The latest feature under our Talent Radar banner compiles a Team of the Week, featuring the best young players (U-22) of the week in Europe’s top 6 leagues to help continue to track our progress of these youngsters.
Loris Karius | Mainz, Germany, 20: A true opportunist, Loris Karius has taken advantage of Heinz Muller’s injury and made his 11th straight start for Mainz vs Schalke on Friday night in the first Bundesliga game of the round. Karius put in a superb performance once again as Mainz earned an impressive 0-0 draw against Schalke, who possibly had one eye on the Champions League game with Real Madrid. Remember that Loris Karius featured in our #TalentRadar Team of the Week last week as well.
Loris Karius featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-Out for in 2014, coming in at #5 in the list of goalkeepers. View the entire list here.
Samuel Umtiti | Lyon, France, 20: Umtiti continues his regular presence in the first-team and put in another defensive shift as Lyon got a hard-fought point in their chase for European spots away to Champions League hopefuls, Lille. Although the game was played primarily in midfield, Umtiti needed to hold his line and remain organised in a difficult away fixture.
Samuel Umtiti featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-Out for in 2014, coming in at #12 in the list of defenders. View the entire list here. You can read a detailed Scout Report on Umtiti here.
Joel Veltman | Ajax, Netherlands, 22: Ajax continue to enjoy their lead at the top of the Eredivisie which now stands at 6 points with their 4-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar. It was a match which Ajax dominated from start to finish, led by Lerin Duarte, but Veltman was needed to maintain the cleansheet. He’s now started every league game since early October 2013, after returning from his injury. This was Veltman’s second #TalentRadar: Team of the Week appearance.
Robin Knoche | Wolfsburg, Germany, 21: The top of the Bundesliga is getting extremely tight (besides Bayern’s hold on first that is). Wolfsburg got a vital victory in their quest for Europe as they overcame Leverkusen 3-1 at home. 21-yr-old Robin Knoche formed a good partnership with Naldo as they stood strong against Leverkusen’s attack. Knoche made 4 tackles and had 10 interceptions in total with the Brazilian, Naldo.
Tolga Cigerci | Hertha Berlin, Germany, 21: Tolga Cigerci has already appeared in the #TalentRadar: Team of the Week. This weekend against Stuttgart, he played a more advanced role compared to his previous performance against Hamburg. He again proved to be a dominant figure making 6 interceptions, defending from the front while also putting in 2 tackles. Offensively he created Sandro Wagner’s goal 3 minutes from time giving Hertha the late victory.
Hakan Calhanoglu | Hamburg, Turkey, 20: Calhanoglu never got to stamp down a starting berth under Bert Van Marwiijk, but following his sacking, new boss Slomka named him in the starting eleven against Dortmund. Relegation threatened Hamburg got a surprise 3-0 victory helped by the youngster’s 40-yard free-kick goal. The beautiful goal was 1 of 2 shots taken by him. Positioned behind the front line, he created 6 chances as well.
Hakan Calhanoglu featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-Out for in 2014, coming in at #16 in the list of midfielders. View the entire list here. Here is a detailed Scout Report on Hakan Calhanoglu.
Rafinha Alcantara | Celta Vigo, Brazilian, 21: A true testament to modern-footballer’s requirement of a ‘universal’ footballer, La Masia graduate, Rafinha Alcantara had a wonderful performance in Celta Vigo’s rather disappointing 1-1 draw vs Getafe. The Brazilian took on 4 Getafe players before freeing himself and striking from the edge of the box as 2 more players approached. He even created 4 chances while also putting in a defensive performance with 3 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Rafinha Alcantara featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-Out for in 2014, coming in at #8 in the list of midfielders. View the entire list here. Here is a detailed Scout Report on Rafinha Alcantara.
Antoine Griezmann | Real Sociedad, France, 22: Barcelona have struggled in the past away to Sociedad and this season was no different. Griezmann and co were able to get a huge 3-1 result over the Catalan giants and keep their Champions League hopes alive. Griezmann had a huge part to play in the 10-15 minutes after half-time, first finishing with a sweet touch on the slide from Vela’s pass, exquisite combination football and just 5 minutes later putting in a perfect cross to match Zurutuza’s late run into the box for the third goal. We’ve also picked Griezmann as our star performer of the week, the Frenchman had a fantastic game.
You can read a detailed Scout Report on Antoine Griezmann here.
Jean-Paul Boetius | Feyernoord, Netherlands, 19: In a big top of the table clash in the Eredivise, Feyernoord took on Twente with a chance to level them on 47 points at second place in the table. Young Boetius set-up Graziano Pelle’s goal in the 14th minute before scoring one himself early in the second half. He once again showed his defensive contribution in wide areas making 5 interceptions, although he played a more narrow role in the game. Twente landed up scoring a 90th minute equaliser for 2-2. This was his second appearance in the #TalentRadar Team of the Week.
Jean-Paul Boetius featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-Out for in 2014, coming in at #8 in the list of attackers. View the entire list here. Here is a detailed Scout Report on Jean-Paul Boetius.
Josip Drmic | Nurnberg, Switzerland, 21: Making his second appearance in the #TalentRadar Team of the Week, Josip Drmic played a crucial role in Nurnberg’s comeback victory over Braunschweig. After Nilsson was sent off in the first half and Braunschweig took the lead minutes later, Hiroshi Kiyotake scored 10 seconds into the second half after Josip Drmic played a clever touch for Kiyotake to run onto. Just a minute later Drmic set up Tomas Pekhart as 10-man Nurnber held out for a victory.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga | Hamburg, Germany, 22: The second Hamburg player to make the list, Lasogga was crucial (as was Calhanoglu) in getting the all important victory over Dortmund. Lasogga first set up a goal for Petr Jiracek before scoring one himself as Dortmund went onto a big win.
Co-founder and Chief Editor here. Obsessed with tactics. Keen follower of young players. Creator of #TalentRadar. Appeared in A Football Report's list of "Best in Football Writing 2012".
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