Meet the 5 Players who have started pre-season in fine fashion

The Premier League season may be three-and-a-half weeks away, but with the 20 top-flight clubs beginning their pre-season regimes, players will be keen to make an impact.

And while the plethora of matches against lower league opposition needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, there is no denying the benefits of a successful summer.

So with 10 Premier League clubs in action in the last week, we have picked five players that shone over the weekend.

Dwight Gayle

With speculation surrounding the arrival of another striker at Selhurst Park, potentially in the shape of Charlie Austin or Loic Remy, it’s fair to expect Gayle to up his game over the summer.

Having scored just five goals last season, his hat-trick against Barnet will be a welcome addition to his tally in the red and blue of Palace.

The 24-year-old didn’t score in his last 14 competitive fixtures at the back end of the 2014-15, so with a bright start to pre-season under his belt, expect him to come out all guns blazing in the Premier League.


Conor McAleny

With injuries blighting his short career so far, Everton’s 22-year-old midfielder will be desperately trying to make up for lost time for Roberto Martinez’s men.

That being said, even he was taken aback by the level of performance he delivered in the Toffees’ 4-0 victory over Swindon.

“I wasn’t expecting that myself! At this stage, it’s all about just getting that sharpness and fitness, but I will take that any day!” he told the Liverpool Echo.

A goal and two assists against the Robins will certainly stand him good stead for the season to come.


Cameron Jerome

Jerome enjoyed a revival of sorts in the Championship last season, bagging 20 goals, a stark contrast to the two he managed in 2013-14.

And the 28-year-old continued in a fine vein of form in his opening 45 of the summer.

Irrespective of the opposition, in this case Eastern Counties League Premier Division side Gorleston, scoring a hat-trick in the opening 45 minutes is some going, and Canaries fans will be hoping the former Birmingham man can play a major part in their survival bid next season.


Emanuele Giaccherini

The exploits of Giaccherini have been credited as a major factor behind Sunderlan’s successful aversion of an embarrassing upset last Thursday.

Having gone two nil down to Northern League Premier Division club Darlington 1883, the Black Cats midfielder led the way as Dick Advocaat’s men mounted a reversal.

Two goals and a dominant display in the centre of the park saw the Italian handed the Man of the Match gong.

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Odion Ighalo

The Watford man has certainly been firing warning shots to the Hornets prospective opponents ahead of his maiden campaign in the Premier League.

Though the games were against lower and non-league opposition, the Nigerian has shown he knows exactly where the goal is in pre-season.

A brace in Watford’s 4-0 victory over National League South side St Albans City was followed up with the second in the top-flight new boys’ draw at MK Dons.


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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.