We’re less than a month away from the summer break in Europe coming to an end. This season will be an important one for many Americans, and these are the players who are poised to break out this season.
Erik Palmer-Brown - Centerback, Manchester City (loaned to NAC Breda)
The 21-year-old signed with Manchester City in January, but he isn’t eligible for a work permit in the UK. So he was immediately sent out on loan to KV Kortrijk of the Belgian League. He didn’t play much until the last few weeks of the year though. This season, Palmer-Brown is headed on loan to NAC Breda in the Netherlands. Look for him to play early and often this coming year. The Eredivisie was very good for Matt Miazga’s development. The hope is that it will have the same effect on EPB.
Timothy Weah - Winger/Striker, Paris St. Germain
Weah has burst onto the scene in recent months, appearing in a few outings for PSG late last season. With the arrival of a new coach and several players away on duty for the World Cup, the 18-year-old is getting extended opportunities in preseason. With a famous last name and tremendous upside, Weah has his sights set on the highest levels of the sport. Firstly though, he will look to appear on a regular basis for the French club with aspirations of a Champions League crown.
Emerson Hyndman - Central Midfielder, AFC Bournemouth
Hyndman has been talked about for a long time, but he hasn’t yet lived up to the promise. Since his move to Bournemouth in the summer of 2016, Hyndman has been unhealthy for each of the two preseasons he’s been there. This summer is different though. Hyndman looks healthy and confident and ready to make an impact in the Premier League. Hyndman got his first Premier League start on the final matchday of the season last year. If he can keep performing this preseason and during training, look to see a lot more this season.
Jonathan Amon - Winger, FC Nordsjaelland
Amon is easily the least well-known of the players on this list, but he may well wind up being the best of the bunch. Amon, a South Carolina native, is an electric player capable of beating defenders 1v1. Amon first appeared in the Danish Superliga last fall. Injuries dramatically slowed his season down, but he showed some flashes of brilliance. When he gets back to health, the 19-year-old will be looked upon as a key piece for a team currently playing qualifiers to get into the Europa League group stage.
Josh Sargent - Striker, Werder Bremen
Sargent is another very talented player looking to make waves this season. After signing on his 18th birthday in February, Sargent was forced to wait to feature in competitions until this fall. Bremen seem very high on the young man who shined for the US at the U-17 and U-20 World Cups last year. Look for him to get his professional feet wet this season.
Keaton Parks - Central Midfielder, SL Benfica
Parks signed with Benfica’s reserves last summer following a stint with Varzim SC. He went on to make a handful of cameos for the Benfica first team after impressing with the B team. At 6-foot-4 and primarily a central midfielder, he strikes quite the figure. The smooth midfielder will be looking for a more regular place in the first team as he heads into the season.
Nick Taitague - Attacking Midfielder, FC Schalke
This one is a bit of a wilcard. Taitague may have already appeared for Schalke’s first team if it hadn’t been for some untimely injuries last season. The 19-year-old has outstanding feet and slick dribbling moves. If he can get healthy and impress in training, look for him to push for some first team minutes later this season.
Hit the comments section to discuss these players or other players who you could see breaking through this year.