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 weekend that has just gone by has been a decisive one. Eredivisie aand the Premier League have been decided, with Feyenoord and Chelsea claiming titles. Serie A was prolonged a bit, with Juventus crashing to a surprise defeat at Roma though, so there’s something interesting there. Ligue 1 is on the verge of being won by an amazing young Monaco team, after their 4-0 win. Moving on straight to one of our season ending TOTW’s!
Defence: Unlike too many other weeks, we have a number of TOTW debutants this week, starting with the keeper itself. Andrea Fulignati of Palermo makes it in on the back of a fine performance in their 1-0 win against Genoa. The keeper impressed with his handling, making 4 claims. Palermo are already doomed to relegation, and seem to have found their form a little too late, but such performances are good for players who are trying to put themselves in the shop window.
Rick Karsdorp is often the much talked about youngster from Feyenoord, but Bart Nieuwkoop made an impression this weekend, and chose a good occasion to do so too. He got going in the very first minute, setting up Kuyt for a nerve settling opener as Feyenoord won their first league title of the millennium.
While Feyenoord made their record, their rivals Ajax set a different kind of record. Their team average age was the youngest to ever feature in the Eredivisie. Their leader in defence, Sanchez was of course, present and dominant. The big Colombian was mostly an offensive presence, stepping out from the back with great ease, and even making a run or two forward. The man ended the match with a goal, and will be key to keeping Rashford away from his goal in the Europa League final.
His partner in defence, Torunarigha, another first timer to this list also found the back of the net. Aside from scoring, the young defender made 12 clearances for his side too.
Sanchez wasn’t the only goal scoring defender this week, as our left back Jose Gaya also troubled the scorers with the winner against Espanyol. He was in top form against another Talent Radar favourite, Marc Navarro, also making 5 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Midfield: Another first timer for this season in Federico Di Francesco. The wide man starred for Donadoni’s Bologna this weekend in a 3-1 win alongside Mattia Destro. He set up the opener, and scored the second to give Bologna a lead that would not be surmounted by Pescara.
In the middle of the park is a man who certainly isn’t making his first appearance on this team. Tiemoue Bakayoko has been one of the stars of this season with his performances in midfield. He made 5 tackles in midfield in a 4-0 win against Lille, returning to his destructive best as Monaco moved to within a point of a historic Ligue 1 title.
Going into the final day, Tondela’s fate isn’t in their hands, but the 3 points they gained in from their ‘6 pointer’ against Arouca this weekend were important to keep them alive for now. With that in mind, the 2 goals Pedro Nuno scored this weekend might just be the 2 most important goals of Tondela’s season.
The best part about end season matches is that we often get to see some crazy results and performances because of the fact that teams are on holiday mentally. One such result was the match between Twente and Groningen, which ended 3-5. Our left winger for this week, Oussama Idrissi, scored a fine brace in this game, making the difference for his team.
Forwards: Real Betis earned a very creditable 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid. The talented Dani Ceballos scored a goal. Like Ceballos, his partner too was part of a creditable performance from an underdog. Bayern’s comeback has been highlighted on social media, and it was quite incredible. Respect, however, is due to Leipzig. who dominated and led until the end. Timo Werner, one of the best and most unheralded young strikers of Europe, scored twice in the process.