Each Premier League season, an unfortunate selection of players see their campaign ended early on through injury. It is a sad fact of footballing life and it can be a real test for a stricken player to come back and perform again at their highest level. Sometimes, they return like they have never been away and hopefully, some of the stars who saw their 2016/17 season ended prematurely will mirror this theory when they make a comeback. Here are seven Premier League players whose season's were...
Ilkay Gundogan - Manchester City
The German midfielder's season was tragically cut short when he picked up a serious knee injury against Watford, but in his short amount of playing time under Pep Guardiola, the former Borussia Dortmund man showcased his talent.
He is a player in the perfect mould for the manager, the ideal conductor in the middle of the park for his intricate system. If he can come back fit and firing, Gundogan could be the key to reviving City's stagnant midfield.
Santi Cazorla - Arsenal
He may 32-years-old but to put it simply, Arsenal are a pale shadow of themselves without their Spanish lynchpin.
Cazorla was ruled out for the season with an Achilles injury and in his absence, the Gunners' midfield has failed to stamp their authority on many games.
The Spanish maestro is the orchestrator for Arsene Wenger's side and if they can get him back to full fitness alongside a few summer signings next season, the north London side could have a winning formula on their hands.
Yannick Bolasie - Everton
When Bolasie picked up a serious knee injury against Manchester United earlier in the season, Everton fans were distraught and rightly so. The Congolese winger had enjoyed a promising start to his Toffees career, offering Ronald Koeman's side a fresh attacking dimension.
The raw athleticism of the former Crystal Palace man is desperately needed back in the Everton side and it could be used to devastating effect if he is reintegrated properly.
Callum Wilson - Bournemouth
Ever since his arrival in the Premier League, Wilson has demonstrated his impressive goalscoring ability. Sadly, in both of his two campaigns in the top-flight, serious knee injuries have ended his participation.
Upon his return next season, Eddie Howe has an exciting partnership with which he can test out, and if it works, it could be devastating. Joshua King has excelled in Wilson's absence and if the two can work in tandem, the Cherries will not be short of goals.
Muhamed Besic - Everton
The German-born Bosnian midfielder has missed the entire campaign with a knee injury, but in his short time with the Toffees, Besic has shown what a promising talent he is.
More than just a defensive midfielder, the 24-year-old is blessed with great skill and tenacity and could further enhance an already impressive Toffees midfield.
Koeman has a way with which he develops raw talents like Besic and next season, he should be ready to utilise his new midfield weapon.
Erik Lamela - Tottenham
Lamela took a while to prove his worth to Spurs but last season and at the beginning of the 2016/17 campaign, he was a crucial component to Mauricio Pochettino's well-oiled machine.
The club may have enjoyed a fruitful campaign but at times, they have missed the energy and guile of the Argentine. Furthermore, the lack of viable offensive options on the bench for Spurs has been noticeable, further indication that Lamela's comeback will bring further positives.
Virgil van Dijk - Southampton
When Van Dijk's season was ended against Leicester early in the year, Saints fans let out groans of concern. The Dutchman has established himself as one of the finest defenders in the Premier League and without him, Claude Puel's side have not looked the same.
With all the tools to become perhaps the finest centre-back in the division, Van Dijk's return will be eagerly anticipated by many. Although, he could have made a move to one of the league's big hitters by then, another intriguing sub-plot for his comeback.