Napoli Striker: Dries Mertens (2)
Making a return to the list for the second time in three weeks is at Napoli Superstar Dries Mertens. Not only put in another super performance for Napoli but made history as well. I have talked about for weeks that Lorenzo Insigne has established himself as Napoli’s number one option this season. I’m not sure that is the case anymore he is their best player but it certainly appears that Napoli doesn’t have a clear number one anymore. Mertens has picked up some really good form over the last few weeks and seemingly only has continued that. Against Empoli Mertens was absolutely world class. Empoli might be one of the worst teams in the league but this is the same team that pushed Juventus to the brink a few weeks ago . Dries Mertens was responsible for four out of the five goals in their 5-1 victory on Friday night. Dries Mertens scored a hat-trick three goals on five shots and Incredibly efficient performance from the Belgian. He also added an assist to his world-class performance. It seems that Carlo Ancelotti has now been more willing to put him in the starting lineup after heavily relying on him off the bench for parts of this season. With his hat trick he became Napoli’s sixth all-time goal-scorer 75 goals a tremendous amount. This Napoli team may have dropped points at home to Roma last week but I still believe they are the biggest threat to the crown that Juventus holds. I rank them slightly above inter for one particular reason. Lorenzo insigne and dries Mertens have a combined 14 League goals this season the fact that this team does not have a clear-cut number one option makes it difficult for teams to plan for them. They both have the ability to have a superstar moments this is probably the most dangerous one-two punch in all of Italy. At the beginning of the Season it seemed that Lorenzo Insigne was the clear-cut number one it just doesn’t exist anymore this team is so deep from the strikers all the way down to the goalkeeper that they are a huge threats to Juventus if they slip up. The emergence of Dries Mertens over last few weeks unleashes a dimension that they didn’t know they had. He was just special on Friday night he was incredibly effective he got to do what he wanted and was incredibly unselfish a complete performance for one of the most exciting players to watch in Italy. The tempo and the style of this team is so dangerous and Dries Mertens displayed why Napoli is a team to be worried about. An unbelievable performance from an incredible player this will not be the last we hear of him this season in fact he will make his way back on this list sooner rather than later.
Inter Milan Midfielder: Roberto Gagliardini
An improbable unlikely player ends up on this list. Inter Milan win their seventh consecutive match they are on fire. However in their 5-0 win over Genoa it wasn’t fueled by Marco Icardi. Inter Milan got goals from a very unlikely source. Roberto Gagliardini had an incredible performance that I don’t even think he saw it coming. Marco Icardi did not play the match and despite that Inter Milan throttled Genoa. Roberto Gagliardini score two goals and was influential throughout the entire match easily Inter Milan the best player. He is not a player that usually has this kind of spotlight but in the moment he showed unbelievable quality. Inter Milan at typically struggle without their hit man and for a defensive midfielder like Roberto Gagliardini to rise through the adversity being without their star and deliver for Inter Milan is absolutely Sensational. He felt comfortable on the ball he took his chances and had great accuracy in his passing. He played a really good performance we have not seen him play like this in an Inter Milan shirt. If he can maintain it this type of play which does seem unlikely Inter may have something here. He was an animal not only in the attacking sense but defensively he still understood and knows his role in the team he did not lose focus throughout the match. We may not see him appear on the this list again but in that moment through those 90 minutes he proved that he deserves a spot on a club like Inter Milan when at times this season that had been in question. This is a breakout game we’ve seen players have games like this and then hit the ground running if he’s able to do that with this Inter team he could be earn a starting spot on this team I don’t think I have ever seen him perform like this for those 90 minutes he was world class. He needs to take this performance and continue to improve because he was sensational.
AC Milan Midfielder: Alessio Romagnoli
AC Milan Captain Alessio Romagnoli came through once again at the death of the match. After losing the Milan Derby he has back-to-back game-winning goals in stoppage time. He absolutely deserves some recognition here there may have been other performances that stuck out more but Romagnoli has delivered and crucial moments for Milan. AC Milan last week got into the top floor for the first time in many years. This was all possible due to the heroics from the Milan captain. I don’t think AC Milan was Sensational throughout the match but for me it doesn’t matter how you start the match it’s how you finish it. AC Milan wants to get back in the Champions League for the first time since 2010. Games like this and performances like this especially late will help with that. Champions League football next year is becoming a possibility things will get a lot harder for this team next week but if they keep it close they now know Romagnoli has the potential to deliver in crunch time. It’s not only late heroics I think over the last few weeks he has been excellent but since he’s not a skillful player like some of his teammates he gets a little under appreciated in his value to this team. He shows and displays his leadership to keep them in the game and when it comes down to it Romagnoli has delivered almost consistently over the last few weeks. Two game winning goals is 2 more than practically everyone there have been players who have scored late and won games for their teams but I don’t think anyone has done it in consecutive weeks in the way Romagnoli has. He will continue to be a vocal leader for this team to inspire his guys to perform to the absolute best it is Champions League or bust for this AC Milan team if Romagnoli continues to perform the way he has that just may happen an unbelievable performance from Romagnoli as he hits late again.
DONKEY OF THE WEEK: Chevio Verona (2)
Sometimes I try to come up with other candidates for Donkey of the week but every week the same team is considered. Chievo Verona is the worst team I have seen in this league in the last five years. They still can’t even manage a point they continue and continue to embarrass themselves. They are dead last with -1 points and a -20 goal difference. In their last 5 games they have lost all five. Another loss to swallow this week has highlighted how bad they have been. They can’t even by a points at this stage they had by all accounts already psychologically been relegated. Bringing in Ventura; a loser didn’t help either they have continued to drop games and in all likelihood will continue to do so. This has been consistently one of the lowest scoring teams in the entire league for several years. Then this season they let go of their best player who scored at 12 goals last season without a proven goal-scorer they can’t accomplish anything. This may be incredibly harsh but I think it is very possible this team doesn’t get more than 10 points this season this will go down as one of the worst teams in a history of Italian football the donkey of the week goes to once again Chievo Verona it will not be the last time if they don’t get their stuff together.