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]
Alphonse Areola // 22 // Villareal // Goalkeeper: Alphonse Areola has consistently been recognized as one of the better young keepers around in world football by Talent Radar, and performances like the one he put in against Eibar prove us right. A surprisingly sluggish performance from Villareal which could easily have seen them on the wrong end of a defeat was rescued by a brave performance from their keeper. The young man made 6 saves on the night, including, and very importantly, a penalty. Surely, this point is one earned by Areola.
Almamy Toure // 19 // Monaco // Right-Back: This young right-back is making the right impression for Monaco, with steady performances to bring himself to the manager’s notice. The player was aggressive in his side’s 1-0 win this past weekend, and made a telling contribution, providing the assist for the winning goal.
Edoardo Goldaniga // 22 // Palermo // Centre-Back: Lazio hosted Palermo in the past gameweek with the hosts in sight of the European spots. Palermo, on the other hand, are too close to the relegation zone for their comfort and looking to put together a run of results to get away from the dreaded zone. The game ended in a stalemate but was one to remember for 22-year-old Goldaniga who got on the scoresheet. The goal came from a corner but through a somewhat unconventional route as Lazio failed to clear the lines. The ball finally fell to Goldaniga who expertly swivelled and found the bottom corner with a well-struck shot. The defender had a solid game at the back as well making 7 interceptions and 5 clearances in the game.
Kurt Zouma // 21 // Chelsea // Centre-Back: With all the crisis surrounding Chelsea at the moment, this youngster has picked up some fine experience and seems to have made his place in the side. Zouma has often been deployed as a right-back this season, but started in his natural centre-back role in the win against Norwich. The defender put in a solid performance, and was excellent in the air, not just at the back, but also in front of the opposition goal. His raw strength and physical prowess made it very difficult for the opposition, and he’ll hope that his performance keeps him in the first team.
Adam Masina // 21 // Bologna // Left-Back: Bologna hosted Roma in desperate need of points and did well to come away from the fixture with a point. The first goal of the night came from an unlikely source as 21-year-old Adam Masina got himself on to the scoresheet. After a goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to Masina whose left-footed strike had enough power to squeeze past Wojciech Szczesny. Already one of the better left-backs in Serie A, Masina did not shirk his defensive duties and made 4 tackles, 4 interceptions and 9 clearances.
To know more about football’s young stars, read our 100 Young Players to Watch in 2015 feature.
Ryan Thomas // 20 // PEC Zwolle // Winger: A brilliant counter-attacking performance from PEC Zwolle saw them stroll to a commanding 0-5 win away from home, and the Kiwi winger Thomas had a central role to play. The youngster, who is making waves in the Eredivisie caught the eye by getting on the scoresheet twice. He used his pace and dribbling ability to good effect, and troubled the Roda defenders to no end.
Mahmoud Dahoud // 19 // Borussia Monchengladbach // Central Midfielder: Gladbach looked to continue their resurgence under Dahoud as they hosted Hannover over the weekend. The home side came away with all 3 points although they left it late to do so. Dahoud played a pivotal role in the first goal as he made a positive run and duly received the ball. Once in possession, the 19-year-old picked out Ibrahima Traore who made no mistake to give the home side the lead. Dahoud also took 3 shots and kept the ball well in an impressive display.
Ross Barkley // 21 // Everton // Central Midfielder: Everton have found their goal scoring form at Goodison Park shipping 10 past the admittedly poor defences of Sunderland and Villa. In the 4-0 drubbing of Villa, young Englishman Ross Barkley got himself on the scoresheet twice and set-up another goal in an eventful outing. The 21-year-old made a back post run and had the easy job of prodding home the first goal of the game. He doubled his tally in the first half as another lose ball in the area fell to Barkley who made no mistake once again. Everton completed the rout with the best goal of the night as Barkley picked out Lukaku expertly with a first time pass.
Hakan Calhanoglu // 21 // Bayer Leverkusen // Winger: The Turkish midfielder is a gem of a player who we have been fortunate to have been following for some time now. He’s really upped his game at Leverkusen, and this season, has emerged as a star in the Bundesliga. The weekend’s performance underlined his form and skill. A goal and an assist made him the man of the match in a comfortable 3-1 win. Calhanoglu has recently been linked with names like Manchester United and Barcelona. While the hype machine obviously cranks itself up a little too fast at times, it certainly is indicative of the public assessment of a player.
Vincent Janssen // 21 // AZ Alkmaar // Striker: The young Alkmaar striker had a great game against Heerenveen, and rightfully walked away with the plaudits. Janssen bears all the hallmarks of a goal poaching striker, with an opportunistic finish to open the scoring. He was in the act again a little later, this time setting up his teammate, and later finding the back of the net himself. His willingness to shoot the ball quickly was encouraging, and 5 shots recorded in the match is a healthy figure.
Harry Kane // 22 // Tottenham Hotspur // Striker: Jamie Vardy may be the talk of the town right now but fellow Englishman Harry Kane simply refuses to let the Leicester City grab all the headlines. The 22-year-old may have had a slow start to the season but is now more than making up for it. Spurs hosted West Ham the past weekend and Kane duly got himself on to the scoresheet with a brace to ensure a 4-1 win for the home side. He should have had a hat-trick but a bad miss did little to rub the sheen off another sparking display.
Read all our Talent Radar Team of the Week articles here