5 European players you've forgotten about
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5 European players you've forgotten about

15/05/24 09:10

In the landscape of football in Europe, the spotlight often shines on the young, breakout stars, or the big money transfers to top teams, however there are always players who have incredible seasons but are never in the limelight. This season has been no exception, as across the European leagues, there are players who you have forgotten about, that are performing to the highest level.

Lucas Torreira (Galatasaray)

He may have only left Arsenal permanently in 2022, but in his last two years at the club, Lucas Torreira went on two loan spells, first to Atletico Madrid and then to Fiorentina, so you would be forgiven for forgetting about him. Torreira was supposed to be an exciting young prospect that would transform the Gunners’ midfield when he moved to North London in 2018 however he was unable to make a mark on the Premier League. Since leaving the club, the Uruguayan has been successful in Turkey, and looks set to win the Super Lig this season, having started all but three of Galatasaray’s games. His attacking contributions this season have been quite low, but he more than makes up for it with his combativeness in midfield, protecting his backline which has only conceded 22 goals in 35 games, an impressive record in a league that is often competitive at the top.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Inter Milan)

Another Premier League flop, Mkhitaryan’s time at Manchester United and Arsenal will only be remembered for that scorpian-kick goal as he was largely a disappointment in England. Now aged 35, the Armenian midfielder, who made his international debut in 2007, plays for Inter Milan in the Serie A. This season he has been instrumental in an incredible campaign for the Italian club, who secured the title a few weeks ago with a 2-1 win over cross city rivals AC Milan. Despite his age, Mkhitaryan has missed just one game all season, a 5-0 victory over Frosinone last Friday and provided 12 goal involvements, including a brace and an assist against AC Milan in September.

Daley Blind (Girona)

Girona have been one of the surprise packages of this season as they currently sit in second in La Liga and have qualified for next season’s Champions League. Many of their players have been incredible this season, and they have a core of young exciting players but one of their most experienced heads is Dutch defender Daley Blind. Once of Manchester United (I’m starting to notice a trend here), Blind moved to La Liga in the summer and has adapted well to a new league, making 31 appearances for the Blanquivermells in what has been their best ever season. At 34 years old, Blind looks as if he still has a few more years in him as he has managed the full 90 minutes in all but one of his appearances this season. With European football to contend with next year, Girona will be looking to strengthen in the summer, but I expect to see Blind lining up against the likes of PSG and Liverpool as he has the European experience that the side needs.

Dusan Tadic (Fenerbahce)

Finally a player who hasn’t lined up for Manchester United or Arsenal, Dusan Tadic is the second inclusion on the list who currently plays in the Turkish top division. Like Torreira’s Galatasaray, Tadic’s Fenerbahce are also looking at winning the Super Lig this season, having lost just once all campaign. The ex-Southampton man left the Premier League for Ajax in 2018 before joining Fenerbahce last summer, having reportedly fallen out with the higher ups at the Dutch club. This season, the Serbian-born winger has provided nine goals and 12 assists in his debut campaign for the club and even captained the side on three occasions in the league, including a recent 2-1 win against Besiktas. At 35 years old, Tadic is proving that you don’t need to be a young talent to still make an enormous impact on the pitch.

Luuk de Jong (PSV)

PSV captain and goal-machine Luuk de Jong has had a rather interesting career. He started out in the Netherlands before moving to Germany, then to Newcastle on loan, then to PSV and then to Sevilla. It was at Sevilla where he impressed so much that Barcelona decided to get him on loan for the 2021/22 season. A disappointment at the Camp Nou, de Jong rejoined PSV in the summer of 2022 and since then he has been unstoppable. This season PSV has won the Eredivisie with ease, largely thanks to the Dutchman’s incredible goal scoring. De Jong has 27 goals and 15 assists in 32 league games this season, putting him just one goal behind the league top goal scorer this campaign, Vangelis Pavlidis of AZ Alkmaar. His form has come at a great time for the Dutch national team, who will be hoping that the 33-year-old can keep up his streak in front of goal in this summer’s European Championships.

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