The 2015-16 season of the Premier League was full of surprises. Leicester City carried out arguably the greatest giant-killing act in history by shocking one and all to lift the Premier League trophy.
Traditional powerhouses like Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool struggled for consistency all season long and failed to finish in the top 4 spot to qualify for the Champions League. Even Manchester City with all their resources barely limped through to finish in the fourth place.
The season saw many players surprise the world with their exceptional performances. One doesn’t need to look any further than the brilliant Leicester trio of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’golo Kante who led Leicester to the title with their exceptional performances, becoming household names.
N’golo Kante has used this opportunity to join Chelsea in a big-money move, with Mahrez being heavily linked with Arsenal. Jamie Vardy could have joined Arsenal but ended up rejecting the move to stay at Leicester.
Another example of exceptional performances by surprising players was Dimitri Payet at West Ham United. The playmaker’s exceptional display has made him a West Ham icon, a household name and a key player in the French national set-up.
Let’s take a look at the five players who could end up being household names at the end of the 2016-17 campaign:
5Demarai Gray – Leicester City
Demarai Gray has been regarded as one of the best young attacking English prospects in recent times, and it’s easy to see why. The right footed wide man has all the attributes expected of a modern day wide attacker.
He has terrifying pace, good dribbling skills, excellent technique and an eye for a goal. He can also operate with equal ease on both the flanks.
Breaking into the first team of Birmingham City at the tender age of 17, he joined Leicester City in January. His impact in the first six months of his Leicester career has been evident, mostly coming on as an impact substitute and stretching play with his pace and providing width.
He has also acted as an effective tool to keep up the pressure on the opposition fullbacks after Riyad Mahrez was tiring in the latter stages of the game.
After getting off to a flying start, Gray would be expected to take his game to the next level, gradually becoming a starter and adding a genuine goal threat to his game.
If Mahrez ends up leaving, his time could come sooner, and with his abilities, he could well end up being the breakthrough star of the 2015-16 season.