A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week with the best young players compiled into an XI from across Europe’s top six leagues. You can read this for all details on Talent Radar, who is eligible under it and what else we publish within this feature.
The seventh Talent Radar Team of the Week was by far the hardest one to compile yet with a whole host of midweek matches, in addition to the string of weekend games to consider. We’ve only considered the league games so the Capital One Cup and the KNVB Cup do not come under consideration whatsoever.
As it has plenty of times in the past, the French Ligue 1 leads the way with four representatives, followed by the Spanish La Liga & Dutch Eredivisie with two. The Premier League, Bundesliga & Serie A all have just the one representative. France leads the way in the country-wise classification as well with four Frenchman in this week’s XI. Brazil has two, while Netherlands, Georgia, Germany, England & Italy have one each.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Mouez Hassen | Nice | France | 19 | Goalkeeper: The goalkeeping position always proves to be the hard one to pick because rarely are there stand-out performers and very few sides utilise keepers who qualify for Talent Radar. But 19-yr-old Mouez Hassen makes this week’s team again, his second Team of the Week appearance. He kept clean sheet in midweek against Lille in a 1-0 victory before doing so again on the weekend against Monaco as the match finished with the same scoreline. Since his previous Team of the Week appearance, this has been his best set of performances.
Raphaël Varane | Real Madrid | Spain | 21 | Defender: The young Frenchman who has been kept out of the side through injury and a solid partnership by Ramos & Pepe, makes his first Talent Radar Team of the Week appearance following a solid showing against Villarreal, and an added squad selection head-ache for Ancelotti. The 21-yr-old was an absolute rock at the back as he constantly broke play up in dangerous areas, helping his side to a cleansheet.
Marquinhos | PSG | Brazil | 20 | Defender: This is Marquinhos’ 2nd appearance in our Team of the Week, after an impressive performance away to Caen in the week. That was PSG’s 3rd win after 8 Ligue 1 games in what has been a pretty disappointing start to the season. Marquinhos headed in one of the goals of that game, while also doing well in defence, often having to cover for David Luiz. You can read a Scout Report on Marquinhos here.
Layvin Kurzawa | Monaco | France | 22 | Defender: Monaco’s Kurzawa also makes his second Team of the Week appearance. The Frenchman’s defensive performances have improved over the last few weeks, which has also seen him rise to the top of our Talent Radar Player Rankings in the Defenders’ category. He created four chances in midweek against Montpellier while also managing six tackles. The last of those created chances was in stoppage time, as a trademark run into the left channel saw him create the winner for substitute, Valere Germain.
(We know that this isn’t an ideal functioning defensive trio, but the players have been positionally adjusted)
Gianelli Imbula | Marseille | France | 22 | Central Midfielder: The youngster has been impressing viewers of the Ligue 1 after thriving under the new management of Marcelo Bielsa. And while he’s helped to keep things in balance and defensively solid, this week he added goals to his game. The first of those goals came against Reims in a 5-0 away win, a nice long-range effort that flew past the keeper. In the massive derby on the weekend against St. Etienne, he added another left footer from outside the box, as Marseille ran out 2-1 winners.
Davy Klaassen | Ajax | Netherlands | 21 | Central Midfielder: Some have criticised Davy Klaassen for falling off the pace after an initial burst onto the first team scene, but he seems like a revived player again this season, He had arguably his best performance after helping Ajax to a 5-2 win away against NAC Breda. The Dutchman had a hat-trick of assists, first playing a clever through ball to Kolbeinn Sigthorsson who made it 3-0, then flicking a near post header towards Joel Veltman from a corner, as the defender finished it off, and right at the end he set-up Sigthorsson again for his hat-trick of assists and the striker’s hat-trick goal.
Valeri Kazaishvili | Vitesse | Georgia | 21 | Attacking Midfielder: The Georgian scored a hat-trick in Vitesse’s 6-2 victory away from home over FC Dordrecht. After some good work by Denys Olinyk down the left-flank, the ball was sprayed across the goal with Kazaishvilli able to tap it in from close range. His second saw him win the ball back in a dangerous position before deftly chipping the ball over the keeper for his second. His third was impressive as well, Marko Vejinovic wanted to play a quick one two, Kazaishvilli though received the ball and smashed it past the keeper from outside the box. A good days’ work for the 21-year-old.
Mario Gotze | Bayern Munich | Germany | 22 | Attacking Midfielder: The World Cup winning young star has had a superb week in the Bundesliga. He scored a brace in midweek as Bayern defeated Cologne 4-0; Gotze opened the scoring after a clever back-flick from Thomas Muller sent it onto his path before adding another in the second half following a scrap that left the ball at Gotze’s feet with the entire goal gaping. He scored again on the weekend as Bayern beat Cologne 2-0, before setting up one, forcing Daniel Halfar into an own goal. Here’s a Scout Report on Mario Gotze from two years back.
Saido Berahino | West Bromwich Albion | England | 21 | Striker: The young Englishman is the only Premier League representative in this week’s Talent Radar Team of the Week after scoring a brace in West Brom’s 4-0 victory over Burnley. The first came from a corner as a near post flick by Graham Dorrans was met at the far-post by Berahino and the two combined again in the second half with a through ball played onto the 21-yr-old’s path who finished it with ease, showing immense composure.
Leo Baptistao | Rayo Vallecano (on loan from Atletico Madrid) | Brazil | 22 | Striker: Exactly a week back, Leo Baptistao had no goals in the La Liga, he now has four after two impressive performances for Rayo Vallecano. In mid-week Rayo got a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao, as Baptistao first equalised, being in the right place at the right time following an error from the keeper, and in stoppage time he completed the comeback after his header was saved but the follow through put in. On the weekened he again scored a brace, this time away to Levante; he first received a neat through ball and impressively finished it past the keeper from a narrow angle, following that up with a powerful header a few minutes later. Two games, four goals for Rayo, all from Baptistao.
Andrea Belotti | Palermo | Italy | 20 | Striker: The young Italian striker scored a brace in Palermo’s thrilling 3-3 draw away to Napoli. With the score at 2-0, the youngster pulled it back with a powerful header, and after Napoli went in leading 3-2 at half-time, Belotti found himself in the perfect spot to receive Dybala’s pass, neatly placing it past the keeper and ensuring the game ends in a draw. It was Belotti’s first start of the season.
Written by Sami Faizullah. Chief Editor of this Website
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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