5 Players That Really Surprised Us This Year

It’s been a long and exciting season for the major football leagues around the world. With most wrapping up in the next couple of months, now is a good time to reflect on what has transpired thus far. Overall, there have been several players who have been surprisingly good, in some cases exceeding already sky-high expectations. Let’s take a look at a few players who deserve to be commended.

Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw of Manchester United has always been a confident and capable player, but this year has seen his best performance to date. He has improved in just about every available metric and is surprisingly better than we would have thought possible. In terms of tackles, touches, key passes, and more, Shaw has had his best season ever with United.

When Manchester picked up Alex Telles in the summer, it felt likely that Shaw would lose his starting position at left-back. Instead, we’ve seen the 25-year-old step up his game and rise to the challenge. Shaw has 1 goal and 6 assists, but his growing edge goes beyond just these figures. He has been playing like a madman every time the ball is anywhere near him.

Sergiño Dest

One player who has surprisingly gained the attention of football analysts recently is Sergiño Dest. As an American player, he is often overlooked as there is not as much support at home as there is in other countries. However, interest in football in the US has been growing, and talented players like Sergiño Dest help to bring more American viewership.

With the rise in sports betting in the US, sportsbooks even have no deposit offers that extend to football, and this helps drive viewership as well. With Dest’s help in the recent 6-1 Barcelona triumph over Real Sociedad, he is finally getting some recognition as a solid right-back. He has returned 3 goals and 1 assists thus far this season, and at just 20 years old, the sky’s the limit on his future potential.


While it is no surprise that Jorginho is a valuable player yet again this season, it is somewhat astonishing that he is now being called the Premier League’s top-performing player in 2021. This puts him ahead of numerous other players like Harry Kane and Kevin De Bruyne. So what are the factors that have established him as one of the greatest athletes in the sport today?

One thing is his consistency. Jorginho has played in the majority of matches this season, staying healthy throughout and being an asset every time he steps on the pitch. Over 28 total appearances, he has 7 goals and 1 assist. Jorginho attributes a lot of his success to the new Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel, who has done wonders to instill some new energy and tactics into this squad.


Harvey Barnes

This past February, Harvey Barnes of Leicester City was taken out of action with a knee injury. Before that tragic moment, he was enjoying an incredible season that not only helped to bring Leicester City to the top 3 of the Premier League but also put himself on the radar of football fans everywhere.

Under the guidance of manager Brendan Rodgers, Barnes has grown to be one of the most dominant wingers in the league. Over the course of the last few months, Barnes has scored 9 goals with 4 assists, showing that he has been very productive. Fans are still waiting for him to come back, but he is expected to return in early April.

Franck Kessié

Franck Kessié of Milan has been showing some real ambition this season and has become a highly discussed player in Europe. With 10 goals and 4 assists, he is drawing enormous attention from scouts, and firing up rumors of a trade to either Chelsea, Arsenal, or Tottenham.

Those around Kessié have stated that he has improved in every way from mentally, to his tactics and movement. It’s hard not to admire how far he has come in just a few short years. At this rate, we are certainly looking at a new star midfielder in Europe.

About the author

Daniel Gibbs

I'm a Gooner who also brings a wealth of knowledge from European soccer and when I'm not busy with football I'm definitely talking football! My Favourite player is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and is hopeful Arteta will bring the glory days back to the Emirates.

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