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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.
Jack Butland // Stoke City // 22 // Goalkeeper: With Asmir Begovic making the move to Chelsea, finally, the time has come for England hopeful Jack Butland to stake his claim. The youngster, now established as Stoke’s number one, had a fairly decent outing against Liverpool this weekend. The big man didn’t have as much to do in terms of making saves and shot stopping, but generally commanded his area well. He was also proactive enough when required to be with the way he swept up some of the Liverpool through balls. One cant really apportion much blame to him for the Coutinho goal, and so, it would have to be called a satisfactory performance.
Kenny Tete // Ajax Amsterdam // 19 // Right-Back: Tete made his mark at the Dutch club towards the end of last season, starting the last three games for the side. He continued his impression, earning his spot in Ajax’ short lived Champions League campaign as he played in both games of the aggregate loss against Rapid Vienna. The teenager impressed in the opening league game as Ajax beat AZ 3-0. His reading of the game was evident, making a remarkable 6 interceptions, more than any other on the pitch while also winning 100% of his tackles.
John Stones // Everton // 21 // Defender: If John Stones is distracted by the current transfer saga involving him, he isn’t showing it. The impressive young center back showed exactly why the champions covet him so much this weekend. The match against Watford ended 2-2, with an immense contribution from the England player. 4 tackles and 4 interceptions from the man kept an impressive Watford team out for large parts. With a performance like that, Everton will be clinging onto him tightly.
Samuel Umtiti // Lyon // 21 // Defender: Umtiti is one of the host of promising young defenders France boasts off. The Lyon defender has emerged as a key member for his side making the spot on the left side of defence his own; a position he occupied against Lorient the past game week. Lyon dominated possession in the game and Umtiti once again showed that he’s comfortable with the ball at his feet finishing the game with nearly 93% passes completed. The 21 year-old made 3 interceptions and blocked 3 shots including a great header off the line to thwart Raphael Guerreiro from opening the scoring for the visitors. Detailed Scout Report on Samuel Umtiti here.
Jordan Amavi // Aston Villa // 21 // Left wing back: Amavi had made a name for himself amongst Talent Radar circles last season, featuring in several Team of the Week articles while playing for Nice. After a move to English side this past transfer window, the youngster was given his first start in the league by Tim Sherwood against Premier League newcomers, Bournemouth this past weekend. The Frenchman, with several games under his belt despite being just 21 years of age, was given a tougher challenge that most predicted. With majority of The Cherries attack streaming down that right flank, Amavi was presented with a rather difficult challenge, and was constantly kept occupied throughout the 90 minutes. Matt Ritchie’s energised performance coupled with Simon Francis’ overlaps proved to be a solid test for Amavi, which he managed to handle very well. Detailed Scout Report on Jordan Amavi here.
Reece Oxford // West Ham United // 16 // Midfielder: To the surprise of many, Slaven Bilic threw the 16 year old into the deep end, starting him on the opening weekend against the title favourites. What a way for the player to respond as well. Young Oxford put in a class performance, protecting the back 4 very well. The player did his job with minimal fuss, moving the ball forward as quickly as possible when he got it. A bright future awaits the latest product from this famous academy.
Ross Barkley // Everton // 21 // Central Midfielder: The 21 year-old Englishman had a largely indifferent campaign last time around, although to be fair he wasn’t the only player at Goodison Park to do so. The game against Watford represented a new start to the season for the club as a whole and Barkley himself. The midfielder slotted into the number 10 role as the Merseyside club took on new boys Watford. Barkley put forth a decent performance, drifting in and out of the game but provided a flash of brilliance to put Everton back on level terms. Seamus Coleman’s cross from the right was well controlled by Arouna Kone who set up Barkley with a well weighted ball. The Englishman did the rest with a technically impressive finish which found the back of the net. With 4 shots and 1 chance created, Barkley had a good start to the season and will be hoping to step up and become a pivotal member of Roberto Martinez’s men. Detailed Scout Report on Ross Barkley here.
Anwar El Ghazi // Ajax Amsterdam // 20 // Right-Winger: El Ghazi made an impression on our Talent Radar feature last season, finishing 9th in our Player Rankings under the forwards category. He wasted no time in making an impact again, scoring a brace in Ajax’ 3-0 away victory against AZ Alkmaar in the season opener. His first was an incredible long range effort that caught the keeper off guard, following that up with a poachers header after a free kick from the left-flank. Still only 20 and an entire season of experience behind him, expectations are certainly high for the youngster. You can read a detailed Scout Report on him here.
Bernardo Silva // AS Monaco // 21 // Left Attacking Midfielder: Bernardo Silva, who renewed his contract with the French club earlier today, was another regular player who featured in many Talent Radar Team of the Week articles last season. The 21 year old, who signed on a permanent deal from Benfica as recent as this past January wasn’t gifted with a spot in the starting line up again OGC Nice on Saturday but was brought on in the 24thminute. The substitution payed off on the other side of half time; Silva managed to get on the score sheet thanks to an assist from fellow Talent Radar regular, Anthony Martial. With a further 3 shots and a key pass added to that goal, Silva could be looking at another promising season. Detailed Scout Report on Bernardo Silva.
Anthony Martial // AS Monaco // 19 // Striker: Despite being just 19 years of age, Anthony Martial has already made a name for himself in the Ligue 1 as well as beyond. Monaco took on OGC Nice this past weekend, with Martial being trusted as Monaco’s main goal-getter. Having already made several Talent Radar Team of the Week appearances last season, Martial hit the ground running once again, providing the assist for Bernardo Silva (who also features in this week’s Team of the Week) who scored the goal that helped Monaco equalise right after half time. The youngster also had three key passes during the 70 minutes that he was on field. Detailed Scout Report on Anthony Martial.
Sebastien Haller // Utrecht // 21 // Striker: The fixture between Feyenoord and Utrecht proved to be an eventful one as the home side ran out 3-2 winners. Sebastien Haller may have ended up on the losing side but had a night to remember as he scored both of Utrecht’s goals albeit in a losing cause. His first goal was a typical poacher’s goal as he was the first to react to a rebound in the six yard box. The second goal was a mere consolation deep into stoppage time. Haller earned the penalty himself and made no mistake as he sent the ‘keeper the wrong way.
Read all our Talent Radar Team of the Weeks here.