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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.
Loris Karius | Mainz | Germany | 21 | Goalkeeper: After causing an upset last weekend to the visiting side Wolfsburg, Augsburg were unable to gain any momentum as they played host to Mainz. The visitors came away with all three points courtesy a 0-2 scoreline with goals in either half. Mainz managed to keep their first clean sheet in seven league games. The young German had a rather comfortable night with majority of Augsburg’s shots coming from outside the box. The few shots that the home side managed to take from within the 18 yard area were from angles that Karius had no trouble covering. This is Loris Karius’ first appearance in Talent Radar’s Team of the Week.
Almamy Toure | Monaco | Mali | 18 | Right Back: Almamy Toure makes is second Talent Radar Team of the Week appearance in just his fourth start of the season. With those not regular to watching Ligue 1 games, the Champions League away win against Arsenal put Monaco on the map as a side that was defensively well set up. This past weekend, Moanco were at home facing Bastia and were eventual winners with a solid 3-0 scoreline and importantly, another clean sheet. One quarter of the defensive line that produced the clean sheet was Toure, who had a solid game defensively, showing signs of maturity in his positional sense and ability to read the game. Toure’s good performance this weekend is only a temporary judgement as Bastia were consistently toothless in their attacks. Offensively, the 18 year old looked keen to go forward as his heat map would indicate, this due to the lack of pressure once again from the Bastia attacking men.
Alessio Romagnoli | Sampdoria | Italy | 20 | Centre Back: Monday night football saw Sampdoria visit Rome. Roma had last won a game in the league 4 weeks prior to this fixture and were under some pressure to grind out a result. Sampdoria left the capital city with all three points, a 0-2 victory for the side that chose to do no favours for Roma, who now lag behind in the race for the league title. A well fought defensive performance saw Sampdoria keep a clean sheet and Alessio Romagnoli was right in the mix of things, adamant to not let Roma have it easy. Defensively, Romagnoli put his feet in the right places: 3 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5 clearances and 2 blocked shots summed up a strong defensively performance. Offensively, the 20 year old contributed by assisting the opening goal.
Jores Okore | Aston Villa | Denmark | 22 | Centre Back: Aston Villa were visitors to Sunderland this past weekend and the Birmingham based club seemed to pull the final straw in Sunderland’s precarious league status after an fairly one sided yet thrilling first half display that saw four goals get past the home defense. Villa finished the match with the same scoreline, keeping a clean sheet and it was Jores Okore, the 22 year old from Denmark who was at the heart of the Villa defense alongside Ciaran Clark that held a steady fort in front of goal. Okore produced 2 interceptions, 4 clearances and blocked 2 shots in the 90 minutes played, producing a calm and confident display.
Wendell Borges | Bayer Leverkusen | Brazil | 21 | Left Back: First of two representatives from the Bayer Leverkusen side that convincingly beat Stuttgart with a 4-0 mauling this weekend is Wendell Borges. The Brazilian got his first goal of this season, scoring the game’s opening goal in the 32nd minute. More impressive was his defensive contribution and discipline; the 21 year old who is currently in his first season at the club checked in 9 tackles, a massive 7 interceptions and 3 clearances. A glance at his heat map will tell you the story with his positional discipline. Making his first Talent Radar appearance, we hope to see more of this lad in the future.
Felipe Anderson | Lazio | Brazil | 21 | Right Attacking Midfielder: Lazio faced Torino on away soil in a Monday evening fixture. Le Aquile were looking to maintain their excellent run in recent weeks and they did just that with a 0-2 victory. Both goals were scored deep into the second half in quick succession by the man in focus, Felipe Anderson. Often switching flanks to mix things up, Anderson proved more threating from out wide on the right despite both goals coming from the left side of the field. In typical Brazilian fashion, the 21 year old attempted dribbles throughout the game, displaying high levels of confidence for a player of his age.
Hakim Ziyech | Twente | Holland | 21 | Centre Midfield: FC Twente played hosts to PEC Zwolle on Saturday, the home side looking to close the gap between them and Zwolle. They managed to do that successfully courtesy a 2-0 victory with much gratitude towards Hakim Ziyech. The Dutch youngster played his part in both of Twente’s goals that evening, setting up Renato Tapia late in the game before scoring Twente’s second goal a few minutes later. Twente have been on a bit of a rough patch in recent weeks. It’s rather nice to see a youngster step up and take responsibility to change the fortunes of the club, even if it may be temporarily.
Daley Sinkgraven | Ajax | Holland | 19 | Centre Midfield: Ajax made the trip to Heerenveen on the last match day and the game ended in a 1-4 victory for Frank De Boer’s men. Two out of the four goals were assisted by Daley Sinkgraven, his first brace of assists, moving his personal tally to 4 goals and 5 assists this season across all competitions. The 19 year old put in equally sound offensive and defensive shifts; the 90 minutes he was on the pitch comprised of key passes, dribble, tackles, interceptions and clearances – a proper overall performance from the youngster who is Ajax’s representative in the Team of the Week for the first time.
Kevin De Bruyne | Wolfsburg | Belgium | 23 | Left Attacking Midfielder: Wolfsburg bounced back from their 1-0 loss last weekend to Augsburg and got back to winning ways with a tidy performance against Freiburg who were victims of a 3-0 scoreline. Once again, it was the former Chelsea man who got the show running, scoring after 19 minutes on the clock. The 23 year old Belgian further helped the scoreline by providing the assist for Maximillian Arnold’s 84th minute goal that sealed the game. De Bruyne had 6 shots and 5 key passes, continuing this mesmerizing form and improving on his personal tally which now stands at 14 goals and 23 assists in all competitions.
Josip Drmic | Bayer Leverkusen | Switzerland | 22 | Striker: Josip Drmic has had a fairly quiet season so far but made a significant contribution during Bundesliga’s Friday night game where Bayer Leverkusen took on Stuttgart at home. The visitors slumped to a 4-0 defeat, with 22 year old Drmic scoring 2 out of the 4 goals that went past Sven Ulreich. After fellow Team of the Week performer Wendell had found the back of the net, Drmic scored the first of his brace in the 36th minute and completed it a minute shy of the hour mark. The Swiss striker hasn’t lived up to expectations this season and that can be pinned down to the lack of game time in the league ( 677 minutes in the league) but his performance over the weekend was a sign that he could do much more, given the stage.
Divock Origi | Lille | Belgium | 19 | Striker: On loan Liverpool striker Divock Origi finally ended his six month goal drought as Lille welcomed Rennes this past weekend. Origi broke his lean spell in sumptuous style with a hat-trick, helping Lille to their third straight win in the league, putting them in 8th place, 2 clear of Nantes. The young Belgian scored on just before the half time whistle and kept the engine running, scoring two more in the second period, with one being from a penalty. With Liverpool’s lack in depth in the striking department (or at least ones that perform), it’s about time Origi got his groove back on to show his worth to Brendan Rodgers if he wishes to have a future at the Merseyside club.
Written by Razim Refai