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The major talking points across Europe’s top leagues

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  • Football can be completely unpredictable, which is something we love about it.
  • There have been a few surprises and shocks in the first few weeks of the new season.
  • We look at the major talking points across Europe’s top leagues.

Football can be completely unpredictable, which is something we love about it. There have been a few surprises and shocks in the first few weeks of the new season.

We look at the major talking points across Europe’s top leagues.

Girona’s unprecedented success

Girona’s performance this season has been impressive. Photo/BitterandBlue

La Liga’s title battle is being led by the traditional contenders as Real Madrid attempts to reclaim the championship from Barcelona. In the previous 20 years, just four clubs have won the championship in Spain, and this number is not likely to increase any time soon.

Girona, meanwhile, is tucked in among the big guns this season. They are now second in the standings, behind only Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the club’s second season back in the top flight. Girona (24 goals), the only side to lose this season against Real Madrid, leads La Liga in goals scored.

Artem Dovbyk, who signed for Girona after scoring 29 goals for Ukrainian club Dnipro last season, has had an immediate impact with five goals in ten league games, while Eric Garcia has excelled while on loan from Barcelona.

Few predict that Girona, who finished 10th in the standings last season, will continue in the championship hunt, although a first European qualifying is possible.

Guirassy magic

Serhou Guirassy. Photo/Goal

Following a record-breaking opening to the Bundesliga season, Serhou Guirassy is the unexpected name leading Europe’s top five leagues in goals. The 27-year-old has slammed 14 goals into the net after eight games, which is more Bundesliga goals than any other player in history.

Due to Guirassy’s goal glut, Stuttgart, who has managed to maintain their top-flight standing for the past two seasons, is currently in second place. The forward’s accurate shooting puts him five goals ahead of Harry Kane of Bayern Munich in the battle for the league’s top scorer.

This week, Fabrizio Romano reported that Guirassy’s contract with Die Roten only had a €17.5 million release clause. When the January transfer market begins, a line of teams will be at his door.

Ajax relegation battle

Ajax currently sits second last in the Eredivisie table. Photo/Eurosport

The most dominant club in Dutch football history is Ajax, which has won the Eredivisie seven times in the last 12 seasons and is a four-time European champion.

However, with the decision to fire Maurice Steijn last week, Ajax are now looking for their third permanent manager since the beginning of the previous campaign. The choice was made with Ajax sitting second-to-last in the Eredivisie standings after winning just one of their first seven games.

Following the January dismissal of Steijn’s replacement Alfred Schreuder, Steijn is the second manager to have been fired since the departure of Erik ten Hag to Manchester United in 2022. Even less time was spent under Steijn’s leadership; the former Sparta Rotterdam coach resigned after only four months.

PSV Eindhoven is already 22 points ahead of Ajax in the standings.

Lyon suffering

Another team that is struggling this year is Lyon, a French team that is positioned toward the bottom of the Ligue 1 standings. Last year, Lyon finished seventh in the standings and advanced to the semifinals of the Coupe de France thanks in large part to the 31 goals scored by returning star Alexandre Lacazette.

However, this campaign has been a complete failure, and Laurent Blanc was fired as manager following a winless start. Fabio Grosso was appointed to lead his old squad, but he hasn’t been able to turn things around just yet, with Lyon still winless after nine league games.

With devastating home losses to Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain during that run, Lyon is now six points from the finish line. The current Lyon squad is a long way from the squad that dominated Ligue 1 at the start of the 2000s and won seven straight league titles, but it has the potential to be doing much, much better.

Jude Bellingham masterclass

Jude Bellingham. Photo/Goal

Bellingham was good, we knew that. You can’t choose from among Europe’s elite clubs unless you have a little bit more.

But Bellingham has outperformed even the highest hopes in his first few weeks wearing a Real Madrid jersey. With eight goals in nine La Liga matches for the Spanish giants, the 20-year-old has already equaled his highest goalscoring season in the league.

With his recent string of goals, Bellingham has surpassed Antoine Griezmann and Robert Lewandowski as La Liga’s top scorer. At Real Madrid, the largest football club in the world and one where only winning is allowed, more seasoned and established players than Bellingham have been eaten up and spit out.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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