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 six leagues. You can read this for details on what is Talent Radar and what we have planned in it for the 2014-15 season.
The fifth Talent Radar Team of the Week sees the Serie A with it’s first representatives, and some debut it is as well! The Italian league has the most players in this week’s team – three. The Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga & Dutch Eredivisie sees two representatives each while the English Premier League, and the French Ligue 1 each have the sole player making an appearance.
Interesting also to note that there are two Croatian & Spanish players in the side, with the the other seven all representing nine different nationalities. A 3-4-3 formation this week.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Mattia Perin | Genoa | Italy | Goalkeeper | 21: Perin already has a glowing reputation in Italy and he did absolutely no harm to it in his fantastic performance against Fiorentina for a rather weak Genoa side in a 0-0 draw. He was called upon multiple times, being required to make vital saves as the Viola dominated proceedings; this was arguably the best goalkeeping performance by a Talent Radar youngster this season with Perin well and truly earning the point for his side.
Tin Jedvaj | Bayer Leverkusen (on loan from AS Roma) | Croatia | Right-Back | 18: The Croat now has scored two goals and one own goal in the last two games. One of those goals came against Bremen in a 3-3 draw. Making a free run from the right, he received the ball at the edge of the box and absolutely hammered it in; following that up with an assist for Leverkusen’s 3rd, a good run and pass to Heung Min-Son. He actually attempted the joint most shots among the Leverkusen players; attack over defence seems to be the system under Roger Schmidt. This was Jedvaj’s second Talent Radar Team of the Week appearance.
John Stones | Everton | England | Centre-Back | 20: Admittedly, John Stones’ inclusion here isn’t as a result of an outstanding performance, but every XI requires atleast one centre-back (it was a rather dull week for Talent Radar defenders). Stones didn’t do much wrong as Everton comfortably over-came West Brom away from home 2-0. He and Phil Jagielka ensured Tim Howard wasn’t tested much.
José Luis Gayá | Valencia | Spain | Left-Back | 19: Valencia have this fantastic ability of producing quality left-backs. Juan Bernat came in as Jordi Alba departed, with Jose Gayá now the former’s replacement. He almost made the team last week, this time there was no doubt as he showed what he can produce defensively, making five successful interceptions down the left. His attack was restricted, but he’s already looking like a worthy first-team candidate.
Jesús Manuel Corona | Twente | Mexico | Right-Wing | 21: A superb performance in the 2-1 with over Go Ahead Eagles saw Corono announce himself to Talent Radar. He first set-up Luc Castaignos for the opener, playing a neat 1-2 at the end of the box (Corona being the “1”); before scoring a sublime one himself. Cutting inside from the right, he penetrated the box and calmly finished past the keeper despite the crowded box. His assistance was utilised in defence too, making five interceptions literally across the pitch.
Mateo Kovacic | Inter Milan | Croatia | Central-Midfielder | 20: Kovacic and a man you’ll see later in this list were exceptional in Inter’s 7-0 win over Sassuolo. The Croat first made a driving run in the opening 3 minutes which resulted in Mauro Icardi’s opening goal, though he wasn’t credited with an assist for that. He then made a superb run into the box again, receiving the ball from Dani Osvaldo and passing it into the net for his first ever Serie A goal. The second half saw him play another neat assist, again to Icardi, this one he was credited with. // Scout Report on Mateo Kovacic
Mateo Kovacic & Mauro Icardi featured in our 100 Best Young Players to Watch in 2014 list
Tin Jedvaj is current at #7 in our Talent Radar Player Rankings list of Top 10 Young Defenders in 2014/15
David Alaba | Bayern Munich | Austria | Central-Midfielder | 22: The Austrian looks well at home in his role at central-midfield doesn’t he? With a number of players out, Alaba has been called upon to play in central midfield this season, which he did in Bayern’s 2-0 win over Stuttgart. Positioned alongside Xabi Alonso & Philipp Lahm in a 4-3-3, he was the standout player having a pass completion rate of 95% and also successfully winning four tackles.
Federico Cartabia | Cordoba (on loan from Valencia) | Spain | Left-Wing* | 21: *Firstly, note here that Cartabia actually played on the right wing, but he has been positionally adjusted here and switched over to the left, a role he played at Valencia and one that allows him to not be ignored for this week’s team. He added to the goal he scored in the last round with another this week, taking on Almeria’s defenders to get into the box, losing possession before being fed the ball again and slotting past the keeper from a narrow angle, the game finishing 1-1. Although 21, he certainly looks like Cordoba’s best player already.
Arkadiusz Milik | Ajax | Poland | Striker | 20: The summer signing announced himself to the Ajax fans at the Amsterdam Arena with a brace against Heracles in a 2-1 win. He received Lasse Schone’s excellent through ball and made no mistake in finishing past the keeper, smashing actually. His second was from another equally good assist, Anwar El Ghazi ran from his own half past on-coming defenders before passing to Milik who had drifted to the right. Ghazi wanted the ball played back but Milik cut inside instead rather selfishly, but finished it off with another impressive left-footed shot.
Mauro Icardi | Inter Milan | Argentina | Striker | 21: The controversial Icardi got a hat-trick in Inter’s 7-0 win over Sassuolo. The first was a scrappy finish that he nearly messed up, scoring in the 3rd minute. Hernanes then played one through to him as the Argentine controlled with his first touch, and curled it from outside the box with his second touch. His hat-trick came via a Kovacic pass, an excellent run kept him onside as he struck on the turn for his third goal. // Scout Report on Mauro Icardi
Divock Origi | Lille (on loan from Liverpool) | Beligum | Striker | 19: After a rather poor first half from all the players involved, Lille took the game to Nantes in the opening minutes of the second half. Origi first got on the end of Balmont’s excellent cross to head home at the far post in the first minute of the second 45, before playing a neat through ball for substitute Marcos Lopes to finish it three minutes later. It ended 2-0, with Origi along-with his team-mates improving their performance in the second-half.
Written by Sami Faizullah. Chief Editor of this website. All our Talent Radar Team of the Week pieces can be found here.