#TalentRadar Team of the Week includes the Best Young Players of the week across Europe’s top 6 leagues (i.e Premier Legaue, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 & Eredivisie). All players in the lists were 21 and below at the start of the season. For more information on what is #TalentRadar, read this.
Mattia Perin | Genoa, Italy, 21: The highly rated Italian keeper was kept extremely busy against Atalanta in a 1-1 draw. After Daniele Portanova was sent off for Genoa, Perin went on to save the subsequent penalty from German Denis and was forced into multiple saves but was helped largely by the fantastic defence ahead of him. In total, Atalanta took 24 shots compared to Genoa’s 3.
Aymeric Laporte | Athletic Bilbao, France, 19: The young French defender put in another fantastic shift alongside Mikel San Jose as Bilbao looked to assure their place in the Champions League. He played another confident game, making 3 tackles and 3 interceptions in a crucial win over direct rivals, Sevilla. He continues to display immense maturity in his game as part of this excellent Bilbao side that struggled last season. Laporte featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to watch-out for in 2014, he was at #10 in our list of defenders. For a detailed Scout Report on Laporte, head this way.
John Anthony Brooks | Hertha Berlin, United States of America, 21: Brooks put in a good shift for Hertha Berlin in their 2-0 win over Braunschweig. He was largely untroubled in defence but was well-organised in his defensvie capacity when called upon. He scored his side’s first goal as a bit of a scramble left an open goal for Brooks to smash into, and he duly obliged. His first goal since the opening day of the season. Brooks featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to watch-out for in 2014, he was at #25 in our list of defenders.
Phil Jones | Manchester United, England, 22: Much like the entire United squad, Phil Jones too seemed rejuvenated in Giggs’ first match in charge. He wasn’t troubled defensively but made 3 interceptions, he also completed the second highest no. of passes on the field (68) at a 90% completion rate. His most telling contribution was his cross that assisted Mata’s first goal, showing his improvement in an attacking capacity from full-back.
Dodo | AS Roma, Brazil, 22: The Brazilian youngster has had a breakthrough season and once again put in a decent shift as Roma beat AC Milan 2-0. He has been productive at offering himself in an attacking sense, but is quick to get back defensively too. He managed 3 tackles and 5 interceptions against Milan, which was the best statistics of any player, defensively, on the field.
Saul Niguez | Rayo Vallecano, Spain, 19: The man on loan from Atletico Madrid has been making waves for his defensive set-up and positioning in midfield, but against Granada he ventured forward and pulled off a peach of a goal. A long ranger from outside the box that beat Karnezis in the Granada goal. He could even boast of a 92% pass completion rate as Rayo are on their way to a top-half finish.
Johannes Geis | Mainz, Germany, 20: The young German midfielder had one of his better games at Bundesliga side Mainz as they beat Nurnberg 2-0 to who now look destined for relegation. Geis took the combined most number of shots among all the players (3) and created 5 goal scoring opportunities. He assisted Okazaki’s goal with a lovely curling long-range free kick that perfectly found the Japanese striker’s head.
Geoffrey Kondogbia | Monaco, France, 21: The Frenchman scored in Monaco’s 4-1 victory over Ajaccio, a late goal but a perfect left-footed finish from outside the box. He once again displayed his preference to dribble with the ball from deep in midfield, reminding one of Man City’s Yaya Toure (they have very similar styles). Monaco were over-run for much of the game but Kondogbia helped as they became more assured once the first goal went it. Kondogbia featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to watch-out for in 2014, he was at #10 in our list of midfielders. For a detailed Scout Report on Kondogbia, head this way.
Jonjo Shelvey | Swansea, England, 22: The ex-Liverpool midfielder has had some fantastic games this season, and the 4-1 win against Villa was one such occasion. He set-up Wilfried Bony with a fantastic pass for the 1st goal that had a hint of offside. He then scored one of the goals of the season, a volley from some 50 yards out. In the second half he set up Pablo Hernandez for another goal, a beautiful cross from the right flank that found the Spaniard.
Iker Muniain | Athletic Bilbao, Spain, 21: Still only 21, Muniain has played in over 200 games for Bilbao and marked his latest one with a beautiful goal. Although the game will be remembered for Susaeta’s goal directly from a corner, Muniain’s was up there as well. A cross to the far post was turned in by him as he connected with a volley, mid-air, with the Outside of the Boot. His 6th goal of the season.
Conor Wickham | Sunderland, England, 21: The youngster has completely turned Sunderland’s fortunes, scoring in two impressive results away to Man City & Chelsea and then scoring a brace to see off Cardiff in a crucial bottom of the table clash. Both goals came from corners and were easy headers for Wickham who was barely challenged by the Cardiff defence. Nevertheless, a crucial few goals at a crucial stage of the season. This is Wickham’s second appearance in our Talent Radar Team of the Week after also featuring following his excellent performances against Man City and Chelsea.
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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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