Seven players to boost their chances in pre-season: Sturridge, Pereira, Amos…

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Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United players are among those to have given their managers something to think about this pre-season.

A new season can often mean a fresh start for players who have perhaps gone stale, while there are always young players aiming to make their breakthrough.

We’ve looked at seven players who have made their mark this summer as they aim to force their way into their managers’ first-team plans for 2017-18.

Daniel Sturridge

As Liverpool reached the Champions League final while Sturridge was relegated having barely featured on loan at West Brom amid more injury problems, the striker’s future at Anfield appeared all but over.

Sturridge is entering the last 12 months of his Liverpool contract, but he is set to play a part for the Reds this term having scored five goals in pre-season, earning praise from Jurgen Klopp.

“Daniel is an outstanding player. If he is fit, he will play a role in the team,” Klopp said after Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Manchester United.

“I am completely open to individualising training. When I came here I was very excited about the fact I would be working together with him. Since then he has had a few injury issues.

“Does he have to play 50-something games? No. But hopefully he will play a few really good ones. That is the plan.”

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea supporters were given brief glimpses of Hudson-Odoi last season as the young attacker made four cameo appearances.

But the 17-year-old was handed a start in the Community Shield after catching the eye with a number of impressive performances in pre-season – causing Hector Bellerin in particular a number of problems against Arsenal in Dublin.

“I have never seen a player like him,” Chelsea team-mate Alvaro Morata told The Mirror.

“Ethan Ampadu and him, when you see them playing, it is like they are 25 and 26 years old – and they are 17! They work so hard.”

Bernardo Silva

Silva was rotated in and out of Pep Guardiola’s starting XI in his first season at Manchester City, making 20 of his 35 Premier League appearances from the bench.

In February, Guardiola emphasised his belief in the midfielder, saying: “While I’m here he will not move on, he will stay with me.”

And the Portugal international is now expected to be used in a more central role, taking on the mantle of namesake David Silva in 2018-19.

After he starred in the role in the Community Shield victory over Chelsea, Guardiola said: “The performance of Bernardo Silva was a masterpiece.

“Everybody knows the wingers want to compete. Right now, it is Bernardo and 10 players more. Right now. But in 11 months it depends on what they show me on the pitch.

“Bernardo is far away from other guys, so that’s why, at the moment, he plays. He is so intelligent, he is clever. He is a fighter, a competitor. I think he is the guy most beloved in our team and today he showed me a lot of things.

“He came back earlier and that showed me again a lot of things and that’s one of the reasons we won today. It was for many reasons. One of the reasons was Bernardo.”

Luke Amos

Amos was among the 10 Spurs youngsters challenged by Mauricio Pochettino to put themselves in first-team contention on their tour of USA.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who went on loan to Stevenage last term, was the big winner, starting all three matches as Tottenham beat Roma and AC Milan and lost on penalties to Barcelona.

“Football is about energy, about desire, about respect for yourself and your team-mates, being professional. Of course, Luke is a good example,” Pochettino said after Spurs ended their tour with a victory over AC Milan.

“He played three games of 90 minutes. At 21, maybe he’s not so young and maybe he doesn’t have Premier League experience.

“But his performances in the three tour games showed it’s not a problem to put him in to play. Maybe he’s going to play ahead of some senior players.”

READ: The 10 Spurs starlets Poch challenged in pre-season – and how they’ve fared

Andreas Pereira

A player plenty of Manchester United fans want to see given a chance in the first team, Pereira spent last season on loan at Valencia in La Liga but was one of the Red Devils’ few bright sparks to cheer up Jose Mourinho this summer.

The 22-year-old was given more minutes than any other player in United’s tour of America and scored an excellent free-kick against Liverpool.

According to The Mirror, this was a “breakthrough tour” for the attacking midfielder, and the Daily Mail suggest he has done enough to force his way into Mourinho’s plans for the upcoming season.

Admittedly, we put put Pereira in this list last year, so who knows…

Emile Smith-Rowe

Having only turned 18 this summer, Smith-Rowe has already been rewarded for his performances in pre-season with a new long-term contract at Arsenal.

The attacking midfielder scored a stunning goal against Atletico Madrid and also provided an assist for Alexandre Lacazette against PSG.

And the player himself has expressed his ambition to break into the club’s first team.

“Going on loan isn’t really an option,” he said. “My goal has always been to get into the first team as early as I can.

“I’ve always wanted to play for Arsenal. I remember watching players like Fabregas and Van Persie at when I was in the academy. They were my idols.”

Robert Snodgrass

Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko have arrived in east London to bolster West Ham’s attacking options, meaning Snodgrass was widely expected to depart the club.

The Scotland international failed to produce his best form for the Hammers after joining from Hull City in January 2017 and spent last season on loan at Aston Villa – where he became a fan favourite.

Villa reportedly hoped to re-sign the 30-year-old, but he has caught the eye of Manuel Pellegrini during pre-season and even scored against Villa.

 

Speaking about his form, he said: “Listen it’s been great.

“That’s all I want to try and do get minutes under my belt and try and play and show the West Ham fans what I can do.

“First season it was a bit stop-start. I started maybe seven or eight games or something like that. It’s not enough time to show what you can do.

“I showed the Aston Villa fans what I could in large spells of the season and obviously had a great relationship with them.

“So if I can do that with West Ham and get a chance hopefully I can build that relationship with them too.”


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