Football Features

Who’s the best player in each of Europe’s top five leagues right now?

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 13:27, 6 October 2021

With more than a handful of games now played, Europe’s top five leagues are officially in full swing.

Now we can take stock of where every team stands and how the footballing landscape has developed, but we can also assess the individual brilliance that we are seeing on the pitch, including who the top players in the world are right now. To keep things ordered we’ve looked at Europe’s top five leagues individually and come up with the best player right now in each division.

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Premier League: Mohamed Salah

Club: Liverpool
Goals + Assists: 6 + 3

With 30 goals and 20 assists, Bruno Fernandes has been the best player in the Premier League overall since his debut in the competition. However right now Mohamed Salah is soaring even above the genius Portuguese playmaker.

Liverpool’s No. 11 is on some ridiculous level where he seems to be a superhuman force of dribbling power (16/31 take-ons won this season), but is also a creative force with 5 big chances created (joint-first with Fernandes) and 3 assists.

Then of course goals are his primary currency and he’s not only scoring more (6) than anyone else he’s scoring them better than anyone — just look at his goal against Manchester City. With the rest of Liverpool still looking a bit ramshackle, Salah has remained a consistent force of world-class wonder and it’s a genuine privilege to watch him play the game.

La Liga: Karim Benzema

Club: Real Madrid
Goals + Assists: 9 + 7

When Leo Messi left La Liga it looked like the division would be lacking his superhuman goal and assist output for a while, but Karim Benzema had other ideas. Benzema has begun the season like he’s been shot out of a cannon from the top of the space shuttle, with a jetpack strapped to his back.

No one in La Liga, hell no one in Europe, can come close to Real Madrid’s no. 9 right now. This fabulous Frenchman is doing it all for Los Blancos, producing more goals and assists over an 8-game span than anyone ever has in the division (and given this is Leo Messi’s division, that’s saying something).

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Serie A: Lorenzo Insigne

Club: Napoli
Goals + Assists: 2 + 3

The power vaccuum in Serie A left by Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure has yet to be filled by a single presence. Obviously shot god Federico Chiesa is a candidate, and Inter’s playmaker Nico Barella is a sensation, but it’s hard to look beyond Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne.

The Neapolitan playmaker has really come into his own lately after being one of the stars as Italy claimed Euro 2020 in the summer. So far this season Insigne has scored twice, assisted thrice and created 20 chances, 5 of which are big chances. More than that, his leadership has been crucial for Napoli in their incredible unbeaten start that has them sitting top of the table.

Bundesliga: Robert Lewandowski

Club: Bayern Munich
Goals + Assists: 7 + 1

Erling Haaland (7 goals and 3 assists) and Florian Wirz (4 goals and 5 assists) are hot on the trail of top spot in the Bundesliga, but the man atop the mountain remains the same. Robert Lewandowski is a peerless force of attacking football who reigns supreme over everyone in Germany. It’s hard to describe how ridiculously potent the Polish striker is, but the biggest sign is that it’s a dramatic surprise when he doesn’t score in a Bundesliga game.

Ligue 1: Leo Messi

Club: PSG
Goals + Assists: 0 + 0

In terms of sheer production there are players with more numbers in Ligue 1 so far this season. Kylian Mbappe, Wissam Ben Yedder and Amine Gouri have had impressive starts to the season, but there is no better player in Ligue 1 than Leo Messi. Once he settles in, finding his groove in the French capital, there might just be no stopping him. Already Mbappe is waxing lyrical about the Argentine’s singularly unique genius, which shows just how ridiculous he is that the best (or second-best) player in the league is awestruck by him.