Generation Next is our regular feature on Just Football profiling the best young talents in the world. And here’s another to keep an eye on – Atalanta’s bustling midfielder Franck Kessie… Last summer, when Genoa former coach Gian Piero Gasperini made the move to Atalanta, after seven wonderful years spent in Liguria (interjected by spells […]
Bored of the international break? Never fear, dear reader: occupy yourself with a look at how our #JF70 best young players around Europe got on this week. After Kylian Mbappé won our #JF70 young talent of the week last week, Deji Faremi reviews the stars of this most recent round of action…
— Just Football (@JustFootball) March 19, 2017
It’s been a rollercoaster season for Kylian Mbappé. The Monaco striker, who turned 18 just last December, has gone from an almost unknown quantity to not just one of the most talked about players in Europe but also one of Monaco’s most important players as the season draws to an end.
He scored twice, again in the absence of Monaco’s topscorer Radamel Falcao, as the Principality side took another step towards their first Ligue 1 title since 2000 with a 3-0 win over Caen. Pace, trickery and precision; Mbappe was the full package, showing yet again why he’s rated so highly.
Those two goals means he’s now bagged eleven goals in his last seven starts in all competition. Or if you like, seven goals in his last six games. Whichever way, the stats are mind-blowing.
11 – Kylian Mbappe last 7 starts in all comps:
v Metz ⚽️⚽️⚽️
Man City ⚽️
Man City ⚽️
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 19, 2017
No surprise then that he was called up to the French national team for the international break – making him the first player born after France’s 1998 World Cup triumph to do so. Oh, and he isn’t bad at singing either…
Regardez Mbappé, on dirait il est en cours de musique pic.twitter.com/9CdnDOQP7l
— Naito Tetsuya (@BranditoReezy) March 20, 2017
Like Mbappé, Tiemoue Bakayoko is also in great form. The big central midfielder scored the all-important goal for Monaco as they dumped out Manchester City in the Champions League and then capped off the week by getting a maiden call up to the French national team after Paul Pogba withdrew through injury.
He’s been sparingly used by Leonardo Jardim in Ligue 1 due to an injury he’s been battling for weeks, but Bakayoko’s solid contribution to the Monaco team this season has not gone unnoticed. The 22-year-old has reportedly agreed personal terms with Chelsea for a summer move (if you’re inclined to believe Guillem Balague that is – Ed).
Monaco's Bakayoko has agreed personal terms with Chelsea. Next step is for Chelsea to pay Monaco more than anybody else for the midfielder pic.twitter.com/XgbvJKvNPD
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) March 21, 2017
Leandro Paredes didn’t start the season in explosive fashion. Many of his starts for AS Roma came in the Europa League and he had to settle for many substitute appearances. However, things have looked up in the last few weeks, and he’s started four of Roma’s last six league games (after starting only six of their previous 23).
Last weekend, after sitting out AS Roma’s Europa League Round of 16 second leg against Lyon, the Argentine was back in the Giallorossi’s starting XI for the visit of Sassuolo. And until he was substituted in the 87th minute, the 22 year-old showed why his talented is coveted by a number of European sides.
Paredes scored after 16 minutes to draw Roma level at 1-1 after Sassuolo took the lead on nine minutes. His ability on the ball was key for Roma as they had the ball, and he also managed a joint-second most successful tackles in the game (5). If he’s the heir to Daniele De Rossi, he certainly showed he has the talent to replace the charismatic Italian after his weekend performance.
Enes Unal is back again after his third goal in four games for Twente, in their 3-0 win away at Roda last Friday.
The 19-year-old striker beat the offside trap smartly before rolling home Twente’s third of the game and his 13th league goal of the season; stretching his record of most goals by a Turkish player in the Eredivisie. His goal tally also means only two players have scored more league goals this season.
No surprises, the Manchester City loanee’s impressive form earned him a call up to the latest Turkish national team squad.
— Ahmad (@17vitc) March 17, 2017
Who is your #JF70 young talent of the week? Let us know below, on Twitter @JustFootball or Facebook and follow us for the best coverage of the best young talents in world football.