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 […]
It’s #JF70 young talents of the week time. Let’s get into it. Which of our 70 chosen star young players shone in the latest round of action around Europe? Read on and find out…
#JF70 young talents of the week
After a dominant first half by the visitors, which saw them take a 1-0 lead into the break, Atalanta gradually got better in the second half and were rewarded with just over an hour of football played. Kessie’s dangerous cross ricocheted off Mattia Caldara’s face after it was palmed away by Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Atalanta were not ready to settle for the single point, and they were rewarded when Paredes tripped Gomez in the area. Kessie stepped up to bury the spot kick, bringing an end to a goal drought that had lasted for over two months.
The win means Atalanta have now won five of their last six games, as they continue their unlikely hunt for a European place.
Kessie, 19, now with five Serie A goals this season [he scored four in his first three league games] is reportedly being chased by Serie A champions Juventus, as well as Napoli. It will be interesting to see who gets this gem.
Dolberg needed just 37 first half minutes to complete his hat-trick (indeed the goals came in the space of 18 minutes). The Danish striker also had enough time to assist Lasse Schöne, who scored Ajax’s fifth goal of the match.
His treble takes him to eight Eredivisie goals, placing him level with fellow JF70 entrant Enes Unal as joint top scorers of the league.
These days, Dolberg starts every game for the Amsterdam side, and he’s currently on a run of five goals in his last five games in all competitions, prompting links with Manchester City and others.
Meanwhile, Dolberg’s Ajax teammate and JF70 entrant Bertrand Traore continued his impressive form, bagging his second goal in two games with a well taken finish. But Dolberg rightly steals the spotlight this week.
— Just Football (@JustFootball) November 21, 2016
1 – Kasper Dolberg (19j 45d) is the youngest Ajax player with a hat-trick in the Eredivisie since Rafael van der Vaart in Dec 2001. Future.
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) November 20, 2016
The Chelsea loanee started his first Premier League game for Bournemouth – his first game in all competitions in two months – on Saturday at Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium, and scored the only goal of the game to hand his side all three points.
Ake has struggled to get on the pitch this season, and was playing only his third Premier League game of the season, but he didn’t look rusty when he found space in the Stoke City area to head home the Cherries’ winner in the 26th minute.
The 21-year-old then played his part in ensuring Bournemouth kept a clean sheet – their first in three games.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was full of praise for the youngster. “He didn’t put a foot wrong and his overall performance was pleasing, he put a stamp down and it was great to see.”, Howe said after the match.
Here’s hoping Ake has done enough to convince his manager to trust him with more minutes.
— Nathan Aké (@NathanAke) November 19, 2016
Belotti scored his 9th and 10th Serie A goals of the season to help Torino win 2-0 away at bottom side Crotone last Sunday.
His first goal was controversial, as he looked to be in an offside position when he got the ball from Adem Ljajic. But there was nothing questionable about the finish – a smart left footed strike that beat goalkeeper Alex Cordaz at his near post. Nine minutes later, he put the game beyond the hosts with his second goal.
Belotti was unlucky to not hit the target, despite impressing during the international break. But he’s on fire for his club, notching five goals in his last four games. 10 Serie A goals put him level with Edin Dzeko in the race for the Capocannoniere.
10 – #Belotti is the only player in the top-5 Euro leagues to have scored 3+ left-footed, 3+ right-footed goals and 3+ headers. Complete.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) November 20, 2016
Maxwel Cornet scored after three minutes at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy to give Lyon maximum points away at struggling Lille.
The 20-year-old was at the right place at the right time to tap in a square ball from Jordan Ferri, which proved to be the only goal of the game, as Lyon ran away 1-0 winners.
Cornet has now scored three times in all competitions this season, with two of those coming in Ligue 1.
— Maxwel Cornet (@MaxwelCornet) November 19, 2016
The last two weeks have been memorable for the Guadeloupe-born 21-year-old who got his first call-up to the French National team, and made his debut, replacing Adrien Rabiot for the final 12 minutes of Les Bleus 0-0 draw against Cote d’Ivoire.
Back from the international break, Lemar continued his impressive form as Monaco thrashed Lorient 3-0 at the Stade du Moustoir. After being denied by the woodwork two minutes into the second half, Lemar put his side 2-0 up in the 67th minute with a beautiful curling free kick that left Lorient goalkeeper Delecroix helpless.
On Tuesday, in the Champions League against Tottenham, Lemar made it two goals in two games, scoring the winner to ensure Monaco finish top of their group.
Lemar has previously claimed he prefers to assist than score goals, but he’s now scored five league goals in Ligue 1 this season, making him the joint top scoring Under 21 player in europe’s top five leagues.
Most goals by U-21 players in Europe's top 5 leagues this season:
Franck Kessie (5)
Sandro Ramirez (5)
Timo Werner (5)
Thomas Lemar (5) pic.twitter.com/G99XtARduU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 21, 2016
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