Time to pick the 5 Most improved players!
Rating players and judiging their perfomances is a tough thing to do. Objectivity is not what this list is about exactly, but i’ll do my best to keep myself cool and unbiased. These players that i’m about to mention didn’t eactly leap up from bad to excellent at once, but they certainly upped their game significantly. Without any delay, i’m the @hodofthepsp and let’s crack on with “5 Most improved players of the season so far”.
You need to call improvement when you see it.
5 – Ferland Mendy
Starting the “5 most improved players of the season”, I kick things off with the French LB for Real Madrid. It might not be a striking improvement (hence his spot here), but it is an improvement nonetheless. Formerly of Olympique Lyonnais, Mendy added certain zing into that position on the defensive side of things.
He is no Marcelo, which is weirdly now a good thing. Problems with that flank defensively are well-documented, and Zidane had a lot of headaches for it. The 25 year-old international is an excellent upgrade when it comes to defending. While offensively, he is not exactly on his predecessor’s level.
Obviously, he needs to learn more anout shooting and crossing. However, his positional play, link up and movement are absolutely a class where he was 12 months ago. Unfortunately though, there is someone who is even better at that position than him (wait till #1).
4 – Tanguy N’Dombele
Another Frenchman, this time in the Midfield. N’Dombele looked done and dusted several months ago, with Mourinho criticizing him publicly more than ones. The arrival of Gedson Fernandes last January seemed like the sign of worse things to come for another Olympique Lyonnais graduate.
Fast forward 12 months later, and Gedson Fernandes is nowhere to be seen, while Ndombele is front and centre. He put his head in the right place, worked hard and earned a place under “The special one”, which looking at the likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen now, is a hard thing to do.
Playing a more advanced position, he adds an extra work rate to an already vibrant midfield. In addition, he can fit Mourinho’s style to a tee, holding the ball well under pressure and building up the attacks. Battle for places in France’s Euros’ squad is well underway then!.
3 – Moussa Diaby
I love Moussa Diaby. He has bucket loads of potential, and anyone with a decent scouting sense will see that. However, sometimes this talent comes with a price. For the last couple of seasons, he looked more like a knock-off of Vinicius Jr at Real Madrid (no disprespect Vinicius, please don’t cry).
I watched him a lot last season, and I always thought he has a lot of tricks yet no poise. His decision making lacked sharpness in the past, this is why his numbers might not be impressive (5 goals, 5 assists in 19/20 in 28 matches). However, this season is different. With the permanent absence of Havertz now, he stepped up.
Already on 5 goals and 6 assists in half a season, he changed his game quite drastically. Simply undroppable, he started all Bundesliga games and played all the minutes. While he seemed selfish and not focused in the past, it’s not the case anymore now and he is another player in that France squad battle ahead of the Euros.
2 – David De Gea
Before you get triggered, I am comparing to 12 months ago not in general. David De Gea certainly had better times than now, but compared to last season or a year ago, there is a big change. It seems now that the best thing about Manchester United’s defense is the Spaniard. He is literally a point saver for them this season.
With a very untrustworthy back line ahead of him, he probably realized that it’s time to step up. He makes some of Solskjaer’s weirdest tactics feel justified simply by pulling increadible point-rescuing saves.
He has gone on a downward spiral post WC 2018, with Roy Keane famously dubbing him “the most overrated goalkeeper he has ever seen”. However, praise is due when deserved, and De Gea (sort of) revitalized his reputation over the course of the first half of the season. Just give him a good defense in front of him, Ed Woodward!.
1- Theo Hernandez
I was really close to give this entry to round off “5 Most improved players” to his fellow AC Milan player, Frank Kessie, but I was too tempted to resist. He didn’t just improve, he skyrocketed. Becoming a sensational defensive left-back, which was a lacking aspect of his game, he is also the savior of AC Milan.
I am not exaggerating when I say this, he is the key for Pioli. Just check how many games this season he has unlocked, when everything seemed gloomy for his club. Real Madrid might have a decent LB in Mendy, but Theo Hernandez is certainly putting himself in the “best LB in the world” level, which is something close to a fact now.
The Merengue side, of course, “let him go” in late 2018 during the “Cristiano is here so F**k the rest” era. So, predictably, like Reguilon and Hakimi currently as well he is excelling. Just a simple question for Florentino Perez, Why the f**k you let him go??.
That’s it for our list, if you want to debate these 5 picks comment it below.