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.
[Eligibility: 21 years old and below on June 1st 2015 // 22 years old and below for goalkeepers]
Timo Horn // Koln // 22 // Goalkeeper: Stuttgart hosted Koln in the opening day weekend of the Bundesliga with Talent Radar regular Timo Horn featuring for the away side. Horn had a decent if not spectacular outing as Koln ran out 3-1 winners on the night. The German U-21 could do little as Daniel Didavi’s long range effort cannoned off the crossbar early in the game. All four goals came after the break including Stuttgart’s solitary strike; that man Didavi making no mistake from 12 yards out.
Kevin Diks // Vitesse // 18 // Right-Back: Having made his debut as a 17-year-old, expectations will only be high for Kevin Diks despite still being in his teenage years. But the young Dutchman has impressed viewers thus far, and continued to do so in Vitesse’s 3-0 victory over Road on the weekend. Being defensively assured despite fairly unencumbered, the youngster was putting in a stellar attacking shift. Combining well with striker Abiola Dauda, he was menace down the right. His clever through ball doubled the home sides lead, and it wasn’t the only chance he created for the Nigerian striker.
John Stones // Everton // 21 // Centre-Back: Chelsea’s pusuit of this man should get much hotter after the results from this weekend. Another excellent and assured showing at the back from the youngster in an exciting encounter was important for Everton to clinch the points. An attack minded Southampton were kept at bay and hit on the break, and much credit must go to Stones. Southampton were keen to feed the aerial threats that Long and Pelle posed, but Stones was adept at dealing with the challenges presented.
Samuel Umtiti // Lyon // 21 // Centre-Back:
Samuel Umtiti was one of the first young talents to be covered by OOTB’s Scout Report feature three years ago and here he is once again, still fitting the Talent Radar bill. In the past three years, Umtiti has gained a lot more chances to prove his worth and that showed via his numerous features in several Team of the Week issues from last season. This past weekend, Lyon visited Guingamp in a game that saw Lyon run away with all three points. Bisevac, the sole goal scorer, along with Umtiti who partnered him at centre back formed a solid defensive pairing, earning Lyon a clean sheet. While the stats from that game may indicate very little, it showed Umtiti in more mature light, refraining from unnecessary tackles and remaining composed. Detailed Scout Report on Samuel Umtiti here.
Jordan Amavi // Aston Villa // 21 // Left wing back: Despite being a part of the Aston Villa side that lost to Manchester United this past Friday, Jordan Amavi makes it into our Team of the Week in back to back issues. The Frenchman seems to have adapted much quicker than Villa’s other signings and can arguably be named as one of Villa’s better performing players in what was a lacklustre performance against an equally dull United side. Manager Tim Sherwood will definitely be pleased with Amavi’s balance of both attack and defense, a definite positive for him this season. Detailed Scout Report on Jordan Amavi here.
Julian Weigl // Borussia Dortmund // 19 // Central Midfielder: The Dortmund attack may have taken all the plaudits after a comprehensive 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach but Julian Weigl had a night to remember in central midfield. With Nuri Sahin injured, Thomas Tuchel gave Weigl his Dortmund league debut and the youngster didn’t disappoint. Admittedly the game was all but done and dusted in the first half but still the 19 year old acquitted himself well showing impressive vision and calmness on the ball. The midfielder finished the game with an eye catching 94.1% passing accuracy along with 2 key passes and a shot to his name.
Lewis Baker // Vitesse (on loan from Chelsea) // 20 // Central Midfielder: The latest class of Chelsea players taking advantage of their tie-up with Vitesse includes a young English midfielder, Lewis Baker. In just his second game for the Dutch club, the 20-year-old impressed as he firmly ran the show in the middle of the park vs Roda. Baker created six goal-scoring opportunities in addition to completing 115 passes (to put that into perspective, the entire Roda side completed 209 passes). He kicked off his night by opening the scoring from the sport, before firmly having a strong hold in the game.
Ross Barkley // Everton // 21 // Central Attacking Midfielder: Another crucial cog in the Everton wheel, Barkley had a good game against the Saints. Playing in his favoured position behind the striker, Barkley put in a great performance to keep the likes of Kone and Lukaku well supplied. The young Englishman capped off a great game by scoring the goal that proved to be the cherry on a delicious Everton cake. The telling stat was that of his pass completion. 89% for someone playing that deep in the opposition half is very impressive. Detailed Scout Report on Ross Barkley here.
Nathan Redmond // Norwich City // 21 // Right-Winger: This match was touted as a battle between 2 sides that are going to struggle at the wrong end of the table, and young Redmond made the crucial difference for his team. The tricky midfielder made the most of Sunderland’s ‘defence’, running rings around them throughout the game. 4 dribbles completed were complemented by a goal. If Norwich are to prove the punters and the doubters wrong, they’ll need a lot more from this player.
Anwar El Ghazi // Ajax Amsterdam // 20 // Left-Winger: With another stellar performance this past weekend, Anwar El Ghazi makes it to our Talent Radar Team of the Week for the second week running. Having already had a blistering campaign last season, El Ghazi seems to have no intention of cooling things down, adding another brace to his goal tally against Willem II in their 3-0 victory this past Saturday. The 20 year old had an exceptional game and was unlucky not to bag a hat-trick with the woodwork playing spoil sport. The brace now makes it 4 goals in 2 games for El Ghazi this season. You can read a detailed Scout Report on him here.
Oussama Tannane // Heracles // 21 // Striker: Heracles had a great start to the season as they beat NEC Nijmegen 3-0 at home with young Oussama Tannane the star of the show. Tannane opened the scoring in spectacular fashion from a dead ball situation. A left-footed free kick from distance nestled into the top corner as Tannane struck the ball in a Gareth Bale-esque fashion. He could have added another as he cut in from the right and let fly only to be thwarted by opposing ‘keeper, Halldorsson. Tannane and Heracles capped off the night with a third goal as the 21 year-old ran at the defence and slipped in Weghorst who made no mistake.
Read all our Talent Radar Teams of the Week here.
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