10 Players Who Face A Make Or Break Premier League Season In 2023-24

The new Premier League season will be upon us in no time and the fixtures of 2023-24 campaign have been dropped. The 2023/24 Premier League season will begin on Friday, August 11, with champions Manchester City beginning their title defence away to Vincent Kompany’s Burnley on the opening night.

Manchester City completed their three-peat Premier League title triumph this past season after coming out on top in their entertaining battle with Arsenal, who finished second in the table. Manchester United and Newcastle United occupied the third and fourth spot, respectively, thus, qualifying for the Champions League.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, Southampton, Leicester City and Leeds United were relegated with Burnley, Sheffield United and Luton Town taking their place in the top flight.

The new season is less than two months away and some of the players go into the next term with question marks over their future, both on the pitch and off it. On that note, here are 10 players who face make-or-break Premier League season in 2023-24.

  1. Jadon Sancho (Manchester United)

It is fair to say Jadon Sancho has not made the kind of impact at Manchester United as fans would have imagined when he signed from Borussia Dortmund in 2021 after a long-drawn transfer saga.

The English winger started the 2022-23 season well with two goals in his first five Premier League games before he spent an extended period away undergoing a definite training programme, working with coaches in the Netherlands on the advice of Man United boss Erik ten Hag. It was not until February that Sancho featured in a matchday squad for Ten Hag’s United.

The 23-year-old netted in his first Premier League start since returning, scoring the equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Leeds at Old Trafford, and became an integral member of Ten Hag’s squad. But with some really encouraging displays there also came games where Sancho looked totally anonymous and failed to make any sort of impact.

Six goals and three assists in 26 Premier League games is an underwhelming return from Sancho in a start-stop second season at Old Trafford. He has done little to justify the £73m price tag, and after two seasons of settling in period at the club, Sancho faces a make-or-break next year in a United shirt.

  1. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United)

Allan Saint-Maximin was one of Newcastle United’s most important players during the 2021-22 season, helping the Magpies stay in the Premier League—but he struggled for game time this past season.

Two muscle injuries, coupled with Alexander Isak and Joelinton’s form, limited the 26-year-old’s starting opportunities under Eddie Howe. Saint-Maximin only started 12 of 25 league games in another injury-hit season, registering a goal and five assists.

The speedy Frenchman’s contract at Newcastle runs until the summer of 2026. This pre-season and subsequent season will be a key period for Saint-Maximin in his Newcastle career. All in all, he faces a make-or-break period at St James’ Park.

  1. Tom Davies (Everton)

It’s been seven years since Tom Davies enjoyed his breakthrough campaign at Everton, where he made 25 appearances across all competitions. He has played 179 times for the Toffees, but the last two campaigns have seen him amass only 25 Premier League appearances combined.

Davies is out of contract at the end of this month, but Everton have offered him fresh terms. If he signs on the dotted lines, it could merely be the club’s idea to get a transfer fee in the future rather than Sean Dyche building his team around the central midfielder, who has flattered to deceive in recent years. Time will tell which direction it goes in.

  1. Harry Maguire (Manchester United)

Manchester United have improved under Ten Hag in his first season, with the Dutch tactician bringing the club’s six-year trophy drought to an end by winning the Carabao Cup. Amid the Red Devils’ resurgence, Harry Maguire has been a peripheral figure.

When United splashed £80m to sign Maguire from Leicester City in 2019—a world-record fee for a defender—he was considered among the best centre-halves in the country. Four years down the line, the England international has been a figure of ridicule and is now the fifth-choice centre-back.

Having slipped down the pecking order last season, Maguire’s career at Old Trafford is at crossroads. He has come nowhere close to justifying his hefty price tag. With the 29-year-old’s contract at United running until the summer of 2025, with the option of a further 12 months, many have questioned whether the Mancunian giants must cash in and recoup some funds.

If the club fails to move Maguire on this summer, the 2023-24 campaign should likely be the last chance that he needs to take with both hands.

  1. Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham)

When Ryan Sessegnon joined Tottenham from Fulham for a fee worth £25 million in 2019, he was viewed as one of the brightest young English talents. However, he has struggled to show his true worth in a Tottenham shirt due to recurrent hamstring injuries.

Sessegnon, 23, has shown plenty of promise during spells but his injury record has hampered his progress at Spurs. A hamstring injury sustained against Leicester in February saw his season end in a premature fashion, with the left wing-back starting just nine Premier League games.

The Englishman is only 23 and, while some have questioned whether Spurs ought to cash in and recoup some funds this summer, Sessegnon can perhaps be given the benefit of the doubt under new manager Ange Postecoglou.

  1. Joe Gomez (Liverpool)

Joe Gomez had a difficult 2022-23 season, like most of his Liverpool teammates. Following a raft of serious injuries and underwhelming performances, there have been question marks over the English defender’s future at Anfield.

Once rated highly in England, Gomez’s now no spring chicken. He is 26 and a total of 108 Premier League appearances is a seriously paltry number for a player who has been with Liverpool since 2015.

Yes, the Englishman has struggled with a number of injury issues during his career, which in many ways has stalled his progression and development, but if Gomez stays with Jurgen Klopp’s side he really needs to start delivering.

  1. Ben Chilwell (Chelsea)

At 26, Ben Chilwell should be entering the peak of his career, but he has endured two injury-hit campaigns at Chelsea since arriving at Stamford Bridge from Leicester City in the summer of 2020.

A hamstring injury sustained in October last year saw him miss out on the Qatar World Cup. The England international was fit from February until May before another hamstring issue ended his season prematurely.

Injuries and inconsistency have held Chilwell’s career back at Chelsea, limiting him to just 85 appearances across three seasons. While the Blues have rewarded Chilwell with a new two-year contract a year after recovering from a torn ACL, he must repay the faith shown in him by the club next season which possibly could be make-or-break.

  1. Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Anthony Martial was essentially handed a lifeline by Ten Hag this past season, but he failed to grab the opportunity with both hands, owing to injury problems.

The French forward had a disappointing loan spell at Sevilla in the second half of 2021-22 season and was pushing for an exit from Man United. However, Ten Hag convinced the player to stay and, after a positive pre-season, Martial looked set to deliver. Unfortunately, he missed the opening two games which United lost, and the 27-year-old’s unavailability in patches continued throughout the season—either due to an Achilles injury, hamstring or hip problem.

A fit and functioning Martial is an asset to United but his availability in recent years has been few and far between. He was a huge let-down last term—his six goals, two assists and generally unimposing displays did little to repay Ten Hag’s faith. The aforementioned numbers aren’t ideal at all when associating with a first-choice striker at a club like United.

Contracted at the club until 2024, with an option for a further year, another underwhelming season—if Martial stays at Old Trafford beyond the summer—could spell the end for him at the elite level of club football.

  1. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)

Since making the switch from Chelsea to Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2019, Christian Pulisic has played over 140 games, winning the Champions League with the Blues during the 2020-21 campaign. But the USA international has failed to nail down a regular spot in the Chelsea starting XI, owing to recurrent injury issues and chronic inconsistency.

Pulisic, 24, struggled to earn regular opportunities under three managers—Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard—last season, starting just eight Premier League games, scoring just once. Regardless of how talented he is, it is definitely a concern that the attacker’s performance levels dropped that greatly. The American needs to ensure that he motivates himself to perform at the highest level, week in, week out.

With Mauricio Pochettino now at the helm of Chelsea, Pulisic can return to top form and be among the players the Argentinean looks to build his squad around. Thus, the upcoming pre-season and the subsequent campaign will be a key period for him in his Chelsea career.

If Pulisic decides to stay put at Chelsea and fight for his place, the 2023-24 season will definitely be make-or-break for him.

  1. Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City)

Kalvin Phillips moved across the Pennines from Leeds United last summer but has seen his game time at Manchester City restricted by a combination of injury and selection decisions. The 27-year-old only managed two Premier League starts, as Pep Guardiola’s Man City won a historic treble.

Phillips is determined not to give up after one season and fight for his place amidst interest from West Ham. There is an increasing likelihood that the England international will be at the Etihad Stadium next season.

It is not panic stations yet, but the 27-year-old could certainly do with using the upcoming pre-season to adapt to Guardiola’s style of play. The potential arrival of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea is bad news for Phillips, who under a manager as ruthless as Guardiola, must return to his best next season or face questions over his long-term future at City.

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