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Six Premier League Players Who Will Surprise You in 2015/16

05/07/2015 23:20 BST | Updated 05/07/2016 10:59 BST

Memories of the 2014/15 Premier League season are still fresh, but with the new campaign now only just over a month away, it's time to look forwards and not backwards.

Excitement has rarely been higher ahead of the big August kick-off and people are already trying to identify who will fly and who flop in 2015/16. But what about those individuals who may surprise you?

6. Matt Ritchie

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Bournemouth are something of an unknown quantity heading into their debut Premier League campaign. Collectively, the squad has very little top flight experience, but that might just work in their favour, with more established clubs unsure of what to expect.

Matt Ritchie encapsulates that sentiment more than most. The 25-year-old is a product of the lower leagues and is completely untested at this level, but no midfield player scored more goals in the Championship in 2014/15, while he also led the division in assists. Most importantly, he has momentum on his side and that, as has been demonstrated by individuals like Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin, is huge.

5. Andre Ayew

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Swansea beat off rumoured interest from the likes of Everton and Newcastle to land Ghanaian international winger Andre Ayew on a free transfer and it could prove to be a stroke of genius from Garry Monk and the club hierarchy.

The Swans' style of play is geared towards talented wingers and the likes of Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge and Jefferson Montero have all been a rich source of creativity and goals in recent seasons. At just 25 years of age, Ayew is still relatively young, despite all of his experience, and everything is in place for him to hit the ground running.

4. Jack Rodwell

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Once upon a time, Jack Rodwell was heralded as a future England captain. He was a teenage sensation at Everton and was expected to drop back into defence and develop into a commanding ball-playing centre-back in the shape of Franco Baresi or Bobby Moore.

It didn't happen that way, though, and even after leaving Manchester City for Sunderland, the midfielder had quite a poor 2014/15 season. The difference now is that he will have a full pre-season with Dick Advocaat guiding him. The time for Rodwell to become world class has probably passed him by, but 2015/16 should offer a marked and surprising improvement.

3. Jack Wilshere

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No one has ever questioned Jack Wilshere's football ability. But what has held him back up to this point in his career is the string of persistent and often long term injury problems, as well as more recent questions surrounding his conduct and character.

After missing six months of the 2014/15 season with an ankle problem, Wilshere ended the campaign very strongly indeed, before backing it up with two stunning international goals for England. He has the quality to command a place in Arsenal's strongest team and as he begins to mature, that will become even more apparent next season. That is, if he can stay fit.

2. Remy Cabella

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Remy Cabella was Newcastle's major marquee signing last season, but the circumstances in which the French winger arrived could hardly have been worse. The off-field situation made it hard for even the seasoned veterans in the squad, let alone an individual trying to settle into a new league and new football culture.

Cabella has already been linked with a move away, but the stability of having a new, technically minded manager like Steve McClaren in charge will do him the world of good. The French international showed occasional flashes of his previous Montpellier form last season, but Newcastle fans can hope to see much, much more in 2015/16.

1. Luke Shaw

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Cruelly already written off as a flop by many, Luke Shaw didn't have the kind of debut season he would have wished for at Manchester United. He is yet to repay the reported £30m fee that made him the world's most expensive teenager and spent most of 2014/15 struggling for fitness.

When he did play in the closing stages of the season, however, Shaw was getting forward with frightening regularity from left-back and was improving defensively all the time. After a full summer of rest, followed by a full pre-season, expect a fitter and stronger player to return in 2015/16, one that will only keep getting better and better, week by week.

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