Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)
In Stoke’s opening-day 1-1 draw with newly promoted Middlesbrough, Cameron was an unused substitute for Mark Hughes’ side. This is perhaps a touch concerning for the versatile defender, as he was a mainstay in the Potters’ squad throughout last season, but there are reports that he was limited to just one training session last week due to illness, which would help explain why he may not have been ready to start. Stoke haven’t really made many alterations at the back, though, and it’s likely that the 31-year-old will be given a chance to win a starting job sometime in the early portion of the season.
Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough)
Guzan also watched on as his new side tied Cameron’s Stoke City, but he did so from the stands rather than the bench, as Guzan was not selected for the 18-man squad. Victor Valdes got the nod to start with Dimi Konstantopoulos chosen for the bench by Aitor Karanka. Valdes arguably could have done
Emerson Hyndman (Bournemouth)
After suffering an ankle injury early in the preseason, Hyndman was not available for selection for Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe as the Cherries lost 3-1 to Manchester United. The 20-year-old midfielder will have plenty of competition for playing time in Bournemouth’s midfield, which has been boosted by the arrivals of two other new players — Marc Wilson from Stoke and Lewis Cook from Leeds — this offseason. However, the former Fulham youngster is highly rated by Howe and should receive a chance to impress at his new club when he returns to fitness.
Matt Miazga (Chelsea)
While he’s still young and highly thought of at Stamford Bridge, it looks exceedingly likely that Miazga will be leaving Chelsea for the season. He wasn’t given a Premier League squad number by new Blues coach Antonio Conte, and, as such, didn’t play in Chelsea’s 2-1 win Monday over West Ham. There have been plenty of whispers about potential loan destinations for Miazga, but he looks set to reject a move to Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt after bids came in for him from two unspecified PL clubs, according to reports over the weekend. No matter where he plays his football this season, there’s no question that the 21-year-old needs game time if he is to improve enough to break into Chelsea’s squad.
DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
Unlike Miazga, Yedlin was given a squad number by Mauricio Pochettino, but he wasn’t in the 18-man squad for Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Everton. However, it seems like the 23-year-old is nearing the White Hart Lane exit door, with The Daily Mail reporting this week that PL newcomers Hull City and Championship club Derby County have each offered Tottenham around £3.5 million for the right back. Sunderland — whom Yedlin played for last season on loan — are also said to be interested in signing him permanently, so it certainly appears that the defender’s stay at Spurs will be coming to a conclusion before the end of the transfer window. Stay tuned.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur)
Carter-Vickers was on Spurs’ bench for their opening-day tie at Goodison Park. That’s a very good sign for the 18-year-old, even if it isn’t surprising. Pochettino has publicly said that he doesn’t need another center back for the upcoming campaign, which likely means Carter-Vickers is fourth on the depth chart behind Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, and Kevin Wimmer, so it’s very likely that he’ll make his first-team debut for Tottenham sometime this season, whether in the PL, Champions League, or a domestic cup competition (which seems more likely, barring injuries).
Lynden Gooch (Sunderland)
Well, last week, we wrote that Gooch’s top-flight minutes would be limited this season. So, naturally, he was the only American to see the pitch in the PL during the opening weekend. Gooch was a shock inclusion in David Moyes’ first Sunderland squad, starting and playing 65 minutes on the left wing as the Black Cats conceded a late own goal to lose 2-1 to Manchester City. While he didn’t make an impact on the score sheet, Gooch provided a handful of bright moments for Sunderland in his PL debut, completing two dribbles and putting some dangerous crosses into the box, while also picking up a yellow card in the contest. It’s unlikely that he’ll remain in the starting lineup through the whole season, but it was certainly a memorable occasion for the 20-year-old, and his surprisingly decent showing (he was Sunderland’s highest-rated player on the day by ESPNFC’s Black Cats blogger) should lead to more chances in the near future.
Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal)
With Arsenal still deciding whether or not to send Zelalem out on loan this season, the 19-year-old is unlikely to feature for the first team in the near future. But, though he wasn’t selected for the senior side’s 4-3 defeat to Liverpool, he was involved in the U-23 team’s 2-0 defeat to Reading as they started their season in the rebranded Premier League 2. Zelalem was Arsenal’s most threatening player in the first half, too, curling one early attempt just over before hitting the bar directly from a corner kick. He came off in the 61st minute with the game still deadlocked before Reading scored two late goals to earn the win. It’s unclear if Zelalem will remain with the squad, as a second year out on loan would provide the midfielder with more first-team chances than he’ll receive at the Emirates, but if he does stay at Arsenal this season, he could at least have a big impact for the U-23s.
Tim Ream (Fulham)
As he was on the opening weekend, Ream was a late entrant into the game, coming on the 90th minute to help Fulham see out a 2-1 lead against Preston, which he did successfully. Ream also went 90 minutes for the Cottagers in the EFL Cup (formerly called the League Cup or Capital One Cup), helping them to a 3-2 road victory over League Two Leyton Orient, although he didn’t do much of note in the contest.
Luca de la Torre (Fulham)
De la Torre was on our watch list last week, but he gets bumped up to the real list after making his senior debut in the aforementioned EFL Cup win. The 18-year-old played 88 minutes at Orient, and while he didn’t play a role in any of Fulham’s goals, the winger was consistently involved in the Cottagers’ attacks throughout the contest. He returned to the U-23 side for their 1-0 win over Blackburn on Monday, playing 90 minutes and having one shot tip off the crossbar. It’s more likely that the teenager remains with the youth squad over the course of the season than it is that he breaks into the first team on a consistent basis, but he earns a spot on the list for now courtesy of a solid debut. At worst, he looks like a player to watch in the future.
Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest)
Like his fellow fullback Ream, Lichaj was a substitute on the weekend after playing 90 minutes in the Cup during the midweek, although he didn’t get off the bench for Forest in their 3-0 loss to Brighton on Friday. In their 2-1 EFL Cup win over Doncaster Rovers, Lichaj went the distance, though he wasn’t too involved in determining the result. The veteran should see some action in the Championship soon considering Forest’s defense has conceded six times in two games, but it looks like he won’t be a sure thing in the starting lineup week in and week out under new manager Philippe Montanier.
Andrija Novakovich (Reading)
The 19-year-old striker wasn’t involved in either of Reading’s senior games this week, but he did play in the 2-0 U-23 win over Arsenal. Novakovich went 72 minutes for the Royals, leaving with his team up 1-0. Considering his absence from the EFL Cup side, Novakovich will probably spend the early portion of the season with the reserves barring a loan spell, but he has the potential to play his way into the senior side, especially if the Royals struggle to score goals this season.
Danny Williams (Reading)
As usual, Williams was heavily involved in both of Reading’s games, playing 90 minutes in both their cup win over Plymouth and their league loss to Wolves. He created one good opportunity that took a last-ditch block to stop in the former contest and was one of Reading’s better players in the latter, earning a 6.8 whoscored.com match rating, second-highest in the side. Williams passed at a 95 percent clip against Wolves, recording three tackles and missing the target with one shot attempt. Assuming he stays with the club through deadline day, it looks
Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
Spector did not play in Birmingham’s cup loss to Oxford United, but he was back manning his usual right back slot in their 2-1 win over Leeds on Saturday. While the goal against wasn’t Spector’s fault, the 30-year-old struggled all afternoon against the dangerous Alex Mowatt on Leeds’ left side. Spector finished with the second-worst whoscored.com rating on the side, ahead of only keeper Thomas Kuszczak, losing possesion four times, although he did make two late tackles to help the Blues hold on to their three points. He could end up having a big challenge on his hands this season, and Spector will certainly have to improve his play if he is to keep hold of a starting spot.
Gboly Ariyibi (Chesterfield)
After struggling in Chesterfield’s EFL Cup loss to Rochdale in the midweek, Ariyibi was exceptional on the weekend, causing constant danger to Swindon’s backline in a 3-1 League One win. His best moment came in the 64th minute, when the 21-year-old dribbled through a sea of opposing defenders before centering to striker Ched Evans, who tapped home to make it 3-0. The speedy winger earned some strong words of praise from his manager after his showing, although there are questions about whether he’ll remain at Chesterfield moving forward, with a number of Championship clubs reportedly interested in acquiring his services before the end of the window.
Duane Holmes (Scunthorpe United)
Holmes started his first games for Scunthorpe this week, going 114 minutes in an extra-time win over Notts County in the EFL Cup and 57 minutes in a 2-2 league draw with Fleetwood. He came close to creating a goal early in the league contest, seeing an cross/shot roll across the goal line and past onrushing teammates who couldn’t add the necessary touch. Still, it’s a good sign for Holmes’s future that the 21-year-old has played his way into the lineup so early in his Scunthorpe career after his summer move from Huddersfield.
Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig)
It’s been a long road to recovery for Boyd, but it looks like the striker is close to returning to the fold for newly promoted Leipzig. Boyd played in a handful of preseason friendlies for the club, and the 25-year-old striker is expected to play a role in Leipzig’s debut Bundesliga campaign. He also could be close to returning to the USMNT fold, as assistant coach Andi Herzog said this week that Boyd would be considered for the team when he does make his return for Leipzig, who face Dynamo Dresden this coming Saturday in the DfB-Pokal and start their Bundesliga season August 28 against Hoffenheim.
John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin)
After an offseason filled with rumors about Brooks’s future, the whispers have quieted of late. It seems likely now that the rapidly improving center back will be a part of Hertha’s squad to begin the season, and if he remains in the German capital through the transfer deadline, he’ll be a cornerstone of the club’s success this year. Hertha face Jahn Regensburg in Cup play next weekend before opening their league campaign August 28 with a visit from Freiburg.
Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Chandler — who is looking to solidify his place in the starting lineup under new manager Niko Kovac — is making some strides forward, starting in another friendly this past week, a 3-1 win over Celta Vigo. Frankfurt begin the Bundesliga season on August 27 against Schalke after a DFB Pokal matchup with 3. Liga side FC Magdeburg this weekend.
Julian Green (Bayern Munich)
Green was an unused substitute for Bayern in their 2-0 German Super Cup win over Borussia Dortmund. He didn’t play, but it is a more than encouraging sign that he is on the bench after spending almost every minute of last year with the reserves. A break into the first team could come as soon as this weekend, when Bayern play Carl Zeiss Jena of the Regionalliga Nordost in the Cup. The juggernaut opens its Bundesliga campaign on August 26 against Werder Bremen.
According to mlssoccer.com, Johannsson is very close to a return from injury for Bremen, who begin the league season with that aforementioned matchup with Bayern. They play Sportfreunde Lotte on August 21 in their opening-round DfB Pokal matchup.
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Johnson should be back in his normal spot in the starting lineup when Gladbach face off with Young Boys in a critical Champions League playoff tie on Tuesday. After that, they play Regionalliga Nord side SV Drochtersen/Assel in the Pokal before a second leg with Young Boys next week. It is a busy beginning to the season for Gladbach to say the least, and Johnson should have a role to play.
Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)
Before Ingolstadt begin the Bundesliga campaign against Hamburg on August 27, they will face off with Erzgebirge Aue in the Cup this weekend. Morales’s useage for the upcoming season still looks uncertain, but he made plenty of appearances a season ago, so he should see some action in at least one of the early-season fixtures.
Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
Pulisic, a bit surprisingly, did not make the 18-man roster for Dortmund in the Super Cup loss to Bayern. At 17, there is still plenty of time for Pulisic to get minutes, which he will do, as Dortmund play Eintracht Trier in the Pokal before their Bundesliga opening-day fixture against Mainz. There is plenty of competition for him this season, however. Pulisic did appear for 90 minutes on Monday in a 3-0 friendly win over Sandhausen.
Bobby Wood (Hamburg)
It is uncertain just how much time Wood will see this season, but given his scoring record for Union Berlin, it is safe to say he is going to see the pitch with his new club. Hamburg’s aforementioned matchup with Ingolstadt will kick off their Bundesliga campaign following a Pokal fixture against FSV Zwickau.
Russell Canouse (Hoffenheim, on loan to Bochum)
Canouse appeared in his second straight 2. Bundesliga fixture, coming on as an 85th minute sub in a 1-1 draw with Karlsruher. He may see more action this weekend as Bochum were gifted a great first round DFB Pokal matchup with fourth tier Astoria Walldorf.
Jerome Kiesewetter (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
Things might be looking up for Kiesewetter, who started for Dusseldorf in a 1-0 win over his former club Stuttgart. The youngster was taken out as a 71st minute sub, but it is refreshing to see him crack into the first team, something that really didn’t happen for him last year at Stuttgart. Dusseldorf play 3. Liga club Hansa Rostock in the cup this weekend.
Fafa Picault (St. Pauli)
After getting an assist last Monday, Picault played a full 90 minutes this week in a 2-0 loss to Eintracht Braunschweig. He’s getting minutes early in the season, which is an obvious positive, but St. Pauli are the only team without a point in the whole league. It is only two games in, though, so it’s far from time to worry.
Andrew Wooten (Sandhausen)
Wooten played for an hour before being removed for a sub in a 2-0 loss to Erzgebirge Aue, and then played the second half of the aforementioned friendly against Dortmund. Wooten is clearly doing enough to stay in the starting lineup for a side which barely secured its safety a season ago.
Jordan Siebatcheu (Reims)
Siebatcheu continued his role as a substitute, entering in the 71st minute of Reims’ scoreless draw with Valenciennes. He continues to be on the peripheral of the first team, but there is still plenty of time for improvement and minutes this season for the 20-year-old.
Ethan Horvath (Molde)
Horvath kept a clean sheet this weekend in a 2-0 win over Aalesund. His performance included three saves, and it was an important win for Molde, who are still in the hunt for a Europa League place.
Bjorn-Maars Johnsen (Hearts)
Johnsen watched from the stands as he was not named in the 18-man squad for Hearts’ nil-nil draw with Aberdeen.
Perry Kitchen (Hearts)
Kitchen did not start either for Hearts, but he did enter the game at halftime and play 45 minutes as he works his way back to fitness following a preseason injury. He did little of note during his half on the pitch in the draw.
Desevio Payne (FC Groningen)
Payne was not in the Groningen squad which lost 2-0 to Excelsior on the weekend. He might be the beneficiary of a mild shakeup, however, as Groningen have lost twice, conceded seven goals, and are yet to score themselves.
Rubio Rubin (Utrecht)
Rubin started and played 73 minutes for Utrecht in a 2-2 draw with Heerenveen. He did little of note, however, and despite his side tallying twice, he was uninvolved and finished with a weak 6.3 rating on whoscored.com.