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Talent Radar

Talent Radar 2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #3: Naby Keita features

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]

Albanian Thomas Strakosha is this week’s goalkeeper after a solid performance in goal for Lazio as the Rome club got a famous 4-1 victory over giants AC Milan. The 22-year-old keeper made a number of saves as the Lazio attackers (specifically Ciro Immobile) ran the show on the other end.

We’ve gone with a three-man defence this week after a number of impressive centre-back performances made our choice all the more harder. 20-year-old Joris Gnagnon who scored a goal and made six successful challenges in Rennes’ impressive 3-1 away win over Marseille starts things off at the back. The Frenchman is joined by young Turkish defender, Çağlar Söyüncü, as the 21-year-old was part of the Freiburg defence that kept Dortmund’s expressive attack quiet in a 0-0 draw, playing with ten men for more than an hour of the game. The third and final defender is Sevilla’s Clement Lenglet; the 22-year-old has arguably been the best young defender among Europe’s top seven leagues so far this season – interesting to see if the ex-Nancy man can keep his consistency up for the rest of the season.

The five man midfield has future Liverpool signing, Guinean Naby Keïta, at the heart of it as the defending Talent Radar Player of the Season scored a fabulous strike with just over twenty minutes left as his RB Leipzig side got a Friday night 2-0 victory over Hamburg. Newcastle’s summer signing, Mikel Merino joins Keita in the deeper midfield position as the Spaniard continued his good start to the season with another impressive start in his side’s 1-0 win over Swansea.

Further in attacking positions, Levin Öztunali takes his spot on the right wing as the German youngster got two assists in Mainz’s 3-1 win over Leverkusen, the 21-year-old proving decisive with the game tied at 1-1 before he set up Abdou Diallo and Suat Serdar (his two fellow Talent Radar youngsters). On the opposite flank is fellow German Leroy Sané who came off the bench against Liverpool for Manchester City and scored two terrific goals in a 5-0 thrashing. Hopefully enough to convince boss Pep Guardiola of a starting spot. Completing the attacking midfield spots is defending Talent Radar Forward of the SeasonKylian Mbappé. The teenager scored one and set up another in his debut for Paris Saint-Germain in a 5-1 away victory for Metz. Did someone say pressure?

The forward line is as impressive as those in midfield – last season’s Talent Radar Forward of the Season runner-up, Timo Werner, takes his spot following on from his appearance in last week’s Talent Radar Team of the Week. The German forward was also on target in the aforementioned 2-0 victory over Hamburg. Joining him is another Manchester City youngster, Gabriel Jesus, who also got a brace in his side’s 5-0 victory. These two along with Mbappé will surely have an impressive battle for the Forward’s title in our Talent Radar Awards this season.

Sami Faizullah

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