• Babajide EverBlazin

These players have a point to prove in the coming season

Updated: Jul 21

Expectations clamped on players when they arrive at new clubsides are one of many reasons that makes players fail to impress right from the get go.

For some players, they could have flattered to deceive the world, which gives room for a rush and hasty transfer of such players to a bigger club.

And when the players seem to be failing at their new sides, disappointment and agony becomes the other of the day. Fans begin to turn against them.

Those players who have had a disappointing spell either as a full transfer or loans - particularly when they have shown glimpses of greatness while coming up, it's only right to give them a second chance.

Right here at thejosephfaulkner.com, we bring to you players who have a point to prove - at least to their employers in the coming season.

Anthony Martial - Manchester United

Without a doubt, Anthony Martial's unfruitful loan spell at Sevilla last season encapsulates a disastrous spell for the Frenchman between 2020 and 2022.

The former Monaco forward netted just nine goals in the 2020/2021 season and added two more during his forgettable loan period at Sevilla.

But his revival in United's opening three games of the pre-season tour has made the United faithful want to love and trust him again.

Not only has Martial scored in each of United's matches against Liverpool, Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace, the 26-year old has clearly improved in his play - he now presses more, makes important runs and works hard for the team now than ever.

This is a turnaround that is worthy of note and a second chance.

While it remains unclear how the Ronaldo conundrum would be solved, Martial has given the fans reasons to be optimistic about him again going by what he's bringing to the club at a time that Ronaldo's future is in the air.

And, if Ronaldo stays at the end, he gives Martial a reason to brace up and continue in his new found form barring any injuries.

Aleksandar Mitrovic - Fulham

The Serb has been catalytical to Fulham's return to the Premier League from the Championship by scoring forty-three goals in forty-four outings for The Cottagers.

The bane of Fulham however, is their inability to replicate their Championship form in the Premier League - they have been promoted to the EPL and relegated back to the Championship for three different times in five years.

As the new season beckons, the onus is on Mitrovic to deliver astoundingly for Fulham - a feat he has in times past achieved for a few Premier League sides.

Romelu Lukaku - Chelsea

Romelu Lukaku may have scored Chelsea's most goals across all competitions last term, but there's a feeling that he could've done much more if and only if the Blues setup had been built around him and he was trusted with more playing time.

The Belgium forward was meant to be the lethal finisher that was missing in the Chelsea setup when he joined from Inter Milan for £97.5m last summer, but as fate would have it, Lukaku was subjected to more time on the bench than on the pitch for Chelsea - a scenario that brought him whinging about not being happy at The Bridge.

In a 29-minute interview with Sky in Italy recorded earlier in December, Lukaku said he said he was "not happy" with his situation at Chelsea, and then questioned Tuchel's system before revealing that he turned down a move to Manchester City in 2020.

Now that he is back at Inter on loan, he will want to show manager Thomas Tuchel what he could have had if he had built a team around him.

Jadon Sancho - Manchester United

When United splurged £73million on Sancho last summer, fans were rightly excited about the prospect of what he was bringing to the club going by his four year spell in Germany where he registered an awesome number of assists.

And while his first season had some promising moments, it's fair to say that he'd like to improve on the three league goals and deliver a handsome return on investment for the Red Devils.

Already, Sancho has been given a bigger role in Ten Hag's system, which is evident in how he performed in United's first three matches under the Dutchman.

The 22-year old notched two sweet goals against Liverpool and Crystal Palace, and generally, he would want to show fans why the club was right to make him one of their most expensive signings ever.

If things work out well for Sancho, a return to the England National team would be non-negotiable having been overlooked for three successive England call-ups - something he'll be keen to get back in time for the World Cup.

Dele Alli - Everton

Dele Alli is on a route to an uncertain end if he doesn't fare better for Frank Lampard's side in the new season.

The 26-year old is at the lowest ebb any player can be, having shone like a million stars in his first three seasons at Tottenham - as a teenager and in his early 20s.

Alli netted 46 goals from midfield and somehow couldn't go further ever since. He suffered a terrible retrogression in which he was able to score 21 goals in three-and-a-half years.

Things got so bad to the extent Spurs let him go to Everton without any upfront fee.

At Everton, no goal was scored by Alli in any of his eleven appearances which had just one start at Goodison Park.

Alli might just be on the cusp of losing it all should he not put up a fanciful display for The Toffees next season. For him, proving a point isn't a necessity, it's a must.

Harry Maguire - Manchester United

Ideally, every single player at United have a point or more to prove to the new manager. But Maguire has the most to prove.

Calamity, colossal failure and spontaneous errors were the characteristics of The Red Devils captain last term, so much so that he was hated by a section of the United faithful.

And, already, he's on his second and probably last lifeline as the team's leader following Ten Hag's announcement that the former Leicester centerback would remain United's captain for the coming season.

However, he's far from cementing his future in that role, or indeed the starting line-up. He now faces stiffer competition from Victor Lindelof, Eric Baily, Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.

If anything at all, he must show not just Ten Hag, but United fans why he deserves to don the armband.

Jack Grealish - Manchester City

Jack Grealish arrived with huge expectations at Manchester City last summer having broke the British transfer record to make the midfielder the Premier League’s first £100m footballer.

He has however struggled to adapt with the system at Manchester City, providing just six goal involvements in twenty-six outings.

He's surely another player who will hope to improve on his offering for the League reigning champions and ultimately become a key part of Guardiola's plans.

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