Rashford, Abraham and three other England players with big seasons ahead of them in Premier League

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The Premier League is full of foreign stars after another summer of big-money transfers.

But who are the young English players seeking to make their mark in the competition?

Here, Press Association Sport identifies five English youngsters with big seasons ahead of them.

MARCUS RASHFORD (Manchester United)

Having had his path blocked as United’s centre-forward by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rashford saw Romelu Lukaku take over the number nine shirt following the Belgian’s summer arrival from Everton in a deal worth an initial £75million.

So Rashford – who turns 20 in October – is facing a second season of moving to the wings as United boss Jose Mourinho seeks to utilise the England international’s burning pace.

It may not see Rashford emulate the scoring exploits of his breakthrough season under Mourinho’s predecessor Louis van Gaal, but he is good enough to be a big player in a campaign of high expectation at Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford

JORDAN PICKFORD (Everton)

The 23-year-old became England’s most expensive goalkeeper – and third on the world list – with a £30million summer switch to Everton.

But Pickford showed in Sunderland’s vain relegation battle last term that he is capable of becoming one of the best goalkeepers around.

Blessed with a calm temperament beyond his years, Pickford has distribution skills desired in the modern game to go with his undoubted ability to stop shots and collect crosses.

If Pickford’s development continues at its current pace, Everton’s investment will soon be considered a bargain.

 Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford

DEMARAI GRAY (Leicester)

Signed from Birmingham halfway through Leicester’s title-winning 2015-16 campaign. Gray was always going to need patience to make his mark at the King Power Stadium.

But that patience appears to be wearing thin after the fleet-footed winger made only nine Premier League starts last season.

Gray’s representatives spoke to the Leicester hierarchy this summer about the prospect of more game time for their client and that ambition could hinge on Riyad Mahrez’s future with the Foxes.

But with Premier League rivals circling, the 21-year-old is unlikely to be short of offers were he to become available.

Demarai Gray

Demarai Gray

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (Liverpool)

Made his senior Liverpool debut last October and still has only two Premier League starts to his name.

But such was the maturity he showed during his first-team opportunities – most notably in a frenetic 1-1 draw at Manchester United in January – that there are plenty of observers who believe that regular right-back Nathaniel Clyne could soon be under pressure for his place.

It is a theory that could be put to the test with Clyne set to miss the start of the season through injury.

Whatever happens, the 18-year-old’s pace, directness and technical ability identifies him as one to watch.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold

TAMMY ABRAHAM (Swansea)

The 20-year-old Chelsea striker is ready for the next stage of his career after scoring 26 goals while on loan at Bristol City in the Sky Bet Championship last season.

Abraham has everything a focal-point striker needs today: size, strength and a ruthless streak in front of goal.

Having signed a new five-year contract at Chelsea, the England Under-21 international has headed out loan again to Swansea to gain Premier League experience.

Abraham will have a wise tutor in Fernando Llorente (if the Spaniard stays at Swansea) and another successful season could see him return to Stamford Bridge ready to challenge for a first-team place there.

Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham

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Three key issues Man United boss Mourinho needs to address ahead of the new season

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

The flight back from Macedonia in the early hours Wednesday would have left Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho with plenty to ponder.

Here are some key issues to address…

Settle on a plan

UEFA’s pre-match teamsheet put Manchester United down in a regulation 4-3-3 formation, but soon after kick-off it was apparent that the summer’s 3-5-2 experiment had continued.

Although not discouraging, the results of this weren’t overwhelmingly positive.

There appeared to be confusion in the ranks in regards to pressing, while a bright start quickly ebbed away.

Mourinho must now settle on a tactical plan – like Antonio Conte plus, latterly, arch-nemesis Arsene Wenger – and stick to it.

Jose Mourinho chats to his players during the Super Clash clash against Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho chats to his players during the Super Clash clash against Real Madrid

Closing the gap

In the fallow years since Sir Alex Ferguson departed, premier occasions have become the exception rather than the norm.

Thus, real encouragement can be taken from the fact United were not utterly outclassed by the Champions League holders.

The burning issue now is how can Mourinho close the gap even further?

An elite attacking threat from the left flank is a must, with Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale a pipe dream.

If 3-5-2 is the way forward, upgrades at both wing-back and centre-back must occur.

Paris Saint-Germain rightback Serge Aurier has been linked, while could there yet be a twist in the race for Southampton’s wantaway centreback Virgil van Dijk?

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

What to do with Pogba?

These marquee matches are the ones Paul Pogba was brought back for at an eye-watering – then – world-record price.

This was not as disastrous as Liverpool at home last term, but the France superstar was either peripheral, or too selfish on the rare occasions he was involved.

Worryingly, this sketchy display came from his favourite position drifting to the left of midfield.

Mourinho must dig into his legendary reserve of psychological techniques and tactical knowledge to formulate a way to get Pogba firing.

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba

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Leicester look like a team on the up as they continue to learn from their mistakes

James Piercy 10/08/2017
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Foxes In transition: Leicester.

Leicester took on a dramatic transformation last season; swinging from everyone’s second favourite club to the devil incarnate and definition of everything that is wrong with modern football, before finding middle ground in mediocrity, and in the wider football landscape – irrelevance.

After such skyscraper highs and sink-hole lows of the last two seasons, though, that is probably a nice place to be. The Foxes go into this season with the pressure and focus largely off and with the exception of a Riyad Mahrez transfer saga Part II bubbling under, have a settled squad and some eye-catching additions.

In theory, everything is set up for them to compete with Southampton and Everton to be the ‘best of the rest’ as the Premier League’s elite ‘Big Six’ look to be playing in their own mini league once again.

Getting the Mahrez situation out of the way first: Leicester, given what they now possess in their squad, how inconsistent he was last season and that he turns 27 in February, this will probably be the last summer they are able to sell him at a genuine premium figure.

His inept performances, stemming from frustration and uncertainty over his future and a subsequent disinterested attitude, proved endemic of a Foxes team who took their eye off the ball. But Claudio Ranieri simply had to play him with a Champions League campaign to navigate.

That necessity isn’t there now, at least not at such a glaring level, and in the summer business negotiated by Jon Rudkin, Craig Shakespeare has a rich and varied crop to choose from who look more than capable of cementing their status as a top-10 side, at worst. Selling your most talented player doesn’t always equate to a supposed lack of ambition, sometimes it just makes sense.

You could argue we’ve been here before 12 months ago when, in the wake of head of recruitment Steve Walsh’s departure to Everton, Leicester hurriedly spent £82 million (Dh391m) to bolster their squad for Europe. Ahmed Musa, Islam Slimani, Nampalys Mendy, Ron-Robert Zieler and Bartosz Kapustka looked, on the face of it, good additions but contributions ranged from sporadic to anonymous.

Zieler and Kapustka have already gone and the likelihood is that none of that quintet will be at the club come September 1. However, this time Rudkin appears to have got it right, or at least given himself a better chance of getting it right with proven commodities who are also yet to reach their ceiling.

In Harry Maguire he has a young-ish and improving centre-back, who was excellent in a poor Hull team last term and can energise and remould a defence that was cumbersome and too easy to negotiate for opposing teams.

Eldin Jakupovic is an astute arrival as Kasper Schmeichel’s No2, also proving his ability with the Tigers while Spanish midfielder Vicente Iborra will fill some of creativity void, assuming Mahrez is off.

New recruit: Kelechi Iheanacho.

New recruit: Kelechi Iheanacho.

Kelechi Iheanacho is the final major addition and – bizarrely – £3m (Dh14m) cheaper than what Slimani cost. The Nigerian averages a Premier League goal every 106 league minutes –predominantly as a substitute – and is just 20. Leicester’s more direct style should suit his game far more than Guardiola’s purposeful passing rhythm. But that buy-back clause was also inserted with good reason by Manchester City.

Wilfred Ndidi has all the tools to be one of the most devastating and, therefore, sought after box-to-box midfielders in the country; Jamie Vardy is playing for a World Cup place, in what will be his last chance to play in such a tournament; Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray are also exceptional young talents on an upward curve.
Just like Leicester.

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