Spending on new recruits in the Premier League has hit new heights this season with the £1.4 billion shelled out in the summer window being followed up by an additional £450 million spent in the winter transfer window.
Superstars are grown just as often as they are bought, players like Gareth Bale, Harry Kane, Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford are great examples of players who weren’t superstars when they arrived but they kicked on, defying the Paddy Power football odds and became world renowned footballers.
The 17/18 season is no different and there are a fresh batch of players pushing the envelope, performing well above expectation. Many of players and pundits alike have taken notice of them and for the reason we decided to list out the Breakout 11 of 17/18:
Nick Pope – Burnley FC
The Burnley shot stopper has been in fine form this season, forcing his way in to the national team reckoning with his commanding displays in the Premier League. Pope began his career at non-league Bury Town and worked his way up through the ranks to join Burnley in 2016. After an injury to Burnley’s #1 shot-stopper, Tom Heaton, Pope has been thrust into the first team and performed brilliantly.
Keiran Trippier – Tottenham Hotspur
After Spurs sold Kyle Walker to Manchester City, Trippier must have been confident that he’d fill the spot vacated by the move however Tottenham signed PSG right-back Serge Aurier as a direct replacement and Trippier must have feared the worst. Whilst Aurier was first choice at the beginning of the season, a number of high profile mistakes cost him his place in the team, a place Trippier has made his own with commanding displays, making 30 appearances in the process.
James Tarkowski – Burnley FC
Tarkowski is another player who has made his way up the footballing pyramid, beginning his career at League One club Oldham Athletic. He later moved on to Brentford before joining Burnley in 2016. With Michael Keane being sold to Everton, Tarkowski has made the position his own, standing out in a Burnley team that have defied expectation and sit in the top half of the Premier League. He has rewarded with his first England cap on 27th March 2018, starting a 1-1 draw against Italy at Wembley.
Alfie Mawson – Swansea FC
Born in London, Alfie Mawson begun his career at Brentford before loans at several conference and lower league clubs saw him join Barnsley on a permanent deal. After just 4 games in the championship with Barnsley he joined Swansea in 2016. He’s been an ever present in their defence since, earning an England call-up for a friendly with Italy.
Andrew Robertson – Liverpool FC
Beginning his youth career at Celtic, he was released at 14 as he was “too small”. Undeterred, he joined Queens Park and later Dundee United where he became an undisputed starter. A £2.85million move to Premier League team Hull City followed and after 3 seasons at Hull, Liverpool came calling. An £8million move followed and although he first played second-fiddle to Alberto Moreno, he’s since made the left-back spot his own.
Abdoulaye Doucoure Watford FC
Doucoure came through the youth system at the Brittany based club Rennes, spending 9 years at the club amassing over 100 appearances before a move to Watford. Under Pozzo control it was inevitable that he would spend some time with one of their other clubs and this happened when he was loaned out to Granada in 2016. Since his return to the Hornets he’s been an ever-present in the midfield which has seen Watford climb the table. The powerful classy midfielder has been linked with top clubs in England and abroad.
Pascal Gross – Brighton and Hove Albion
The main man in the Brighton team this season would have to be Pascal Gross. Signed from FC Ingolstadt 04 at the start of the season for a meagre £3million he’s taken the Premier League by storm. When you look at the stats it’s easy to see why Brighton signed him though, registering 7 goals and 23 assists for Ingolstadt and he’s continued in the same vein for B&H this season registering 5 goals and 8 assists in a much tougher league.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Liverpool FC
Chamberlain swapped the red of North London for the Red of Liverpool and has found form playing in an attack minded team spearheaded by the goal scoring exploits of Mo Salah. It would be easy to overlook the Ox’s contribution to the team but as the weeks since his move have passed he’s looked more assured and confident in the team registering 3 goals and 5 assists in the league.
Jesse Lingard – Manchester United FC
Spending his entire career at Manchester United (bar his loan spells) Lingard has had to be patient to wait for his chance but this season he’s been in red-hot form for Manchester United and England with 14 goals and 4 assists registered. He’s currently keeping Anthony Martial and Juan Mata out of the team so must be doing something right.
Chris Wood – Burnley FC
After his big move from Leeds United, Chris Wood has performed well for a Burnley team looking up the table rather than down. Scoring 8 goals in his first season in the Premier League so far in a team that struggles to score many goals has seen his stock shoot through the ceiling.
Mo Salah – Liverpool FC
Whilst he was no stranger to the Premier League, having joined Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in 2014, he didn’t quite make the grade and was shipped off to Roma. Having been a decent player in Serie A in his time there, Liverpool stumped up a massive reported £40million fee to bring him to Anfield. Many fans were unsure on his pedigree but it didn’t take long for them to be counting their lucky stars. Salah has 37 goals and 11 assists in all competitions in a Liverpool shirt this season and will surely be the PFA player of the season and might even sneak into the World Team of the Year.