It’s nearly here! The Africa Cup of Nations 2017 kicks off this weekend and it’s a tournament we love and have covered in detail in the past on Just Football. Ahead of this year’s edition in Gabon here are a selection of promising young African talents that have risen to prominence and could play an essential […]
November is here and we’re back with the latest review of our #JF70 most exciting young players to watch in 2016/17. After Renato Sanches won the Golden Boy award last week which of our under-22-year-old young starlets impressed around the continent this week?
Let’s look at the star performers….
#JF70 young talents of the week
Gianluigi Donnarumma is pulling off feats no 17-year-old should be expected to do. Better still, he’s making everyone wonder, game after game, whether he’s an experienced goalkeeper or one who has taken over the body of a 17-year-old.
He’s been simply immense for the Rossoneri this season, and he showed it yet again in their 1-0 win over Pescara last weekend at San Siro.
AC Milan were expected to have a relatively easy game against a struggling Pescara side, but, as it is in football, things are never always as we expect. Things got edgy for the hosts; Pescara proved a tough nut to crack before and after the goal, and also created chances of their own.
It was in those moments that Donnarumma proved his mettle with some spectacular saves. He finished the match with six in total, racking up yet another clean sheet. He’s becoming an increasingly reliable keeper – already.
Most clean sheets in Europe's top 5 leagues:
Y. Pele (6)
A. Areola (all 5) pic.twitter.com/wAo6MzapID
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 31, 2016
Last Saturday, Monaco were away at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard to face Saint-Etienne, and it took just five minutes for Lemar to make his mark.
The France Under-21 international swung in a delicious out-swinging free kick, which was met by Polish defender Kamil Glik, for his first assist of the season.
Four league goals so far, but just the one assist. A bit of an irony for Lemar who says he “prefers to play with his teammates” rather than steal the headlines with his goals, and that he’s been urged to attempt to score more often. If he can set his teammates up more often, with his decent goalscoring record, he will be even more of a handful.
During lunch, just before Sunday’s game against Hertha Berlin, Niklas Süle reportedly told Hoffenheim’s set piece taker Kerem Demirbay to “smack it out to the far post” whenever they had set piece opportunities.
It turned out as planned when, in the 31st minute, Demirbay found Süle with a pinpoint cross to back post. Süle duly obliged with a commanding header, taking advantage of the mismatch in Peter Pekarik, to score his side’s only goal in their 1-0 win.
Süle has an ongoing wager with TSG’s Sporting Director Alexander Rosen, and will win if he gets two goals in ten games. We don’t want to bet against him getting one in his next two games.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 30, 2016
After his goal in midweek in Torino’s 2-1 loss to Inter Milan at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, Andrea Belotti continued his impressive start to the season by setting up teammate Marco Benassi in last weekend’s tie away at Udinese.
The 22-year-old Italy striker now has two assists in Serie A this season to go with his six goals.
An integral member of the Torino side, Belotti definitely has a huge role to play if Torino are to bag a slot in the Europa League this season.
— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) October 26, 2016
Rick Karsdorp and Arber Zeneli
Last Sunday, Feyenoord hosted Heerenveen in what was undoubtedly the biggest game of the round in Eredivisie. Pitting first against third, it was a game that set two #JF70 players against each other – Feyenoord’s right back Rick Karsdorp and Heerenveen’s in-form attacking midfielder Arber Zeneli. Both players gave a good account of themselves.
Creative starlet Zeneli drew first blood, delivering a cross from the right to find Reza Ghoochannejhad, who put Heerenveen ahead after just five minutes.
Karsdorp went one better with a goal in the 42 minute, reacting quickest to turn home a rebound after Heerenveen goalkeeper Erwin Mulder saved a Dirk Kuyt penalty.
But Zeneli had the final word with a long range effort that brought the visitors level at 2-2.
— Dutch Goals And More (@DutchGoalsAMore) October 30, 2016
It was Karsdorp’s first goal of the season, but Zeneli is now in unstoppable form. The Kosovo international’s equaliser was his fifth goal in six games, and his sixth Eredivisie goal overall.
Both players were on top of their game, and deservedly made a number of Eredivisie ‘Teams of the Week’.
— Football-Oranje.com (@football_oranje) October 31, 2016
Morten Thorsby made the team of the week in Eredivisie pic.twitter.com/ED4o2X9Py3
— NorwayFoot (@NorwayFoot) October 31, 2016