Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr., Eder Militao (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Getafe, Enes Unal (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Real Madrid have two of the biggest breakout stars in European football this season, Vinicius Jr. and Eder Militao. While it can be argued that Militao was playing close to this level at the end of the 2020-2021 season, the reality is that he has reached new heights this season. Plus, it is one thing to be amazing for a month or two; it is another to be world-class for more than half of a season as a clear-cut starting center back for the best club in Spain.
There can be no argument that Vinicius Jr. has improved by leaps and bounds in 2021-22. He has broken out into a more complete player, and he is actually scoring goals, providing end product for a team that desperately need another star forward. Vini has won games on his own this season, including against big opponents like Sevilla and Valencia.
But where do Militao and Vinicius Jr. rank among the most-improved players in all of LaLiga? We will not be including players from the second league (like Raul de Tomas) or rookies like Gavi. But everyone else, including veterans of LaLiga, are fair game!
It is appropriate we discuss Enes Unal after the Turkish striker scored yet another one of the best goals of the season, finding the back of the net from the kind of area where you would expect a cross. And once again, it was a crucial goal for Getafe, as it helped the team get a point from their match against Alaves.
Getafe sit in 15th place, so that makes Unal’s 13 goals all the more crucial to this club’s LaLiga survival. An underrated attacker who has shown true genius at times this season, Unal’s explosion on the goal front is all the more impressive when you consider he scored a paltry four goals in the 2020-21 season. He was horrible.
In fact, Unal has never scored more than six goals in a season since finding the back of the net 18 times for Twente in 2016-17.
At the age of 24, Unal is finding his footing in LaLiga and becoming one of the league’s most important players to his respective team.
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