Then: Not good enough in Dutch Eredivisie; now: On course to win his first Premier League. Then: Yet another “new Messi” turned moldy; now: Leading Wolves’ Champions League charge. Then: Dime a dozen among Old Trafford scraps; now: Back on Man Utd’s transfer radar. The best stories, comments, and highlights from Premier League 2019/20 November highest-rated eleven.
4-4-2 | Tim Krul (8.68, Everton vs Norwich); Martin Montoya (8.67, Brighton vs Norwich), Steve Cook (8.59, Bournemouth vs Wolves), Virgil van Dijk (8.89, Liverpool vs Brighton), Jetro Willems (8.20, West Ham vs Newcastle); Adama Traore (9.23, Wolves vs Aston Villa), Kevin De Bruyne (8.70, Newcastle vs Man City), Wilfred Ndidi (8.58, Leicester vs Arsenal), Dwight McNeil (9.05, Burnley vs West Ham); Alexandre Lacazette (8.95, Arsenal vs Southampton), Dele Alli (9.54, Tottenham vs Bournemouth)
Player rating: 8.68
Team score: Everton 0–2 Norwich
Individual highlights: 7 total saves
Player rating: 8.67
Team score: Brighton 2–0 Norwich
Individual highlights: 1 assist, 4 interceptions
Player rating: 8.59
Team score: Bournemouth 1–2 Wolves
Individual highlights: 1 goal, 1 clearance off the line
VIRGIL VAN DIJK
Player rating: 8.89
Team score: Liverpool 2–1 Brighton
Individual highlights: 2 goals, 4 aerials won
Virgil van Dijk was a strong character, great passer but a bit nonchalant now and then.
I think that cost him a transfer to PSV among others; he made mistakes in a couple of games when the big clubs' scouts were watching. Virgil has got the talent, he wasn't expensive, just not the luck to break through at that time."
—Rob Maaskant on Virgil van Dijk eluding the top clubs back in Dutch Eredivisie
🇳🇱 @VirgilvDijk in 2019:— SPORF (@Sporf) December 2, 2019
🏟 54 Games
⚽️ 10 Goals
🧤 17 Clean Sheets
🥇 UEFA Men's Player of the Year.
🥈 2nd in Ballon d’Or & FIFA Best Men's Player.
🏆 Won the UCL & UEFA Super Cup.
🥇 @PremierLeague Player of the Season.
🏅 @PFA Player of the Year.
🙌 What a year. pic.twitter.com/IWgaRGb16h
Player rating: 8.20
Team score: West Ham 2–3 Newcastle
Individual highlights: 1 assist, 4 key passes
Player rating: 9.23
Team score: Wolves 2–1 Aston Villa
Individual highlights: 1 assist, 11 dribbles
I remember Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez always being in hungry mode.
Most players win something and then they relax. Not them. Whatever the game or competition, even if it's a casual bout of table-tennis, they want to win; they're desperate to win. That’s why they’re at the top and that's the mentality I’m working on now.”
—Adama Traore on the biggest takeaway from his time at Barcelona
KEVIN DE BRUYNE
Player rating: 8.70
Team score: Newcastle 2–2 Man City
Individual highlights: 1 goal, 6 key passes
Player rating: 8.58
Team score: Leicester 2–0 Arsenal
Individual highlights: 6 tackles, 4 interceptions
Player rating: 9.05
Team score: Burnley 3–0 West Ham
Individual highlights: 1 assist, 6 dribbles
To get let go by Man Utd was, in hindsight, character-building.
Obviously I was disappointed and hurt at the time—I was at the club since 5 and worshipped Ryan Giggs growing up—but everyone has setbacks in life and that experience spurred me to be more demanding of myself, to prove what I could become with this second chance at Burnley. I've never looked back since."
—Dwight McNeil on being released on a free from the Theatre of Dreams
Player rating: 8.95
Team score: Arsenal 2–2 Southampton
Individual highlights: 2 goals, 4 dribbles
Player rating: 9.54
Team score: Tottenham 3–2 Bournemouth
Individual highlights: 2 goals, 5 shots