Before last season, you probably didn't know who Kaoru Mitoma was. You'd maybe heard of Moisés Caicedo. And while you'd definitely seen Martin Odegaard play before, you also probably weren't sure what the big deal was about this slender attacking midfielder who couldn't really run fast, wasn't asked to drop deep to defend much, and was only able to combine for 11 non-penalty goals and assists across 32 starts.
(OK, fine, that extremely specific third example is just me. It's what I thought.)
Well, before this season, Mitoma is now quite clearly one of the best wingers in the Premier League. Caicedo seems likely to eventually change teams for a transfer fee that continues to inch up near $100 million. And Odegaard is simply one of the best midfielders in the world.
All three of them had breakout years in 2022-23, which prompts the question: who might be next? Who are the soon-to-be-stars of the 2023-24 Premier League season?
So with the campaign kicking off Friday night as Manchester City visit Burnley, I've identified five different kinds of breakouts and selected a potential name (or two) for each one.