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]
Gianluigi Donnarumma // 16 // AC Milan // Goalkeeper: Obviously, Talent Radar looks at young players, but we need to keep in mind that this is a school boy that we’re raving about, essentially. Milan have taken a gamble on young Donnarumma, and so far, it seems to be paying off. The Rossoneri weren’t impressive in their draw against Atalanta, but the one reason they got the draw was the impressive performance from their keeper. 4 saves, and a commanding organizational performance comprised a man of the match performance from Donnarumma. Many great things lie ahead for this player if he keeps playing in this vein.
Matthias Ginter // 21// Dortmund // Right-Back: The young German right-back has been a revelation this season for Dortmund, and not without reason. Throughout the year, he’s been solid at the back, and contributed going forward. This game against Schalke was his big day. After setting up the first goal, he helped Dortmund get ahead in front of their supporters with a header. The player himself was overjoyed to have made a decisive contribution, especially with the fans reacting in the way they did. Ginter is making rapid progress, and is a firm favourite to fill in for Germany in this position.
Ruben Vezo // 21 // Valencia // Centre-Back: Valencia travelled to the home of high flyers Celta Vigo, and came away with an excellent 5-1 win. Of course, the goals were the defining factor, but equally important was the solid base on which an aggressive attacking performance was built. The Portugese defender Vezo, put in a splendid performance at the back, with 7 interceptions to complement his 3 tackles and accurate passing from the back. Exactly the antidote a troubled Nuno and Valencia needed.
Samuel Umtiti // 21 // Lyon // Centre-Back: In recent years, Lyong have struggled to beat their great rivals St. Ettiene, but this match was different, as a terrific performance from Lacazette got them a comfortable 3-0 win. While the forward will get the deserved plaudits, the solidity at the back and the intensity of the defensive play is not to be underrated. Umtiti has been one of the top performers for an underwhelming Lyon this season, and he put on another solid show in the derby. His popularity with fans can only increase after such displays.
Raphael Guerreiro // 21 // Lorient // Left-Back: Lorient hosted Ligue 1 basement dwellers Troyes and ensured there was no shock result as they registered a comfortable 4-1 victory over the visitors. The home side were relatively untroubled in defence, the penalty conceded notwithstanding. Guerreiro, who featured at left-back put forth a solid display as he was given the freedom to bomb forward. The 21-year-old created 4 chances for his teammates on the night.
To know more about football’s young stars, read our 100 Young Players to Watch in 2015 feature.
Inaki Williams // 21 // Athletic Club // Winger: Young Inaki Williams is in a rich vein of form, more than enough to command a spot in our Team of the Week for the second consecutive week. While he was unable to match his 2 goal tally from the last weekend, he made up for the reduction in quantity through quality. It was undoubtedly the goal of the weekend as the youngster flicked the ball beyond the nearest defender and then volleyed home in some style to open the scoring in Athletic’s game against Espanyol.
Godfred Donsah // 19 // Bologna // Central Midfielder: Donsah played a great attacking role for Bologna in their excellent win over the weekend, away from home at Verona. The 19-year-old completed 4 dribbles, and got 2 shots off, including 1 important goal. Donsah is an important player for a Bologna side that will be looking to move further away from the relegation zone on the back of their win in the past weekend.
Didier Ndong // 21 // Lorient // Central Midfielder: Joining his teammate Guerreiro in this week’s Team of the Week is Didier Ndong. The 21-year-old took 3 shots in the game, the most meaningful of which found the back of the net. With the score at 2-1, Ndong ran on to Benjamin Moukandjo’s through ball courtesy a well timed run forward. The midfielder made no mistake as he coolly slotted the ball above an onrushing Bernardoni to restore his side’s 2 goal lead.
Kingsley Coman // 19 // Bayern Munich // Winger: The Bayern juggernaut is showing no signs of slowing down and their latest victims were Stuttgart. The match was all but over in the first 40 minutes as Bayern at least had the decency to make the massacre quick. The Bavarian side’s attack was bright as you’d expect, and Coman was no exception. Although not able to score himself, the 19-year-old was a constant menace to the Stuttgart defence as he took 3 shots, made 6 chances and completed a game high 6 dribbles.
Harry Kane // 22 // Tottenham Hotspur // Striker: Tasked with leading the Tottenham line at the Emirates, Harry Kane rose to the occasion to ensure that Spurs didn’t come away from the North London derby empty handed. Kane didn’t have lots in the way of service throughout the game but still acquitted himself well to hold up play and get his midfielders involved in the build-up. His most telling contribution was of course giving the away side the lead. He escaped the attentions of Koscielny and did well to pass the ball into the net past Petr Cech.
Paco Alcacer // 22// Valencia // Striker:
The young Spaniard is rising up the ranks to quickly become Spain’s number one striker. With his competitor Diego Costa falling short for Chelsea, performances like this from Alcacer tend to be appreciated more. 2 goals and an assist in a typically clinical performance went a long way to securing the incredible win.
Read all our Talent Radar Team of the Week articles here