European Players of the Week #1331

Sebastion Haller vs Besiktas

Ajax looks to be one of the favorites for the Champions League this season. They finished at the top of the group, being nearly Flawless throughout the group stage; they also have been very consistent in the league and one of the most impressive teams in Europe this season. Typically speaking, Ajax is operated by a collection of youngsters that eventually reach Superstar status and get sold off to bigger clubs. I don’t know what it is in the water over there; we see Superstars develop in Amsterdam year in and year out. It is the club’s identity that Johan Cruyff put in place; we can talk about the young players that they have with Nia Yang, Ryan gravenberch, Antony, and so many others as a lot of young talent development. With that thought, they are led by one of the most consistent strikers in Europe this season. It’s taking me a bit too long for me to recognize one Sebastien Haller. He has been an absolute scoring machine ever since he completed his move to the Amsterdam club last January. Unfortunately, during last year’s Europa League, the club forgot to register him; because of this, Ajax didn’t win the Europa League; they would have beaten Roma, and they would have beaten Villarreal. He provided such a presence any Bundesliga fan will remember the work he was able to do at Frankfurt. He was able to find the back of the net quite regularly and was one of the League’s most impressive players he led them to a German cup Triumph against Bayern Munich. He went to West Ham did not quite click, even though I thought he did reasonably well at times. But ever since he’s been in Amsterdam, his entire quality as a player has gone up a level, and there’s no reason he should leave his situation because he has been fantastic, and this is the perfect club for him. We are in November right now. Sebastien Haller already has 18 goals this season; he is absolutely lighting it up in Amsterdam and continues to Propel himself against the very best in the Champions League. Getting the move to Amsterdam has made him such a more polished player he is scoring on the big stage constantly. Sebastien Haller, it’s a big reason why Ajax has an excellent chance of going very deep in his competition. Ajax is a real threat especially considering how well Sebastien Haller is playing. He has nine goals and five Champions League matches that are the same amount at the best player in the world, Robert Levandowski. In Match Day 5, Ajax wrapped up winning the group Sebastien Haller came up big yet again with two goals in a 2-1 victory that has positioned the Amsterdam Club so well. Currently, he has more goals than Mohamed Salah and has the same scoring form as the world’s best player in the Champions League; he has consistently hit the back of the net regularly this week was no different as he showed once again that day in the Ajax colors he is built for Champions League nights.

Duvan Zapata vs Young Boys and Speiza

Duvan Zapata is the best player in Italian football right now. This may not be an unpopular opinion, but as we have seen him perform over the last couple of weeks in the league and Champions League, he stands ahead of the rest. He has been one of the most important players in this era of Atalanta and what they’ve been able to do in Bergamo over this stretch. This last week he was particularly exceptional, and he is dragging Atlanta back into fine form after a rocky start to the season. When duvan Zapata is completely healthy is very little that can be done. In his first season in Bergamo, the only year he didn’t have any injury concerns, he scored 28 goals finding the back of the net against all of the top six. He is a Difference Maker, one of the best strikers globally, and he’s creating quite a legacy for himself in Bergamo. He was instrumental in the matches against Manchester United; even though they only got the point from those two games, he is the player that gave them the biggest headache. This last week against Spezia and young boys, he was exceptional. As he continues to show how impactful, influential, and important he is, For What Atalanta, we’ll go on to do this season. Every game he plays for them, he continues to add more to his legacy. He’s been in tremendous form over the last couple of weeks, and against Spezia, it was on full display once again. Not purely for the things he did on the stat sheet, it’s the other things that were the most compelling of his performance. On Atalanta’s first goal, Mario pasalic scored from close range coming from a cross. The most important thing from that goalscoring opportunity, though, was the work and creativity of duvan Zapata; he jump-started the attack pushing the ball forward before kicking the ball out to the wing. The Columbian then made a terrific run into the box to get in position to score. A moment later, we would see an incredible display of intelligence. The cross came into the box duvan Zapata was there but made a quick judgment; in a matter of seconds, the physical Striker noticed that the player behind him was going to be in a better position to score duvan Zapata is incredibly surgical in front of goal, even at the angle. He was standing he probably would have had a chance to score; however, he noticed and realized that his teammate behind him was going to score almost certainly as the ball came inside to the box where he was instead of trying to connect with the ball, he widened his body so the ball could go between his legs to find his teammate instead he inevitably scored the goal. Still, it was the intelligence and the unselfishness of duvan Zapata that allowed that to happen, not to mention his pass to the outside, that put them in a position to score in the first place. Later in that game, he missed a penalty but then got to retake it and converted the second time to score his sixth League goal of the season. Duvan Zapata throughout that game with the biggest difference-maker and constantly put pressure on the Defenders considering the attention that he provides with how physical he is; it allowed the game to open up for them and ultimately secure the victory; sometimes we recognize it a player that’s incredibly well statistically, and in performance in that particular match he scored one penalty, but it was all the other things that made his performance so impressive. Things didn’t go as well in the Champions League against young boys as they had to settle from a 3-3 draw despite being a winning position at 2-1 at one point. He kicked off the game in the opening 10 minutes in one of his best goals of the season, controlling the ball with his body from inside the Box, then turned the opposite direction, getting a strike into the back of the net in what was an incredible display of skill. However, in that game, the defense betrayed him as they allowed the young boys back into the game and eventually into the lead; it took a free-kick goal from Luis Muriel From the Bench to rescue a point they’re still in range of qualifying for The Knockout rounds, but collectively it was a worrying sight to see. Individually Zapata did everything that was asked of him in that game, from scoring the goal looking for a teammate to being powering figure in the box that always opens up play for Atalanta; he created a real presence in Switzerland during that game was dictating a lot of the things that was done But ultimately the defense broke down, and they had to settle with the point. However, there are no two ways about it duvan Zapata this week has been exceptional, and just like it has the majority of the season, one of the most impressive performers this week he has 10 goals and six assists this season as he has been a dominant force on all fronts in the Champions League and in the league he has scored 75 goals for Atalanta the second most in club history he needs 37 goals the tie for the most ever in 38 to be on top in the next 2 years he’s going inevitably be on top. We’ll start having the conversation of who’s the greatest player in club history, duvan Zapata or Papu Gomez; it was a world-class performance, and in both the games this week, he’s only warming up this season if he stays healthy he could be in for a career year.

Trent Alexander Arnold vs Arsenal

Trent Alexander Arnold is one of the best players in the Premier League and the best right-back in world football. That certainly is not debatable whatsoever; even though there are other players at his position that are incredibly high-quality, he is just a level Above the Rest. He continually shows this each season. Trent Alexander Arnold revolutionized the position in the Premier League. There have been other players that have had an attacking Instinct in the past, but what he has done ever since he’s made his debut has changed everything. Alphonso Davies, Theo Hernandez, Benjamin pavard, and many others have thrived and become significant in terms of Defenders having the willingness to be attacking-minded. He has already won the Premier League and the Champions League at 23 years old and continues to come up on the biggest stages, whether it’s Champions League or essential Premier League games. He is such a ridiculous Talent and what he can do in the attacking sent at his position is just something special. Defensively he may be Elite, but the most important thing from all of this is, more often than not, Trent Alexander Arnold is not a liability like many of the others can be. Last season against Real Madrid, he was slightly exposed defensively, but that’s quite a rarity; he’s not Elite; he’s not a type of Defender that’s going to shut you down, but he’s able to provide enough on the other side to keep Liverpool dominating games. It was a master class that we saw from him against Arsenal, who had not tasted defeat in 2 months. Arsenal certainly is not what they once were. However, they still are a big team historically, and Liverpool versus Arsenal matchups have always been something special Trent Alexander Arnold showed up in a big way. In Liverpool’s 4-0 victory, Trent Alexander Arnold was an absolute threat as a facilitator supplying two assists in the victory. His ability to cross the ball as far as the placement and the accuracy is one of a kind; he has a skill set that typically you see in an attacking midfielder he has the pace of a striker, and he has the movement of a Winger all of these characteristics rolled into one as he’s operating with this skill set at right-back he is a tremendous player to watch even if you’re not a big fan of the Premier League or don’t watch it that often he is one of the players that grabbed the attention of fans from around Europe. Since he has made his debut he has more assists than anyone in that time frame with 38 assists its an astronomical amount considering the position he plays how young he is and how long he’s been in the league Liverpool got a gem from the academy unlike any other very few teams have a player of this quality that is as good as he is this early this week in particular he was spectacular the performance against Arsenal in itself is Worthy a significant recognition I don’t talk about him all that much but that’s because a lot of what I’m saying is common knowledge he’s a particular player that was unbelievable this past week definitely worthy of recognition as Trent Alexander Arnold is still the best right-back in the world I would entertain Arguments for Alphonso Davies but even that’s a stretch he’s just a level above and the sooner people realize that the better because there are a lot of great players at his position but he’s on another level then the rest of them and that was clear this weekend.

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