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Another week, another chance for 70 of our hand-picked top young players in Europe to shine. But which players from our #JF70 list of Europe’s best young talents most impressed us this week? Here are four of the best…
Adam Ounas (Girondins Bordeaux)
Bordeaux dropped key points at the weekend in their battle to secure a top five spot in Ligue 1, but they had 20-year-old exciting talent Adam Ounas to thank for grabbing a point at St. Etienne.
Ounas is very highly-rated in France, but in truth he’s not enjoyed the most fruitful of seasons. The goal was only his third of the season, and though he’s added two assists that’s not too striking a return from 10 starts and 14 substitute appearances.
The Algerian international looked sharp from the start in this one, forcing a save from Stephane Ruffier after a lightning quick run down the right and poked shot. And in the 42nd minute he opened the scoring from the spot, stroking home a cool penalty.
Bordeaux’s second goal also came courtesy of Ounas’ silky left foot. A fine cross from the right was flicked on by Jaroslav Plasil and Gaetan Laborde pounced. The match finished 2-2 and Bordeaux dropped a place in the table to sixth with two games remaining.
But Adam Ounas showed just why he made our #JF70 list of best youngsters in Europe with an impressive showing that bodes well for the future.
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
After excelling in Manchester United‘s first leg semi final win over Celta Vigo last week, scoring the winner with a sumptuous free-kick, Marcus Rashford was back at it again in this week’s second leg.
Rashford is leading the line for Jose Mourinho’s side in the absence of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and he posed a constant threat to Celta Vigo at Old Trafford on Thursday night. Rashford’s running beyond the defence, pace and skill on the ball caused Celta all sorts of problems, particularly early in the first half, and his pinpoint cross was hit to perfection to allow Marouane Fellaini to put the Red Devils 1-0 up.
Man Utd's last three goals in the Europa League:
🎯 Rashford Assist
What a ball for Marouane Fellaini! pic.twitter.com/7OhgzohWVL
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) May 11, 2017
The game ended 1-1 but over the two legs Rashford’s goal and assist proved decisive. The 19-year-old heads to Stockholm on 24th May hoping to win the one trophy United are yet to win in their fabled history.
Kasper Dolberg (Ajax)
Another of our #JF70 young talents successfully progressed to a European final this week, and he could well end up spearheading the opposition attack in direct opposition to Marcus Rashford.
Kasper Dolberg has had a superb season, announcing his name on the big stage in Europe with six goals in the Europa League, and he continued that form with a crucial goal at Lyon to send Ajax through to the final in Stockholm.
Dolberg‘s 27th minute strike was wonderfully taken, dinked over the keeper to give Ajax an away goal that proved vital. Lyon went on to win 3-1, but Dolberg – or Goal-berg as fans are starting to call him – got the important away goal without which Lyon would have progressed on away goals.
— AFC Ajax (English) (@AFCAjax_EN) May 11, 2017
Not only did the 19-year-old delight supporters with the goal that sends Ajax to their first European final in 21 years, he made them even happier this morning by declaring that he will remain in Amsterdam next season despite interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs. After hitting 22 goals this season already that’s music to their ears.
Maxwel Cornet (Olympique Lyonnais)
Despite Europa League semi-final disappointment it’s been a good week on a personal level for 20-year-old Lyon forward Maxwel Cornet.
The youngster hit two goals in Lyon’s 3-2 win over Nantes at the weekend to take his tally for the season in Ligue 1 to six goals. Cornet didn’t even start the match, but after coming on for Alexandre Lacazette after an hour he wasted no time.
His first goal came from a corner, the forward planting home a header to give Lyon the lead. His second was a smart volley in the 80th minute to secure the win.
The victory cemented Lyon’s grip on 4th place in Ligue 1, meaning they’ll make Europa League football again next season. Though Cornet hasn’t had the best of seasons, the Nantes game was another glimpse of his raw talent and potential.