The 2017/18 season is nigh. When I was a kid I used to count down the days to my birthday and Christmas, nowadays I count down the days to the new season.
It is not long until we will all be filled with the hope and excitement of a new season. This year should be especially good with International players hoping to make their mark before next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
With less than three weeks to go until we get under way in the Premier League, we thought we should highlight some of the players who are getting us excited across Europe. There are so many excellent players ready to light up leagues but here are five that are worth the time and effort to keep an eye out for in the 2017/18 season.
Ligue 1: Kylian Mbappe, Monaco, Striker:
An obvious choice but an absolutely unmissable player, Mbappe exploded onto the scene last season helping to fire Monaco the Ligue 1 title.
Mbappe is the most sought after young player in the world and for a good reason. The Frenchman, despite being only 18-years-old, scored 26 goals in just 44 appearances, better than a goal every other game.
He scored six in nine Champions League games proving that he can do it at the very top level. It is unclear whether he will remain at Monaco with reports in Metro suggesting Real Madrid have agreed to buy him for £120 million, but wherever he is he will be worth watching.
Serie A: Franck Kessie, AC Milan, Midfielder:
Kessie was one of the star players in the superb Atalanta story last season. The Ivorian midfielder helped his side to finish a quite incredible fourth, ahead of both the Milan clubs, he is a fantastic box-to-box player, and it was no surprise that one of the bigger clubs snapped him up.
AC Milan agreed to sign him on a two-year loan deal with an obligation to buy. Milan have invested heavily and will be very exciting to watch, and with Kessie anchoring their midfield, the Rossoneri will be hoping to return to the top of the Italian game.
Premier League: Kelechi Iheanacho, Man City, Striker:
Iheanacho has long been seen as a great talent by many in the English game. He has one of the best goals to minute ratios in the Premier League and scored 14 goals in the 2014/15 season.
Still only 20-years-old the Nigerian was kept from starting regularly by Sergio Aguero, and after Pep Guardiola bought Gabriel Jesus, he fell even further back in the pecking order. He is, however, set to join Leicester City, with the Leicester Mercury reporting the deal is as good as done. Playing regularly with Jamie Vardy will do Iheanacho a world of good, and it will be fascinating to see how he performs.
La Liga: Sergi Samper, Barcelona, Defensive Midfielder:
Another young player hoping to impress this season is Sergi Samper who has been at Barcelona since the age of six, Samper is now 22-years-old but has struggled to make a full breakthrough at the Camp Nou playing only 12 times for the senior team.
The Barcelona hierarchy still seem to think he is a great player having offered him a new deal with a release clause of €50 million. With Andre Gomes struggling and Sergio Busquets ageing, this could be his chance to get more minutes. He was on loan at Granada last season and will hope his new boss at Barcelona, Ernesto Valverde, was watching.
Bundesliga, Emil Forsberg, RB Leipzig, Attacking Midfielder:
The Swede had a seriously good season for newly promoted Leipzig breaking the Bundesliga assist record providing 20 as RB stormed to second place. Forsberg is wonderfully creative but can also chip in with goals, and he had the best goals and assists ratio of any winger in the top five leagues last season. This coming season it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up now that his reputation has grown.
Forsberg has also starred for a Sweden side hoping to make the World Cup. With a chance to prove himself at the highest level expect Forsberg to thrive in the 2017/18 season.