Roberto Firmino and the players we can expect to push on next season

A clutch of players have made solid starts to life in their debut Premier League campaigns

BY Raf Diallo 15:38 Monday 16 May 2016, 15:38 16 May 2016

Roberto Firmino (Picture by: Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images)

This season, Leicester and Chelsea have provided contrasting examples of how things can change from season to season.

But as the Premier League comes to a close - with the exception of the rearranged Manchester United v Bournemouth clash - the 2016-17 campaign looks to be intriguing with many talking points already brewing away nicely like Pep Guardiola's arrival, a full season for Jurgen Klopp and potential summer signings.

But of players coming to the end of their debut seasons for their respective Premier League clubs, there are many with the potential to push on next season. Kevin De Bruyne would be an obvious example at Manchester City as well as Dimitri Payet (29) at West Ham, but there are others.

Roberto Firmino

The Liverpool forward had been expected to be well suited to Jurgen Klopp's methods once the German became manager due to the fact that he played in Germany and more importantly starred for a Hoffenheim side used to pressing.

After a relatively slow start after being signed by Brendan Rodgers last summer, the Brazil international has begun to dazzle with more regularity as the season has worn on.

His flicks and tricks in the run to the Europa League final have been Gif fodder but his debut season has showcased both his positional versatility and a goal return of 11 across all competitions.

"What we can learn from Roberto's situation going forward when it comes to next season's signings is wait to make judgements. Don't be too quick to judge players," Klopp told the Liverpool Echo recently as he backed the 24-year-old following  a solid debut season.

With that under his belt, don't be surprised if Firmino improves further next season.

Mohamed Elneny. Picture by PA Images

 Mohamed Elneny

A January reinforcement from Basel, the Arsenal midfielder has had half a season to show his worth.

Thrown into the first team mix straight away due to a long injury list for his fellow engine room operators, the Egyptian has been solid when called upon and scored Arsenal's only goal in their two-legged tie against Barcelona in the Champions League.

He hasn't been perfect but under Arsene Wenger's tutelage and with half a season of Premier League football under his belt, he could hit the ground running next season.

Among his attributes is an intelligence to his passing and general play and energy in the centre of the park.

Anthony Martial

There were doubts when the France striker signed for Manchester United on September 1st 2015, particularly because the fee could rise to well over €60 million.

But the former Monaco forward is well on the way to repaying that massive fee, announcing his arrival with a debut goal against Liverpool and an impressive double against Southampton shortly afterwards.

His winner against Everton was responsible for pushing Man United into this weekend's FA Cup final and he has finished his first season at Old Trafford with 17 goals in all competitions.

Still only 20, you can expect highs and lows to come due to his age. But as a launchpad for further success next season and beyond, 2015-16 has been very exciting - at least more so than some of the football played at United at times this season.

Virgil van Dijk. Picture by: Mike Egerton / EMPICS Sport

 Virgil van Dijk

It's a sign of the faith Southampton have in him, but Netherlands centre-back Virgil van Dijk has signed a six-year deal with the Saints this month.

That's after less than a season at the heart of their defence. A threat at set-pieces as well as doing his actual job of defending, the 24-year-old arrived from Celtic last summer for £13 million.

An excellent first season provides a perfect launchpad for next year.

Son Heung-Min

The South Korea winger scored in Tottenham's last match against Southampton on the penultimate weekend to push his goal rate for the season to eight in all competitions.

Previously at Bayer Leverkusen last season, he had got double figures in each of the past three seasons, with a high of 17 in 2014-15.

He's had a season acclimatising to life in a surprise title challenger, so his own personal level could well rise once next season dawns.


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