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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: The first and only player to make our #TalentRadar Team of the Week for the third time, having made the team the past two weeks as well, Karius has maintained his position for another week. He was instrumental in Mainz’ impressive 1-0 away victory over Leverkusen in a game which the home side dominated. Karius was subject to 19 shots, 8 of which were on target. With another cleansheet to his name, Loris Karius is also going to grow into another highly rated young keeper from the Bundesliga.
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.
Mattias Johansson | AZ Alkmaar, Swedish, 22: The Swedish right-back had a good game as AZ defeated Waalwijk by a comfortable 4-0 scoreline. Johansson was a constant attacking danger, make runs down the right flank with the ball at his feet, and could so easily be mistaken for a winger. His defensive contribution was top-notch as well. He made 4 interceptions and 2 tackles, to cap off his all-round performance.
Stefan Bell | Mainz, Germany, 22: Just as Karius put in a stellar performance, Stefan Bell was also a part of the rock solid defense that got a fantastic victory away to Leverkusen. Mainz were constantly put under pressure and Bell (along with Noveski) made 30 clearances to keep Leverkusen at bay. Besides his defensive duties, he also put in the cross which Choupo-Moting backheeled into the goal.
Shkodran Mustafi | Sampdoria, German, 21: The ex-Everton youngster celebrated his maiden German national team call-up with a solid performance in a 2-0 away win over Torino. The centre-back made an outstanding 8 tackles and added to his rock-solid performance with his ability to get the ball out of defence. He was immensely calm and composed in getting the ball directly to the attackers with his long clearances.
David Alaba | Bayern Munich, Austria, 21: It seems a bit strange, naming David Alaba in a ‘talent’ article, but the Austrian full-back is still only 21 years old, remarkable when he is arguably among the top left-backs in the World. It was again his attacking runs that caught our attention in the 5-1 victory over Schalke. Besides providing an assist, he also scored a sweet free-kick and performed his ‘swimming’ celebration which he showed off in training.
Koke | Atletico Madrid, Spain, 22: The young Spaniard was instrumental in Atletico’s 2-2 draw with their fierce rivals, Real Madrid. You can read a Tactical Analysis on the game here (you can find a detailed analysis of Koke’s performance here). Koke scored the equaliser to get the home side back in the game, with four men in the box in an all out attack, he scored with a powerful shot. Besides the goal, Koke made the most tackles (5) and most interceptions (4) in the game.
Here is a comprehensive Scout Report on Koke.
Stefano Sturaro | Genoa, Italy, 20: Sturaro has been struggling in the pecking order at Genoa, failing to make it into the first-team. In Catania’s 2-0 win, Sturaro started for only the third time and put in a fantastic performance. At the core of Genoa’s side, he capped off his performance with a late goal. The goal itself was a testament to his overall performance, he won the ball back in Catania’s box and let go with a low shot across the goal. Sturaro also maintained the best pass completion rate, and had the most successful tackles.
Marten de Roon | Heerenveen, Netherlands, 22: In Heerenveen’s 2-1 victory over Heracles, it was de Roon’s defensive performance that caught notice. In fact, he has been performing similarly throughout the season, starting his side’s 23 games out of a total of 24. Despite his defensive duties he scored one, finishing with his head, neatly towards the corner, although there were question marks over Heracles’ defense. He made a quite extraordinary seven tackles as he helped his side avoid a scare.
Steven Berghuis | AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands, 22: Berghuis had a fantastic game as part of AZ’s front three in their 4-0 win over Waalwijk. He had an exceptional performance, leading from the front, making it difficult for the opposition to play the ball out. He scored twice, one of which was a fantastic left footed long-ranger as he cut inside from the right and showed it onto his left foot. Both his goals were just 11 minutes apart. Although he played out wide on the left, he constantly moved narrow to take up a more striking position.
Ricardo Kishna | Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands, 19: The teenager made his debut last week against AZ Alkmaar, announcing himself with a goal. This week, albeit in a less spectacular fashion, he impressed in the Klassieker victory over Feyernoord. Kishna created 3 goal-scoring opportunities, one of which resulted in a goal. But he also contributed defensively down the flank, making 3 tackles and 3 interceptions. In a fast-paced game, he displayed immense maturity and is bound to be one to watch-out for in the coming months.
Gadji Tallo | Ajaccio, Ivory Coast, 21: Although it was in a losing effort, Gadji Tallo impressed with his brace in Ajaccio’s 2-3 home loss against Lille. The man on loan from Roma opened the scoring after just 2 minutes when Diarra’s cross found him at the back post for a simple volley. His second, just before half-time was an even more calm and composed finish, Benjamin Andre’s knocked-down found it’s way onto Tallo’s path who cooly lobbed it over Enyeama in goal.