With the international break, it’s a good chance to look at just which players have been performing well in the European Leagues. Which players are performing above and beyond what would be normally expected of them?
Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid
The diminutive French forward has been in outstanding form for Diego Simeone’s Atletico team this season, scoring nine goals in 17 appearances including six in La Liga. His latest brace came in a 2-1 Champions League win against FC Rostov ensuring that Atletico would qualify for the last 16 of the competition. The second goal broke Rostov hearts, winning the game in the 93rd minute and cruelly denying the Russians a hard-fought point.
His six La Liga goals have come at a rate of one every 136 minutes played, ranking him third in the current La Liga top goalscorer charts behind Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. He’s also provided four assists – one more than both Messi and Suarez while his shot accuracy of 64% is also superior to the Barcelona pair. No wonder that Griezmann is tipped for a big money move in the winter window with Manchester City watching.
Romelu Lukaku – Everton
Just a couple of months ago, Everton’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku was seen as a man in crisis. Without a goal in 14 games for the Premier League outfit, he was struggling to live up to the huge name he had built for himself. However, times have changed much for the better and in eight appearances since scoring a brace for Belgium away to Cyprus, Lukaku has bagged seven goals for the Toffees.
The haul started with a hat-trick against Premier League whipping boys Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and he now stands third in the Premier League goalscoring charts behind Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero. Lukaku has one goal ever 120 minutes he’s played in the Premier League this season, but with a shot accuracy of 74% which is superior to that of Costa and Aguero. Lukaku has also chipped in with three assists for his Everton teammates, taking him from a man in crisis to a man in demand with Paris St Germain one of the teams eyeing him for the January transfer window.
Edin Dzeko – Roma
Roma’s big Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko leads the charge for the Capocannoniere with controversial Inter forward Mauro Icardi, with both strikers on 10 goals. The former Manchester City man has notched no less than four braces this season for Roma, with his last two coming in a 4-2 Europa League win away to Austria Vienna – his first goals in the competition.
Dzeko’s statistics make frightening reading for Serie A defenders; his ten goals in the Italian top flight have come in 12 games and average out at just one every 98 minutes. He’s also provided two assists for his team mates although his shot accuracy of 56% is only better than Icardi’s in the top ten Italian scorers. With his side four points behind Serie A leaders Juventus the Bosnian knows he will have to maintain his scoring run if they are to have any chance of landing the scudetto.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund
Although Borussia Dortmund are some way off the early pace-setters in the Bundesliga Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has continued to score hatfuls of goals for Thomas Tuchel’s outfit. With 14 goals in 14 appearances for Dortmund, Aubameyang has only failed to score in three Bundesliga games he has played this season for BVB.
Aubameyang comes into the break having scored four times in Dortmund’s 5-2 demolition of Hamburg, completing his hat-trick in the 27th minute of the game. He’s scored a goal every 73 minutes he has played in the Bundesliga, with a shot accuracy of 66%. He’s currently equal second in the Golden Shoe rankings with 22 points behind Russian striker Yevgeni Kabayev of Kalev. Little wonder Aubameyang was allegedly the subject of a €90million bid from Arsenal this summer.
Anthony Modeste – 1 FC Koln
28-year-old Modeste has had a somewhat modest career prior to this season but he has caught fire at Koln this season. He leads the Bundesliga top scorer list with Aubameyang with 11 goals this season and has 13 goals in 12 appearances in all competitions for Peter Stöger’s outfit.
Like Aubameyang, Modeste has only failed to score in three Bundesliga games he has played in and he boasts an incredible goal every 79 minutes. However, when you consider Koln have only scored 16 goals between them this season Modeste’s record looks even more incredible. His shot accuracy is only 41% and the question has to be if his goals will dry up – or if he will continue on a Jamie Vardy-like run for the remainder of the season. No doubt Koln fans will be hoping he can.