5 Breakout Stars of the Season 2022/2023It's been a fiery football season with more historical matches to add to the reel and standout performances to be remembered. It's getting tough to limit stars to simple numbers, but let's have a crack at it.
Let's take a look at the breakout stars of the club season 2022/2023, who we think have had a great impact across all competitions.
5. Mehdi Taremi, FC PortoThe Nominee of the Puskas Award for the best goal in 2021, Mehdi Taremi is having a sensational time in the top European competition.
Although Porto could not progress further in the Champions League, Mehdi Taremi made an impact on the European world.
Netting 7 goals and creating 2 for his team in the Champions League, he was part of 58% of the goals scored by Porto. He has already scored 16 goals in the league and assisted 7 in his 30 appearances.
A rarity to see from a player of Iranian descent, where it's difficult to live, Mehdi Taremi with a mentality of steel made it to the European top flight.
Although he has some experience and struggles under his belt, this season was definitely his standout season, and has more firepower to come from his side in the years forward. Everyone watch out, the Iranian nuke has been launched and is targeting the top place in Europe.
4. Mohammed Kudus, AjaxGraduating from the Right to Dream foundation in Ghana, 'The Pride of Nima' Mohammed Kudus has been sensational with Ajax.
Injuries in the past few seasons meant limited game time and opportunities. This season he's been healthy and exceptional for Ajax and Ghana alike. He has scored 11 goals in 27 games in the league, and 4 goals and 2 assists in 6 games in the Champions League.
A lot of clubs across Europe would be interested in signing him as the summer transfer window hits.
3. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, NapoliNapoli is having a tremendous season and one name that took the whole Serie A and Champions League by storm is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
With his stunning performances and quality we have seen him bag 12 goals and 13 assists in Serie A while netting 2 and creating 4 in the Champions League in his first season.
Although Napoli got knocked out by their league rivals AC Milan in the Champions League, this fantastic talent led his team to the Serie A title.
His anarchic and sudden impact has already led to legendary status in the city. The Napoli faithful nicknamed him 'Kvaradona' in honour of legend Maradona.
This is just the start for this young talent and there are more fireworks to see from him to wrap up the season.
2. Rafael Leão, AC MilanSince Rafael Leão arrived at AC Milan, the club's trajectory has started moving upward. With a carefully crafted vision to dominate world football again, AC Milan signed him from Lille to be part of this thrilling journey.
Fans who follow Serie A can tell you about his dazzling dribbles, exquisite ball control, and goal-scoring ability.
In the Champions League, he has netted 1 and provided 5 for his team while scoring 12 goals this season in Serie A.
But it's his impact on the team that is so much more than the final product. His fast pace and dribbling ability make other teams cover him with more men. This allows Leão to involve his teammates and create goalscoring opportunities.
It remains to be seen if Leão can be the torchbearer for AC Milan's revival on the European stage as an exciting derby awaits them in the semi-finals.
1. Erling Braut Haaland, Manchester CityA little surprising to see his name on the list? Let me explain.
Erling Braut Haaland has been the hottest prospect for the past 2-3 years alongside Kylian Mbappé, who still has won a lot more compared to Haaland at the moment. His time at Borussia Dortmund gave him a great following and the much-needed game time against the top flight.
His move to Manchester City guaranteed him more goals and an opportunity to create a legacy. Haaland has done both, taking the Premier League by storm and the Champions League is seeing his most lethal side so far.
Haaland is now the fastest player to 35 goals in the Champions League and is already the top scorer in the Premier League with 35 goals and counting, making him the best goal scorer in one season in the history of Premier League.
Erling Braut Haaland's season with City can be considered his breakout season where he is in an ecosystem where can be mercurial and compete with the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Vinicius Júnior in terms of consistent big game performances and trophies.