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- The Series
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 seven 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 2016 – 21 years old and below for outfield players // 22 years old and below for goalkeepers]
The last of the seven leagues covered in this feature kicked off this weekend as the German Bundesliga returned to action. A single player makes it into this week’s team from that league while the Eredivisie leads with three representatives. The Premier League, Serie A and Ligue 1 have two representatives each while Portugal’s Liga ZON Sagres has it’s first ever representative in a Talent Radar Team of the Week.
Defence: In Ajax’s 3-0 away victory over Go Ahead Eagles, Andre Onana made his debut after Jasper Cillessen’s move to Barcelona; not only did the keeper keep a clean sheet in the side’s second win in four games but also managed to save Leon de Kogel’s penalty, a feat not managed by his predecessor in twenty six penalties faced during his time at Ajax.
For a second successive week, Rob Holding makes an appearance in our Talent Radar Team of the Week after another impressive showing in Arsenal’s first win of the season, away at Watford. The youngster held his own, assisted by Laurent Koscielny in the center of defence. 19-year-old Jerry St. Juste partners the Englishman in defence after a solid display in Heerenveen’s 1-0 win over PEC Zwolle.
The two full-backs in the team both represent momentous occasions as Benno Schmitz makes it at right-back, and in doing so becomes the first player from RB Leipzig to feature after the sides’ ‘controversial’ promotion to the Bundesliga. The 21-year-old set up his side’s 90th minute equaliser on their Bundesliga debut against Hoffenheim. On the other side, Rio Ave’s Rafa Soares who is on loan from giants Porto, helped his side to a 1-0 victory over Feirense and became the first player from Portugal’s domestic league to feature in our Talent Radar Team of the Week as we introduced another league to the existing six this season (Sporting’s William Carvalho has featured in the past, primarily due to his continental performances).
Midfield: 22-year-old Tiemoué Bakayoko put in a hard-working shift in AS Monaco’s welcoming 3-1 win over champions Paris Saint-Germain. Faced against a star studded Parisian midfield, the youngster held his own defensively in the centre to help his side through to victory. 19-year-old Frank Kessie, who also makes a second successive appearance, found himself on the scoresheet again, albeit in a losing effort as his Atalanta side faded to a 2-1 loses against Sampdoria. 21-year-old Rami Bensebaini‘s is a third player who appeared in last week’s team as well; interestingly though the youngster made it in at defence the previous round and showed his versatility as he transferred his defensive experience into midfield, having been asked to change positions in the 1-1 draw with Montpellier. Seven tackles won and five aerial battles display how good the transfer from defence to midfield has been over the space of a week.
Attack: A player trying to regain his confidence under new management, Raheem Sterling, is definitely ticking the right boxes. His brace on the weekend saw Manchester City through to a 3-1 win over West Ham United, and a 100% record. With the abundance of options, both experienced and upcoming in Pep Guardiola’s side, Sterling definitely has his work cut-out but looks to be rising to the occasion. He is flanked on the other end of the attack by Talent Radar veteran, Domenico Berardi. The youngster scored his 40th Serie A goal on the weekend as his Sassuolo side saw off the challenge of Pescara. It was also his 140th career club game in all competitions. AZ Alkmaar’s new signing, Fred Friday completes the XI after a hard-working display against NEC Nijmegen with some impressive displays when in possession and an eagerness to take on opponents. Despite failing to score since his move from Lillestrom, he managed to set up his side’s second goal.