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U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #9: Hirving Lozano and Pablo Maffeo feature

Sami Faizullah compiles this week’s Young Players Team of the Week from across Europe’s top seven leagues.

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]

Roda JC’s Hidde Jurjus makes his first ever appearance in our Team of the Week feature, after the Eredivisie’s bottom club got a commendable 1-1 draw at home to defending champions Feyenoord. The 23-year-old was called into action multiple times, making an incredible eight saves in the game, as he left the Rotterdam club frustrated.

Girona’s Manchester City loanee, Pablo Maffeo, is at right back representing La Liga’s newcomers who got a surprise 2-1 victory over European champions, Real Madrid. Showing fantastic spirit, the 20-year-old had an incredible game both defensively and in attack as seen below. Maffeo helped set-up the eventual match winner after the youngster’s low drive towards goal was turned in by Portu.

The central defensive pairing this week is from the Bundesliga, as Hertha Berlin’s Karim Rekik and Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard both put in defensively impressive performances, while also grabbing a goal each. 22-year-old Rekik won six aerial duels in the game, and also used his head to score his side’s second goal against Hamburg in an eventual 2-1 victory. 21-year-old Benjamin Pavard was also among the goals in his side’s 3-0 win over Freiburg, winning five aerial duels and also managing one-fifty-two touches in the game, the highest by an Frenchman in the Bundesliga for thirteen years, according to Opta Jean.

Benfica’s Alejandro Grimaldo who was on course to finish high up in our Talent Radar Defender Rankings after a fantastic start to the 2016-17 season, until an injury kept him out for seven months, makes his first appearance of the season. Confident on the ball and constantly delivering dangerous crosses, the Spaniard helped his side to a 1-0 win over Feirense.

In central midfielder we have 21-year-old Lucas Torreira, who got the first and second goals of his Serie A career in Sampdoria’s 4-1 win over Chievo. Having moved to the club last season, the Uruguayan ensured his first goals were worth the wait. The first was a long range free-kick from over 35 yards out, when everyone expected the youngster to put a cross in rather than swirl it into the top corner. The second, four minutes from time, was a neat volley from just outside the box to seal victory.

Joining him is fellow midfield brace hero, Guus Til, who in the space of seventeen minutes took his AZ Alkmaar side from 1-0 down to a 2-1 victory away to Heerenveen. Both goals almost identical as a low pass across goal from the right was met by Til for simple tap ins, but both showing incredible desire as he took his season tally to four goals. The first came in the seventy-third minute, and the second was right at the ninety to ensure three points that see AZ rise to fourth in the table.

Right wing sees Leicester City’s Demarai Gray, who helped his new boss to a 2-0 win over struggling Everton. The 21-year-old picked up the ball in his own half, showing immense control and a burst of pace to get past Everton’s midfield before releasing Riyad Mahrez who set up Jamie Vardy for the opener. The second also saw Gray involved, this time from the opposite side, as he cut in and got a shot off that took a hefty deflection from Jonjoe Kenny and sailed into goal. Though a considerable deflection, Gray was credited with the goal.

On the left wing is Swede, Kristoffer Peterson, who scored twice in Heracles’ 3-0 win over VVV Venlo. The first came five minutes from half-time as the home side started a quick counter, ending with the 22-year-old, taking on his defensive marker, and firing a left footed shot that went through Lars Unnerstall in goal – rather cheaply. The second was another mistake from the VVV keeper, as he turned a shot straight onto Peterson’s path, and the former Liverpool youngster made no mistake with heading in the games’ third goal.

Up front we have Hirving Lozano, who is proving to be the young signing of the season with an incredible record at PSV Eindhoven. The Mexican was heavily involved in the Dutch club’s 4-2 away win over Vitesse, scoring twice and setting up another to put PSV firmly on top of the Eredivisie table. His first goal was a proper striker’s finish, making a run into the box and neatly placing a shot past the keeper, the second late on was a poacher’s finish, pouncing on an error in the box and making no mistake. Sandwiched between these goals was a neatly threaded through pass to Jurgen Locadia, who got one of his two goals of the game.

Joining Lozano we have resident Talent Radar star, Leroy Sane, who makes an incredible fifth appearance already this season. The German youngster opened the scoring with a powerful shot in Manchester City’s 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion before setting up Fernandinho five minutes later. Sane now has eight goals and five assists in all competitions this season.

Read all our Talent Radar Team of the Week articles here

Sami Faizullah

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