HALEWOOD, ENGLAND - JULY 8: (MINIMUM FEES APPLY - MINIMUM PRINT/BROADCAST FEE OF 150 GBP, ONLINE FEE OF 75 GBP, OR LOCAL EQUIVALENT) (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) New Everton signing Wayne Rooney poses for a photo at USM Finch Farm on July 8, 2017 in Halewood, England. (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

We are less than a month away from the start of the new Premier League season. As the 20 teams are preparing for what is set to be another captivating campaign ahead, some players must work harder if they are to make their marks next season.

5 Premier League Players With  Point to Prove

Wayne Rooney

The England captain had a year to forget with Manchester United last season. Despite becoming the club’s highest ever goalscorer, Rooney was dropped by both club and country. Despite winning everything with Manchester United, Rooney became a liability for United towards the end of his career. Now at Everton, the 31-year old has doubters everywhere. And with the World Cup coming up at the end of next season, Rooney must perform for his new club if he wants to lead England in Russia.

Riyad Mahrez

A year after leading Leicester City to the Premier League title and winning the PFA Player of the Year award, Riyad Mahrez finds himself on this list having failed to impress last season. His struggles were synonymous of his club’s failure to replicate the form that helped them reach unexpected heights. Now Mahrez wants to leave Leicester with Arsenal interested in signing him. And wherever he is playing next season, the 26-year old needs to improve his performances drastically to make sure that he does not get the dreaded “one season wonder” tag.

Anthony Martial

Another player with big expectations who failed to deliver last season, Anthony Martial faces a big year ahead. After taking the Premier League by storm in his first season at Manchester United, the Frenchman struggled last season with issues off the field affecting his performances on it. Martial has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford but has maintained that he wants to stay with United. And the 21-year old faces a very important season ahead as he looks to salvage his fledgling career.

John Stones

Ever since signing for Manchester City for a whopping fee of £50 million, John Stones has struggled for the club. Mistakes in important matches stalled his progress and Pep Guardiola lost his faith in the 23-year-old towards the end of the season. The ball-playing centre back failed to cope with his manager’s demands and tactics and was often criticized by fans and pundits alike. Now as he prepares for his second season at one of the biggest clubs in England, Stones needs to start producing if he is to live up to his big price tag.

Michy Batshuayi

The fact that Chelsea are ready to spend close to £75 million on a new striker despite signing Michy Batshuayi for £33.1 million last year tells a lot about the Belgian striker. The 23-year-old played only 28 times for Chelsea last season, averaging 25 minutes per game. He only made one league start for the Blues and scored nine goals in all competitions last season. There has been talk of him going out on loan but with Chelsea set to play more games next season, they will be better off by keeping Batshuayi at the club. And Batshuayi must take every chance he gets by the scruff of his neck if he wants to avoid being one of the most expensive fringe players of all time.

 

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