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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.
Loris Karius | Mainz | Germany | 21 | Goalkeeper: Making his 4th Talent Radar Team of the Week appearance, Loris Karius is certainly warranting the tag of the best young goalkeeper across Europe. Playing away at Leverkusen, the youngster had to be on his toes as the home side dominated, taking a total of 24 shots. He was called-upon more in the second half, pulling off a world-class save from Karim Bellarabi after a mistake in defence before doing well to save from Hakan Calhonoglu’s shot late on. Mainz had Karius to thank for the eventual 0-0 scoreline.
Serge Aurier | Paris Saint-Germain (on loan from Toulouse) | Ivory Coast | 21 | Right-Back: The Ivorian had a terrific game in Le Classique as PSG won 2-0 against leaders Marseille. He was instrumental defensively against the away sides’ high tempo game, ensuring that Florian Thauvin and Benjamin Mendy found no joy down his side, making a whooping seven tackles and seven interceptions to break up any potential attack. His most significant contribution came after Marseille were down to 10, playing a near perfect cross onto Edinson Cavani, who headed in the 2nd goal. Incidentally, this was the first Talent Radar Team of the Week appearance of the season, for the man who was a regular in this feature last season.
Federico Barba | Empoli | Italy | 21 | Centre-Back: Empoli stopped Lazio’s unbeaten run with a 2-1 win, helped particularly by their good defensive display which included young Federico Barba. Playing in a deep defensive line and happy to win balls aerially, they kept the away side out before taking the lead via a corner that was perfectly turned in by Barba, though it seemed to come off the top of his head. Defensively he was aerially solid too, as the side came under a lot of pressure in the last half an hour of the game.
Karim Rekik | PSV Eindhoven (on loan from Manchester City) | Netherlands | 19 | Centre-Back: The man on loan from the defending English champions didn’t have the best of games defensively but it was his contribution on the other end that deserves to be acknowledged. With the game tied away at Heracles, Rekik went up for a corner and after a bit of scramble poked it home deep into stoppage time to ensure a 2-1 victory, and crucially a 4 point lead at the top going into the international break. Here’s a detailed Scout Report on Karim Rekik.
Christian Gunter | Freiburg | Germany | 21 | Left-Back: The 21-year-old scored his first ever Bundesliga goal in Freiburg’s impressive 2-0 victory over Schalke. Having made a run forward, he advanced into space left by the drifting Sebastian Freis, and it was he who squared the ball towards the centre of the box for the left-back to finish (not the usual place you find a left-back). With Joachim Loew looking on, he also did well defensively, winning 5 tackles as Freiburg stepped it up playing in a high line.
MORE READING: Loris Karius & Karim Rekik featured in our 100 Best Young Players to Watch in 2014 feature, the former coming in at #4 in the list of goalkeepers and the latter at #14 in the list of defenders.
Davy Klaassen | Ajax | Netherlands | 21 | Central-Midfielder: It’s now two consecutive Talent Radar Team of the Week appearances for Davey Klaassen. The Ajax man helped his side to a 4-2 win over Cambuur away from home. He scored his side’s second goal after being set-up by some good football, a neat side footed finish at the far post followed. He had a hand in his side’s third as well, playing Anwar El-Ghazi who found Arkadiusz Milik free at the far-post.
Nabil Fekir | Lyon | France | 21 | Central-Midfielder: Scoring his second brace of the season, Nabil Fekir was instrumental in Lyon’s 3-1 win over Guingamp. He had a part to play in the opening goal, with his cross deflecting onto the path of Alexandre Lacazette. He then doubled the lead after some good work down the right with the ball falling perfectly for him at the edge of the box, and he half-volleyed with the OUTSIDE OF THE BOOT for Lyon’s 2nd goal. The third was a neat left-footed finish after he was played through on goal late on.
Jordan Veretout | Nantes | France | 21 | Central-Midfielder: The surprise package from Ligue 1, Nantes, got the three points in the 2-1 away win over Caen. After initially going a goal down, it was Veretout’s corner that led to the equalizer, and in the second half, it was he who got the away side the winner. Combining well with Yacine Bammou, he finished off a cleverly worked move that keeps Nantes in the European spots.
MORE READING: Davy Klaassen, Jordan Veretout and Mauro Icardi have all featured in our 100 Best Young Players to Watch in 2014 feature. Klaassen was at #7 in our list of midfielders, Veretout at #23 in our list of midfielders, while Icardi was at #20 in our list of attackers.
Arkadiusz Milik | Ajax | Poland | 20 | Striker: The young Pole had another superb game in an Ajax shirt as he seems to be settling into life in the Eredivisie. He struck twice in his side’s 4-2 win away to Cambuur. He scored the equalizer with a quality powerful finish with his left-foot, and in the second half was on the end of a well worked move between Klaassen and Ghazi to strike the third with a simple tap-in.
Mauro Icardi | Inter Milan | Argentina | 21 | Striker: Icardi made his displeasure at the booing from Inter fans known, and it showed in his celebrations as well. He scored his sides equalizing goal after Rodrigo Palacio did well to head down towards him from a cross, for a poachers’ finish. His second was again assisted by Palacio, a low cross to the far-post which allowed Icardi to tap it in. Both goals followed celebrations that looked to be directed towards the home support in the 2-2 draw with Verona.
Alvaro Morata | Juventus | Spain | 22 | Striker: Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Morata became the first Juventus players to score a brace in the same game since 1983. With Juventus cruising, and five goals up at home to Parma, Morata came on and added two more. The first a neat side-footed finish, the second an even better volley to ensure Juventus ran out 7-0 winners, in what was the biggest margin of victory ever at the Juventus stadium.
Head this way for all our Talent Radar Team of the Week pieces.
Written by Sami Faizullah