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]
Defence: We have a change of guard in goal this week, with Andre Onana being displaced finally by Monaco’s Seydou Sy. The young keeper didn’t have much to do in a defensive capacity, making all of 1 save. He was far more effective with his distribution though, completing 68% of his passes. That’s the sort of number that makes any keeper proud. It allowed Monaco to play aggressive football, and go home with 4 goals and 3 points in the bag. Continuing the Ligue 1 theme, we have Montpellier’s Nordi Mukiele at right back. Playing as a wing back in this particular encounter, Mukiele dominated his flank, making tackles and dribbles to allow his side to eke out a slender 0-1 win away from home. On the other flank, we have Ramy Bensebaini of Rennes. His side also picked up an important away win against a strong Lyon side. The defender has featured prominently on this page before, and his interceptions and clearance were an important part of keeping a dangerous Lyon side at bay.
Shifting gears and moving to Bundesliga, we turn our attention to Benjamin Pavard of Stuttgart. He put in a big performance this weekend to seal 3 points for his side. While the team won 1-0, they have their defence to thank for the points. Pavard himself was very steady, and did well to maintain his concentration at the back. His 5 tackles and 4 interceptions bear the fact out. Moving now to the top of the table, we have Dayotchanculle Upamecano of RB Leipzig. The defender opened the scoring for his team in a regulation 2-0 victory, keeping them in second place ahead of a resurgent Dortmund.
Midfield: The second Monaco player on this list is Youri Tielemans. The Belgian was one of the signings Monaco made in a busy summer window, and is now coming into his own. He dominated this match, ending up with an assist for himself. More importantly, his incisive passing was too much for Angers to cope with, as they folded quite meekly. His partner in our traditional 4-4-2 midfield played a very similar role for Sampdoria, as they won 2-0 to stay in 6th ahead of AC Milan. Lucas Torreira was absolutely dominant in the middle of the park, with his accurate passing causing Verona all sorts of problems. 2 goals were all Sampdoria could fetch though, and they will be hoping for a repeat from the Argentine when the face Milan very soon.
Our first wide man, the supremely talented Cengiz Under grabbed the opportunity to make an impression at just the right time. His terrific performance in the second half (2 goals and 1 assist) took the game away from Benevento who were level at half time. Under’s timing is brilliant, as he now gives Di Francesco a good headache just before the Champions League knockouts resume. On the left hand side of our team, Steven Bergwijn put in a similar performance, scoring twice to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 1-2 win for league leading PSV Eindhoven.
Forwards: Nothing could separate Celta and Espanyol this weekend as they drew 2-2 in a tightly contested affair. Scoring the brace for Celta was Maxi Gomez, a striker who is quickly gaining prominence in La Liga. His lethal finishing has been vital for his side this season, and he’s bound to be turning a few heads very soon. His partner, Patrick Cutrone, has been doing the same in Milan. He took his goal tally for the season to 5 with a brace against a hapless SPAL side who crashed to a 0-4 defeat. Cutrone showed great awareness and reflexes to put away his two close range finishes in a manner reminiscent of Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi.