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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]
Jan Oblak // Atletico Madrid // 22 // Goalkeeper: Maybe we should just change the name of this feature to Oblak city, such is the domination of the young keeper on this position. Oblak has been excellent in Atletico’s season. While the Rojiblancos might be out of the title race after this weekend, they are in contention for a bigger prize, as they squeezed past Bayern Munich into another final. Oblak was crucial, saving a penalty kick from Muller at a vital juncture. The save in itself was also great, as he stayed strong and psyched Muller out, beating him before he even took the kick.
Hector Bellerin // Arsenal // 21 // Right Back: Bellerin has been an important part of Arsenal’s season, and is one of the few players that has been consistently reliable this campaign, through the highs, and the implosions. In a crucial game on Sunday against Manchester City, he was great down the right hand side, with 6 completed dribbles standing testament to his attacking abilities. It was all the more important as he was up against the star man from the opposition, De Bruyne. Ultimately, he did a good job, helping to hurt City’s European bid.
Waldemar Anton // Hannover // 19 // Centre Back: Needless to say, it hasn’t been a very happy season for Hannover 96, and the last few games are just an audition for the players who want to try and stay in the Bundesliga, a tactic suggested by their agents, and similar to strategies for roulette games. Anton is a player doing a good one, with a strong performance in their win over Hoffenheim. The young defender showed good game reading, making 5 interceptions, and 2 tackles, as his side kept a rare clean sheet to record the win.
Karim Rekik // Marsielle // 21 // Centre Back: Another team that’s coming off a very poor season, Marsielle finally had something to smile about this past weekend. Rekik was solid at the back, and like his defensive parter in our TOTW, made 2 tackles and 5 interceptions. Importantly, he was also one of the better passers of the ball on the pitch. This proved to be crucial, as Marsielle were far better at retaining the ball, and this gave them a huge boost in the match.
Lucas Digne // Roma (On Loan from PSG) // 22 // Left-Back: Digne is another of a host of young defenders coming through from France. On loan to Roma this season, Digne will be hoping that he’ll continue his football journey in Italy next season too. He did his chances no harm by putting forth a solid display against Chievo this past weekend as Roma kept up the pressure on Napoli in the race for 2nd spot.
Emre Can // Liverpool // 22 // Central Midfielder: Liverpool were looking at another come-from-behind victory to reach the Europa League final and Jurgen Klopp’s side duly delivered. Key to their progress was a brilliant performance from Emre Can. With pace, power, and a seemingly endless amount of energy, the German International showed just why he’s so highly rated.
Ellyes Skhiri // Montpellier // 20 // Centre Midfield: Montpellier have settled comfortably in mid table as the season draws to a close in France. With a lack of excitement and risk riding on matches, a lot of youngsters are getting chances to shine. Skhiri is a player who is grabbing this opportunity with both hands, and impressing his coach. A beast of a performance this weekend will go a long way in forging his reputation. He attempted 10 long balls, of which 8 were accurate, ended the match with an 89% pass accuracy rate, and made 5 interceptions, and 9 tackles. Basically, he bossed it in the deep areas for Montpellier, allowing his side to coast to a 2-0 win.
Sergi Darder // Lyon // 22 // Centre Midfield: Lyon are going to end up near the top of the table, but this isn’t really a reflection of what has probably been a below par season. Having said that, they’re finishing strongly, and looking to set themselves up well for next season. A 6-1 win against Monaco, a team that is supposed to be challenging them for a place in the table, is a great place to start the rebuilding. Aside from Lacazette of course, a youngster that dominated that game was Sergi Darder. The Spaniard had a great game, pulling the strings from the middle of the park. He made 6 key passes, and 2 accurate through balls as well. Certainly, a fine base to build attacks on.
Malcom // Bordeaux // 19 // Striker: The young Brazilian has finally made the move to Europe, and it is somewhat surprising that he is playing at Bordeaux, because he was linked to a lot of big clubs. Putting that aside, Malcom is a talented youngster, and scored this weekend in a fine win for his side. The Brazilian is used to playing under pressure, and is extremely skillful as well, two traits that will always stand him in good stead. A goal in a fine attacking performance was a usefull cherry on top of the cake.
Suso // Genoa // 22 // Striker: Suso has been quite the striker for Genoa. The man seems to deal exclusively in short bursts of goals. The last time he was on this team, it was because he scored a hattrick. No goals in between, and now he makes it for a brace, and an assist. His partnership with Pavoletti was the key, as the duo set up each other, to set their team up for a simple 0-3 victory away from home.
Jurgen Locadia // PSV Eindhoven // 22 // Striker: The Eredivisie came to a thrilling end the past weekend as the title threatened to go down to goal difference at one point. However in the end, PSV kept their nerve with a 3-1 win against PEC Zwolle to seal the title. Jurgen Locadia not only opened the scoring but also sealed the deal as he set up Luuk de Jong for PSV’s 3rd of the night.
Read all our Talent Radar Team of the Week articles here