This piece features the Top 10 Best Young Players of the month of April, 2014. All the players in this list were 21 at the start of the season.
5. Mauro Icardi | Inter Milan, Argentina, 21:
Although Icardi will be remembered for the wrong reasons in April, as his ‘feud’ with Maxi Lopez continues, his on-field play was quite stunning as well. He scored a brace against Bologna, the first a striker’s finish from Nagatom’s cross and the second a beauty from long range. He followed that up with two against his former club Sampdoria, as he once again showed how a striker should take his chances. But it was his actions during the game against Sampdoria supporters that prompted his own boss to criticise him. The month ended with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Napoli, Icardi was unable to stamp his authority then. Mauro Icardi featured in our list of Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014, coming in at #20 in our list of attackers. View the entire list here. For a detailed Scout Report on Mauro Icardi, head this way.
4. Raheem Sterling | Liverpool, England, 19:
Sterling played a crucial part as Liverpool took a firm hold of the Premier League title race, and then lost it. He scored the first in Liverpool’s crucial win over Manchester City, turning both Kompany and Hart inside out. He followed that up with a screamer against Norwich, followed by a nice run and (deflected) finish to ensure Liverpool got all three points at Carrow Road. Sterling and co. were left frustrated by Chelsea at home and saw the title slip away from their grasp. Sterling featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014; he was at #7 in our list of midfielders. See the full list here.
MORE READING | Best Young Players of March 2014
3. John Stones | Everton, England, 19:
Young John Stones played a crucial role as Everton got some vital wins in their bid for Champions League football, but back-to-back defeats have ended all hope. They first beat direct 4th place rivals, Arsenal, 3-0 at home with Stones doing a fantastic job of keeping the Gunners out. A hard-fought victory followed against Sunderland, and another cleansheet with Stones kept busy at the heart of the Everton defence. The youngster then proceeded to keep the likes of Rooney out of it in a 2-0 win that spelled the end of Moyes’ career.
2. Isco Alarcon | Real Madrid, Spain, 22:
Isco Alcaron had some month for Real Madrid, as he truly established himself as an integral part of Ancelotti’s side. He featured in important games across the league, while also playing crucial roles in the clubs’ Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich and Copa Del Rey success vs Barcelona. He scored twice in the month, one against Almeria beating the keeper at the near post and a neat placed finish from outside the box against Dortmund in the first leg. He receive acclaim for his mature defensive displays against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but his most special moment of the month was against Osasuna. After already having assisted Ronaldo, he played a beautiful chip forward to Dani Carvajal, who headed home to make it 4-0. Here’s a detailed Scout Report on Isco.
1. Connor Wickham | Sunderland, England, 21:
Sunderland have had a spectacular month, completely turning their season around led by 21-yr-old Connor Wickham. The youngster first scored twice in a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium, which Poyet’s men should have won. He followed that up by capitalising on a Schwazer error at the Bridge, a game which Sunderland won 2-1. He ended the month with a brace at home to fellow relegation threatened Cardiff, all but ending their opponents survival hopes while helping his side take a further step to ensure their Premier League status is kept alive.
Head this way for all our Talent Radar articles, including updates on the young talents, team of the weeks, players of the month and various top 10 lists.