5 best players in 2018/19 Europa League so far, no. 3 could still be dumped by his club

This season’s Europa League has seen players from different clubs put in great performances through the various stages of the competition, all leading to two teams from the Premier League getting set to battle for the crown as Arsenal and Chelsea overcame Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively in the thrilling semi-final clashes.

It may be considered Europe’s second-tier competition after the prestigious Champions League, but it would be great folly to think the quality witnessed in the Europa League is not comparable to the level from players in the Champions League.

And with one last match awaiting the world, it is the perfect time to take a look – in no particular order – at the five best players in the 2018/19 Europa League so far.

Image result for jovic frankfurt benfica europa league

Luka Jovic

It would be ridiculous not to include the Eintracht Frankfurt striker. As a team, the Bundesliga side proved a hard nut to crack throughout the competition and with Jovic, the modest Germans had a lethal goalscorer to complement their team and take them as far as possible… which he did.

Image result for jovic frankfurt benfica europa league

The Bosnian-born Serbia international fired in 10 goals in 14 Europa League appearances, including two in each leg of the semi-final against Chelsea as he helped Frankfurt push the Premier League side all the way to penalties before finally succumbing to bow out of the competition.

He also scored a crucial away goal against his former parent club, Benfica, days before turning his loan deal to Frankfurt from the Portuguese giants into a permanent contract as some of Europe’s finest – including Real Madrid – expressed their interest in him. And it’s only a matter of time before Jovic starts banging in the goals for a bigger club.

Image result for jovic frankfurt benfica europa league

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Considering he was only featured in three of Arsenal’s group stage matches, Aubameyang lit up the Europa League with his six goals in eight knock-out games – seven of those being starts – to inspire the Gunners to the final.

Image result for aubameyang europa league

Aubameyang’s value to the Premier League side was on full display in the 4-2 semi-final second leg win at Valencia as he not only scored a hat-trick but was a headache to the defenders, dropping deep to pick up possession and cutting in from the right to rain havoc on the opposition. He was simply unplayable.

Many see him as lazy but on his day, and he manages to have a good number of those, Aubameyang is among the deadliest strikers in world football right now and will be the edge that gives Unai Emery’s men great confidence heading into the final against Chelsea later in May.

Olivier Giroud

The France international continues to defy expectations about him as he has been one of the Europa League’s best performing stars this season, yet his 10 goals in 13 matches for the Blues in the competition could still be not enough to convince manager Maurizio Sarri to keep him beyond the end of this season.

Image result for giroud europa league

Related image

After getting his first start in the competition in the third Europa League group stage game, Giroud scored four goals in the last three group matches to fire Chelsea to the top of Group L and followed that up with a further five goals in the next four knock-out stage matches.

Image result for giroud europa league

While he may not have scored in either leg of the close semi-final against Eintract Frankfurt, he remains one of the players Chelsea will be banking on to overcome his former club, Arsenal, and claim the Europa League title.

Image result for giroud europa league

Joao Felix

19-year-old Felix only made his competitive debut for Benfica at the start of the season in August but even at his tender age he is already breaking records, not to mention attracting admiring glances from Europe’s biggest clubs and comparisons to some of Portugal’s greatest players – he’s dubbed the next Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Benfica forward became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Europa League when the Portuguese giants defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 in the first leg of their quarterfinal tie in Lisbon – although they would subsequently lose the tie by virtue of away goals after a 4-4 aggregate result.

Joao Felix

Still, his fearless charisma on the field to match his explosive talent makes him one to watch for the future and right now, it has been enough to make him among the best performing players in this season’s Europa League.

Benfica's midfielder Joao Felix looks on during the Portuguese League football match between SL Benfica and CD Nacional at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on February 10, 2019. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo credit should read PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Chelsea boss, Maurizio Sarri, has been widely criticised for his midfield set up this season as it is considered predictable – even the substitutions are like for like. It is amidst this situation that Loftus-Cheek has fought his way from being a second string option to pushing for a regular first-team spot which is something under Sarri.

And it is in the Europa League that the England international’s star has shone brightly, scoring four goals and providing three assists – proving instrumental in the semi-final clash against Frankfurt by providing the assist for Pedro’s crucial away goal in the first leg and scoring Chelsea’s goal in the return leg before going off injured.

Loftus-Cheek is even considered among Chelsea fans as the crown prince to the Stamford Bridge throne that Eden Hazard is looking more likely to leave behind as the days go by, with his penalty kick winner in the semi-final possibly his last act in front of the club’s fans on home ground.

Meanwhile, the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea will take place on May 29 at the capital of Azerbaijan.

What are your thoughts on these players? Are they the best in your view too? Tell us in the comments section.