The top 10 breakthrough stars of the season in Europe’s big leagues

first_imgLiverpool Premier League Championship team of the week Topics Share via Email Guardian Sport Network features Infographic:WhoScored 10) Trent Alexander-Arnold, LiverpoolTrent Alexander-Arnold has profited from injuries to both Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez over the course of the season to become Liverpool’s first-choice right-back. Having started eight game in the Champions League this season, the academy graduate is clearly a player Jürgen Klopp trusts on the big occasions. The 19-year-old’s endeavour, delivery and willingness to get on the ball have made him a fan favourite at Anfield. Rating 7.049) Ferland Mendy, LyonA product of the famed Le Havre academy responsible for nurturing Paul Pogba, Riyad Mahrez and Benjamin Mendy, left-back Ferland was snapped up by Lyon last summer and has been a regular in the side, making 22 starts in Ligue 1 in his debut season. The 22-year-old’s ability on the ball and five assists have helped Lyon’s push for a place in the Champions League next season. Rating: 7.058) Giovani Lo Celso, PSGWhile Giovani Lo Celso’s name has been known in his native Argentina for some time – he earned a £8.5m move to PSG back in 2016 before returning to Rosario on loan, this has been his breakout season in Europe. The heir to veteran midfielder Thiago Motta, 22-year-old Lo Celso offers far more creativity and technique than the Italian international, and has also more than made up for the loss of Blaise Matuidi. His tenacity in the centre of the pitch has been outstanding, averaging the most tackles per 90 minutes (4) of players to make 20 or more appearances in Ligue 1, while he has supported attacks well to boot, chipping in with four goals and three assists despite starting just 17 of 32 appearances. Rating 7.067) Marius Wolf, Eintracht FrankfurtMarius Wolf had to bide his time but he has certainly made his mark for Eintracht Frankfurt this season. The 22-year-old playmaker had started just four top flight matches before the current campaign but he has become a regular in Niko Kovac’s side this time around. With five goals and eight assists in the Bundesliga this season, he has had a direct hand in more goals than any of his team-mates. A solid all-rounder who is capable of playing in a variety of positions on the right or in the middle of the park, Wolf will make a loan move from Hannover permanent for around €500,000 this summer. His market value must be well over 10 times that figure now. Rating 7.086) Fabián Ruiz, Real BetisFabián made his Real Betis debut back in 2015, but he had amassed just nine starts before this season. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has become a mainstay in the side under new manager Quique Setién, whose brand of free-flowing football has brought the best from the Betis youth product. He has made 28 starts this season and had a direct hand in nine goals (scoring three and setting up six) and he has proven an able replacement for Dani Ceballos, who joined Real Madrid last summer. Fabián is more than willing to do the dirty work, averaging the most tackles for his side (2.4 per game). His ability to win the ball and use it intelligently could see him following his old team-mate out the door, as he is set to be in demand this summer. Rating 7.195) Rodri, VillarrealWhile defensive midfielder Rodri was a consistent squad member for Villarreal last season, he is now one of the first names on the teamsheet for the Yellow Submarine. With 34 LaLiga appearances in the current campaign, the youngster has emerged as the next big hope in the Sergio Busquets’ mould for the Spain national team, earning a first call up earlier this year and hoping to make the cut for Julen Lopetegui’s enviable World Cup squad. Strong in the air and on the ground in terms of winning possession, averaging 2.9 tackles per game, Rodri’s safety first approach on the ball has seen him dictate play for Villarreal, averaging 66.2 passes per game at an 89.7% accuracy. Rating 7.234) Tanguy Ndombele, LyonIt only took three top-flight appearances for newly promoted Amiens at the start of this season to convince Lyon that Tanguy Ndombele would be a sound investment, securing his transfer on loan initially with an option to buy this summer. Lyon will no doubt trigger that transfer clause though he may not remain at the club – or in France – next season. There is widespread interest in the holding midfielder and Lyon may try to make a quick and sizeable profit on the 21-year-old. There’s no wonder so many clubs are courting Ndombele, who has pulled the strings from deep under Bruno Génésio, completing 89.7% of his passes and registering six assists. Rating 7.313) Jorge, Monaco Share on WhatsApp Bundesliga Infographic:WhoScored La Liga team of the week Read more Share on Facebook Infographic:WhoScored Monaco signed Jorge for €8.5m in January 2017 with Benjamin Mendy’s impending departure in mind. The young Brazilian has a very different approach to Mendy but he has performed admirably at left-back. Jorge is far more defensive than his predecessor, highlighted by a whopping 3.1 tackles and 3 interceptions per game. Monaco have unsurprisingly deteriorated following the sales of a number of key players, but Jorge has been the pick of the replacements for the dethroned champions this season. Rating 7.322) Leon Bailey, Bayer LeverkusenLeon Bailey made waves with Genk in the Europa League last season to earn a move to Bayer Leverkusen in January 2017 and he has pushed on this season. Having only made eight substitute appearances last season for Bayer, Bailey has since made a spot on the left wing his own. Still just 20, the Jamaican has scored nine goals and registered six assists in the Bundesliga this campaign. The youngster’s pace and delivery from wide have been devastating at times. Rating 7.341) Houssem Aouar, LyonHoussem Aouar had just 35 minutes of top-flight football to his name before this season, so few could have predicted the impact he would have at Lyon. The 19-year-old has started 25 of his 30 appearances in Ligue 1 this time around and been crucial to the club’s quest to finish as runners-up to runaway leaders PSG. The teenager has had a direct hand in 10 goals from a variety of roles in midfield (five goals, five assists) and has all the tools to become one of the continent’s top box-to-box players. Aouar has averaged 2.5 dribbles, 2.1 tackles and a pass accuracy of 85.6% this season. Rating 7.37Premier League team of the week European club footballcenter_img Reuse this content Thomas Lemar’s slide at Monaco may convince Lyon to let Nabil Fékir go Bundesliga team of the week Ligue 1 Serie A team of the week Infographic:WhoScored Infographic:WhoScored La Liga Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Ligue 1 team of the week Infographic:WhoScored Lyon • Follow WhoScored on Twitter and Facebook• Follow Martin Laurence on Twitter Share on Pinterestlast_img

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