Judging the calibre of a young player is often a tricky task. Perceived potential has an important bearing in any consideration and is just one of the many parameters to consider when trying to quantify the ability of football’s young stars. To add a basis to what may be a leap of faith, it is useful to look back and trace the growth, or indeed lack thereof, in young players.
Our Talent Radar Player Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Week documents the progress of youngsters across Europe, with those featuring in these regular pieces, eventually being recognised in our end of season Talent Radar Young Player Awards and 100 Best Young Players to Watch list. Read this document for all your queries on Talent Radar and explanation of the features under it.
[Eligibility: As of 1st June 2015 – 21 years old and below]
10. VINCENT JANSSEN // 21 // AZ Alkmaar // Netherlands
The Dutch U-21 striker, Vincent Janssen has made a solid start to the season at AZ. The Feyenoord product has already notched up 14 appearances this season for AZ across all competitions. A brace in the 3-0 win against Twente just before the International break was enough to propel him into the rankings. Young players tend to score goals in bursts and both Janssen and AZ will be fervently hoping for him to embark on one such run.
9. AYOZE PEREZ // 22 // Newcastle United // Spain
Things must be all too familiar for Newcastle at the moment: struggling to score goals and having a defense that is far too welcoming. Among the negative air at St. James Park, a certain Ayoze Perez’s performances seems like another familiar feeling: despite everything going against the Tyneside club, Perez is that one spark that delights the Newcastle faithful. While it is hard to have a case for Perez with purely goalscoring stats (especially amongst the others in this list), anyone been watching Newcastle can see the talent this boy has. The Spaniard manages to engineer moments of brilliance during games despite playing for what looks like a lacklustre side.
8. MUAMER TANKOVIC // 20 // AZ Alkmaar // Sweden
Muamer Tankovic was a regular in our last season’s edition of Talent Radar Player Rankings for forwards. This season, the youngster has already made entrances to our Team of the Week feature with performances and stats to back up his place and value. In the fifteen competitive games Tankovic has played so far this season, the Swede has scored three goals and turned provider on seven occasions. He hasn’t had the best start to the Eredivisie campaign yet but we would not be surprised if he got going sooner rather than later.
7. PAULO DYBALA // 21 // juventus // Argentina
It’s been a noticeable trend that Juventus have started to value having youth in the first team as a current and long term plan. One of the key young players is recent signing Paulo Dybala who had an excellent season with Palermo last time around scoring 13 goals and providing 10 assists. This season, Juventus have had a stuttering start to the Serie A so far but that hasn’t stopped the Argentine from doing what he was brought in to do. Four goals and an assist for the club is a quite a nice way to get things started and we’re hoping it doesn’t stop there.
6. ANTONIO SANABRIA // 19 // Sporting Gijon (On loan from Roma) // Paraguay
5. SEBASTIEN HALLER // 21 // Utrecht // France
Yet another young striker in this list plying his trade in the Eredivisie, Sebastien Haller has continued where he left off for Utrecht last season. The French U-21 International started the season in red hot form banging in 4 goals in the first 3 league games. A red card and ensuing suspension may have thwarted his momentum but there’s no denying that he’s one striker we’ll be hearing about in the future.
To know more about football’s young stars, read our 100 Young Players to Watch in 2015 feature.
4. JURGEN LOCADIA// 21 // PSV // Netherlands
After last season’s top goalscorer Memphis left for Manchester United, PSV were looking at their young striker Jurgen Locadia to take up the mantle. The 21-year-old has responded splendidly notching up 4 goals in 6 league games thus far. Capable of playing through the centre or down the flanks, the PSV faithful will be hoping that Locadia can continue to his goalscoring form.
3. OUSSAMA TANNANE // 21 // Heracles // Morocco/Netherlands
Heracles have enjoyed a great start to the Eredivisie with Oussama Tannane particularly shining in attack. The left-footed player has featured in the early editions of the Talent Radar Team of the Week, most notably after putting an incredible 4 goals past Cambuur, all of which came in the first half! Although laid down by injury at the moment, Tannane will be looking to come back strong and help Heracles sustain their excellent start to the campaign.
2. ANTHONY MARTIAL // 19 // Manchester United // France
Regardless of which source you want to believe, Martial’s transfer free was outrageous for a teenager and yet here we are speaking about him in our top young forward list. The youngster seems to have an air of maturity that should help him keep his head on his shoulders inspite of the English media being, well, the English media. The 19-year-old has already notched three goals and an assist in the Premier League and has been quite active in build-up play as well. Manager Louis van Gaal currently seems to trust the young lad up front, a sign of faith he is hoping will pay off soon.
1. MICHY BATSHUAYI // 22 // Marseille // Belgium
Michy Batshuayi is another returning player to this season’s Talent Radar feature. Marseille have had a mixed start to the season after seeing trouble at the very beginning with managerial issues. Ten games have elapsed so far but the varying set of results haven’t seemed to influence the 22-year-old who has scored six goals so far in addition to the two assists against his name. Currently, Batshuayi is on a three game scoring steak despite the club picking up just a point from those fixtures.
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