1. Lewis Holtby
The German under-21 captain has had a superb Euro U21 Championship in Israel in the past week and will be eager to prove himself at Tottenham once has gets a full English pre-season under his belt. It is always tough to join a club midway through the season, especially when they play a very different style of play to your previous club; Holtby has found that out whilst making the Schalke-Spurs transition. However, his performances for Schalke as a midfield playmaker were phenomenal at times and he should shine in the heart of the Tottenham midfield next year.
2. Ross Barkley
The 19 year-old English midfielder played 7 times for Everton last season and is in a superb position to develop into a superstar. He has already represented England at all levels of youth football and has impressed for the Toffees. He garnered particular praise after Everton’s 0-0 draw at the Emirates in April, being commended for his creativity and determination in the heart of the Everton midfield. With regular Premier League appearances, there is no doubt that he could be the next shining star out of Everton Football Club.
3. Alex Kacaniklic
Fulham’s Swede has benefited from loan spells to Burnley and Watford but he will believe that 2013-2014 could be his breakthrough year. The winger has made 24 league appearances for the Cottagers, scoring 4 times and is also beginning to make an impact on the international stage, making 8 appearances despite his tender age of 21. As with all the players in the article, consistent football at the top level might see him being moulded into a star. His height – almost 6ft – is another plus point to cut it in the physical Premier League.
4. Tom Carroll
The Spurs youngster was a shock exclusion from the England U21 squad for the Championships in Israel, given that he has performed admirably in both the English U21 league – where Tottenham were runners up to Manchester United – and also for Spurs when he has been called upon. He will be remembered particularly for this season for providing the pass that led to Gareth Bale’s late strike at Upton Park in their 3-2 victory; he has demonstrated his creativity on other occasions, mostly off the bench and in the cups. He will be hoping that this might be the year where AVB puts faith in him and gives him more of a role in the Spurs squad; he definitely deserves it.
5. James Ward-Prowse
Southampton’s young midfielder has been selected ahead of team-mate Luke Shaw purely on the basis that I believe that Shaw, despite his age, has already made his breakthrough. Named the Saints’ Scholar of the Year in 2012-2013 for performances in midfield far beyond his age – displaying tenacity and creativity – Ward-Prowse has, like Barkley and Carroll before him, represented the 3 Lions at numerous youth levels. He played 15 times for Southampton last season; expect that figure to rise as he gains experience and credibility at the highest level.