5 footballers who have transformed their careers this season

Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard
Shambhu Ajith

Some of these footballers have silenced their critics and risen from the dust while others have had breakout seasons.

One great thing about football is that we can never predict from where or from whom a moment of brilliance is going to come. The beautiful game has embraced many an unlikely hero and it continues to do so. It is the unpredictability that gets us hooked after all.

This season hasn't been much different either. Players who were written off and told they did not belong at the highest level have silenced their critics. Youngsters who were not even heard of have broken onto the scene and have grabbed the opportunity to shine by the scruff of its neck.

Without further ado, let's take a look at five footballers who have absolutely transformed their careers this season.

#5 Amine Gouiri - OGC Nice

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v OGC Nice: Group C - UEFA Europa League
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v OGC Nice: Group C - UEFA Europa League

After finishing fifth in the Ligue 1 table in the 2019-20 season, Nice have followed it up with a rather bleak campaign. But they are still just about hanging in the top half of the table thanks to an unlikely hero in 21-year-old French striker Amine Gouiri.

The youngster, who joined Nice from Olympique Lyon last summer, has been outstanding this season and has fired on all cylinders. With 16 goals and six assists to his name across all competitions this campaign, Gouiri has been the Ligue 1 outfit's best player.

After realizing that the competition at Lyon for a starting berth was going to be unforgiving for a while, Gouiri did the right thing in securing a move to Nice. His style of play is similar to Mohamed Salah's and he loves driving in from the left-flank and does not operate as an out-and-out forward.

He has shown a lot of maturity at such a young age and he is one player to keep an eye out for in the seasons to come.

#4 Dominic Calvert-Lewin - Everton

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Premier League

Dominic Calvert-Lewin took the Premier League by storm in the early bits of the season when it looked like he couldn't stop scoring. His form has dwindled a bit in the second half of the season but he could very well end thus Premier League campaign with 20 goals to his name.

The Evertonian earned his first international cap this season and has fared well for the Three Lions so far. He had a decent 2019-20 season but he has added so much to his game this time around. Calvert-Lewin has become a genuine aerial threat and his leaps and airtime are things to behold.

He has scored 23 goals in all competitions for both club and country this season and at 24-years-old, he has a long way to go and certainly packs the skillset to make the most of it as well.

#3 Andre Silva - Eintracht Frankfurt

Eintracht Frankfurt v 1. FC Koeln - Bundesliga
Eintracht Frankfurt v 1. FC Koeln - Bundesliga

Andre Silva broke onto the scene for the first time in the 2016/17 season. However, subsequent seasons showed that he was nowhere near the finished product and after underwhelming spells at AC Milan and Sevilla, Silva seems to have found his form at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The 25-year-old has been in sensational form this season for the Bundesliga outfit and has transformed into one of the best young strikers in the world. Eintracht Frankfurt paid just โ‚ฌ9 million to sign him from AC Milan and he has gone from strength to strength in the Bundesliga.

Silva has scored 22 goals and provided three assists in 25 Bundesliga appearances this term. He has been able to keep his head in front of the goal and has become much stronger in the air as well.

Since being called overrated and swept to the the fringes of the national side, Silva has truly worked his way back into contention as one of the most promising strikers in Europe over the course of a season.

#2 John Stones - Manchester City

Manchester City v West Ham United - Premier League
Manchester City v West Ham United - Premier League

When Manchester City initially signed John Stones, it looked like his career was about to be made. However, Stones kept slipping down the pecking order and had nearly become a non-entity in Pep Guardiola's setup. That was before a certain Ruben Dias was signed last summer.

Dias was signed to be partnered up with Aymeric Laporte at centre-back. However, an injury to the Spaniard meant that Stones had to deputize for him. The centre-back pairing of Ruben Dias and John Stones has worked like a charm and Manchester City have shored up so well at the back that they do not look defensively vulnerable at all these days.

That used to be the chink in their armour despite all the enterprise they've shown going forward over the past few years. John Stones is not only an extremely capable and intelligent defender but he also scores valuable goals.

He has a passing accuracy rate of 93% in the Premier League from 18 appearances and has scored four goals. Stones was reportedly one of the players most likely to be sold last summer but he has now become undroppable at City.

#1 Jesse Lingard - West Ham United

Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United - Premier League

Jesse Lingard had a breakout season at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho. However, he could not keep that going and proved to not be a good fit for the style of play that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to implement at Old Trafford.

Lingard also had to deal with a lot of personal problems at the time and it looked like what was once a promising career was coming to an anticlimactic end. That was until Manchester United decided Jesse needed to get some minutes under his belt and decided to send him to West Ham on loan.

Jesse Lingard has already become a cult-favourite among the Hammers and has been exceptional ever since joining in January. Lingard is the kind of player who thrives when he is afforded space to run into and at West Ham, he gets aplenty.

Lingard is a unique kind of threat on the counter as he hardly ever runs out of steam and keeps running and taking on defenders throughout the match. He had become a laughing stock at Manchester United but is currently one of the most in-form players in the Premier League at West Ham.

The 28-year-old has scored six goals and provided three assists in nine Premier League appearances for the Hammers so far. According to SkySports, West Ham fancy him so much that they will do whatever it takes to make his stay permanent at the end of the season.

Edited by Shambhu Ajith


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