It’s finally here! The big 5 reviews.
The building tool of many smaller clubs and the excitement to see if your transfer from months ago was worth it. It always feels like a long gap between the big reviews, and then they seem to drag on forever, but even so… It’s one of the most exciting times in the game as it can shake up the league and the transfer market.
I’d be lying if I said all of my players had performed as I had expected in the 20/21 season. We’ve had a few who have been superb and exceeded my expectations, but there have also been those who have struggled or been hampered by injury. Overall though I am expecting some decent development, primarily in bring the back ups closer to first team contention, with a few improvements to the starting XI. With that in mind, here is how I’m hoping the big reviews will go for me (I have also added in a few from other leagues who I believe deserve rises).
Hugo Souza – 22 – GK – 83 > 85.
Kicking off my “Big 5 Review Expectations” with a keeper from Brazil… Nice one.
But anyway, here we go. Souza is a keeper who has caught the eye of many over the past year. He made his debut, displaced Diego Alves for Flamengo, kept 9 clean sheets in 30 games and won the league all in the space of 6 months. A 6.89 average in all competitions is very respectable considering he only made his senior debut at the end of September. The 22-year-old has recently been linked to Ajax, and has already outgrown his 83 rating. 85 would be a fair rise considering his impressive displays and league winners medal. Hopefully a European move will be on the cards in the near future, allowing him to push on further.
Ersin Destanoglu – 20 – GK – 82 > 85
Another non “Big 5” player here, but also another league champion so tough to not include him. At 20, Destanoglu has already made 45 senior appearances for Turkish giants Besiktas. He has conceded just 35 goals in 35 games this season, keeping 13 clean sheets in the process. These solid displays earned him an average rating of 6.76, helped Besiktas to become league champions and has now been linked with Lyon and OGC Nice. Similarly to Souza, Destanoglu has outgrown his 82 rating and should be expected to hit 85 in the near future to closer align him to his teammates.
Ezri Konsa – 23- CB – 87 > 88
Konsa has started all but 3 league games for Aston Villa this season, playing 93% of all minutes. He has helped Villa to the joint best defence of teams outside of the “Super League 6”, with just 46 goals conceded this season. The 23-year-old has also outperformed his CB partner Tyrone Mings (according to SofaScore) with a 6.97 rating compared to 6.95. Many have been surprised that Konsa hasn’t been called up for England, but I expect it is only a matter of time. He has also been linked with a move to a bigger club this summer with Tottenham apparently keen. Konsa is one of just a handful of Villa regulars who are rated below 88, and so it wouldn’t be unreasonable for him to get a +1 when the premier league is reviewed.
Ben White – 23 – CB – 86 > 87
Another very promising young English CB in our ranks is Ben White. As with Konsa, White has played 93% of all league minutes this season starting all but 2 games. Despite Brighton finishing 16th, they were the team to match Villa with the best defence outside of the “Super League 6” with 46 conceded. While a 6.79 average this season is slightly lower than Konsa, the Brighton CB has been named in the provisional England squad. As with most promising youngsters, White has been linked with a host of major clubs, with Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal and recently Roma all reportedly after him. The performances of White should comfortably see him to 87, and transfer links and potential England call up may well push him to 88 if we’re lucky, but I wont be counting on it.
Axel Disasi – 23 – CB – 86 > 87
CB was always a weakness for us, but now it is one of our most secure positions. Disasi was a big signing for us, and someone who I have very high hopes for. Monaco are back in the Champions League (…qualifiers) having finished 3rd in the league, and have the 4th best defence in France this season. While Disasi hasn’t been as regular as my English options, he has still featured in 29 league games with a 6.79 average. He has is also an apparent target of Tottenham and Arsenal. Even following a few year of below par finishes, Monaco player are still generally 88+. With that in mind, Disasi should be hitting 87 in the next few days in the Monaco review. I think his game time will limit him from hitting 88, but it’s not out of the question.
Oscar Mingueza – 22 – CB – 83 > 86/87
The signing of Mingueza is still one of the best pick ups I have made during my time in Top 100. Behind Lenglet, Mingueza has been the most played CB played in the league for Barcelona. The youngster started 70% of league games and has featured in a total of 39 matches for Barca this season. A 6.96 average rating highlights the impact that he has had, making him the 2nd best performing CB at the club. He also has the best pass completion (92.9%) for Barcelona players with over 20 games this season, and he is 2nd in the league behind only Toni Kroos. His game time, performance level, versatility and contract extension pin him as a key part of Barcelona’s future. He should be hitting 87 in the next few months, but Barcelona’s “poor” season and Koeman’s decision to give Mingueza just 106 minutes in the last 5 games of the season might see him only reach 86, although it would certainly be harsh.
Rick Karsdorp – 26 – RB – 87 > 88
I was surprised after the last review that Karsdorp didn’t rise. I am hoping now that he gets his deserved increase to 88. The 26-year-old has been the starting RB for Roma this season featuring in 34 league games, 10 Europa league matches and the Coppa Italia. 6 assists in the league makes him the joint 2nd most creative player at Roma, and joint 3rd most creative full back in the league. His 6.81 average has also earned him a call up to the Netherlands national team for the first time since 2017. Similarly to our other players, Karsdorp lags behind his team mates in rating, with the majority of Roma regulars being 89+. 88 is almost certain, and 89 may be within reach too.
Ben Johnson – 21 – RB – 78 > 80
While it’s not a massive rise, and he’s not set the world alight, Johnson has been solid when called upon. He has made 21 senior appearances, featuring at RB, RM, LB, LM and CB. Hopefully he is given more chances moving forward, but I expect a +2 for now.
Federico Dimarco – 23 – LB – 85 > 87
I thought Maouassa was our long term LB solution, but Dimarco may well be challenging him after the reviews. Dimarco was a long term target of mine, and he has certainly shown that he was worth the wait and the (at the time) high fee. The Inter left back has had a successful loan at Hellas scoring 5 and assisting 3 in 34 games. His 7.19 average has made Inter look at him as their future at left back too. Hellas have an option to make the loan permanent, but it is widely reported that a return to Inter will follow. Anyway, for now a +2 is the least he deserves, being the best performing player at Hellas this season.
Douglas Luiz – 23 – CM – 89 > 90
I’ll start off by saying I’m not sure how likely this one is, but will also explain my reasoning. Luiz has had a solid season, nothing insane, but also not bad by any means. He has featured in 33 league games picking up a 6.9 average. Man City do have a buy back clause, although it apparently looks unlikely that they will activate it. The main push for this rise would be his Brazil inclusion where he has featured in the last 4 games and been included in the Copa America squad. I wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed at 89, but I also don’t think it would be undeserved for him to hit 90.
Mattia Zaccagni – 25 – CM – 87 > 88
Similarly to Luiz, I am not sure how likely this one is. However, Zaccagni has featured in 36 league games for Hellas scoring 5 goals and assisting 7. These stats make him Hellas’ second best player of the season (behind Dimarco) with a 7.08 average rating. Throughout the season he has been linked with Milan, Napoli, Lazio and Roma, so it is sure to be an exciting summer for the midfielder. He deserves to hit 88, but we will have to wait and see.
Iliax Moriba – 18 – CM – 78 > 83
Was he worth all the hype? Yes… yes he was. 14 games, 1 goal, 2 assists and a 6.94 average for Barcelona. The big CM looks like he is the future at Barcelona and is already showing the qualities that would be expected of a much more established player. He has a 91.6% pass completion (de Jong has 91.9%), 0.9 shots per game (the highest of any non-attacker), is the 4th most fouled Barca player per game and completes the 5th most dribbles in the team per 90 minutes. Moriba could be the gem that we build around in the future as long as he can keep up his performances and is given more opportunities.
Jacob Ramsey – 19 – AM – 76 > 82
Similarly to Johnson, Ramsey has had a solid first season to senior football. The midfielder has made 25 senior appearances this season for Villa after starting the season with the U23s. Ramsey has been given more and more opportunities as the campaign has progressed so hopefully this continues. I think anywhere from 80 to 82 would be fine for Ramsey at the moment.
Roland Sallai – 24 – RW – 86 > 87
Sallai was signed as a versatile back up option, but looks like he might challenge for a starting spot if he gets his deserved rise. He netted 8 goals this season with a further 6 assists in 28 games for Freiburg. 87 should be coming up for him after a very solid season.
Said Benrahma – 25 – LW – 85 > 86
After a slow start to life at West Ham, Benrahma has finished the season well with a goal and 2 assists in his last 5 games, taking his total season tally to 1 goal and 7 assists. The creative winger is one of the most exciting wingers about but needs to be allowed to be himself. Hopefully West Ham continue to utilise him well in the future and he can produce the form that is expected of him more consistently. It’s tricky to predict how SM see him, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stay at 85, but I’d also not be shocked if they gave him a +2, so I’m going with a safe average of +1.
Romaine Faivre – 22 – LW – 83 > 85
Faivre had a great breakout season for Brest after joining from Monaco. The 22-year-old scored 6 and assisted 5 more helping Brest to survival. His performances have seen him earn a 7.2 average rating and links to PSG. If he can replicate his form at a bigger club he will surely be in for a great future. Despite his performances, his a rating will be limited by the stature of Brest and so 85 is probably realistic for now.
Gaetan Laborde – 26 – CF – 87 > 88
It has been an incredible season for Laborde who has had his most productive season for goals and assists. The Frenchman finished with 16 goals in the league, making him the 4th highest scorer in the league. He also assisted 8 more goals making him the clubs top scorer and 2nd highest assister. Montpellier also had a solid season finishing in 8th so a rise to 88 is surely in the bag.
Giacomo Raspadori – 21 – CF – 82 > 85
Another one of our promising youths has had a quicker “breakout” than expected. Raspadori was highly rated when he joined and was playing here and there for Sassuolo. He has had an incredible end to the season though picking up 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 6 appearances. This impressive form has seen him earn a surprise call up to the Italy squad. A solid rise here should put him in contention for a cup squad position for us.
While it isn’t our best batch of risers, it should be a solid few weeks with some really nice strength in depth being developed. A few other youngsters such as Ruggeri and Otasowie may well also pick up some rises although it’s hard to judge.
While I’ve listed the positives, we also also have some who I had hoped would have done more this season. Nicolas Gonzalez scored 6 and assisted 2 in 15 games for Stuttgart, but was hampered by injuries which will likely see him stay at 87. Similarly after 6 goals and 2 assists in the first half of the season, Luis Suarez picked up an injury and only scored one more on his return. Maouassa was hampered by injury too and Roberto Lopez wasn’t utilised in the second half of the season as much as he was in the early stages.
All 4 are still young though so will hopefully see more production in the future.
As always, it’s always very hard to predict SM so we will have to wait and see how these go, and hopefully we see some solid improvements to the team.