As we count down the hours to another highly anticipated Premier League season, fans around the globe are elated to welcome their favourite superstars back to their screens.
Everyone has their eyes on the various mammoth summer signings who are expected to make a huge impact for their new clubs, including big names Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho, Romelu Lukaku and Jack Grealish.
But as newly promoted clubs Brentford, Watford and Norwich quietly enter the league scene, they bring with them fresh, new and talented players ready to shock the top flight.
Here are a few names outside of the spotlight to make note of, from each of the three sides promoted from the Championship.
Brentford: Ivan Toney
After nine failed playoff attempts and over 70 years out of the top division, Brentford are finally a Premier League club. The Bees were finally able to do so particularly through the shrewd signing of goalscoring striker, Ivan Toney.
Toney, formerly a Newcastle United reject, has been able to successfully rebuild his career in the lower leagues over the past couple of years. This has allowed him to secure a move to a promotion seeking club in Brentford, following an impressive total of 40 goals in League One with Peterborough.
The English striker took his chance superbly, breaking the goalscoring record for an individual player in the second tier and capping off a playoff winning campaign with 31 league goals.
But Toney isn’t done just yet. The 25-year-old has reached the top flight once again, hungry to put his disappointing Newcastle days behind him and kick on as one of the Prem’s top goalscorers.
The forward’s aerial talents, hold-up play and incredible knack for finishing anything in front of goal will be crucial to his side’s survival hopes in the top flight. The Brentford star striker will definitely be one to watch for the upcoming season, as one of his side’s most crucial players.
Watford: Ismaila Sarr
You may remember young Senegalese attacker Ismailia Sarr, who brought Liverpool’s 2020 ‘invincible’ title run to an end, scoring a brace on a memorable night in Premier League history.
The forward, now 23, is ready to return to the top flight, with more consistent performances for his newly-promoted Watford side.
After being relegated in his first season in England’s top flight, where he missed ten league games, Sarr was able to gain an increased team role under new manager, Xisco Muñoz.
This improvement in play time paid off for the Hornets’ youngster, leading his side in scoring for the season, netting a career-high 13 times. On top of this, the youngster recorded an impressive four assists, playing a controlling part in Watford’s return to the English top flight.
During this time in the second tier, Sarr was also able to form a scary attacking partnership with Brazilian youth product, Joao Pedro. The promising youthful pair would combine for a total of 22 league goals, evidently suiting head coach Muñoz’s attacking 4-4-2 play style.
The youngster will definitely play an important part in Muñoz’s plans for the upcoming season, as a part of an exciting frontline boasting the Champions League-experienced, Emmanuel Dennis, club legend Troy Deeney and top flight proven goalscorer, Josh King.
Now back in the ‘big time’, this time with more experience, goals and confidence under his belt, Ismaila Sarr is prepared to face the challenge of keeping his young Hornets side in the Premier League.
Norwich: Billy Gilmour
Norwich City, the Premier League’s most relegated club, has returned to the top flight once again, faced with the almost-impossible task of survival once again.
Upon their imminent return from the Championship, the Canaries have gone about their summer business with smart, small buys to attempt to improve their starting squad from merely Championship standard.
One of the ‘under-the-radar’ purchases that could prove pivotal is the loan signing of promising young Chelsea and Scotland midfielder, Billy Gilmour.
The youthful starlet has already made a name for himself for both club and country at just the tender age of 20.
The creative centre-midfielder is already a UEFA Champions League winner for his domestic club Chelsea, and has impressed in the Premier League in starts, with notable performances coming against Everton and Liverpool last season.
Even for his national team, he has already become an integral part of the Scottish midfield, being one of the first names on manager Steve Clark’s team sheet.
The Rangers and Chelsea youth product stood out for his country in all three of his appearances at this summer’s Euros, most notably recording a man of the match award and a clean sheet against finalists England in the group stage. And he’s only just turned 20 last month!
The promising young player has endured all these impressive accolades and performances so far in his short career, but hasn’t yet been able to entirely prove his worth with consistent playing time.
But now his chance has come at newly-promoted Norwich, replacing last season’s star loanee and Tottenham youngster Oliver Skipp, who is now breaking through Spurs’ first-team line-up in pre-season.
The young Scottish maestro will hope to replicate Skipp’s path in the top flight, as a successful first professional campaign for Norwich could maybe see him break into Chelsea’s midfield in the near future.
But for now, young Billy Gilmour has an important season ahead of him, and is definitely one to watch, as he opens his Norwich account against 2019-2020 league champions Liverpool on Sunday morning (AEST).