A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Young Players 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.
[Max. Age Limit: 22 years old on match-day for outfield players, 23 years old for goalkeepers]
After a terrible start to the season for Lille which saw them go ten league games without a win after an opening day victory, the Ligue 1 club finally got three points again, winning 3-0 away to Metz. 22-year-old keeper Mike Maignan played an important role, making some crucial saves particularly in the first half from Metz’ corners, in ensuring a third clean sheet for the season. The Frenchman as a result makes his second ever appearance in this feature, having done so previously in May 2017.
At right-back is Almamy Toure, who continues to make infrequent appearances in this feature, though this one is probably his best yet. In Monaco’s 6-0 win over Guingamp, Toure had a hat-trick of assists as he ran riot down the right side. The first was a perfect cross for Guido Carrillo to head in, the second was after some fantastic control to get past the defence and slip in Adama Traore, followed by another simple cut-back for the same man in the second half.
Andreas Christensen started just his fourth league game of the season (and his first in over a month) as Chelsea got a dominating victory over Manchester United, despite the meager 1-0 scoreline. The Dane was key in a solid defensive setup from Antonio Conte, that virtually nullified United’s attack for the entire ninety.
He’s partnered in defence by would-be future Chelsea defensive pairing, Nathan Ake, who left the London club in the summer. As he did in Bournemouth’s only other away victory this season, Ake again put in a confident shift as Bournemouth won 1-0 at St. James’ Park against Newcastle United. Both this and the performance away at Stoke City, earned the Dutchman a place in our Team of the Week. Completing the four man defensive line is 2014-15 Talent Radar Defender of the Season, Jose Gaya. The Spaniard put in a commendable shift in Valencia’s 3-0 win over Leganes, which makes it seven successive league wins – a new club record.
The three man central midfield has Dennis Geiger in the middle, whose break-through season just keeps on giving. He scored his second senior goal of the season, after making a run into the box and finding himself with the opportunity for a poachers finish to open the scoring as Hoffenheim won 3-0 away at Koln. He’s joined by the aforementioned Adama Traore who scored twice in Monaco’s 6-0 win, both set up by Almamy Toure. While Karl-John Johnsson in the Guingamp goal should have done more for the second goal, Adama won’t have any complaints of getting his second and third goals, in three Ligue 1 games this season.
The midfield is complete by Dele Alli who scored a brace in Tottenham Hotspurs’ famous 3-1 victory over defending Spanish and European champions, Real Madrid. The Englishman was instrumental with his attacking runs, and should have had a hat-trick, only to mistime his header and jump in the second half. Alli now has 63 senior career goals, in 197 games, at just 21.
Gerson makes his first ever appearance in this feature, stamping his authority in the front three as he scored twice in Roma’s 4-2 away win over Fiorentina. This was the Brazilian’s first ever goals in Roma colours, as the capital club broke a Serie A record for consecutive away victories (12). Both of Gerson’s goals were similar, receiving the ball on the right and getting a low shot at goal, one to the right of the keeper and the second to his left.
Upfront is Nicolas Pepe, who got his first two Lille goals since signing from Angers as his team ran out 3-0 winners in the bottom of the table clash against Metz. His first was from the spot, his second was more impressive as he placed a left footed shot past Thomas Didillon in goal. The Ivorian has now almost doubled his Ligue 1 tally.
We finish the team in Ligue 1 as boy-wonder Kylian Mbappe makes another Ligue 1 appearance. He was the key man in Paris Saint-Germain’s 5-0 away win over Angers – the Frenchman opened the scoring with a simple volley from Dani Alves’ cross before setting up Edinson Cavani with an imaginative back-heel. His second came six minutes from stoppage time, as Lucas Moura played the teenager through, who rounded off the keeper and finished comfortably for the games’ final goal.