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Talent Radar

Talent Radar: Team of the Week featuring Xherdan Shaqiri, James Rodriguez & Lorenzo Insigne in a dominating midfield

The latest feature under our Talent Radar banner compiles a Team of the Week, featuring the best young players (U-22) of the week in Europe’s top 6 leagues to help continue to track our progress of these youngsters.


Loris Karius | Mainz, Germany, 20: Young Karius has taken advantage of the opportunity presented to him through Heinz Muller’s injury and established himself as Mainz’ first choice keeper. He had an assured game more recently against Hannover, his 10th straight game of the season, making three important saves and keeping a clean sheet as they ran off 2-0 winners.

Loris Karius featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-Out for in 2014, coming in at #5 in the list of goalkeepers. View the entire list here.

Steeve Yago | Toulouse, Burkina Faso, 21: Ligue 1 has seen an impressive number of youngsters constantly making appearances for top sides and Steeve Yago is one such player. The centre-back played a splendid game in Toulouse 3-1 away victory over Lorient. The defender made 6 tackles and 4 interceptions, also managing a fantastic 6 effective clearances, a solid performance from the Burkina Faso man.

Tiago Ilori | Granada, Portugal, 20: Ilori has struggled to make it into Liverpool’s since his summer move and a move to Granada is expected to get him some valuable experience. Ilori has been known for his attacking contribution, as much as his defensive contribution and against Real Betis he once again showed his class, setting up the only goal of the game with a brilliant long range pass. His pace was constantly existent throughout the game, another feature of his play.

Here is a detailed Scout Report on Tiago Ilori.

Gino Peruzzi | Catania, Argentina, 21: Plagued by injuries since joining Catania from Argentinian outfit Velez Sarsfield, Peruzzi only started getting opportunities in late 2013. On Sunday was arguably his best performance as the relegation threatened side impressively defeated Lazio 3-1. The youngster scored his first goal in Italian football, but more importantly put in a remarkable defensive shift making 7 tackles to thwart the Lazio attack.

Jetro Willems | PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands, 19: Still only 19, it seems like Jetro Willems has been around for a number of season. Despite PSV’s poor form, Willems has been constantly putting in impressive shifts in the Eredivisie. He again showcased his attacking and defensive balance, setting up a goal, taking two shots with his lung-bursting runs and also managing 6 tackles and 2 interceptions as PSV overcame Heracles 2-1.

Jetro Willems featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-Out for in 2014, coming in at #3 in the list of defenders. View the entire list here.


Lorenzo Insigne | Napoli, Italy, 22: Alongwith Napoli’s impressive performances under Benitez, Lorenzo Insigne has displayed why he is regarded as one of the most exciting prospect in Italian football. He was instrumental in Napoli’s 2-0 away win over Sassuolo scoring a goal, taking the most shots on goal (5), creating the most goal-scoring opportunities (4). He even displayed the defensive side of his game with 2 tackles and the most interceptions (4). The midfielder also had an 88% pass completion.

Here is a detailed Scout Report on Lorenzo Insigne.

James Rodriguez | Monaco, Colombia, 22: AS Monaco are the only side providing any real competition to PSG in the league, led by summer signings such as James Rodriguez. The youngster scored his first brace for the club against Bastia in a 2-0 victory. The tidy performance saw James taking 3 shots, 2 on target both resulting in goals, he also created 2 goal-scoring opportunities. Defensively he made 2 tackles and 3 interceptions as he was deployed behind the strikers.

Xherdan Shaqiri | Bayern Munich, Switzerland, 22: Getting into Bayern Munich’s team is an impressive fete in itself. Proving to be the best player in a game is even better. Taking advantage of Ribery’s injury, Shaqiri made a concrete case for himself against Freiburg, scoring twice in a 4-0 victory, doubling his tally for the season. 2 of his 3 shots were on target, scoring from both. He also managed an impressive 90% pass completion rate as he dominated the wide areas in Bayern’s side.

Memphis Depay | PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands, 20: PSV have an array of young stars in their side as the core of their team. Depay nearly made last week’s team with an impressive performance but finally made the cut this week scoring a goal in his side’s 2-1 win over Heracles. Depay took a brilliant 9 shots on goal, more than the entire Heracles side, 4 of those shots were on target. He even created 3 goal-scoring opportunities.

Memphis Depay featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-Out for in 2014, coming in at #4 in the list attackers. View the entire list here.

Here is a detailed Scout Report on Memphis Depay.

Luc Castaignos | Twente, Netherlands, 21: The 21-year-old struggled when he ventured into Europe’s bigger leagues, but in the Eredivise he has continued to impress, he’s currently the 4th highest scorer in the Dutch league. Castaignos scored a goal, and set-up another in a wonderful performance. In total he managed 3 shots, getting 2 of those on target. He created 5 goal-scoring opportunities, the highest on the pitch. Castaignos epitomised the high-pressing game in the Dutch league with 3 interceptions in attacking areas.

Mattia Destro | Roma, Italy, 22: Despite being ravaged by injuries, Destro has taken his opportunities well, rising to Roma’s top scorer. He scored twice against Sampdoria, showcasing his lone striker abilities. For a detailed report on Destro’s performance against Sampdoria, we suggest reading this piece.

Read our previous Talent Radar: Team of the Week pieces, and all other Talent Radar pieces here.

To discuss this and many other football topics, join thousands of fans at R/Football

Sami Faizullah

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