Top 10 Prem breakout candidates
Raheem Sterling leads list of players poised for big campaigns in 2014-15
Prem previews: Breakout players | Best IX | Betting guide
The 2014-15 Premier League season begins Aug. 16, and among the many interesting storylines is which players are in line to become must-watch entities in the world's most popular domestic league.
Similar to players who last year ascended to the upper level of the Premier League, such as Swansea's Wilfried Bony and Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, this season's group of breakout candidates includes those who have made a name for themselves and are now faced with rising to the next level in order to help their teams succeed. While many of these players are only starting to realize their full potential, they are also in situations in which their form and consistency will have a direct impact on their team's fortunes in the coming season.
Here are my top 10 breakout players for the 2014-15 Premier League season:
1. Raheem Sterling
Club: Liverpool | Position: Midfield | Age: 19 | Country: England
Sterling's play will be a critical factor in Liverpool's success this season, and the 19-year-old will be relied on heavily to put pressure on opposing defenders with his pace and dribbling ability. He scored nine goals and added five assists in Liverpool's highly publicized attack last season, and ranked just behind Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho with 25 touches per 90 minutes in the attacking third. Sterling will be called upon this season to make something out of nothing when Liverpool is stalled in the attack, and his ability to create chances and draw opposing defenders will open up opportunities for teammates to take advantage of extra space going forward.
To read Adrian Melville's full ranking of the top 10 breakout candidates in the Premier League this season, sign up for Insider today.
Soccer on ESPN Insider
Doug McIntyre provides an updated long-term projection of the USMNT formation and starting lineup for the 2018 World Cup.