Progress in a player’s career is not always straight up, and there are plenty of players who will be coming off disappointment from last season, whether down to their own performances, external factors or injuries.
We’ve taken a look at 10 players who will have a point to prove this season.
10. Naby Keita
Liverpool came so close to quadruple glory last season, but midfielder Naby Keita was only a bit part of that success.
The Guinean midfielder played 23 times in the Premier League, grabbing 3 goals and 1 assist and racking up just 1174 league minutes, while only an additional 900 were forthcoming across other competitions.
Impressive at times, Keita is still yet to live up to his hefty price tag, and out of contract next summer, he is playing for his Anfield future.
9. Harry Maguire
The first but by no means the last Manchester United player on this list, Harry Maguire had a shocking 21/22 season as captain of the Red Devils.
Poor performances were littered with errors, and the Englishman has been somewhat fortunate to hold onto the Old Trafford armband.
Seemingly set to start in the heart of defence next to Lisandro Martinez, he will be hoping that Erik ten Hag can work his magic on the side sooner rather than later, and bring the former Leicester City man back to some sort of form.
8. Gabriel Jesus
25-year-old Gabriel Jesus has swapped winning trophies as a bit part player with Manchester City for a more focal role at Arsenal, where silverware is by no means a guarantee.
Often deployed on the wing for Pep Guardiola’s side, the Brazilian will be keen to prove to people that he is good enough to operate as a striker at the very top level, especially with a vacancy at no.9 in the Brazil side ahead of the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
7. Dele Alli
Dele Alli’s January move to Everton seemed like a perfect scenario for him to revive his career, which had stalled at Tottenham. Working under former midfield great Frank Lampard and being handed more onus to be the key man for the Toffees, it looked a match made in heaven.
But it has not worked out that way yet, with Alli a bit part player in the final months of the season as his side narrowly avoided relegation. Handed a new number for the upcoming campaign and still just 26 years old, he will be desperate to show the world that he can still produce moments of greatness.
6. Donny Van de Beek
It is crunch time for Donny van de Beek, and if it doesn’t work out in the Premier League with former boss Erik ten Hag, it is hard to see where it will.
The Dutchman was playing alongside Alli for the latter half of the 21/22 season at Goodison Park, but didn’t catch the imagination and remains unable to truly nail down a spot for himself in the top flight.
Now back with the man who helped him shoot to prominence at Ajax, this season he will have added incentive to perform.
5. Pedro Neto
A long term injury ruled Pedro Neto out of much of the 21/22 season, but he was regarded as one of the most talented young wingers in the division before that significant setback.
Having built up some match fitness towards the end of the last campaign, he will be looking to put those fitness woes well behind him and once again prove his ability on the biggest stages.
4. Anthony Martial
The final Manchester United player on the list, and perhaps the one with the biggest point to prove, Anthony Martial’s early career promise has fizzled out, having spent the latter end of last season on loan at Sevilla, where he netted just a solitary goal.
Martial is undoubtedly talented, and if he can buy into Erik ten Hag’s system then Manchester United could well be set to save themselves a significant chunk of change on their frontline. However, with a cloud continuing to hang over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at the club, there is a heavy burden on the Frenchman’s shoulders heading into the new campaign.
3. Ebereche Eze
Like Pedro Neto, Ebereche Eze is recovering from a long-term lay off that robbed him of a place in the England squad for Euro 2020. And, like Neto, Eze was considered one of the brightest talents in the division before his setback.
Now more likely to play as a no.10 than the wide option that he started his Palace career as, it is a massive season for the 24-year-old, who could put his name among those under consideration for Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad should he begin the season strongly.
2. Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling may have over 100 Premier League goals and come from a side that has won four Premier League titles in five years, but he clearly still has a point to prove, if only to himself.
The Englishman has left Manchester City and joined Chelsea this summer, with hopes of becoming the main man that he never was in the northwest. Having been left out of the starting XI for both semi-final ties against Real Madrid last season, the 27-year-old is clearly keen to prove that he can is world class outside of Pep Guardiola’s system, and not just because of it.
1. Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard looked to have revitalised his career with a loan move to West Ham in 2020/21, but then opted to spend last season warming the bench for Manchester United.
With his contract up at Old Trafford, the midfielder took his time choosing a new club despite multiple suitors, and after several weeks and TikToks, opted for Nottingham Forest.
Turning 30 years old in December, this could be his last chance to make the England World Cup squad, and he will certainly be keen to give himself a fighting chance with the newly promoted side.