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 tenth Talent Radar Team of the Week sees a domination from Ligue 1 with an incredible 5 representatives while the Premier League and Bundesliga have 2 each, La Liga and Eredivisie have the sole representative while no one from the Serie A impressing enough. 3 French players make the XI, Germany & England have 2, while Spain, Belgium, Morocco & Mauritania make up the rest.
Valentin Belon | Lens | France | 19 | Goalkeeper: The youngster had a memorable senior Ligue 1 debut as he led his side to a 2-0 away victory over Toulouse. Bound to have been fazed by nerves in his first fixture, it certainly didn’t display in his performances as he confidently called for balls he knew he could pick up. Though occasionally him opting to punch rather than hold showed his inexperience. He later pulled off a great save from Martin Braithwaite to deny a consolation, showing a strong hand low at his near post.
Niklas Sule | Hoffenheim | Germany | 19 | Centre-Back: Hoffenheim remain unbeaten after 9 league games, with a lot of this down to their solid defensive displays. This continued in their recent 1-0 win over Paderborn where young Niklas Sule was at the heart of the central defence. The bulky defender constantly moved up from his line at the risk of leaving space behind, but often emerged with the ball as the away side were regularly pegged back.
Abdoul Ba | Lens | Mauritania | 20 | Centre-Back: Standing at an incredible 6 ft 7 inches, the Mauritanian is certainly a conspicuous physical presence in the defensive line. The 20-year-old can be classified as your proper traditional centre-back who opts to sit back deep in his own half, winning balls in an around his box and on hand to mark an opponent when not in possession. In fact, if there were to be a criticism of him, one would have to say he often sticks far to close to his opponent, but his intelligence to keep on his man can certainly be a positive.
Calum Chambers | Arsenal | England | 19 | Right-Back: The ex-Southampton youngster has been one of the most consistent young defenders this season, making his 3rd Team of the Week appearance. Recently finding himself regularly in his more favourable right-back position, he put in a solid display against Sunderland in a 2-0 win. With Sunderland’s attack constantly looking at crosses from wide areas into Steven Fletcher, Chambers ensured neither William Buckley nor Patrick van Aanholt were able to provide this with constant tackles on the flanks, and interceptions higher up. Detailed Scout Report on Calum Chambers.
Luke Shaw | Manchester United | England | 19 | Left-Back: Another ex-Southampton full-back makes this week’s team as the youngster put in a solid display in earning his side a valuable point at home to runaway leaders Chelsea. Having missed the start of the season with injury, the teenager has certainly taken his subsequent chances well and this was arguably his best performance in a United shirt. His defensive ability was far more needed as the side set-up cautiously against the table toppers. Detailed Scout Report on Luke Shaw.
Sergi Darder | Malaga | Spain | 20 | Central-Midfielder: The Spanish midfielder makes his first Talent Radar Team of the Week appearance after helping Malaga to a 4-0 win Rayo Vallecano. Playing in central midfield, the 20-year-old was constantly making runs into the box and assisting the side in their attacking play. It was one such run that saw him score his side’s 2nd goal with full-back Vitorio Antunes making a run down the channel and playing a perfect low ball into Darder’s path for an expected finish.
Jordan Veretout | Nantes | France | 21 | Central-Midfielder: The Frenchman had a superb game in Nantes 2-0 away victory over Evian playing behind the striker and constantly being involved in attacks. He set-up opportunities for Yacine Bammou which the striker unfortunately wasted but the first goal did come from Veretout as he struck from the spot following a foul on Serge Gakpe. It was Veretout himself who set-up the second as well, with Bammou doing well to make up for earlier errors and working hard to score.
Adnane Tighadouini | Morocco | NAC Breda | 21 | Right-Wing: The Dutch-Moroccan had a telling influence in NAC Breda’s hard-fought 2-2 draw away to Vitesse. After going a goal down, he dribbled his way into the box and earned his side a penalty which Erik Falkenburg unfortunately missed. But in the second half, Tighadouini did well to set-up a chance for Mats Seuntjens whose shot was saved by Vitesse’s keeper, only to find itself fall into the 21-year-old path. Adnane went on to score a dramatic equaliser 5 minutes from time when his long rang free-kick was meant to be a cross, but was missed by all (including the keeper) and winger had his brace. Note that he played on the left wing but has been positionally adjusted to the right here.
Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco | AS Monaco | Belgium | 21 | Left-Wing: The Belgian ran the show in Monaco’s 3-1 win over Bastia and looked a class above the rest constantly cutting inside from the left-flank with and creating goal-scoring opportunities while also going the usual route in behind the defending full-back. While some poor finishing and bad luck let him down, he did create two goals, the first being a typical cut inside and pass to Valere Germain, the second from a free-kick which Geoffrey Kondogbia turned in with ease. His goal came as a result of poor defending that left the goal gaping (without a keeper) for the 21-year-old to strike.
Paul-Georges Ntep | Stade Rennais | France | 22 | Striker: The young Frenchman had a superb game as Rennais got a fine victory over Lille in front of their own fans. Although Ntep should have put his side up early on after putting a header over the bar from 2 yards out, he collected himself to put on a stunning display in the second 45. First he made Lille pay for playing to close to him higher up the pitch, he knocked the ball past the defender at the half way line and sprinted past the defender (think Gareth Bale vs Inter) before playing an absolutely perfect cross for Mouhamadou Habibou to score the opening the goal. He followed that up with a quick counter, bursting with pace from his own half, doing a couple of step-overs and setting up Abdoulaye Doucoure for the 2nd goal.
Alassane Plea | Nice | France | 21 | Striker: Nice’s 7-2 win over Guingamp will be remembered for Carlos Eduardo’s 5 goal haul, which is quite unfortunate for young Plea as the striker had as impressive a game as the on-loan Porto man. He had a hand to play in 4 of the 7 goals on the night, first doing some good work in the box, holding up play, crossing for Didier Digard who set-up Eduardo for his second. It was his run that created the 3rd as well, giving Eric Bautheauc the opportunity to cross for Eduardo. Plea’s goal was a result of a poor miss kick from the Guingamp keeper that provided him the chance with an open goal. He set-up Eduardo’s historic fifth with a wonderful pull-back and his hand in the 7th was exceptional, dribbling past a few players, holding up play and setting up Bautheauc with the most deftest of passes.
Head this way for all our Talent Radar Team of the Week pieces.
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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