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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 Rochet // 22 // AZ Alkmaar // Goalkeeper: Despite the 1-0 scoreline, the game between AZ Alkmaar was an exciting encounter with a fair bit of chances for both sides. The difference ultimately in such games falls to defences, as much as it does to the deciding scorers. Sergio Rochet’s seven saves and consequent cleansheet drove his side to victory, a win that has kept AZ in the European places.
Nico Elvedi // 19 // Borussia Monchengladbach // Right-Back: In a modern football world filled with attack minded young full-backs, Elvedi showed the importance of being defensively solid at the back in Gladbach’s comprehensive 5-1 win over Werder Bremen in the Friday kick-off. Managing an impressive seven successful tackles and three interceptions, in addition to a couple of important clearances, the Swiss youngster is another quality star to watch at the club.
Jose Gimenez // 21 // Atletico Madrid // Centre-Back: With Atletico’s 3-1 win over Eibar starting off with a 47 second goal conceded, it was important for the young central defensive pairing of Jose Gimenez and Saul Niguez had to ensure their confidence wasn’t unnerved. Gimenez responded well with a solid display for the remaining 89 minutes, with three tackles and three interceptions. He also scored the equaliser 10 minutes after conceding, making a fantastic run to meet Koke’s corner, right in front of the keeper.
Andreas Christensen // 19 // Borussia Monchengladbach (on loan from Chelsea) // Centre-Back: When two of your teenagers start for the first team and then making it into the Talent Radar team of the week is a fantastic indicator of how good a side’s youth system is. Christensen joined Elvedi in this week’s XI, with a stunning performance. Not only did he score his first senior goal, but added to it in the second half. The first goal was characterised by an immense show of determination as Christensen fought hard to take the ball forward and continued his run, eventually finding himself with an open net to tap into. The second was a classic centre-back’s header from a corner, as Gladbach eventually ran out 5-1 winners.
Wesley Hoedt // 21 // Lazio // Centre-Back: Dutchman Hoedt has made only 8 league appearances for Lazio this season, but has featured in the Talent Radar Team of the Week for the second time. A fantastic return for what should be considered a rather inexperienced player thus far. A solid display with an incredible fourteen defensive actions against Genoa helped his side to a 0-0 draw.
Kostas Stafylidis // 22 // Augsburg // Left-Back: The Greek full-back ended up on the losing side in Augsburg’s 2-1 loss away to newly-promoted Ingolstadt. And while he did make a number of clearances to prevent his side losing by an even bigger margin, his opening goal of the game – a fantastic outside of the boot belter perfectly fitted into the top corner – was enough to impress us for inclusion this week.
Tiemoue Bakayoko // 21 // Monaco // Central Midifelder: Young Frenchman Bakayako has only played a handful of games since signing from Rennese in 2014 but made his mark this past weekend with a match-winning performance. He came on as a substitute after Fabio Coentrao was forced off, and it took him until nine minutes before time to head in Joao Moutinho’s cross. The win sees Monaco still a whole twenty-four points behind league leaders PSG, but a comfortable six ahead of third place.
To know more about football’s young stars, read our 100 Young Players to Watch in 2015 feature.
Corentin Tolisso // 21 // Lyon // Central Midfielder: After having impressed for most part of last season, one may label Tolisso’s current season a rather disappointing (as with Lyon on a whole). But in the 3-0 away win over Angers, Tolisso recaptured some of his form from last season with a fantastic overall performance. He successfully won the most number of tackles with five, and scored the game sealing third goal with a nice side footed finish from the edge of the box.
Riechedly Bazoer // 19 // Ajax // Central Midfielder: With Ajax’s academy proving to be the club that keeps on giving in terms of young talent, teenager Bazoer is the latest to come through and stake his claim in the Dutch club’s first team. In one of Dutch football’s biggest games at the Amsterdam Arena against Feyenoord, the 19-year-old pulled off a fantastic peach of a strike to secure a 2-1 victory.
Paulo Dybala // 22 // Juventus // Forward: The young Argentine already impressed Serie A viewers with his exploits in Palermo’s colours for the better part of the past three years, but with defending champions Juventus, the 22-year-old has grown into arguably one of the most sought after young strikers in the league. Having added another away to Frosinone in a 2-0 win after Morata laid it off perfectly for Dybala to side foot into the top corner, Dybala had his 16th goal of the season, already his best return in Italian football.
Oussama Tannane // 21 // Saint-Etienne // Forward: With this appearance, Tannane becomes the first player this season to appear in our Talent Radar Team of the Week for two different teams. Having impressed with Heracles at the start of the season, he seems to be finding his feet at new club Saint-Etienne as well. In the 4-1 win over Bordeaux, he scored his first goal for the club with a composed finish in a one-on-one situation.
Written by Sami Faizullah.
Read all our Talent Radar Team of the Week articles here.