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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.
Simone Scuffet | Udinese, Italy, 17: It is incredible to view a 17 year old keep for a club in a major top division, but Simone Scuffet has been doing a fantastic job, despite a few portrayals of the obvious inexperience. Appearing for the second time in our Talent Radar Team of the Week, Scuffet was impressive against AC Milan. He had a few dodgy calls, such as coming out and missing a cross in the 13th minute. But he kept firmly since then, making 5 saves, including a decent save from a Robinho header right after half-time.
Mattias Johansson | AZ Alkmaar, Swedish, 22: After featuring last week in the #Talent Radar Team of the Week last week, Johansson caught our attention again for his performance against Heracles. The Swede was incredible as he (literally) exploited the space down the right channel, making a cutting run in from the flank and constantly offering himself. He made three such significant runs down the channel, setting up the first two goals with a cut-back and scoring the third with a strikers’ finish.
Steven Caulker | Cardiff, England, 22: Captaining the side, Caulker led by example as Cardiff overcame fellow relegation strugglers, Fulham, in a bottom of the table six-pointer with Cardiff in 19th and Fulham in 20th spot. The ex-Spurs man gave Cardiff the lead after a deflected shot fell his way at the stroke of half-time, as he poked it into an open net. After Cardiff conceded fairly early in the second half, Caulker restored the lead 6 minutes later with a fine header. He formed a solid partnership with Ben Turner, the duo making 23 clearances in the crunch clash.
Joel Matip | Schalke, Cameroon, 22: Joel Matip completed the full 90 minutes for the 15th consecutive game and put in a solid shift against Hoffenheim as Schalke came away with a 4-0 victory. Matip set up the first goal of the game as a cleared ball from a corner was played back into the box, Matip played a neat header onto Draxlers’ path for a cool finish. Matip was rock solid at the back, making 4 tackles alone and 14 interceptions in advanced areas alongwith Benedikt Howedes. He’s developing into a mature central defender.
Luke Shaw | Southampton, England, 18: The young full-back celebrated his first England senior appearance with a professional performance against Crystal Palace as the Saints won 1-0. There was not much spectacular from Shaw, but what caught our attention was how Shaw focused on the defensive side of his game in this match, sitting fairly deeper and playing a solid defenders’ game. Luke Shaw featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014, he was at #6 in our list of defenders. View the entire list here and a detailed Scout Report on him here.
Jordon Mutch | Cardiff, England, 22: Like Steven Caulker earlier in the list, Jordon Mutch was instrumental in guiding Cardiff to victory against Fulham. He took the corner leading to Caulker’s second goal and was also a cause for the third goal, at the heart of the scramble leading to an own goal.The midfielder was positioned deep but ensured he was active in an attacking sense as well, making runs into the box and creating opportunities for his team-mates. He created an incredible 8 goal scoring chances and took 3 shots, even contributing defensively with 2 tackles.
Serge Aurier | Toulouse, Ivory Coast, 21: Although Aurier was meant to play as a right wing-back, he played more as a right-winger in the second half as Toulouse looked to get back into the game after going down to two penalties. The youngster was vital in his sides’ come back, first scoring from a perfect header before setting up Besat for the equaliser. Although Yedder stole the show with his individual brilliant for the winner, nothing should be taken away from Aurier. He took the most shots (4) and made the most tackles (8).
Julian Draxler | Schalke, Germany, 20: We’ve already mentioned Matip’s contribution to Schalke’s 4-0 win over Hoffenheim but Draxler had a more compelling part to play in the big win. Draxler showed two of his game styles when he set up two of Huntelaar’s three goals. The first was a run through the middle, getting past three defenders and playing it through to the Dutch striker. He second was a run down the flank, taking on and getting past his man before cutting it back. In total he created 5 chances and had a pass completion rate of 89%. Julian Draxler featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014, he was at #1 in our list of midfielders. View the entire list here and a detailed Scout Report on him here.
Federico Cartabia | Valencia, Spain, 21: The young Spaniard has to be recognised for his defensive contribution more than his attack in the 1-1 draw at the Mestalla against Atheltic Bilbao. He took the most shots for Valencia (3), but quite incredibly even made the most tackles (7), showcasing his ability to regain possession in dangerous areas. Federico Cartabia featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014, he was at #13 in our list of attackers. View the entire list here.
Guus Hupperts | Roda JC, Netherlands, 21: The 21-year-old played on the right side of attack but kept moving inward and playing a striker’s roll as Berry Powel moved into wider areas. Powel forced Karl Johansson into an error and squared Hupperts to score into an open net. His second goal showed his character, after colliding with an opposition player he got right back up and continued playing allowing Powel to pick him out for a neat finish.
Steven Berghuis | AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands, 21: After featuring last week, Berghuis too retains his spot in our Team of the Week. Unlike last week, he failed to score but set up two goals. The first was a neat pass for Johansson (already featured above) who was making a late run into the box allowing him to score the third. The fourth was set-up by him as well, dribbling past a couple of players before laying it off for Viktor Elm to strike from long range. Berghuis took 5 shots, getting 4 on target and even creating 4 scoring chances.
You can view all our Talent Radar Team of the Week articles here, along with more pieces on young footballers from across the World.