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The 5 Most Improved Players This Season

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Player improvement comes in all shapes and sizes. Some players add more strings to their bow, some finally get the playing time they needed, while others are finally played in the right system to bring the best out of them. Today, we are reviewing some of the most improved players across Europe this season. To qualify, the player must have played at least 10 games this season and last season. Here are our picks.

5) Luke Shaw


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It’s easy to forget that at one point in time Luke Shaw was the most expensive teenager in world football when he signed for Manchester United in 2014 for £33 million. Now at 25, we are finally seeing the true potential of Shaw who has f cemented his place as one of the first names on the United team-sheet. He has been solid defensively and has been a constant threat down Manchester United’s left flank. Shaw has 5 assists this season and has already created more chances this season (36) than he managed in the entirety of the last campaign (20).

4) Weston McKennie


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The man from Texas, Weston McKennie has been at the heart of Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus. The USA international was signed from Schalke on loan for this season primarily as a ball winner in midfield. However, McKennie has been way more than just a midfield destroyer for Juventus to assist Cristiano Ronaldo and their men and has been one of their most potent attacking players this season. McKennie has 5 goals and assists in the Serie A this season and is averaging almost double the number of shots taken, chances created and key passes compared to last season.  

3) Joao Felix


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Joao Felix had a slow start to life at Atletico Madrid following his big-money move from Benfica in 2019. However, he has come into his own this season for Simeone’s team as they sit on top of La Liga. Alongside Luis Suarez, Felix has formed a deadly striker partnership. Felix already has 10 goals and assists in the league at the halfway point compared to only 7 last season. Felix has become a more lethal finisher in front of goal this season and has improved creatively as well, averaging 4.3 progressive passes per 90 minutes this season compared to 2.6 in 2019/20.

2) Ilkay Gundogan


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Who would have thought that Ilkay Gundogan would be David Silva’s successor at Manchester City and not the highly-rated Phil Foden. Gundogan has completely changed his game this season under Guardiola, an impressive feat for a 30-year-old. Gundogan has become a goal-scoring threat this season and has perfected the art of the Lampardesque late run into the box to get onto the end of crosses. At the halfway stage of this season, this already comfortably the most prolific season in Gundogan’s career. Gundogan has 9 goals for City this season and is their top-scorer in the league in the absence of Aguero, Jesus and De Bruyne.

1) John Stones


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The number one most improved player this season is another Manchester City player, John Stones. The Englishman has resurrected his City career after injuries and poor form had relegated him to only 32 league starts across the last 2 seasons. Ever since John Stones returned to Pep Guardiola’s team against Burnley at the end of November, City has conceded only 2 goals in the 12 games John Stones has started. In that time, they have kept 10 clean sheets and won 10 Premier League games and have stretched their lead at the top of the table thanks to their defensive dominance. Stones has the highest Premier League pass completion rate this season with 94% and has also scored 2 goals this season.

Honourable Mentions: Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham), Diego Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)


[Image Credit: Luke Shaw]