We are just days away from the end of the final international break of 2019.
Come Friday evening when domestic football returns, fans, players and managers will not have to adjust to the international scene again until March.
It’s the longest break from international duty in the European season and usually proves to the most defining period of any campaign.
So with that in mind and every team across the continent’s top five leagues heading into such a crucial four-month spell, which players have been the highest performers so far?
Thanks to the folks over at WhoScored, the numbers have been crunched and we can reveal the best XI and surprisingly, only one Liverpool players makes the grade.
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GK – Alfred Gomis
A surprising start, but the Senegalese goalkeeper is turning heads at Dijon.
A man of the match performance in a 0-0 draw away at Lyon was recently followed up by another top display in a 2-1 win at home to PSG.
RB – Ricardo Pereira
No Trent Alexander-Arnold, but Pereira is a worthy winner of the right-back berth.
The Portuguese has scored twice for high-flying Leicester in the Premier League and he’s now a regular for his country ahead of Euro 2020.
CB – Caglar Soyuncu
The second Leicester play to make the cut, further highlighting what an amazing job Brendan Rodgers is doing at the King Power!
Soyuncu has been imperious at the back, helping the Foxes keep five clean sheets in the Premier League.
CB – Willy Boly
A difficult one to understand, which is not to say that Boly wasn’t performing decently prior to picking up a serious injury in training.
But surely Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Silva or Stefan de Vrij were more worthy of a spot after their performances in 2019/20?
LB – Andrew Robertson
Simply the best left-back in Europe.
A key man in Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season defensively and the Scotsman has also provided four assists in 12 Premier League appearances, as well as scoring once.
RM – Domenico Berardi
The 25-year-old winger’s career has stagnated in recent years, but Berardi is making up for lost time in 2019/20.
In 10 Serie A appearances for Sassuolo, the Italian flyer has scored seven times and assisted another two. Well played, Domenico.
CM – Kevin De Bruyne
The assist machine.
In 11 Premier League appearances for Man City this season, the Belgian has setup nine goals for his teammates, as well as scoring twice himself. He finally looks back to his very best.
CM – Wilfried Ndidi
Three Leicester players!
However, after watching the Foxes – and Ndidi in particular – this season, it really is no surprise. Already one of the top midfield enforcers in the world, the sky is the limit for the Nigerian.
LM – Angel Di Maria
Despite the presence of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Di Maria has been PSG’s main man in 2019/20.
In 22 appearances in all competitions, the electric Argentine has scored 11 goals and provided eight assists as Thomas Tuchel’s side sit comfortably at the top of Ligue 1.
ST – Ciro Immobile
What a season the Italian striker is having.
In case you haven’t been keeping up with Serie A this season, Immobile has been tearing the league up, scoring 14 times and assisting another five in just 12 games – insane form!
ST – Robert Lewandowski
The most in-form player in world football right now.
Lewandowski has scored in every Bundesliga and Champions League this season, taking his overall tally to 24 goals in just 17 games for Bayern in all competitions.
Not a bad team, but it just doesn’t feel right not seeing Messi, Ronaldo or even Neymar featuring.
The fact that not a single player from Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid or any La Liga team is included is also rather odd…