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: As of 1st June 2015 – 21 years old and below for outfield players // 22 years old and below for goalkeepers]
Jack Butland // Stoke City // 22 // Goalkeeper: The prospect of facing Arsenal at the Emirates is a daunting one for any ‘keeper. Stoke City and England ‘keeper Jack Butland rose to the occasion even if it was in a losing cause. Indeed, Stoke and Mark Hughes have Butland to thank for keeping the scoreline to just 1-0 at half time courtesy a number of fantastic saves to frustrate the Arsenal attack. The ‘keeper stood firm to deny the likes of Sanchez, Cazorla and Walcott time and again.
Matthias Ginter // Borussia Dortmund // 21 // Right-Back: The young German defender has taken well to his new found roll at full-back under Thomas Tuchel. Sparingly used their prior to this season, the 21-year-old continues to impress in what seems an unconventional position given his solid defensive ability. But Ginter created the most opportunities in Dortmund’s record-breaking 4-2 away win over Hannover including setting up Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s wonderful finish for Dortmund’s second. Felipe’s own goal that handed Dortmund their third of the night also came as a result of a Ginter cross.
John Stones // Everton // 21 // Centre-Back: The Stones to Chelsea saga was one of the most headline grabbing of the recent transfer window and as such the spotlight was partially on the 21 year-old ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Merseyside. Stones though seemed to revel in the occasion displaying the maturity and composure that attracted Chelsea’s overtures in the first place. The England International kept Diego Costa at bay in what was a memorable afternoon for the Goodison faithful. Stones featured in Outside of the Boot’s list of 100 Young Players to Watch in 2015.
Wesley Hoedt // Lazio // 21 // Centre-Back: Hoedt signed from AZ Alkmaar on the summer, moving on a free transfer; his debut came in the weekend’s 2-0 win over Udinese. The 21-year-old looked more than capable in his new Italian home. Making the most interceptions for the Lazio side (4) and managing the most clearances (4), Hoedt looked assured in a league much different to the one back home. It will be interesting to see how confident Stefano Pioli is in using the young defender in subsequent fixtures.
Benjamin Mendy // Marseille // 21 // Left Back: 21 year old Frenchman Benjamin Mendy is one of two players from the Marseille side that beat Bastia this past weekend to make it to our Talent Radar Team of the Week. The left back aced both his offensive and defensive duties in the game, scoring the opening goal in the fifteenth minute and going on to set up fellow Talent Radar youngster, Michy Batshuayi for Marseille’s final goal of the night. Defensively, the former Le Harve man wasn’t troubled too much on that left flank and that showed with a more controlled performance. Benjamin Mendy was 7th in the defenders category of the 100 Young Players to Watch in 2015.
Johannes Geis // Schalke // 22 // Defensive Midfield: Highly talented midfielder Johannes Geis faced old club Mainz in the weekend. Known for his dead ball ability, the 22 year-old made his former teammates pay in his customary fashion. Huntelaar had a penalty saved early in the piece, but Schalke weren’t to be denied the lead for long. Geis swung in a threatening cross from a corner and Joel Matip did the rest with a towering header. Read a detailed Scout Report on him here.
Eric Dier // Tottenham Hotspur // 21 // Central Midfield: Spurs have had a fairly rough start to the season but earned their first three points with a 1-0 win away to Sunderland. Dier was used by boss Mauricio Pochettino in central midfield again; though the Englishman has played their previously, the confidence he had in being used away from the defensive zone is quite remarkable. Safe to say some of the same traits are applicable higher up as Dier managed an impressive 8 successful tackles all game as he formed a formidable partnership with Ryan Mason in the centre of the park.
Marc Stendera // Eintracht Frankfurt // 19 // Central Midfield: Stendera attracted our attention in the lead-up to preparing the 2015 Talent Radar Young Players to Watch list, and our confidence in his ability is evident in the 10th place ranking we’ve placed upon him. Safe to say our confidence is being rewarded. While Frankfurt gained attention for their emphatic 6-2 win over Koln, Stendera’s importance was over-shadowed. Though he lacked in contribution higher up the field, it’s the cover he provided in deeper areas, and the movements made, that earned him a spot in this week’s XI.
Bart Ramselaar // FC Utrecht // 19 // Central Midfield: In what was only his first full 90 minutes of senior level football, Ramselaar followed up from his goal last time round, to a further impressive performance. His near-post run & flick-on from a corner set-up captain Willem Janssen for an open net to strike into vs Vitesse. And with the scores level, Ramselaar scored the winner six minutes after half-time, making a run into the box and pouncing on an error to complete a poachers’ finish.
Jurgen Locadia // PSV Eindhoven // 21 // Striker: 21 year old Jurgen Locadia makes his first ever appearance in the Talent Radar feature courtesy of his performance in PSV’s away game this past weekend against Cambuur. The youngster, who made his first appearance in PSV colors almost four years ago came on as a substitute in the second half with a little under half an hour to work his magic. Despite PSV already being four goals to the good at this point, Locadia proceeded to get his name on the score sheet twice to seal what was a rather comfortable night for the Dutch champions. Loacadia will be hoping that the two goals will help him cement a place in the starting eleven.
Michy Batshuayi // Marseille // 21 // Striker: With Marseille not having the best start to the campaign, Michel and his men were looking to create a positive atmosphere hoping for a win this past weekend against Bastia. The result turned out to be comprehensive and in the favor of Marseille, finishing the game 4-1 with Michy Batshuayi, a Talent Radar regular, scoring one and setting up another. The 21 year old already has three goals and two assists from five games in the league and will look to keep up that momentum in a bid to convince Marc Wilmots that he can contribute to Belgium’s Euro 2016 attempt. Bathshuayi was #2 in our list of young forwards to watch way back in January 2014.
Read all our Talent Radar Teams of the Week here.