Football: Phil Shaw's five to follow this season

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The Independent Online

Even with money to burn, one area Mike Walker has not felt compelled to strengthen is central defence - and the emergence of 20-year-old Unsworth explains why. Scored with a stunning volley on his debut in '92, only to be overlooked until the change in management. Originally a left-back, has switched to the middle where his pace and touch have prompted comparisons with Kevin Ratcliffe; praise indeed.

NII LAMPTEY (Aston Villa)

Anderlecht wanted 'the new Pele' so badly that they smuggled him out of Ghana at the age of 15, against the wishes of his parents and the country's FA. And Gary Lineker described Lamptey as 'already world class' in '93. Yet the winger's career stalled in Belgium, so at pounds 1m he represents a gamble for Ron Atkinson. But at 19 his explosiveness can be rekindled, and if it is Villa will have a bargain.

IAN TAYLOR (Sheffield Wed)

Hottest lower-division property of the summer, the former forklift- truck driver cost Wednesday pounds 1m from Port Vale two years after he was playing in the Southern League. Basketball player's legs and industry between the boxes mean Taylor will be regarded as a straight replacement for Carlton Palmer, though his knack of drifting into scoring positions (a goal every three games) offers an extra dimension.


Having chosen Stamford Bridge ahead of Highbury when he left Charlton during the close season, Minto will not have to understudy two England full-backs. An Under- 21 international himself, he is better going forward than defending. Mercifully, he will encounter few wingers with the quality of Manchester United's and, like Paul Furlong, Chelsea's new striker from Watford, looks ready for the higher level.

JULIAN JOACHIM (Leicester City)

Brian Little has been criticised for rationing the appearances of an attacker with a hint of Romario about him. But Joachim, as shy off the pitch as he is dynamic on it, does not reach 20 until next month and is still learning. Leicester, cast as this season's Swindon, must now loosen the leash. With his capacity for running with the ball at speed, he could benefit greatly from the referees' clampdown.