A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar 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.
Timo Horn | Koln| Germany | 21 | Goalkeeper: Koln welcomed Hannover on Saturday evening, both sides heading into the clash after a disappointing run of games. Despite the game ending in a 1-1 draw, the young German Timo Horn had a good performance that night. While his first half performance may not have much to speak of, his second half display should exactly why the youngster is trusted with first team action despite his age. Crucial saves in the second period help Koln retire on the night with a point will be crucial in the relation race, come the end of the season.
Joshua Brenet| PSV | Holland | 20 | Right Back: Sunday afternoon’s game between league leaders PSV face bottom of the table Dordrecht. The game ended in a 3-0 victory for the home side, taking them a solid fourteen points clear of second placed Ajax. Among the key performers for PSV was 20 year old Joshua Brenet. The youngster had a sound match, rarely seen out of position or having a tough time down that right flank. Four crosses, a key pass and a pass accuracy of 88% that afternoon summed a good performance by Brenet in what is his breakthrough season at the club.
Raphael Varane | Real Madrid | France | 21 | Centre Back: With Barcelona having slipped up against Malaga on Saturday, Real Madrid knew well that they needed to make the most of their away game against Elche. The match resulted in a 0-2 victory for the European champions, yet another clean sheet for the Madrid back line that included Raphael Varane. Varane’s excellent positioning left him with a comfortable shift through the 90 minutes. 4 interceptions, 5 clearances and a pass accuracy of above 90% capped yet another good performance from the youngster.
Daniele Rugani | Empoli | Italy | 20 | Centre Back: Empoli entertained Chievo on Sunday, with both teams level on points heading into the game. It was the home side that came away with the victory, a comfortable one as the 3-0 scoreline suggested. Empoli broke the deadlock with a goal from Rugani in the 22nd minute. The youngster went on to have a stellar game, with 12 clearances throughout the 90 minutes. An excellent display of maturity and positional awareness from the 20 year old, who barely put in a wrong foot on the night.
Ricardo Rodriguez | Wolfsburg | Switzerland | 22 | Left Back: Sunday’s last Bundesliga fixture saw Wolfsburg take on Hertha Berlin. With the two teams having contrasting seasons, the match fell in favour of the home side, as Wolfsburg ran away 2-1 winners after 90 minutes. Offensively and defensively, the youngster performed very well: in the attacking sense, the 22 year old had 4 key passes to offer; and in the defensive sense, 2 interceptions and 6 clearances with a pass accuracy of 85% that evening.
Adrien Rabiot| PSG | France | 19 | Midfielder: PSG were hosts to Toulouse on Saturday
and were well aware that they were in need to keep the pressure on Lyon. The match ended a comfortable 3-1 for PSG, will Frenchman Adrien Rabiot scoring a brace for the capital club. The first goal saw a neat build up on the right hand side before the ball was sweetly laid off from 12 yards by Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Rabiot, who took his time and placed it into the far corner of the net with an air of composure. The second half saw Rabiot double his tally on the night with a tap in after Pastore fizzed the ball across the face of the goal.
Morgan Sanson | Montpellier | France | 20 | Midfielder: Montpellier faced Guingamp on the road this past Sunday, with the away side coming away with all three points courtesy of a 0-2 victory. The traveling side gained the advantage in as early as the second minute of the game via 20 year old Morgan Sanson, who followed up the goal with a special performance. The goal, laid off neatly by a team mate outside the box led Sanson to calmly place the ball into the far corner, giving Montpellier early breathing space. The youngster finished the night with three shots on target, a key pass and the best pass accuracy amongst his fellow teammates.
Sergi Darder | Malaga | Spain | 21 | Midfielder: The big upset this past weekend was Barcelona’s loss at the Nou Camp to Malaga, making the title race all the more exciting. Amongst the fielded XI, Sergi Darder was surely one of the best performers for the visiting team. Offensively, the 21 year old had three shots on target, which is saying much considering he was facing a possession obsessed team like Barcelona. He also had a key pass on the night, again, a rarity given the opponent and their style of play. For a player of his age, in a position of such importance against a team of such calibre, Darder certain passed the test he was put to.
Max Meyer| Schalke | Germany | 19 | Left Winger: Schalke were up against an in form Werder Bremen
side, who had taken 15 points from their last 5 league games. The game ended in a 1-1 draw with 19 year old Meyer on target for the home side in the 61st minute. The young and highly rated Germany had three shots, four key passes and a handful of dribbles, highlighting the offensive contribution he brings to the table. The 19 year old showed his willingness to track back and put a defensive shift when required, with a couple of interceptions at advantageous areas of the pitch. His pass accuracy was 85%, summing up a productive game for the lad.
Adnane Tighadouini| NAC Breda | Morocco | 22 | Right Winger: NAC Breda faced Cambuur at home on Friday night as Eredivisie’s first game of the weekend. The home side came through with a 2-0 victory, taking all three points with much thanks to a brace from Adnane Tighadouini. A counter in the second half saw Tighadouini take a spectacular shot from distance; although it failed to make the intended target, the 22 year old did not disappoint when another opportunity came his way. With a ball slipped down the left, the Moroccan calmly placed the ball past the opposing goal keeper; a finish any attacking player would be proud of. His second goal saw him sprint down the left flank to collect a through ball and carefully place the ball in the far bottom corner, doubling NAC Breda’s advantage momentarily.
Michy Batshuayi | Marseille | Belgium | 21 | Striker: Marsielle traveled to Saint Etienne on Sunday on the back of two consecutive draws. The spoils were shared as the game ended in a 2-2 draw, with none other than Michy Batshuayi scoring a brace on the night after being subbed on in the second half. The first goal highlighted a few key aspects of his play, primarily, his composure in the box before slotting it home and secondly, his movement to receive the ball as well as to take it down well and position himself well for a shot. Minutes later, he scored his second with a typical striker’s finish, running to the near post for a tap in.
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Written by Razim Refai
Razim Refai is a co-founder and editor of Outside of the Boot.
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