World Football's 10 Most Surprising Performers so Far

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJanuary 7, 2012

World Football's 10 Most Surprising Performers so Far

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    Footballers like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie are guaranteed to score goals in every game. 

    So when they do have good games, it's no surprise.

    This article will tell you who the 10 most surprising performers have been so far this season.  

Newcastle United: Demba Ba

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    When Demba Ba failed his medical at Stoke City, questions emerged regarding his long term future in the game. 

    Ba's degenerative knees were supposedly too much of a risk for Stoke. 

    Yet those very same "degenerative knees" seem fine when Ba is leaping into the air and trying to win a header.

    In fact, he has scored four goals by header this season. 

    Ba has contributed to 58 percent of Newcastle United's goals—the highest in the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1.

    Ironically, if Newcastle weren't so stingy, they wouldn't have taken such a chance with Ba.  

Montpellier: Olivier Giroud

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    Four seasons ago, Olivier Giroud was playing for Istres in the Championnat National (French third division). 

    This season, Giroud has had a breakout season in Montpellier's surprising ascent up into Ligue 1 relevancy. 

    Who is currently the top goal scorer in Ligue 1? 

    Lille's reigning Ligue 1 top scorer Moussa Sow? Nope. 

    Paris Saint-Germain's Kévin Gameiro, valued at £13 million? Nope. 

    Marseille's athletically gifted and highly rated Loïc Rémy? Nope. 

    It's Giroud. 

Villarreal: Mateo Musacchio

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    Mateo Musacchio has been a mainstay at a under-performing Villarreal team. 

    Without him, Villarreal would be in a similar situation to Real Zaragoza. 

    The Argentine averages three tackles and six interceptions a game, so he wins back possession at least nine times per game—exceptional. 

Chievo: Përparim Hetemaj

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    I first noticed Përparim Hetemaj due to commentators pronouncing his unique name. 

    This guy is an animal and the epitome of what a defensive midfielder should be.

    In a 0-0 draw against Juventus, he neutralised Claudio Marchisio. 

    In a recent 0-0 draw against Lazio, he made eight tackles and intercepted the ball twice, helping Chievo to hold on. 

Bayer Leverkusen: Bernd Leno

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    German international René Adler was out with a long-term injury. Reserve goalkeeper David Yelldell also went down with injury. Youth goalkeeper Fabian Giefer played one game before suffering a concussion. 

    This paved the way for Bernd Leno. Boy has he taken his chance. 

    The Germans have a plethora of young goalkeeping talent: Manuel Neuer, Sven Ulreich, Marc-André ter Stegen and Ron-Robert Zieler—to name a few. 

Blackburn Rovers: Yakubu

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    Yakubu went from a washed up, overweight and forgotten forward to one of the most efficient forwards in the Premier League. 

    What makes his achievement more remarkable is that he's scored 12 Premier League goals—eight more than Fernando Torres. 

    Not bad for £1.5 million.  

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Dante

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    Borussia Mönchengladbach have been such a feel-good story. 

    From an emotional relegation playoff victory over Bochum, Mönchengladbach have scaled the lofty heights of the Bundesliga. 

    Unfortunately, their best player Marco Reus will leave them for Borussia Dortmund. 

    Dante has been immense at the back. 

    I cannot believe Chelsea are wasting £7 million on Gary Cahill when they could spend it on Dante. 

Swansea City: Michel Vorm

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    According to Alan Switzer at The Telegraph, relegated clubs face losses of up to £25 million. 

    Michel Vorm only cost Swansea City £1.5 million. Provided he keeps up his world-class goalkeeping, he could save Swansea  £25 million. 

Bologna: Gastón Ramírez

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    Gastón Ramírez is a genius on the football pitch and his vision, dribbling ability and incisive passing is reminiscent of Andrea Cossu. 

    In the past, I've stated that Cossu is a poor man's version of Andrés Iniesta. 

    The problem with Cossu is that he is 31. 

    Ramírez is 21.

    The sky is the limit. 

Hamburg: Gökhan Töre

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    Gökhan Töre, Jacopo Sala, Jeffrey Bruma, Michael Mancienne and Slobodan Rajković arrived at Hamburg with links to Chelsea. 

    Bruma is on loan and Rajković has a buy-back clause. 

    Forget about Bruma because he's not good enough. Read this if you want evidence. 

    Töre is the one who should be on loan from Chelsea. Instead, he is now a Hamburg player and Chelsea will receive 50 percent of his transfer fee should another club buy him. 

    Why isn't he playing for Chelsea right now? 

    Do you know who is the most prolific dribbler in Europe right now? 

    It's not Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. It's Töre, who averages 6.3 dribbles per game. 

    The dribbling is lovely to watch, but it's his incisive passing and vision that gives some pause for thought. 

    Dare I say it, world-class potential? 

    Chelsea will have a lot of explaining to do if Töre turns into a world-class footballer. 

    Please read 8 Reasons Not to Sign Gary Cahill

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