In the 2nd of the series I look at players who’s clubs have been taking part in the Champions League this season and wear the number 19:
10. Manor Solomon (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Scored against Man City this season, but since he’s joined Donetsk goals have not been flowed like they hoped for! He is very young and enters this list more on his talent than achievements. A lot of pressure is on this lad, it’s expected he will become the best player Israel has ever produced. Has all the skill sets a modern forward needs to play in a front 3, after serving his apprenticeship a move to the premier league surely beckons.
9. Nikola Maksimovic (Napoli)
Compared to compatriot Vidic, which is an honour for any defender but to me is a lazy one basing it on position and country origin. Nikola is more mobile which has been to his detriment, like many utility players once the recognised starter returns they lose their place, plugging in makes you a squad player! This season he’s earned more starts at CB, with his contract ending next summer a club like Arsenal would surely be interested in a 29 year old like him.
8. Rodrigo (Valencia)
The former Bolton loanee has had a much better time than The Wanderers have since 2011. His goal record is very modest, by far his best career spell was at Benfica averaging a goal every 2 games but more known as the focal point for Valencia. His tendency to get involved with the build up play causes his lack of goals but a issue is he doesn’t provide too many assists. Playing for Spain helped him make this list, a lad called Amine Gouri who’s not played for Lyon but holds the 19 shirt has so much more talent and will surpass Rodrigo who ultimately will be known as journeyman!
7. Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Mount is among a growing band of young English footballers who are so technically good but tactically astute. The worry for Mason will be once Chelsea enter the transfer market again and he maybe reverts to more of a squad role. Hard to pinpoint his best position, too lightweight for centre midfield but lacking pace for front 3. One thing is for sure he is certainly good enough to be involved with Europe’s top clubs and his quality will earn himself big moments in the future.
6. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)
Breakout season came out by Bayern stumbling upon the fact he could play left back, seems very similar to Arsenal and Saka. Major question marks hang as we’ve not seen him tested defensively yet, so far he imposes his pace, strength and skill on the opposition so they cannot get at him, helps playing for Bayern too. Intriguing to see what happens over the next few years, it’s out of the question he will go back to playing as a winger.
5. Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen)
Made a brave move by leaving PSG, sensible in the fact he went to the Bundesliga like many young European talents. Very similar player to Hudson-Odoi, his next step will be consistency and goals. His best way to play international football could be by playing for Mali rather than the ultra strong France.
4. Leroy Sane (Man City)
Not played this season due to injury but he wears 19, City are in the Champions League and he is a awesome talent. Only 24 but won so many club honours and young player of the year in 2018, no doubt he will win so many more whether with City or Bayern if the move goes ahead. I could see him playing as a central striker in the next few years, false 9 role.
3. Diego Costa (Athletico Madrid)
Not as talented as many players on this list but Diego is a winner, scores goals (averages a goal every 2 games over his career) and is a player he gives defenders nightmares. What has endured him too many fans are the social media videos which show him to be funny and a good team mate, a definite one you want on your own team. The closest Chelsea got to a replacement for Drogba after so many apparently top players tried.
2. Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund)
The heir apparent to Reus at Dortmund, put them together they even look like siblings. Only just joined Borussia so if he was to leave in the coming years it won’t be too Bayern and more likely La Liga than Premier League. Exciting double threat talent is surely on the hit list for either El Classico teams. Dortmund will have some hefty transfer fees coming over the next 2 years with Brandt, Sancho & Haaland all taking Europe by storm.
1. Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
The one true world class player in this list had to be no 1, talented and more trophies than all others players on this list combined in one of the toughest leagues in the world for one of the most iconic teams around. The quieter member of the Juve defence for years will surely remembered as the best in years to come. When he left for AC Milan a few years ago many English sides missed a trick not signing him.
Next time I will be ranking this season Premier League 19’s.