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Talent Radar

Talent Radar 2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #2: Joe Gomez & Marco Asensio feature

Sami Faizullah compiles the Talent Radar Young Players’ Team of the Week across Europe’s top seven leagues.

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. 

[Max. Age Limit: 22 years old on match-day for outfield players, 23 years old for goalkeepers]

Kepa Arrizabalaga put in a solid performance to cement his place in goal in this week’s #TalentRadar Team of the Week, after helping Athletic Bilbao to a hard-fought 1-0 away victory over Eibar. Ahead of him in defence at centre-back is Inter’s Slovakian centre-back Milan Škriniar, who helped his Inter side to a commendable 3-1 victory away in Rome – the 22-year-old has fit right into the heart of this defence having signed from Sampdoria in the summer. Partnering him in defence is RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano – the Frenchman who only this season seems to be getting a regular run of games in the Bundesliga, managed to successfully win an incredible eleven headers owing to his tall six foot frame, and another six tackles to boot as his side beat Freiburg 4-1 after having gone a goal down.

At right-back, having come in for the injured/unfit Nathaniel Clyne and Trent Alexander-Arnold is young Joe Gomez, who managed to contain the likes of Alexis Sanchez in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Arsenal. He helped the Reds open the scoring with a perfect cross for Roberto Firmino to finish past Petr Cech in goal. On the other side of defence is Dan-Axel Zagadou; the teenager joined Dortmund this summer and has grown into his role at left-back with another defensively solid performance against Hertha Berlin in a 2-0 win. The Frenchman kept out Monaco’s Jorge from this week’s #TalentRadar Team of the Week having missed out to the Brazilian the previous week.

Kicking off the midfield is Heerenveen’s Norwegian talent, Morten Thorsby who scored twice to help his side to a 2-1 away victory over ADO Den Haag. The 21-year-old displayed his attacking instinct, making runs into the box and meeting Denzel Dumfries’ (who also just missed out at right-back this week) balls in from the flank. The first came just over ten minutes into the second half, doubling that within the next ten.

Staying in the Eredivisie, Ajax’ Donny van de Beek joins Thorsby after an impressive display in the Europa League finalists’ 2-0 away win over newly promoted VVV Venlo. The 20-year-old made a fantastic late run into the box as Klaas Jan-Huntelaar smartly headed a cross down onto the midfielders’ path for the games first goal. Fifteen minutes later van de Beek played a crisp through ball for David Neres to latch onto, as the Brazilian lobbed over the keeper to secure the win. Completing the midfield three is Serbian Sergej Milinković-Savić – the 22-year-old was his commanding self for Lazio in the 2-1 win over Chievo, his highlight being the 89th minute strike to win the game for the capital club. His first touch seemed to take the ball away from him but he lashed onto the loose ball for a powerful strike from outside the box.

With all the focus on Kylian Mbappe, 21-year-old Adama Diakhaby swiftly swooped in to take his opportunity in Monaco’s first team, playing a pivotal role in the defending champions’ dominating 6-1 win over Marseille. First he set up Radamel Falcao’s second goal of the game before comfortably finishing for his side’s fourth of the night within the first 45 minutes after some impressive work from young Rony Lopes. Joining him upfront is last year’s #TalentRadar Forward of the Season runner-up, Timo Werner, who opened his account for the season with two against Freiburg in that aforementioned 4-1 victory. The first came from Emil Forsberg’s corner, with the German striker attacking the ball at the near post and finding the net from a rather narrow angle. Minutes later he doubled his tally after Jean-Kévin Augustin played him through and the 21-year-old beat the Freiburg keeper at his near post.

Completing the front three is Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio who assumed the role of primary attacker in a certain someone’s absence and played his part in what was ultimately a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Valencia. He opened the scoring after some impressive work to take on the opposition defence and finishing with his left foot. Late in the second half he saved his side’s blushes with a free-kick goal having seen his side go 2-1 down prior to this.

Sami Faizullah

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