Ian Hawkey looks at five young players who can expect to have a successful 2014/15 Premier League season.
A versatile defender, able to play at centre-half, full-back or anchoring midfield, Dier, 20, the son of English parents and an England under-21 international, came through the respected Sporting academy in Lisbon. He helped Sporting qualify for the Uefa Champions League last season before moving to Tottenham Hotspur for £4 million (Dh24.5m).
A rare piece of good news in Manchester United's troubled 2013/14 season, Januzaj's prodigious emergence enters the next stage of scrutiny: how, at 19, he handles senior status. Louis van Gaal, the new manager, likes wide players and is an admired, expert guide of younger footballers. That should help Januzaj flourish as a match-winning talent.
Stones made his full England debut only eight months after his first Premier League match, appearing for his country in a pre-World Cup friendly in May. Though he was not retained for the full national squad in Brazil, Stones, 20, is earmarked for great things and should be given plenty of opportunity at a vibrant, ambitious Everton.
Already a full international, with a World Cup under his belt and now a £30m price tag, the England left-back must adapt to a back three at Manchester United, who signed him in June from Southampton, and pay heed to criticisms over his fitness from Van Gaal, the United manager. Praised for his maturity by most coaches he has worked with, Shaw, at 19, has huge potential.
Another product of Southampton’s fabled development system, Ward-Prowse will have greater responsibility at the club, with so many players having departed in this transfer window. A poised midfielder, with a good work rate and an eye for the telling pass, he is also an excellent striker of a dead ball. At 19, he has already been tipped for a long career with the England national team.
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