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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.
Mattia Perin | Genoa | Italy | 22 | Goalkeeper: The Italian kept a clean sheet against an AC Milan side the seemed to get past the Genoa defence rather easily. In the 8th minute, a solo run from the half line from Menez ended with him taking a shot through a crowd of players and reaching its target. Perin did very well to follow the ball despite having his vision blocked. The 27th minute saw the youngest make a crucial one-on-one save against Menez after a defensive error from Genoa’s defence. Milan’s 6 on target shots were successfully blocked, capping off a good night for Perin.
Jose Gimenez | Atletico | Uruguay |19 | Centre Back: Elche were hosts to Atletico this weekend where Gimenez earned his fourth appearance this season for the Madrid club. The Uruguayan opened the scoring in the 16th minute after a short corner and a triangle routine was executed which resulted in Turan squaring the ball to the centre-half who took a first touch and dispatched the ball strongly to the back of the net. This was Gimenez’s first goal for Atletico. The youngster ended the game with 4 interceptions, 4 clearances, 3 blocks and a clean sheet.
Daniele Rugani | Empoli (On loan from Juventus) | Italy | 20 | Centre Back: Empoli were on the road to a Napoli side looking to get into the top 4. The 52nd minute saw an Empoli corner which was flicked on at the near post. Rugani cleverly managed to get away from his marker and react first to the loose ball and score Empoli’s second of the match. This was Rugani’s second goal of the campaign. The youngster managed a total of 13 clearances during the game, with a 100% tackling accuracy.
Jores Okore | Aston Villa | Denmark | 22 | Centre Back: Okore put forward a solid display in the match against Leicester, after the Villians came back from a goal done to grab all three points. The Dane had 4 interceptions located quite high up the pitch, 2 of which were in the opposing half. A headed clearance just in front of goal was one of 9 clearances that contributed to his praiseworthy display. Okore finished the night with 100% tackling accuracy and 91% passing accuracy. A good performance from the youngster in what was only his third game of the campaign.
Eric Dier | Spurs | England | 20 | Right Back: Spurs were held to a goalless draw at White Hart Lane but that didn’t stop Dier from producing another impressive display. The Englishman’s attacking intent was highlighted having spent more time near the byline in the offensive half than anywhere else on the pitch. The youngster also managed to create two chances during the course of the game. His defensive capabilities were seen, making an interception deep and wide in his own half as well as making a good block inside the penalty area. Dier made 9 successful clearances, 5 of which were in the penalty area.
Jetro Willems | PSV Eindhoven | Holland | 20 |Left Back: Willems’s excellent crossing ability was displayed through out the game. From as early as the fourth minute corner, Willems was able to whip in the ball into dangerous areas inside the penalty box. PSV’s second goal was from a Willems corner, met by Wijnaldum. The youngster’s vision and accuracy was also highlighted through PSV’s first goal where Willems picked out Wijnaldum with a through ball from just ahead of the half way line. It is worth mentioning that the through ball came off of Willem’s weaker right foot. The Dutchman managed a total of 13 crosses in the game and created 6 more chances apart from his two assists.
Mattia Perin is currently at #4 in our Talent Radar Player Rankings: Top 5 Young Goalkeepers in 2014/15
Eric Dier is currently at #7 in our Talent Radar Player Rankings: Top 10 Young Defenders in 2014/15
Arkadiusz Milik is at #10 and Paulo Dybala at #6 in our Talent Radar Player Rankings: Top 10 Young Forwards in 2014/15
Thorgan Hazard was at #9 in our Talent Radar Top 20 Young Players of 2014 review feature.
Eric Dier was at #21 in our defenders’ list as part of our 100 Best Young Players to Watch in 2014 feature
Thorgan Hazard was at #20 in our midfielders’ list as part of our 100 Best Young Players to Watch in 2014 feature
Jetro Willems was at #3 in our defenders’ list as part of our 100 Best Young Players to Watch in 2014 feature
Thorgan Hazard | Monchengladbach (On loan from Chelsea) | Belgium | 21 | Attacking Midfielder: He may be the lesser known sons of the Hazard family, but Thorgan has his fair share of talent. A decent start to his Monchengladbach life has been questioned as he failed to maintain the same form he showed with Zulte Waregem last season. But in the 3-2 win over Hertha Berlin, he kept up to the same level as earlier. A good cross from a free-kick set up Tony Jantschke for the opener, and late on he ran through the defence, tried to unselfishly set up Ibrahima Traore, only for the ball to deflect back onto his path for his first Bundesliga goal.
Marc Stendera | Eintracht Frankfurt | Germany | 18 | Attacking Midfielder: The teenager has been on the brink of a Team of the Week appearance a couple of times already this season, but finally made his debut in the feature after a stellar showing in Frankfurt’s emphatic 5-2 win over Werder Bremen. Deployed behind the striker, Stendera constantly involved himself in the play in what was an open game of football, topping it off with a super ‘outside of the boot’ strike for the 5th goal. Faced with heavy competition in this week’s XI with plenty of options in his position, Stendera’s first mark on Talent Radar may well be the start of something more.
Marc Stendera’s OOTB goal:
Lucas Andersen | Ajax | Demark | 20 | Attacking Midfielder: The youngster conjured three assists during Ajax’s 5-0 win over Willem II this past weekend. Andersen displayed pace as well as the ability to change direction and manage deft touches at that pace via his first assist for Ajax’s opener. His ability to run at defenders and his decision making were highlighted as he made a solid run from midfield before slipping in Milik for the second assist. Anderson’s pace is an asset he exploited throughout the game. After a defensive error by the Willem II centre back, Anderson was quickest to react and managed to beat any one else to the ball before assisting Milik with his second.
Paulo Dybala | Palermo | Argentina | 21 | Striker: The Argentine had a very good match against Torino despite Palermo coming away with just a point. In the 15th minute, Dybala’s burst of pace was noticeable as he ran between Torino’s lines and squaring the ball just outside the penalty area for Rigoni to slot it in the back of the net. This move highlighted Dybala’s energy as well as his awareness of his team-mates as Rigoni was a few paces behind him while he made his forward run. The highlight of his performance was that of his second goal: with the ball played in behind him and at an awkward height, Dybala managed to left his left foot behind to flick the ball over his head and knock the ball in first time from a tight angle, past the on rushing keeper. Dybala showed excellent awareness and improvisation, quite impressive for his age.
Arkadiusz Milik | Ajax (On loan from Leverkusen | Poland | 20 | Striker: Milik was a part of three of Ajax’s 5 goals in their win against Willem II this past weekend. Ajax’s second saw Milik’s willingness to fall deep and be a part of the build up play. His initial pass at the half way line eventually led to a one-two with Lucas Anderson and side footed the ball into the goal with immense composure. Milik’s aerial ability was seen in his second goal where he was able to cause the centre back trouble with his jump, resulting in a defensive error. Milik’s ball control and speed on display when we was able to beat the full back and square the ball across the face of the goal for Klassen’s tap-in.
Head this way for all our Talent Radar Team of the Week pieces.
Written by Razim Refai