The Premier League is back, and this week, World in Sport looks at five potential players with a point to prove this season.
Some of the players did not have the best of seasons, and so we hope that their fortunes will turn around in the Premier League 2023/24. Let’s see who they are.
1. Darwin NunezEmbed from Getty Images
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Roberto Firmino were a terrifying trio for Liverpool over the past few seasons, and their record of 338 goals in five seasons was what made the Reds the closest challengers to Manchester City.
However, with Mané and Firmino no longer at the Premier League club, the onus falls on Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, and Nunez to try to be the support role for Salah and emulate the record that the Brazilian and Senegalese produced alongside Liverpool”s third all-time top scorer.
Before coming to Anfield, Nunez had the best season of his career so far, scoring a total of 34 goals in 41 games in all competitions for Benfica.
When the Uruguayan was introduced to the Premier League, people were expecting a goals fest between him and Earling Haaland, however, it was the Norwegian who prevailed with a record-breaking 52 goals in all competitions.
“The minutes I get to play I always try to give my best. When it’s my turn to be on the bench, I go in angry in a good way because I always want to prove myself.” I’m very happy for my moment. I always prepare myself in the best way for when it’s my turn.”Nunez: Mirror
Much to his frustration, Jurgen Klopp has tended to use the Uruguayan as a substitute so far this season, but with Salah off to Saudi Arabia, can he show why he is the ideal replacement for the Egyptian King?
2. James Ward-ProwseEmbed from Getty Images
Perhaps a surprising candidate, but can the former Southampton Midfielder prove to Gareth Southgate why he deserves a spot in the Euro 2024 squad after he missed the cut for Qatar 2022?
Prowse signed for West Ham on a four-year contract for £40 million this summer and has already made an impact for the Hammers by scoring a goal against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Before joining the East London club, Ward-Prowse obtained a total of 36 assists and 49 goals from 344 appearances for the Saints.
The wonderfully converted free-kick was his 19th in the League, and he surpasses David Beckham’s record of 18.
“It’s good for me to know that with any skill in life, if you work hard for it, you can perfect it,” “When I was a kid doing this in my parents’ garden, this was what I dreamed to do.” “At the start I’d take 12 to 14 — not every day, but twice a week. Now I’m more into six to eight, just once a week to try and recreate the pressure of a game,” “I wouldn’t end on a good one, I’d just take six and that’s my six. I want to recreate that game-like pressure.”Ward-Prowse: Sporting News
With candidates such as James Maddison and Jack Grealish being picked ahead of him, Ward Prowse certainly has it all to do, especially at a team that had won their first piece of silverware after 11 years (Europa Conference League). Will he make it on the plane to Germany next summer?
3. Robert SanchezEmbed from Getty Images
Since Thibaut Courtois’s departure to Real Madrid, Chelsea has really struggled to find a top-class keeper. And with Kepa Arizzabalaga and Edouard Mendy out of the club, can Sanchez become the top-class keeper Chelsea so desperately needs?
Since his arrival at Stamford Bridge on a seven-year contract from June 2023, the Spaniard has kept just one clean sheet in three matches so far for the Blues.
In his 87 appearances for Brighton and Hove Albion, Sachez kept a total of 27 clean sheets, 12 of which came in 2022-23, and were beneficial in ensuring the Seagulls a place in the Europa League.
But adapting to a bigger club such as Chelsea isn’t always easy, so can he show why he deserves to be there?
Former England Goalkeeper Ben Foster was full of praise for Sanchez and backs him to become an important payer for the Blues this season.
“He’s got off to a decent start to be fair. I’ve always liked Robert Sanchez. I’ve thought he’s a very good goalkeeper. Good shot-stopper, good with his feet. He just needs to find something that really works for him. I think he’ll do a decent job for Chelsea this year,”Foster: The Chelsea Chronicle
However, he did not have the best of starts in Chelsea’s League Cup game against AFC Wimbledon, as he conceded a penalty in the 19th minute.
But with that in mind, can he repay the faith in Chelsea who spent £25million on him?
4. Harvey BarnesEmbed from Getty Images
Another player looking to prove his potential and possibly catch the England Manager’s eye for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Ukraine and Scotland, is the Newcastle United forward. Barnes signed a five-year contract for Newcastle for £38million in the summer.
The speedy winger made 171 appearances in all competitions for Leicester City, scoring a total of 40 goals and 29 assists.
Despite Leicester City’s fall to the Championship, Barnes along with James Maddison were the two bright spots of an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Foxes.
But perhaps a move up to Tyneside is just what he needs, as Eddie Howe is one of those managers, who likes to work with and improve young players.
“When you sign a player with the attributes you want, you aren’t asking them to do anything that they are not comfortable with. “Every player is different, Harvey will have experienced Callum Wilson and Joelinton today. ‘It is really good to see relationships blossoming and they get stronger over time, it takes time to gel.’Howe: The Mag
And playing alongside the likes of Miguel Almiron, Sandro Tonali, Joelington, and Callum Wilson, should make Newcastle thrive not just in the Premier League, but in Europe too.
5. Kai HavertzEmbed from Getty Images
Another player who hasn’t quite proved his potential in the Premier League is the German forward from Arsenal. Havertz joined former club Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen for a five-year contract in September 2020 for £62million.
Despite winning the Champions League and Club World Cup under Thomas Tuchel, Kai Havertz wasn’t quite able to thrive in the blue jersey. Whether that was to do with the huge price tag put on him is another matter, but since the Gunners have brought him for £65million, can he finally prove his worth as a potential world-class player?
Currently the club’s third most expensive after Declan Rice (£105m) and Nicholas Pepe (£72m), Arteta will be hoping that his arrival will bolster Arsenal’s midfield, and provide a good balance between attack and defence.
“Today it was tough in certain moments,” “He got in great areas and the ball didn’t arrive. In a lot of situations, he should have scored a lot of goals already this season. That’s the thing that is missing there.”Arteta: ESPN
He also provides Arsenal with another goal-scoring threat, which they desperately need in case Jesus gets injured.
Can he be the point of difference between Arsenal finishing second and ending their 20-year wait for a Premier League Title?
So this is World In Sport’s top 5 Premier League players with a point to prove, let us know yours!