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 Champions League kicked off this past week, expanding our pool of players. With an extended number of matches, came an extended number of exceptional performances from the youth of Europe’s top leagues. Strikers who scored braces, keepers who kept impressive cleansheets and defenders who showed immense maturity all missed out as truly the most outstanding set of players made the cut in what was arguably the most difficult Talent Radar Team of the Week to compile in recent memory.
Defence: Thomas Didillon has been on the brink of featuring in the Team of the Week on multiple occasions this season, but it was his performance in Metz’ 0-0 draw with Dijon that finally pushed him into the highest bracket. In addition to a number of saves, the youngster saved a penalty to ensure his side walked away with atleast a point.
The central defensive pairing has a Champions League flavour to it with both individuals making the cut on the back of impressive European outings. Jonathan Tah was instrumental in ensuring his side picked up atleast a point as Leverkusen let go a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to CSKA Moscow; while Jose Gimenez was made to work in ensuring a solid display for Atletico Madrid against familiar foes PSV Eindhoven in a 1-0 win.
Jose Gimenez put in a solid display against PSV Eindhoven. EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / Getty Images
AS Monaco have emerged as title contenders again this season, doing so with a youthful focus as opposed to the riches of defending champions PSG. Tiemoué Bakayoko has featured in the past, Thomas Lemar has missed out on multiple occasions (including this week), as did Bernardo Silva but keeping the Monaco flag flying high was Almamy Toure, impressing in his first league start of the season which was capped off by an assist with the 20-year-old setting up Radamel Falcao for the opener in the side’s 3-0 win over Rennes. On the left side of defence was 19-year-old Davide Calabria, impressing in his first start of the season as AC Milan overcame Sampdoria 1-0. His team-mate, Alessio Romagnoli also just missed out (as did Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal).
Midfield: Joshua Kimmich has been enjoying the best spell of his career thus far. It kicked off with a first goal for Germany, followed by a first for club Bayern Munich last weekend. This past mid-week however, Kimmich upped his game further. A first Champions League goal also featured the first brace of his career as his two goals led to a 5-0 win over FC Rostov. He spent the weekend in central defence as Bayern beat Ingolstadt showcasing his versatility. Corentin Tolisso also impressed in Europe as Lyon got a convincing 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb. The Frenchman scored one and set up another to ensure his inclusion in the Talent Radar Team of the Week.
Christian Pulisic celebrates scoring against Darmstadt. PATRIK STOLLARZ / AFP / Getty Images
Christian Pulisic has been having a fantastic couple of weeks in a Dortmund side that is bursting with youthful exuberance. The American scored one and set up two others dominating on the right flank in his side’s 6-0 win over Darmstadt. On the other flank, another winger was running waves as Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling continued to show his rejuvenated self. He scored one and set up another but also nearly scored one of the best solo efforts thus far this season, only to see his shot hit the bar.
Forward: Oussama Idrissi quickly staked his claim in the side following three days of European football as he scored a brace and set up one more in Gronigen’s convincing 5-1 victory over Utrecht.
Timo Werner wins a penalty against Hamburg. OLIVER HARDT / Bongarts / Getty Images
Partnering him up front is young Timo Werner in another youthful Bundesliga side, Red Bull Leipzig. The newcomers beat Hamburg 4-0, with Werner coming off the bench at half time to win a penalty and score a brace including a wonderful second that saw him show immense composure and an exciting burst of pace.