but with the transfer window still open, there may be a few more young stars ready to light up the EPL.

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