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EURO 2024 Prediction Challenge – EN
Gareth Bale
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Premier League: The Brightest Rising Stars

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It’s the best league in the world, and the Premier League attracts the biggest talents in football, with huge fees bringing players in from Europe, South America, and Africa.

And then there are the world-class academies where young hopefuls turn into top professionals, though for every player who makes it, there are hundreds who don’t. So when a star comes through the ranks, it’s as good as signing a big name and more satisfying for the youth coaches, for sure. 

Plenty of young players have made an impact over the past few years, and this season is one of the best for emerging talents. So here are the SBOTOP picks for the best five rising stars who have made some spectacular Premier League 2024 highlights in their big breakout seasons.

Cole Palmer (21) – Chelsea

He’s been a shining light in a sometimes gloomy season for Chelsea, and Palmer’s summer transfer from Manchester City could well be the signing of the season. A highly rated youngster at the Etihad, Palmer struggled for game time and went out on loan before deciding to move on in 2023.

He’s a clever player with superb dribbling and distribution skills, and with 16 goals and nine assists, he is Chelsea’s most productive player. ‘Ice Cold Palmer’ is only four gols behind the league’s leading scorer, Erling Haaland, and he surely must be a shoe-in for Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 squad. 

Kobbie Mainoo (18) – Manchester United

Much like Chelsea, Manchester United have endured a disappointing campaign, and manager Erik Ten Hag has been beset by injury problems for some key players. That has enabled him to blood some young stars, and 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo has certainly taken his chance, earning a place in the England squad only four months after he made his Red Devils debut.

Mainoo is very composed, comfortable on the ball, and hardworking, and he has an old head on his young shoulders. United fans hope they have their next megastar in their hands.

And, living and working among a glittering array of stars, some of whom have failed to meet expectations this season, Mainoo is refreshingly grounded, insisting that his first club was not Manchester United but Cheadle and Gatley, a side in the suburbs of Greater Manchester. 

Rico Lewis (19) – Manchester City 

Rico Lewis will make sure to score goals for Manchester City in their upcoming matches in the Premier League
Manchester City’s Rico Lewis celebrates after scoring their second goal against Crystal Palace

On the Blue side of the city, as Palmer discovered, there is huge competition for places, and that is why Rico Lewis’s rise to first team prominence is so impressive. Pep Guardiola said Lewis was one of the best players he has ever coached after he put in a man-of-the-match performance in a Champions League win over Red Bull Leipzig.

He’s a utility player, able to operate at wing-back, just in front of the back four, or further forward, and after scoring in the Sky Blues’ 4-2 win over Crystal Palace last week, he said, “As a kid you dream of scoring and celebrating. I want to get more goals and assists. I enjoy playing midfield the most. I want to contribute, but the manager decides where I am most effective.”

Another smart Manchester lad.        

​​The latest Premier League 2024 betting odds are back with the Sky Blues. Guardiola has a deep squad to call on in the run-in, and Lewis will be a key member of the manager’s squad as the games come thick and fast. 

Conor Bradley (20) – Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has constantly put his faith in the Reds’ young stars and

Northern Ireland right back Bradley has repaid that faith handsomely. He was on loan at League One side Bolton Wanderers last year and won the club’s Player of the Season award.

Following the injury to wingback Trent Alexander-Arnold Bradley, Bradley stepped in and took his chance. Like Trent, he loves to get forward, but rather than limiting his raids down the wing, he uses his pace and strength to make driving runs through the centre as an inverted fullback.

Bradley was outstanding in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final victory over Fulham, and Klopp was gushing in his praise, saying, “Exceptional. What a boy! Wonderful character, a real talent, top potential, and everybody loves and respects him. Everyone wants him to succeed.” 

Rodrigo Muniz (22) – Fulham

He signed three years ago from Flamengo at a cost of only £7 million, and Fulham’s Muniz is my incomer choice among the rising stars of this season. He was loaned out to Championship side Middlesbrough last season and returned in the summer following the departure of star striker Alexander Mitrovic, and while it took him a while to get going, the Brazilian is now on fire.

He’s scored eight goals in eight games, and Muniz has just been voted March 2024’s EA SPORTS Player of the Month as the Premier League’s joint top scorer for March, scoring four goals and making one assist. He scored and assisted in a 3-0 win over Brighton, bagged two in a 3-0 win over Tottenham, and hit a spectacular leveller against Sheffield United.

Fulham fans have a new hero. 




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