The 5 Most Exciting Players To Watch In European Football
Europe’s top leagues are littered with world-class players. Here’s the five most exciting to watch in 2018-19.
Kylian Mbappe: Paris Saint-Germain
Kylian Mbappe is fresh from becoming France’s youngest ever goalscorer at a World Cup. The former Monaco forward’s rise to superstardom has been rapid and the 19-year-old is set to embark on his second season at Paris Saint-Germain.
Mbappe scored 21 in all competitions for PSG last term, a return of almost a goal every other game, and the teenager is part of one of the most formidable attacking lines in both French and European football alongside Brazilian superstar Neymar.
Unai Emery tended to use Mbappe across the forward positions, usually playing off the central striker. The player himself has spoken of his desire to nail down a specific spot in the PSG attack and therein lies the challenge for new boss Thomas Tuchel. If the French champions can find his optimum position, the stellar youngster could become a true phenomenon.
Last season’s experiences have really added an extra dimension to Mbappe’s game. With Ligue 1 opponents tending to sit back when the PSG machine rolls into town, he has added a refined ability to unlock defences to his rapidly developing armoury. 2018-19 will be his most exciting season yet.
Mbappe is 11/4* at Bet UK's online sportsbook to finish top scorer in Ligue 1, after an incredible World Cup.
Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid
Griezmann has been consistently effective for Atletico Madrid and after being named Player of the Tournament at Euro 2016 and being nominated for the Ballon d’Or in the same year, his prowess in front of goal has shown no let-up. Fast, versatile and with exceptional awareness, the 27-year-old is a true modern forward.
The former Real Sociedad attacker has scored more than 16 Spanish league goals in each season for his Madrid employees. Griezmann’s ability to score and create in the defensive Simeone set-up has led his side to a La Liga title and four top 3 finishes in the last five years.
Two goals in the Europa League final in June hinted Griezmann is hitting his career peak. After lifting the trophy, Simeone was full of praise, suggesting his star striker continues to improve his fitness, aggression, awareness and attacking threat.
Griezmann’s partnership with Diego Costa, who arrived at Atletico in January, has already borne fruit and the pair have proven to be on the same wavelength. The AG/DC combo looks set to rock La Liga this season.
Griexzmann will be hoping his partnership with Costa will take Atletico to another La Liga title. You can get Atletico Madrid to win La Liga at 6/1* with Bet UK's sports betting feature.
Ciro Immobile - Lazio
The career of Ciro Immobile may have been something of a rollercoaster, but the Lazio forward hit new heights in Serie A last season to prove he’s now one of the finest strikers in European football. Now aged 28, the Italian was the third highest scorer on the continent, with 41 to his name.
Immobile has previously flopped at Juventus, Genoa and Borussia Dortmund, yet been excellent at Pescara, Torino and now Lazio. Scoring 26 in his first season at the Stadio Olimpico, many assumed it would be no indication of consistency given his past record. But in his second term in Rome, Immobile moved up another gear and added all-round excellence to his game.
The six foot one inch striker combines pace, strength and skill with a resolute tenacity and he set a Lazio record last season for the most goals scored in one season. After a couple of occasions in which he looked as if his career would drift into obscurity, it finally seems as if Immobile’s resolution is paying off and a golden campaign awaits.
Ciro Immobile to finish the season as Serie A's top scorer is 11/1* at Bet UK's online betting.
Florian Thauvin - Olympique de Marseille
He may have flopped at Newcastle United, but Florian Thauvin has answered his critics in devastating fashion since returning to Ligue 1 and Olympique de Marseille. Last season was the mercurial winger’s best yet with 26 goals as OM continue to steadily re-emerge as a force in French football.
In hindsight, his move to England looked doomed from the outset. Thauvin had already morphed from the 2012-13 Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year while at Bastia to being named the worst player in the French top flight just before he was signed by Steve McClaren at Newcastle.
Back in Marseille by 2016, Thauvin didn’t get off to a great start but once Rudy Garcia was installed in the Stade Vélodrome dugout, the player embarked on a huge turnaround in form and added consistency and maturity to his game.
Thauvin is now the focal point of Marseille’s attack and he’s weighing in with an extraordinary contribution of goals and assists. Called up to France’s World Cup squad ahead of Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman, the 25-year-old has come of age and is one of European football's hottest properties.
Thauvin will be a star if Marseille are to challenge rivals PSG for the title. Marseille are currently 14/1* to win Ligue 1 with Bet UK's online betting.
Paulo Dybala - Juventus
Style, pace, technique and an eye for goal, Paulo Dybala has it all. The Juventus forward has become one of the finest players in the world. His close control and ability to beat defenders mean the Argentinian can play in any position in attack and just keeps getting better.
Last season was his best yet with 26 goals in all competitions for Juve and the 24-year-old is on the brink of becoming a superstar. Sometimes criticised for a lack of consistency, Dybala has yet to light up the world’s biggest stages, but he wreaked havoc in Serie A last season, not to mention against Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League round of 16.
Comparisons with Messi may be unhelpful, but many believe it’s only a matter of time before Dybala receives Ballon d’Or nominations. Loved by Juventus fans, ‘La Joya’ – The Jewel – will be looking for his fourth consecutive Serie A title this season.
After the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Dybala and Juventus will be hoping for European success. Bet UK are offering 11/2 for Juventus to win the Champions League this season at our online betting.
*All odds are correct at the time of writing.