The big reviews are always something to look forward to, especially if you rely heavily on them for team improvement, rather than buying in the big ratings. This makes it even more vital for smaller teams such as us at Leicester City. It was similar when I was at Espanyol, and played a big part in the long term success I had there, and I am hopeful of replicating that here!
So far, however, this series of reviews has seemed quite tough to predict, with the French review seeming slightly harsher than expected. This is most likely due to how early into the season the reviews have started, with just 14 Ligue 1 games completed. If this is the reason, then other leagues will likely follow suit, with between 11 and 14 games completed in the Top 5 leagues.
Despite this, we all have hopes or expectations for our players and with that in mind, here is what I hope to see at Leicester City from the Top 5 league reviews.
Andrea Consigli – 88/89
Currently 87, I’m expecting Consigli to rise to 88, or potentially push for 89. The 33-year-old is the number 1 at Sassuolo who are 5th in Serie A, 2 points off 2nd and 5 points off 1st. The performances of the team should see a few in the squad rise, and Consigli is surely one of them. He is currently the highest rated keeper (with more than 2 appearances) in all Top 5 leagues, with a 7.16 average . The team currently have just 1 89 rated player, but I’d expect that to increase to 4 or 5 in this review, and hopefully Consigli will be amongst them, despite the SM age bias.
Antonio Mirante – 88/89
Also currently 87, Mirante surely deserves 88, with an outside chance of 89. He’s shocked many this season by taking the staring spot at Roma, despite being 37, and so far has looked impressive. 4 clean sheets in 9 games make him one of the top keepers in Serie A this season, and with Roma currently in 6th he’s sure to rise.
Gregor Kobel – 86
As stated earlier, these are hard to predict due to the early stages of the season, but Kobel surely has a shot at a rise as Stuttgart sit in 7th in the Bundesliga while Kobel boasts a 6.81 average rating. He got a +2 in July which could limit him but it certainly wouldn’t be unwarranted if he was to hit 86.
David Garcia – 87
Garcia is someone who I am very hopeful can rise to 87. I picked him up rated 85 and he rose to 86 in the last review and is fully deserving of 87 now. his 7.09 average rating makes him the 3rd best performing centre back (with more than 2 appearances) in LaLiga, and best for players with over 10 games. The issue is Osasuna sit bottom of the league, which could snatch a rise away from him. However, the fact that the team are bottom makes his performances even more impressive and just two wins could see them rise into the top half.
Liam Cooper – 85/86
Leeds currently sit 14th in the Premier League after some inconsistent form. What has been consistent, though, is the form of club captain Liam Cooper. His 9 league games have seen him average a 6.94 with only 2 performances meriting less than 6.75. Some form of rise is sure to come and a +2 86 would not be undeserved.
Koray Gunter – 84/85
The fact that Gunter only got a +1 to 83 last time around is ridiculous considering he made 32 appearances for 9th place Hellas Verona with a rating of 6.75, while his CB partners Kumbulla and Rrahmani hit 85 and 86 respectively. Oh well, he’ll do great this season, right? Well yes, and no… a 7.61 average makes him, by performance, the best centre back in Serie A this season, but this has come from just 3 starts as he missed 2 games due to Coronavirus, and picked up an injury upon his return which he has only just recovered from. Hopefully he gets some sort of rise as he surely deserves it from last season anyway, and has shown he’s performing well this year too when fit.
Tiago Djalo – 82
A big thing for me when Djalo joined was the lack of depth at the back for Lille which I thought would give him chances at the back. He went completely unused until game 11 though. Since then he has made 7 appearances, 4 of which have been starts. He’s being used at right back primarily with 3/4 of his starts there. While he’s not been outstanding, he has been solid and so should merit a small of around +2.
Oscar Mingueza – 80
Despite not being here yet, Mingueza is a Leicester City player and will be joining in January. It always catches attention when a youngster breaks into the Barcelona squad, and that alone might have seen SM give him a rise. However, his performances also give another reason that he deserves a rise. In his 3 full 90 minutes he averaged a 7.41 and picked up an assist which made me very hopeful for his development. Since then though he has dropped to more expected levels. Despite this, his involvement in the Barcelona senior squad will be helpful for his long term development and I’m hoping he can rise from 75 and hit 80 in the review. On a separate note, his contract ends this summer and he may opt to move away for more game time if he does drop out of the senior team again.
Matty Cash – 86/87
Despite being rated 85, Cash is already my starting right back as I’m hoping to prepare him ahead of his rise. Cash has started all 10 of Aston Villa’s Premier League games and earned an average rating of 7.11. In 6 of these 10 games he has been rated over 7 (2 in the 7.8’s and 1 8.4). Despite Villa currently being 11th, they do have 2 games in hand which could see them up to 3rd. 86 is a certainty, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see 87 if Villa do utilise their games in hand.
Maxime Busi – 83/84
After impressing for Charleroi last season and at the start of this season, Busi was signed by Serie A side Parma. He had an injury when he arrived but has played in the past 4 league matches and in the Coppa Italia. At Charleroi this season (before his move) he had a 7.18 average so hopefully he can get to that level at Parma too. He got a rise to 82 in October thought so might not rise until doing a bit more.
Christopher Lenz – 86
Union Berlin have been one of the surprises of the season in the Bundesliga and Lenz himself has played a big part in that. He’s started all 12 of their league games, registered 2 assists and got a 6.96 average rating. A +2 to 86 certainly would be deserved given both the performance of the team and Lenz.
Federico Dimarco – 85/86
I was very happy when we were able to sign Dimarco this season. The Inter academy graduate had a productive loan spell at Hellas during the 2nd half of last season and has returned this season where he has been great. In his 10 league appearances he has averaged 7.13 and assisted 3 goals. That makes him the 2nd best left back in Serie A (with over 5 appearances). Hellas are 7th at the moment which is very strong and could lead to some bigger rating boosts if they remain consistent. From 83, Dimarco is probably looking at a +2, but could get a +3. I’m hoping long term Dimarco takes the spot at Inter since their current options are getting on a bit.
Douglas Luiz – 88/89
I have had quite a bit of interest in Luiz this season, unsurprisingly, but I’ve been determined to keep hold of him. He’s started all 10 league games for Villa this season remaining relatively consistent throughout other than one or two dips and one or two especially good performances. His form at Villa should see him to 88. However, he’s been a regular for Brazil in their World Cup Qualifying campaign which has certainly boosted his chances at a further rise to 89. On top of that he is also linked with a return to Manchester City, and rumours like that have been attributed to rises in SM in the past.
Yangel Herrera – 87/88
Similarly to Gunter, I was quite surprised that Herrera only got a +1 last time out. He was the best player for Granada with a 6.95 average last season, with 2 goals and 3 assists in his 30 games, and while others such as Machis got a +2, Herrera didn’t. This season he has continued his great form with 3 goals in 16 games and an average rating of 7.00. Granada got through the Europa League group stages and are currently in 6th in LaLiga meaning they could be in for rating boosts across the squad. I think he should have been 87 in the last review so hope he gets up to 88 this time around but we will see.
Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro – 85
Akpa Akpro joined Lazio at the start of this season and it was unclear what sort of role he’d play. However, so far he has missed just 1 game that he has been available for (one more through suspension). He has started only 4 games which will be the biggest limiter of how much he can rise, but other than that he has proven very useful for Lazio in both the league and Champions League.
Martin Zubimendi – 83/84/85
This one is probably the hardest to predict. After breaking into the senior squad last season, he has continued to impress. He missed the first 2 games of the season through injury but has since featured in every game. He has an average rating of 7.13 in games that he’s started and Real Sociedad currently sit top of LaLiga. He has started just 9 of his 17 appearances this season, which could limit how high he rises. I’d be content with 83, but do hope for a little higher. Either way he’s one of my brightest prospects for the future.
Jean Lucas – 83/84
Lyon look to be back to their best this season as they sit in 2nd in Ligue 1. Jean Lucas has played a minor role in this, staring 1 game and appearing as a sub in 5 more. While this isn’t a huge amount, he may get a +1 or +2. If not it wouldn’t be too surprising, but it also wouldn’t be too generous if he got a rise.
Romain Faivre – 83
Faivre already got his rise to 83 but I thought I’d include him anyway. He joined Brest from Monaco at the start of the season and has since scored 3, assisted 2 and averaged a rating of 7.44 in his 14 games. No doubt if he continues in this form he’ll rise further, but will remain limited by the Brest team ratings.
Darwin Machis – 88
Machis is already a key player for me and I think he has a good shot at 88. 5 goals and 3 assists in 20 games so far this season have helped Granada to 6th in the league and through the Europa League group stages. He has also featured in every game in these two competitions this season earing a 7.28 average from the games that he has started. As suggested before, I think Granada could get good squad bump, and Machis should surely be one of those best rewarded.
Alberto Soro – 83/84
Soro hasn’t started a league game this season for Granada but has started 3 in the Europa League and made 9 more appearances in all competitions off the bench. He’s picked up an assist and a goal and looks to be getting more opportunities. Similarly to a few others, he could rise, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t.
Luis Suarez – 86/87
Another on who hasn’t joined yet but will in January. Suarez was the record signing for Granada and has played in every game this season with 8 starts and 7 sub appearances. Despite a slower start in the league, he has scored in his past 3 league matches, adding to his 2 in the Europa League. In his 8 starts he has an average rating of 7.25 and also, as mentioned, he plays for Granada who have grown massively as a team over the past year. So I’d expect 86, maybe 87 if he keeps up his form for the next few games.
Nicolas Gonzalez – 86/87
This is another one which has been limited by injuries. Gonzalez has missed 5 games through injury but has shown his quality when he is playing. He’s made just 3 starts but has been brought on off the bench a further 4 times. He’s scored 4 goals and assisted 1 so far and has a 7.8 average rating from starts. As mentioned earlier, Stuttgart are 7th meaning they could get some nice rises coming up. He’s also played for Argentina in the past which highlights his quality.
Josh Sargent – 85/86
Sargent is a really promising youth for me and someone I am hoping can really push on this season and next. He’s the main man up top at Werder Bremen and has missed only 1 game this season. Werder are having a tough season and Sargent has just 1 league goal and 2 assists. Despite this, he has a respectable 6.84 average from his 11 games. His game time should get him up to 85 at least and he may just sneak an 86 if he’s lucky. Hopefully he can start picking up some more goals, but that could be down to the team rather than Sargent himself.
Obviously all of these are my own opinion. Most of my knowledge comes from stats from multiple websites rather than watching them all. As mentioned, I think this series of reviews is quite early so could be tricky to predict but I’m hopeful that most of these come in.
We’ve got a strong focus on building for the future and even some of the “lower” rises (82-85) can be huge in setting up future rises.
Should be an interesting few weeks for all clubs, as this often shakes up the market too.