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]
Sergio Rico // 22 // Sevilla // Goalkeeper: Sergio Rico makes his first ever Talent Radar Team of the Week appearance thanks to a quality performance this past Saturday when Sevilla hosted defending La Liga champions Barcelona. The home team won the game 2-1 with much credit due to the youngster whose heroics were dampened by the media that chose to highlight Barca’s misfortune rather than give recognition where due. Rico managed to help out offensively with a total of twelve accurate long balls which served as a useful outlet for a team that was forced back for majority of the game.
Hector Bellerin // 20 // Arsenal // Right wing back: Although Hector Bellerin played as a right back among a flat back four, leaving him out of this week’s Talent Radar team seemed to be untruthful on our part. Bellerin was in the Arsenal side that took on Manchester United this weekend that turned out to be a very fruitful game for the home side. It’s important to notice that Bellerin has been consistent in his performances for the London club, to the extent that he is Arsene Wenger’s first choice right back despite being just twenty years of age. The former La Masia product seems to be enjoying his time in England and it seems only a matter of time before Spain’s senior team come calling.
Samuel Umtiti // 21 // Lyon // Centre back: Samuel Umtiti was a massive part of the 2014/15 Lyon side that gave PSG a run for their money for majority of the season. The 21 year old is back this time with a Lyon side that many had expectations from. Despite Lyon’s mixed fortunes so far, Umtiti hasn’t held back and been as solid as he was last season. The Frenchman is easily on of the best young centre backs in the game today and a testament of that would be the countless times he has featured in all our Talent Radar articles.
Aymeric Laporte // 21 // Atletic Bilbao // Centre back: France seems to have stocked up on quality young centre backs, the subject here being Atletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte. The twenty one year old was a part of the Bilbao line up that took on Valencia this weekend at home which they went on to win 3-1, one of the three goals graciously contributed by the Frenchman. Laporte has been on the scene for quite a while now and had been linked with several high profile clubs. Despite all the media rumours, it is nice to see a youngster stick to a club that really values the players it produces. Hopefully our words don’t jinx anything. Laporte was in our 100 Young Players to Watch in 2015 list.
Dominique Heintz // 22 // Koln // Centre back: German U21 international Dominique Heintz makes his first appearance in Talent Radar circles with his performance against Schalke this past weekend. The home side, Schalke were looking to earn a relatively easy thee points and put pressure on Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund side but Heintz and his team mates were having none of it. Koln eventually returned home with three points and three goals and a clean sheet, the latter of which was helped by Heintz who contributed with a total of eleven clearances and five interceptions in the match. Heintz is still young but pen down one thing on his list of achievements, a Talent Radar appearance.
David Junca // 21 // Eibar // Left wing back: Another debutant in this season’s Talent Radar feature is Eibar’s David Junca. Junca was with Girona in the Segunda Division last season and was the subject of a permanent transfer to Eibar this past summer. Junca has featured in every Eibar league game this season barring the loss against Atletico Madrid which technically leaves him undefeated in La Liga if anyone wants to make a stat out of that. The twenty one year old was a part of the Eibar side that faced Las Palmas this past weekend at the Gran Canaria Arena and came back home with an assist to his name apart from his side’s three points.
Marvelous Nakamba // 21 // Vitesse // Right midfield: We’d like to believe he was named after his performance for Vitesse against Groningen. Vitesse were more than comfortable winners with the match ending with a score of 5-0. Nakamba has more important contributions to the game that ‘just goals and assists’. The youngster contributed nine tackles, three interceptions, three key passes and three shots apart from controlling the game from the middle of the park. Nakamba is interesting also the first Zimbabwean to feature in Talent Radar.
Jorrit Hendrix // 20 // PSV Eindhoven // Left Midfield: This past weekend was filled with high profile matches and the Eredevisie wasn’t one to be left out. PSV, current Dutch champions faced off against Ajax who currently lead the table. The defending champions were victorious away from home this time with a 1-2 win, where one of those goals was constructed by none other than Jorrit Hendrix. The twenty year old is a defensive midfielder but his quality performance forced our hand to put him in this week’s team of the week which explains while he is positioned on the left side of a midfield three. At Outside of the Boot, we’re big fans of defensive midfielders and we hope to see much more of this lad in the coming Talent Radar articles.
Sofiane Boufal // 22 // Lille // Attacking Midfielder: Lille were the hosts this weekend as they faced Montpellier who are struggling at the wrong end of the table. The home side ran away with three points courtesy of a 2-0 margin, one of the two goals being scored by twenty two year old Sofiane Boudal. The youngster has featured in all of Lille’s games except for one this season and has been experimented with by manager Herve Renard in different attacking positions. In the matches played so far, Boufal has played as a left winger, right winger and central attacking midfielder, with the left side being the most fruitful given that he has scored two goals from that flank.
Gaston Pereiro // 20 // PSV Eindhoven // Striker: Gaston Pereiro is the second PSV player to be a part of this week’s Team of the Week. PSV were visitors at the Amsterdam Arena where, after 90 minutes, they walked away with all three points with much credit to Pereiro who scored a brace in the 1-2 victory. Pereiro did in fact play as a left winger in the game but his performance was certainly worthy of being included in this week’s Talent Radar article. The two goals were incidently his first two goals of the campaign despite playing every single game in the league.
Vincent Janssen // 21 // AZ Alkmaar // Striker: The final player to conclude this week’s edition of the Talent Radar Team of the Week is Vincent Janssen. The twenty one year old is in his first season of senior club football and has already made thirteen appearances for Alkmaar across all competitions this season. Alkmaar took on Twente at home and were eventual winners with the 3-1 score line. The opening two goals of the fixture was scored by Dutchman to take his goal tally up to four goals this season. The win also took Alkmaar to the top half of the table.
Read all our Talent Radar Teams of the Week here.
- Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week #24: Niklas Sule, Kingsley Coman, and more - March 15, 2016
- Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week #21: Alireza Jahanbaksh, Jurgen Locadia and more - February 16, 2016
- Talent Radar Young Goalkeeper Rankings: Jack Butland reclaims top position - February 16, 2016