This Premier League season has been a real breakthrough for our rookie stars. Most of whom are going through their first proper season as a professional for their clubs and are staking their claim to represent its future as we trudge further into a new era.
Remember, there are more ways than ever to collect your favourite rookie players – from famous card manufacturers like Topps and Panini, to stickers (ditto) and even digital versions by the likes of Sorare. So start by picking whichever you like most, then comes the fun bit: finding players who you would like to represent those pieces.
At Hobby FC, we’ve been guilty of allowing nostalgia and little reason to inform these decisions, but should we wish to guess some form of long-term value, then it makes sense to review this latest Premier League season and pick a few gems from there.
A Brief Review of the 2022/23 Premier League season
The 2022/23 Premier League season has been an unpredictable one, with a number of talented rookies making their debuts. For collectors of trading cards or other associated memorabilia, this season promises to offer some excellent options, with some players standing out as must-haves.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the three most exciting rookie trading cards to collect from the 2022/23 Premier League season. Beginning with a stand-out player in arguably the stand-out team from the league this year.
No, that wasn’t satire. Arsenal have been fabulous this season.
Annoyingly, the Premier League works on some silly metric system, whereby teams earn points based on wins – casting aesthetics and history to one side in favour of who has the ‘bottle’ to make it through to the end of the totting-up process.
Because of this, Manchester City’s superior maturity and experience prevailed, but that mustn’t take away from what’s been a very strong effort from those in Arsenal red. And among the stand-out players, I’ve chosen to spotlight their winger from Brazil.
Gabriel Martinelli made a name for himself during his debut season with Arsenal in 2019/20, scoring 10 goals in all competitions. Unfortunately, he missed much of the 2020/21 season due to injury, but he’s been back in top form for the 2022/23 campaign. Mirroring Bukayo Saka on the opposing wing.
Together, the pair have spearheaded Arsenal’s new, forward-thinking direction under manager Mikel Arteta. Changing lanes, switching sides and bamboozling defences up and down the league, Martinelli’s speed and precision on the attack has been a keen view for Arsenal fans the world over.
As is a dynamic forward with a knack for finding the back of the net, any collectible is sure to be in high demand regarding this sizzling Brazilian. His star hasn’t burned yet, so it makes sense to collect some memorabilia from what’s been a great season, in anticipation of even better ones to come.
From the title-challengers, to the title-winners.
Manchester City’s run-in toward the end of the season has been exceptional. And few can truly and fairly begrudge them lifting the Premier League trophy for 2022/23.
Annoyingly, the impact of Alvarez has fallen under the radar – which might have something to do with some Norwegian lad who arrived at the same time.
Yet despite Erling Haaland’s inhumane numbers from this season, those who truly ‘know ball’ would agree that Alvarez has had an insurmountable impact on his side. Particularly in the wake of Gabriel Jesus’ long-expected departure to title rivals Arsenal, and with other players struggling for fitness throughout the year.
That being said, he’s taken to his task with aplomb, and has become one of the best breakthrough ‘rookies’ from this season. He even has a World Cup trophy to his name – having made a significant contribution at Qatar 2022.
So, not only could you search for gems from his first (probably of many) for Manchester City, but the limited edition versions from his time in Argentina can never be a bad option, either.
I didn’t intend to write this list in any ascending order.
But it’s funny how things turn out sometimes, right?
There’s been a lot of talk surrounding Manchester United about this precocious young talent that is the Argentine winger, Alejandro Garnacho.
In a season which saw Cristiano Ronaldo sully his reputation on a Piers Morgan show (of all things), the Red Devils faithful have been crying out for another reason to be excited about what lays ahead in a new era under Erik Ten Hag.
Thankfully for them, the name ‘Gar-na-cho’ has the same amount of syllables as ‘Ro-nal-do’, and the ‘Viva’ chant changed rather quickly once Cristiano left. “Viva Garnachoooo!”
Since then, Alejandro Garnacho has played the role of ‘super sub’ throughout this season and has popped up on a number of occasions with decisive moments. A last-minute winner away at Fulham in the league, a late leading goal vs. West Ham en route to the FA Cup Final against Manchester City. Big moments for a very promising player.
Such is his hype and the popularity surrounding his club, that merchandise is already rising in value, but with an upcoming season in the UEFA Champions League to look forward to, there will be more than enough to get your hands on for yourself.
For what it’s worth, I really wanted Arsenal to win the league.
Not just for my antipathy against City, but also for the sake of changing things up a bit, and imposing the belief that youth really can go all the way.
Alas, it was not meant to be, but plenty of those players can walk away from this season with their head held high. As can all of these youngsters we’ve mentioned here in this ‘rookie’ section.
Given it’s either their official breakthrough year at the club, and/or the best that they’ve experienced there, there’s reason to think that they can either get better (and that these will become valuable in future), or they can be bought and sold for a quick turnaround for those who enjoy this season and want to relive it.
Probably less applicable to Arsenal fans, but you catch my drift!