Football: Four players to follow in the 1993-94 season

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The Independent Online
STAN COLLYMORE

(Nottingham Forest)

Forest, whose lack of a goalscorer cost them so dear last season, are deemed to have paid over the odds for the Crystal Palace discard, but the man who knows him best is certain that Stan really is the Man - even at pounds 2m. Colin Murphy, who took him to Southend for pounds 150,000, says Collymore will score 25 goals this season, and play for England. 'They laughed at me when I said it about Mick Harford and John Fashanu, when I had them at Lincoln, but I was right. They'll probably laugh this time, too, but I know it will be three out of three.'

STEVE HOWEY

(Newcastle United)

Up on Tyneside they are never afraid to saddle young players with the millstone of history. The new Jackie Milburns have been legion, Lee Clark has been dubbed a second Gazza, and now Kevin Keegan is talking of Howey as another Alan Hansen. The praise could hardly be higher - nor the burden of expectation on a 21-year-old who was playing as a striker less than 18 months ago. Well above average on the ground, he wins most of his aerial battles, too, and good judges in the North-east are tipping Howey to play for England.

RICKY OTTO

(Southend United)

IF AT first you don't succeed. Twelve months ago, these columns tipped Otto as one to watch in the belief that he was about to get his chance in the big time with Coventry. Whoops. However the winger blew it by refusing terms, condemning himself to another season in the backwaters, with Leyton Orient. Opportunity has knocked again, albeit at First Division level, and the word from Roots Hall is that the 25-year-old, whose career was interrupted by a spell at Her Majesty's pleasure, is eager to make up for lost time.

JONATHAN CROSS

(Wrexham)

BRIAN FLYNN, manager at the Racecourse, confidently believes he has a pounds 1m player in this solid left-winger, whose progress is being monitored by Manchester United, Liverpool and Coventry City, among others. English-born, but a product of the Welsh club's YTS scheme, Cross, 18, enjoyed an excellent first season as a winger capable of wandering, to telling effect, all across the front line. The scouts were out in force again last weekend, when he scored Wrexham's winner against Linfield, and the big move can only be a matter of time.

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