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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 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]
Another round of Champions League matches down, and another set of tremendous performances. Manchester City and Monaco put on a real show for anyone who caught the game, with goals flowing, thanks to some brilliant attacking football generously blended with a healthy dose of errors. The league football over the weekend didn’t disappoint either, with La Liga’s title race heating up again, even though Bayern and Juventus don’t seem to have any such concerns.
Defence: Celebrating his 18th birthday recently, Donnarumma marked the occasion with a good performance against Milan’s bogey team Sassuolo, winning a spot in out ToTW after a prolonged absence. The rookie keeper has a long way to go if he is to establish the greatness that many have touted him for, but he’s on the right track for sure, making 5 saves in a much needed 0-1 win for the Rossoneri.
A three man defence this week, with the increasingly popular Yeray Alvarez and Joris Gnagnon winning two spots. The latter beat out close competition from his teammate and top 10 defender Ramy Bensebaini for a spot in the team actually, with his defensive and attacking contribution taking the cake for this particular gameweek. The former, much like Gnagnon, made 8 clearances, and featured well in an attacking sense as well.
At the center of it all though, is our top ranked defender, Davinson Sanchez. It wasn’t the best weekend for those of an Ajax persuasion of course, with GLT getting involved to hand Feyenoord a late win against PSV in a top of the table clash. However, the Amsterdam club did what it could do, notching up a convincing 4-1 win at home. The athletic defender put on a great performance, making 85 passes at a 96% accuracy rate. He even scored a goal, and had 3 shots over the course of the game.
Midfield: In the middle of this very attacking midfield is Delle Alli. The England international was guilty in Tottenham’s midweek capitulation, but he responded, much like his teammates, with some style on Sunday. Scoring a relatively simple goal after good work from Harry Kane, Alli’s overall performance alongside the aforementioned Kane and the superb Eriksen keeps Tottenham closest to Chelsea, and allows them to continue to defy expectations.
Alongside him is Ousmane Dembele. The youngster was excellent in his role as the chief instigator of Dortmund’s attacking play during their comfortable 0-3 win against Freiburg. While he didn’t get any assists, and wasn’t the metronomic playmaker that we’ve come to learn and love of late, his 39 passes were effective at breaking the lines of the opposition midfield. He ended up showing 4 key passes for his efforts, but the likes of Reus, Aubemeyang, and Guerreiro will tell you that he’s worth a lot more.
The wide men are both in the team for their Champions League exploits after a high scoring night in Europe. The tenacious Saul Niguez scored the opening goal away at Leverkusen, and his work rate through the night kept his side ahead. On the other hand, Leroy Sane made Sidibe dance to his tunes throughout the course of an evening with a lot of song and dance. Sane made 4 dribbles, scored a goal, and managed an assist, all aside from costing one punter a veritable fortune. His pace and skill were on show throughout the evening, and City fans can only be excited about what the future holds with this attacking talent.
Forwards: Continuing the City love in, Raheem Sterling is another who proved his worth on the night. His tandem with Sane is one to watch, and the glimpse we got of this duo alongside Gabriel Jesus was a delicious preview of what we can hope to get in the future. Scoring a goal and clocking up an assist, Sterling’s performance was one to silence a lot of doubters, at least for now.
Alongside the young England international are two talented German forwards. Serge Gnabry made his name in England with Arsenal, but a lack of first team opportunities has seen him move to Werder Bremen to try and fulfill his potential. A brace in a win away at Wolfsburg this weekend earns him a spot on the team.
Rounding off the list for this week is Timo Werner. The Leipzig man has been a regular, and is one of the top rated young strikers in Europe. The pacy striker scored with one of his 3 shots on target over the weekend. He helped open the scoring for his side with a fine assist for Emil Forsberg, and later, finished the game with his goal, allowing Leipzig to earn a 3-1 win.