With the latest installment of the Madrid derby this weekend, Talent Radar takes a look at a combined XI of the best young players in the two sides’ current squads.
The importance of the Madrid derby could never be understated but perhaps the significance of the result of these games has increased when it comes to the bigger picture. Diego Simeone’s men finished as Champions the season before last and put one over their city rivals time and again in doing so. The two sides line up against each other which just 2 points separating the duo and both looking to take advantage of Barca’s slip up against Sevilla.
Note that the following XI has been created keeping in mind first team opportunities and appearances already made, while the formation has been positionally adjusted. Outfield players eligible are those 21 and under as of June 1st 2015, while goalkeepers 22 and under as of the same date were eligible to make the team. To know more about Talent Radar, head this way.
Defence: Starting off the Atleti dominated XI is ‘keeper Jan Oblak. Atleti have been graced with quality young ‘keepers in David De Gea and Thibaut Courtois, a trend that has been continued by the impressive Slovenian International. The three man defence in front is an all Atleti affair spearheaded by Jose Gimenez. The Uruguayan has come on leaps and bounds to emerge as a key member for both club and country and one of Europe’s elite defenders. Either side of him is young Spaniard Saul Niguez and Frenchman Lucas Hernandez. Although Saul’s future may well lie in midfield, he can do a job at the back as can most of Simeone’s midfielders, such is the discipline demanded from the manager. Hernandez has risen up through the ranks to Simeone’s plans in the first team. His first team chances may be limited as breaking up the duo of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez is a task much easier said than done. The departure of Miranda has seen the Frenchman move up the pecking order and Talent Radar can only hope to see more of this promising defender.
Midfield: There is a strong South Merican feel to Atleti’s young stars including one Angel Correa. Slight in build but immense in talent, Correa is one of those players whose raw talent is something to behold for neutrals. On the other wing is Spanish youngster Oliver Torres. The stereotypical Spanish playmaker, Torres will be looking to force his way into Simeone’s plans after a loan spell at Porto. The central midfield pairing is an intriguing one with Atleti’s Ghanaian midfielder, Thomas Teye Partey teaming up with Real new boy Mateo Kovacic. Thomas had an encouraging loan spell at Almeria last season but has stiff competition to contend with in order to break into the first XI. Kovacic on the other hand is someone who is looking to make an impact in his new club. Real Madrid have spent a sizable amount of money to secure the Croatian’s services and the midfielder will be looking to force his way into the Benitez’s plans after featuring mostly off the bench thus far.
Attack: The three pronged attack is led by Argentinian prodigy, Luciano Vietto. Vietto, reunited with Diego Simeone, is a well rounded forward and a handful for any defender. The striker is flanked by Atleti’s new recruit from Monaco, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Colombian forward, Juan Jose Narvaez. The new look forward line of Atleti suggests that Cholo Simeone is looking to not only freshen up his squad but also ideas. Carrasco was part of an exciting Monaco attack last season and is being eased into the Atleti side as of now. Narvaez is looking at a different challenge, one that many a promising Real Madrid Castilla forward has faced. The Colombian forward has the unenviable task of competing with the some of the world’s best players for a spot.
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Arnab is an opinionated Bengaluru FC and Manchester United fan. Always up for a good football discussion/ petty argument.
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