'A wild card who could have a massive impact this season' - Goal's World Player of the Week Goran Pandev

World Player of the Week
Goran Pandev
AGE 30

Napoli 3-1 Galatasaray
Arsenal 2-2 Napoli
1-3 Porto

The writing appeared to be on the wall for Goran Pandev as soon as Rafael Benitez was appointed Napoli boss earlier this summer. The pair had worked together before, at Inter, and the forward saw little game time during the Spaniard's ill-fated six-month tenure at San Siro.

Given Benitez immediately made it clear that he wanted to sign at least two world-class strikers before the close of transfer window in order to cushion the blow of losing Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain, Pandev seemed destined to be moved on.

However, the Macedonia international has reacted wonderfully well to the prospect of the boot, proving the Partenopei's most reliable performer in pre-season.

Never one of the game's most prolific forwards, Pandev is enjoying a purple patch at precisely the right time, netting four times in his last four friendly outings, with three of those goals coming inside the past seven days.

Even Benitez has been moved to concede that the 30-year-old is "a better player now than he was at Inter" and, as Goal's Kris Voakes explains, Pandev might just have done enough to salvage his Napoli career.

"With Lorenzo Insigne continuing to grow as a star and Higuain having been brought in to replace Cavani in the number nine spot, much has been said about Pandev's bleak future at the San Paolo," he acknowledged.

"Yet his performances in the Emirates Cup in particular suggest that a player who was the wild card hero of many of Inter's big nights in their 2010 treble-winning campaign could yet have a massive impact at Napoli this season as the Partenopei look to use their bolstered squad to wrest the Serie A title from Juventus.

"A big-game player, the Macedonian has a season full of them to come and has begun in exactly the right fashion."

Congratulations to Goran Pandev, Goal's 221st World Player of the Week winner!

The Shortlist

Didier Drogba - Galatasaray

@MikeChap10: "Didier Drogba just won't leave Arsenal alone. I LOVE IT!"

Goal's Sammy Lee: "Made it 15 goals in 15 games against the Gunners with a dramatic double in the 2-1 Emirates win."

Cesc Fabregas - Barcelona

 @BumperGraham: "Martino's quote about Cesc's future puts ball in his court."

Goal's Ben Hayward: "Underlined his value to Barcelona with two goals after coming off the bench in the 8-0 Santos win."

Radamel Falcao - Monaco

@LaurensJulien: "Monaco...destroyed Tottenham 5-2 with two more goals from Falcao!"

Goal's Naim Beneddra: "Looking more impressive with each passing game, the Colombian notching twice against Spurs."

Robbie Keane - LA Galaxy

@HighRoadDan: "Robbie Keane destroyed Pirlo and Juventus. Always good to see."

Goal's Ryan Kelly: "Showed his enduring class by teeing up Landon Donovan for a goal before netting in the 3-1 win himself."