In the second of their two-part series ahead of the start of the new Premier League season, Citi Sports’ Nathan Quao, Daniel Koranteng, Rahman Osman, Benjamin Nketsia and Edwin Kwakofi focus on the players they believe will make the biggest impact this season.
Player of the Year?
Nathan Quao – Eden Hazard.
“With Diego Costa not being in Antonio Conte’s plans for the season, the Belgian will run the show at Stamford Bridge. The set up from last season will still be in place and that means no defensive work for him and he will have the freedom to do as he wishes in attack. I believe Hazard loves it when he is in charge and his best will be seen again.
Daniel Koranteng – Alexis Sanchez (If he stays in England)
“If he remains in the Premier League next season is my number one pick for player of the year. He is one of the most technically gifted players in the league and I think if he remains focused throughout will be head and shoulders above the rest. Frankly, it’s about time he won that accolade.”
Rahman Osman – Kevin De Bruyne
“De Bruyne is likely to be the chief protagonist in City’s march for the league title.”
Benjamin Nketsia – Salah, Mane, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette or Kane
“The battle for the best player of the season should be a battle that will be fought between Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane of Liverpool, Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United, Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal and Harry Kane of Tottenham.”
Edwin Kwakofi – Kevin De Bruyne
“De Bruyne has been one of the most consistent performers in the league since his move to Man City. He’s criminally underrated given the quality he has but I feel this will be his ‘breakout’ season with the attacking players City have assembled around him.”
Edwin – Sergio Aguero
“With David Silva, Bernardo Silva and in particular, Kevin De Bruyne pulling the strings behind him, Aguero will not be starved of success. Although Gabriel Jesus offers a younger, more mobile option, I feel Pep would prefer to have Aguero on the pitch as much as possible. Even when he was not in his best form last season, he still managed to finish with over 20 goals in all competitions.”
Benjamin – Lukaku
“Lukaku should benefit from the best crop of playmakers he has ever played with in his career and for that reason will finish as the division’s top scorer. Arsenal’s Lacazette is one of those I expect to be an instant hit in the Premier League and for that matter should finish in second place. Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Alvaro Morata of Chelsea should complete the pack competing.”
Daniel – Morata or Lukaku
“It’s a tough one but I’ll go for Morata or Lukaku. Lukaku is a tried and tested Premier League goal scorer and with the quality of the likes of Pogba and Mkhitaryan behind him, it’s almost certain that he’ll bang in a ton of goals this season.
Morata has been given a huge opportunity to show off his incredible goal scoring ability at Chelsea. His finishing is unquestionably exceptional and once he’s given the right supply he’ll surely tuck them away.”
Rahman – Harry Kane
“I tip Kane to complete a hat-trick of EPL Golden Boots. It’s rare not to see Kane’s name on the score sheet when Spurs score more than a goal in a game. Unless Spurs pull a ‘Humpty Dumpty’ kind of great fall in form, Harry will hit 25+ EPL goals.”
Nathan – Harry Kane.
“He will still be the man at Tottenham. Lukaku has gone to a new team and even though he has reputation, I feel the change will affect him slightly due to his own inconsistency. Despite coming second to Kane last season, the Belgian did not chain together a very long scoring run. Kane did and it eventually sent him to the top of the top scorers’ tree. He will repeat the trick this season.”
Player to watch
Benjamin – Javier Hernandez
“I fully expect West Ham United’s Javier Hernandez to take full advantage of his second shot at life in the Premier League. Playing with a chip on his shoulder has never really been his thing as he always has the look of an excited kid who just wants to score whenever he is on the pitch. A lot has changed since his last spell in the league but he will be eager to show everyone including his old club Manchester United that he has lost none of that killer instinct that endeared him to fans.”
Daniel – Leroy Sane
“I’ll most definitely have my eye on Leroy Sane this season. The young German winger had a slow start last season but became a very prominent part of the Man City setup as the season went on. I watched him a lot at Schalke two seasons ago where he was one of the standout performers in the league, and I have this strong feeling he’ll explode onto the scene this season. WATCH OUT FOR LEROY!”
Nathan – Paul Pogba, Alvaro Morata & Romelu Lukaku
“Pogba because he now has gone through pre-season with Man United and he will have Matic holding the space in defensive midfield so he can flourish. I am eager to see how that plays out.
For Morata, he is Chelsea’s new target man. He replaces Diego Costa and he will find a way to contribute the team’s success. He does not boast of a staggering goal count but his intelligence in movement could hold the key to Eden Hazard’s success.
Romelu Lukaku will be Morata’s rival. At least, according to the fans. Expect their stats to be compared aggressively. Every Lukaku goal will have to be countered by one from Morata.”
Rahman – Mohammed Salah
“Mohammed Salah will be devastating on the Liverpool flanks. His attributes are perfect for him to flourish under Klopp.”
Edwin – Javier Hernandez
“Chicharito is a proven Premier League goalscorer and a move back to England was almost inevitable. His movement is brilliant although he does get a bit over exuberant sometimes and gets caught offside a number of times. It’s a brilliant signing for West Ham, and could prove to be the best of the summer.
The 2017/2018 Premier League season will be live on Citi 97.3 FM and it will be brought to you by Premium Bank, Slydepay and Betway.