#TalentRadar | Part of our Talent Radar feature involves looking ahead to the new season and informing readers of just who they should watch. Our lists across Europe’s Top 6 leagues of the Best Young Players (under 21) serves this purpose.
Before we jump into it, there are some important FAQs that will clarify readers on this feature.
What is Talent Radar? And who is ‘eligible’ under it? You can read this for details on what is Talent Radar and what we have planned in it for the 2014-15 season. Players that are eligible under this feature are those that were 21 years old and below on June 1st 2014. We’ve used this date to refer to ‘start of the season’ as it’s ideally when the previous season comes to an end.
On what basis has this list been made? This list is a combination of our opinion and prediction on who we think will be the best young players in the league in the 2014/15 season. So we have combined what we have seen, and what we expect to see, taking into account various factors such as ability, potential, playing time etc.
In what order is this list? Is it a countdown? No, this isn’t a Top 10 countdown, but instead just the 10 best young players in the league based on what we stated above. Players are listed in alphabetical order, and NOT a ranking basis.
What if a player transfers from the club? Or gets injured? If a player does transfer to another league after the list is published and before the transfer window closes, he will be removed and replaced by another. If he gets a long-term injury during the course of the season, then no update will take place.
How many players from one club are featured? We have tried to maintain maximum diversity in terms of clubs, so each club has a maximum of 2-3 representatives, no more.
How many leagues are being covered and how many parts does each league have? We will be covering the Top 6 European League (Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 & Eredivisie). Articles will be divided into two parts for each league, making information easier to take in.
Here we go!
Marco Verratti | PSG
Who is he? One of the World’s most recognizable young players, Verratti’s already a full Italy international having featured in 2 out of the 3 Group stage games at the World Cup. At club level, he’s become an important member of PSG’s powerful midfield.
Why him? Verratti commands a place in this list by virtue of his considerable talent. Showing a positional awareness belying his young age, Verratti is a joy to watch. He has great vision, a brilliant passing range and is defensively sound as well. Verratti has all the attributes to become one of the World’s best deep-lying playmakers and replace Pirlo for Italy.
MORE READING | Detailed Scout Report on Marco Verratti
What can we expect? More of the same from Verratti. A year older and with a taste of International football, one can only hope that Verratti gets even better. He’s started both of PSG’s league games thus far and even chalked up an assist against Bastia as his quick free kick picked out Cavani who put the chance away to seal the win.
Michy Batshuayi | Marseille
Who is he? Still only 20, Batshuayi has already made a name for himself after a stellar season at Standard Liege in the Jupiler Pro League. He made the preliminary 30 man squad for Belgium but was one of those who missed the cut, perhaps a bit unluckily. His performances though convinced Marseille to snap him up.
Why him? The Belgian’s goalscoring record last season speaks for itself. He isn’t just a goalscorer though, he possesses other attributes you look for in a striker such as pace, strength and is more than comfortable with the ball at his feet. His indiscipline has been an issue in the past but one hopes that it doesn’t hinder him anymore and he realises his potential.
What can we expect? He isn’t an assured starter at Marseille unlike his last season at Standard. He definitely has the tools to thrive in Ligue 1 but he has to prove to Bielsa that he has what it takes to nail down a starting position. For now, he may have to settle for an impact substitute role.
Samuel Umtiti | Lyon
Who is he? Umtiti is yet another name in the impressive list of quality young French centre-backs. He was part of the U-20 World Cup winning squad a couple of seasons ago. He’s established himself as a regular fixture in the Lyon back line.
Why him? A no-nonsense defender, Umtiti is one for the traditionalists. Preferring to stay deep rather than stepping up, Umtiti makes a fair share of last ditch tackles and clearances. He’s already impressed in the Ligue 1 and is unlucky in that France have so many quality centre-backs.
MORE READING | Detailed Scout Report on Samuel Umtiti
What can we expect? A young Lyon squad may have struggled to compete with the likes of PSG in recent seasons but players such as Lacazette and Umtiti have stood up to be counted. The 20 year old has a couple of seasons worth of experience under his belt already and will be looking to lead Lyon to a higher placed finish than last time around.
Serge Aurier | PSG ( On loan from Toulouse )
Who is he? Aurier is one of the World’s best young full backs presently. The Ivory Coast International impressed all with exciting performances for Toulouse last season. He joined PSG on loan in the window with an option to buy.
Why him? Aurier enjoyed a superb season at Toulouse as a wing-back and was predictably linked to some of Europe’s biggest clubs. PSG have snapped him at loan with an option to buy ( thereby working around FFP perhaps? ). The youngster definitely has the tools to be PSG’s right-back for the years to come.
MORE READING | Talent Radar Ligue 1 Team of the Season
What can we expect? First off, he has to convince Blanc that he’s a better option to van der Wiel. Indeed Aurier replaced the latter at half time this weekend and enjoyed a comfortable 45′ against Bastia. If he does get a regular run, we’re sure he’ll show just why we rate him so highly.
Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco | AS Monaco
Who is he? AS Monaco have effectively combined their big star signings and youngsters to once again emerge as a force in French football . Ferreira-Carrasco embodies the young group of players who are impressing at the club. A regular starter for the Belgian U-21s, the young winger looks like he has a bright future ahead of him.
Why him? He showed glimpses of his ability last season. In fact he enjoyed a brilliant first half of the campaign playing predominantly on the left. The winger is an exciting talent more than adept at running with the ball and the potential to grow into one of Monaco’s key men this season.
What can we expect? With European football on the menu this season and Monaco’s relatively low key transfer window, players like Ferreira-Carrasco should be given their fair share of opportunities. Carrasco in particular has signed a new long term contract and will be looking to showcase his ability in Ligue 1 and Europe.
Written by Arnab Ray. He is an Editor of this website.