From Zero to Hero: Nine Men Who Lit Up the Premier League SeasonPublished May 15, 2016
As we prepare to bid farewell to one of the most unpredictable seasons in recent memory, we have decided to take a closer look at certain individuals who went from Premier League ‘nobodies’ to household names this season.
The men featured on our list may have been known to many in England before the start of the season, but their impact on the top-flight during this remarkable campaign, has seen them turn into established Premier League figures.
N’Golo Kante (Leicester)
There was very little made of N’Golo Kante’s arrival to the Premier League, after signing from French Ligue 1 side Caen for £5.6million, in the summer of 2015.
It would be fair to say that the Frenchman was an unknown quantity to many this time last year, but after playing a key role in Leicester’s historic title winning triumph this season, the midfielder is now one of the most wanted players in England.
Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
After guiding Bournemouth to the top-flight for the first time in their history last season, it was clear that manager Eddie Howe’s stock was on the rise. This year, the 38-year-old, has masterminded his side’s survival for another season, and the Cherries boss is now an established Premier League figure.
Francesco Guidolin (Swansea)
Francesco Guidolin arrived at Swansea in January as an unknown quantity outside of Italy.
Four months on and he is known as the man who saved Swansea’s season, and the transformation from when the club was 18th, to now, with a top-half finish still possible, has been quite staggering.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Despite featuring in the Premier League last season, the 29-year old’s record breaking campaign, together with Leicester’s historic triumph, has seen the England international turn into the ‘poster boy’ for the Premier League.
Anthony Martial (Man United)
Many in England criticised the reported £40million plus fee, that United paid for the talented, yet untried forward last summer. But the Frenchman has silenced all doubters, and after a fantastic breakthrough campaign, the 20-year-old is now regarded as one of the deadliest strikers in Europe.
Dele Alli (Tottenham)
After signing from MK Dons back in January 2015, many expected the youngster to spend a few years out on loan before being in the position to reach his full potential in North London. But in the space of a year, the 20-year-old has turned into one of the first names on the team sheet for both Spurs and England, and topped off a fine season, by winning the PFA Young Player of the Year Award.
Marcus Rashford (Man United)
The unknown teenager burst onto the scene in February, by scoring a brace on his senior debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League, and then completed a perfect week, with two more goals on his Premier League debut, in a 3-2 win over Arsenal.
Quique Sanchez Flores (Watford)
The 51-year-old arrived at Vicarage Road with a very respectable reputation in Spain, and after guiding the Hornets to Premier League survival, and an FA Cup semi-final appearance, the Spaniard leaves the club with a much enhanced reputation in England too.
Dimitri Payet (West Ham)
The French midfielder has enjoyed a brilliant debut campaign in England, and despite having a reputation in France for being rather inconsistent, the 29-year-old is now considered to be one of the best playmakers in the Premier League.