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Talent Radar 2016-17 Young Players Team of the Week #31: Saul Niguez, Balde Keita, and Amin Younes feature


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 European semi finals saw their first legs played out over the course of the previous week, and unfortunately for the sake of competition, it seems that all ties have been decided in the first leg itself. Domestic competitions are also coasting towards finish, with Bundesliga decided, and the Premier League and Serie A on the verge of being won this weekend. Here’s a look at the youngsters who impacted their team’s performances this past week.

Defence: Sunderland picked up a big win just one weekend too late, as the already relegated Black Cats proved to be the unlucky charm for Marco Silva’s Hull City, who took a gamble on the Portuguese earlier this year, just like how you can on the top casino provider InstaCasino. But while we may not see the Stadium of Light again in the Premier league next season, it is more than likely that we will see the talented Jordan Pickford line up for a Premier League side. Sunderland fans may still be wondering if their fate could’ve been avoided had he managed to stay fit for the crucial run in.

Ajax put on a thrilling display to defeat Lyon 4-1 in the first leg of their Europa league quarter final, with some fine attacking performances coming from across the field. The defence looked a bit shaky at times, but going forward, Kenny Tete was quite the performer. his passing was very accurate, and he managed to put in 2 crosses.

In the middle of defence, the 17 year old Matthijs De Ligt also made quite the impression. 3 tackles and 4 interceptions against players like Fekir are no small feat, so congratulations to him as well. His partner is, like him, a first timer on our TOTW. Jorge Mere helped Gijon pick up a big win over Las Palmas to keep their slim hopes of survival alive.

On the left side of the defence we have Theo Hernandez. The youngster scored a good goal to lead his team to a win over Bilbao.

Midfield: Continuing the Ajax dominance of this TOTW are their wide men, Amin Younes and Betrand Traore. The latter has proven to be a very handy addition to the Dutch giants, stepping in effectively during the period when Dolberg was affected by injury. His pace, power, and skill have been a handy addition to Ajax even after Dolberg’s return. Traore showed his worth to the team as he scored a fine brace from the right against Lyon. His teammate, drifting in from the left, Amin Younes, also got a goal for himself. Most impressive though, was his play during the game. His dribbling, running, and creative passing made life very difficult for Jallet, and later Rafael.There were times during the game when it looked like even two players couldn’t contain him.

Keeping his place in our TOTW for the third consecutive week is Saul Niguez. The midfielder has hit a fine run of form as the season draws to a close, stepping up his game at the right time. While he started off as a wide man, this season he’s changed his game and started playing closer to Gabi, in terms of style and his position on the pitch. Definite progress and evolution for the youngster.

His partner in the middle is Wilfired Ndidi. The youngster had to struggle for game time earlier on in the season under Ranieri, with injuries playing a role in hampering his progress too. But there’s been a definite turnaround in his and Leicester’s fortunes since the arrival of Craig Shakespeare at the helm. Another goal this weekend adds to a slowly increasing tally, and Leicester now look comfortable in mid table, where many expected them to finish anyway after the heroics of last season.

Forwards: Like Saul, we have Balde Keita completing a hattrick of TOTW appearances. Lazio continued their scoring form, getting 7 against Sampdoria in a terrific match. Balde Keita scored and assisted to make his spot on the team this time as well.

His partner is also one that is a regular in this line up. Timo Werner scored yet another brace this weekend, as Leipzig have pretty much confirmed 2nd place in the table for themselves, a remarkable end to a fantastic debut campaign.


Talent Radar Team of the Week // Performance Rankings

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