The announcement that Steven Gerrard is to leave Liverpool at the end of the current campaign will not only be a significant loss for the Red’s midfield engine room but the Premier League will also miss a talent which has graced English football for most of this century. He has been an influential player at Liverpool and with England for may seasons and will be a hard act to follow. However, while some players move to new challenges, other talents have emerged in recent months which suggests that the Premier League will still provide its fair share of flair and skill.
Few football fans had heard of the names Harry Kane and Ayoze Perez prior to the current campaign but with Kane becoming the dominant striker within the Tottenham ranks and Perez being compared to club legend Peter Beardsley at Newcastle, their performances are beginning to be noted among the rich European football clubs.
Kane is only 21 years old and a product of the Tottenham youth system with the football club loaning him to Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester to gain valuable experience. During his first match in a starting role for Spurs in April 2014, he scored during the second half and has rarely stopped finding the net ever since that day. He netted in two subsequent games and has amassed 17 goals this term while probably becoming the first name on the team sheet. His selection at full international level for England must be a near certainty as he has claimed eight goals in ten appearances at under-21 level.
On New Year’s Day, Kane was instrumental in helping his Tottenham team beat league leaders Chelsea 5-3 by scoring a brace and being involved in most of Spurs more dangerous attacking thrusts. The same day also witnessed a performance by Ayoze Perez of Newcastle which was described by many onlookers as brilliant.
Although Newcastle only drew 3-3 with Burnley, Perez continually attacked the opposition defence and his assist with the third goal scored by Moussa Sissoko was a further demonstration of flair on the ball rarely seen at St James’ Park in recent seasons.
Like Kane, Perez is only 21 years old and was signed by Newcastle for less than £2 million from Spanish team Tenerife in June 2014. Such has been his impact on Tyneside that he now being regarded as one of the more valuable members of the first team and he has managed to maintain his increasingly impressive form throughout the hectic Christmas schedule. The only worry among Newcastle fans is that he will be sold for a much higher fee before the end of the summer transfer window.
Undoubtedly, there are several other promising players in the Premier League producing similarly dynamic performances at club level but as Gerrard announces his impending departure from Liverpool, Kane and Perez are worth noting as footballers who are producing consistently high class displays on a weekly basis.