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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]
Alphonse Areola // Villarreal (on loan from PSG) // 22 // Goalkeeper: Frechman Alphonse Areola has become a faimilar face in Talent Radar now, with his latest appearance in OOTB’s most recent edition of the Goalkeeper Rankings. This week, his performance against Malaga drew our attention in the 1-0 victory. The youngster maintained yet another clean sheet in 2016. The coming summer will be a decisive one, given that PSG seem happy with Kevin Trapp in their goal.
Joao Cancelo // Valencia // 21 // Right Back: Portuguese U21 international Joao Cancelo has been in and out of the Valencia squad in the last few game weeks. The youngster finally got a start against Espanyol this weekend and provided a crucial assist in a game that resulted in a long awaited victory for Valencia, much to the relief of Gary Neville. The odds on Valencia to succeed in subsequent games have certainly improved, and with similar performances from Cancelo, the Spanish club with their English manager may well be heading in the right direction.
Dominique Heintz // Cologne // 22 // Centre Back: German U21 international makes his Talent Radar Team of the Week debut with credit given to his performance against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. The 22 year old chipped in with a goal in the game that ended in a 3-1 score line for the home team. In what is his last year as an eligible player for Talent Radar, he must be happy to have this bullet point penned in to his resume.
Samuel Umtiti // Lyon // 22 //Centre Back: A familiar face on the OOTB website, this Talent Radar veteran seemed to have gone off the grid for a while but we’re glad he’s back again. Umtiti missed a significant chunk of the season so far; a period that conveniently coincided with a terrible run for Lyon. Umtiti faced a Caen side this past Saturday and managed to contribute to the result with a goal.
Lucas Digne // Roma // 22 // Left back: An odd injury (biceps femoris muscle injury) kept the youngster away from first team football a few weeks ago. The Frenchman had the game against Sampdoria has a tester before making a full 90 minute appearance against Capri where he managed to score a goal in the game that ended 1-3 to the visiting side.
Yannick Gerhardt // Cologne // 21 // Midfield: The second Cologne player to stand out in the game against Eintracht Frankurt happened to be another youngster who we gladly fit into our TOTW. Defensive midfielder Yannick Gerhardt was the man with the most impact in the game, supplying a goal and an assist from his end. With a year left in his hypothetical Talent Radar contract, we’re hoping the youngster manages to turn up more often.
To know more about football’s young stars, read our 100 Young Players to Watch in 2015 feature.
Emre Can // Liverpool // 22 // Midfield: One of Liverpool’s most consistent faces to be seen featuring for the reds this season, Can’s performance against Villa on Sunday was a pleasure to watch. Playing in a defensive midfield role, one could argue that Villa did very little to pressurize the German but we’re willing to give credit where due and say that Can had an excellent game defensively and took it to further by scoring a goal.
Corentin Tolisso // Lyon // 21 // Midfield: It’s been an absolute pleasure as always to watch Ligue 1, given how many youngsters are given to opportunity to have a crack at senior football. Another familiar name in Talent Radar is Corentin Tolisso who decided to step on the gas and show up pumped for the game. The 21 year old managed to get on the scoresheet as well as provide two assists in the game against Caen.
Alireza Jahanbaksh // AZ Alkmaar // 22 // Right Wing: After making his Talent Radar debut a few weeks ago, Alireza Jahanbaksh is back once again and this time, it’s with an improved performance coming at the expense of Heracles Almelo. The game was an absolute wild one with a combined total of 9 goals. Jahanbaksh helped his side with a goal and an assist in the 90 minutes that he played.
Jurgen Locadia // PSV // 22 // Centre Forward: After being left of the bench against FC Utrecht, Jurgen Locadia was back in the PSV side that took on NEC. The result was a 0-3 victory for PSV, with Locadia contributing to a goal and an assist. In a total of 31 appearances in all competitions, the Dutchman has scored 10 goals and amassed 11 assists.
Mikel Oyarzabal // Real Sociedad // 18 // Left Wing: Unsure of whether he was meant to be in Real Sociedad’s plans for this season, Mikel Oyarzabal has faced good fortune with being bumped up from the B team to the senior side. The youngster managed to score in his last outing against Espanyol and continued his good form with a brace against Granada in the 86 minutes he was on the pitch.
Written by Razim Refai
Read all our Talent Radar Team of the Week articles here.