James Rodriguez's resurgence at Bayern Munich puts him atop our rankings of Europe's best attacking midfielders

Aditya Devavrat 09:35 15/05/2018
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James, the best attacking mid in Europe's top five leagues: agree or disagree?

James Rodriguez must have wondered where his career was going last summer. He wasn’t exactly a poor player at Real Madrid, but he couldn’t force his way into Zinedine Zidane‘s starting XI.

Bayern Munich came to his rescue, and the Colombian has thrived in Germany. So much so, that he’s regained his place among the best attacking midfielders in the game.

He tops our list of the best at his position – who else made the cut?

1. James Rodriguez, Bayern Munich

This season has brought James full circle. He earned a move to Real Madrid after a stunning showing at the 2014 World Cup. Having left Madrid on loan last summer, he heads into this year’s World Cup at the top of his game again.

James has rediscovered himself away from Madrid.

James has rediscovered himself away from Madrid.

2. Lorenzo Insigne, Napoli

There were so many things to love about Napoli this season, even if their title bid ultimately fell short. Insigne’s form was one of them, leading a thrilling attack with flair, skill and no little drive.

Insigne was the driving force behind Napoli's title bid.

Insigne was the driving force behind Napoli’s title bid.

3. Heung-min Son, Tottenham

Harry Kane may get all the goals but Son has been one of Spurs’ most effective performers this season. That Son plays with a visible, infectious joy, much like Mohamed Salah, only adds to his aura.

Son's burgeoning reputation grew even bigger this season.

Son’s burgeoning reputation grew even bigger this season.

4. Nabil Fekir, Lyon

If anyone was worried that Fekir’s severe injury debacle would derail his progress, they needn’t worry anymore. The Frenchman has been absolutely superb this term, leading Lyon’s charge for a Champions League spot.

Fekir returned from injury to produce a superb season for Lyon.

Fekir returned from injury to produce a superb season for Lyon.

5. Christian Eriksen, Tottenham

Eriksen must have felt that Harry Kane and Dele Alli had been hogging the headlines for too long. It’s been a stunning season from the Dane, who also scored a hat-trick in a World Cup qualifying play-off to seal Denmark’s spot.

Eriksen cemented his status as one of the best in Europe at his position.

Eriksen cemented his status as one of the best in Europe at his position.

6. Douglas Costa, Juventus

It’s strange that Bayern Munich let him go to Juventus on loan in the first place. The Brazilian is certainly not complaining – he’s hit top form for the Serie A‘s best side. He’s going to make Bayern rue their decision someday.

Costa has been a perfect fit at Juve after being frozen out at Bayern Munich.

Costa has been a perfect fit at Juve after being frozen out at Bayern Munich.

7. Memphis Depay, Lyon

Cut free from the pressure and expectation at Manchester United, Memphis has thrived. He had a run of six games with either a goal or an assist at one point, making sure Lyon didn’t miss a beat when Fekir was injured.

Lyon have unlocked the potential that Memphis never quite delivered on at United.

Lyon have unlocked the potential that Memphis never quite delivered on at United.

8. Luis Alberto, Lazio

What Insigne did for Napoli this season, Alberto did for Lazio. Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic stole the headlines for the Rome team, but the Spaniard’s incisiveness and vision underpinned their play.

Luis Alberto's influence was easily seen in Lazio's best attacking play.

Luis Alberto’s influence was easily seen in Lazio’s best attacking play.

9. Paulo Dybala, Juventus

It says it all that a season where he scores twice as many league goals while recording nearly the same number of assists as the previous year is considered a disappointing campaign. Granted, Dybala hasn’t hit the heights of last season, but he’s still a rising star.

Dybala didn't hit the heights of last season, but he was still superb.

Dybala didn’t hit the heights of last season, but he was still superb.

10. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

It’s tempting to wonder how good Sterling’s season would have been had he been a better finisher. Would we be talking about him in the same breath as Mohamed Salah? Of all the players to have grown under Guardiola’s tutelage, the Englishman showcases it best.

Sterling scored some crucial goals to give City's title bid momentum.

Sterling scored some crucial goals to give City’s title bid momentum.

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