Across Europe, we are fortunate enough to have a range of exceptional players and well-developed sides. At times we forget how much of a luxury this is therefor we believe its time to highlight some of the best and worst moments on the pitch each week.
Strike Of The Week – Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad v Celta Vigo)
Mikel Oyarzabal is a diamond in the rough produced by Real Sociedad's youth system. The 21-year-old winger is quickly becoming one of La Liga's most exciting talents and his goal verse Celta Vigo proved he has a lot more to come. The Spaniard raised his game last season and tallied a total of 14 goals, impressive for playing in a midtable team. The stunner you see her came in the second leg of a Cope Del Ray match. The ball is diverted out of the box from a corner and it fell to Oyarzabal awkwardly, he controlled it with his chest and lined up the shot. Before the defender could close him down, he struck the ball sweet and the finish only ever had one outcome… a screamer!
The perfect placement from Mikel left all players static watching the ball, including the Goalie who didn't stand a chance. Celta Vigo failed to conjure a reply to Oyarzabal goal and Adnan Januzaj put a nail in the visitor's coffin with Sociedad's second of the day. This is one of the best volleys we have seen all season.
Save Of The Week – Alisson Becker (Liverpool v Everton)
Prior to joining Liverpool in the Summer, Alisson had a questionable £70m price tag over his head. Jurgen Klopp felt as if this was a signing worth making as many defensive errors last season were through the fault of previous goalkeepers. The most notable being the double error made by Karius in the Champions League final which effectively cost the Reds their first European title since 2005.
Five months into the 18/19 season, Liverpool are showing real signs of a title challenge and remain the only unbeaten side in the Premiership. Last week, Liverpool hosted their neighbours, Everton in the Merseyside derby which has turned out to be a huge result. The match remained goalless until deep into injury time when substitute, Origi came on to grab a winner for Liverpool. Anfield understandably erupted but the late victory was all made possible by Man Of The Match, Alisson. Out of the three shots Marco Silva's men had on target, Alisson prevented them all from going any further.
The biggest save of the match was made after Andre Gomes directed a header towards goal at point-blank range. Alisson hurdled himself at the effort and took a page out of the goalkeeping manual by making himself wide by spreading his long limbs. It was a decisive moment and I don't think anyone expected the Brazilian to pull it out of the bag but that £70m is starting to look more like a bargain than extortionate.
Player Of The Week – Luuk De Jong (PSV)
If you haven't heard of Luuk De Jong yet, you better get familiar with him as he looks to be the future of the Dutch frontline. At 28 years of age, he is a well-developed player but this season is turning out to be his finest since his professional debut in 2008. De Jong plays for PSV in the Eredivisie and is now only 4 goals short of a century for the Dutch Champions. His scoring pinnacle came in the 15/16 season where he netted 32 times by the end of the campaign.
With the majority of the new season ahead of us, Luuk is already halfway to his record. Goals in the Champions League have attracted well-earned attention for the striker and he has currently scored against 2/3 sides in PSV's group. Tottenham & Barcelona both felt the wrath of De Jong and when Inter host Eindhoven tonight, De Jong could reach a career landmark if he is able to score past a resilient Handovic.
If you're unsure on De Jong's value to PSV, go through their results and see how many times he has come through in big games. He is that player who can grab you a goal out of nothing, and it will be hard for Mark Van Bommel to hold on to his talisman during the transfer window. De Jong will always be a wise bet for Anytime Goalscorer.