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Thread: ViToMiNs' Player To Watch Thread 2010

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    04/15/10 - Antoine Griezmann

    Team: Real Sociedad (Spain)
    Shirt Number: 7
    Nationality: France
    Position: Attacking Midfielder (L)
    Secondary: Left Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder (C), Left Forward, Striker
    Age: 19
    Height: 1.74 m / 5.71 ft
    Weight: 72 kg / 158 lbs


    Report: "His mind is different to any other player I have ever met."

    Antoine Griezmann, a 19-year-old French left winger, has come out of nowhere to take the Spanish second-tier by storm this season. Rarely has this league, in which many stars have kick-started their career, seen such a blistering success. Griezmann has been so impressive that scouts from the continent's most famous clubs such as from Manchester United and Arsenal have been frequently seen at Real Sociedad 's matches this season.

    Even during the summer, hardly any Real Sociedad supporters would have recognized Griezmann. The French player arrived in Spain more than four years ago after a talent scout in France called Eric Olhats had seen his potential to bring him to the youth setup at Real and acted almost as if he was his adopted father.

    Griezmann has been progressing through the ranks at San Sebastian and during last summer, he amazed everyone at the club by scoring five goals in four pre-season matches to earn himself a place in the senior team, despite several people at Sociedad thinking that he should have continued one more year playing with the second team.

    The left winger, who until this season had never played a match for the French youth national sides, has been perfectly concealed by Real Sociedad until emerging this season. The way that the club treated him made him a special player not only through his footballing abilities, but also for his mental capacity.

    Griezmann is extremely humble for such a sensational wonderkid who's been tracked by Europe's giants, is a highly intelligent young person and has been often quoted saying he feels that he doesn't deserve a place in the team's lineup. Meho Kodro, the former Sociedad striker who coached Griezmann last season and was the one who recommended him joining the senior team, said: "His mind is different to any other player I have ever met."

    With six goals and an assist in 30 league appearances this season, Griezmann has fully proved himself. He was the focus of a battle between the Spanish FA and its French counterpart, as the Spanish hoped Griezmann will choose to play for Spain. However Griezmann has chosen France. He recently extended his contract with Real Sociedad until the end of the 2014/15 season and his release clause stands at 30 million Euros.

    So what makes Griezmann so special? The answer is a combination between his impressive intelligence and highly physical and technical skills. At his tender age, Griezmann is close to being a complete player in almost every parameter.

    He is extremely fast both in terms of top speed as well as acceleration and he uses this great weapon to dribble easily past any player in the Spanish Segunda division as his dribbling skill is simply superior. He is also strong and has a great physique for a flank player (1.74m and 72kg). With this blend of speed and strength Griezmann is already a big prospect but when the mental and technical sides enter the picture, one can understand how talented this guy really is.

    Griezmann is as said a highly technical player. He is naturally left footed but his technique is so developed that he can do anything with his right foot as well – dribble, pass and also shoot. The French winger is really a great striker of the ball with both feet. His crossing ability is so good that he became the permanent corner-kick taker of the side and his ability to do almost any move with both feet makes it extremely hard for defenders to stop him and predict his moves.

    More importantly, Griezmann is a player with immense presence on the field. He is always involved in the match and touches the ball a lot. He always comes to receive the ball, including in difficult situations showing a lot of courage and calmness for his age. He also showed his excellent composure and eye for a goal this season.

    He works very hard for a player of his age, tracking back to defend his flank and has truly great team-work ability. With his great vision of the field and humble approach he is not only a goal-scoring winger but also a player who is excellent at setting up his teammates and can create goal-scoring opportunities.

    Griezmann is naturally a left winger/left forward but he is versatile enough to play as a striker. He played as a front man in the youth teams and showed great scoring ability. He can also play as a central attacking midfielder with playmaking abilities when needed. This versatility, combined with his amazing technical skills, impressive physical skills and great personality make Griezmann a huge prospect for the near future. It seems he will have a true great future in the game.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

  2. #42
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    04/22/10 - Adam Matuschyk

    Team: FC Köln (Germany)
    Shirt Number: 25
    Nationality: Poland
    Position: Left Midfielder
    Secondary: Defensive Midfielder
    Age: 21
    Height: 1.83 m / 6 ft
    Weight: 73 kg / 160 lbs


    Report: A Polish Starlet Making Waves in Germany

    At Köln everybody is talking about a young Polish star and we are not talking about Lukas Podolski . Adam Matuschyk has become one of the hottest names in the Bundesliga in the last few weeks.

    Like Podolski, Matuschyk was born in Gliwice a city in southern Poland. He began his youth career playing for small teams in Germany. First he played at SpvGG Merzig and later he joined VfB Dillingen. After a few successful years in these youth team's he was scouted at the age of 14 by FC Köln and since 2003 he has progressed at the club from the Under-15 side all the way to the first team.

    Matuschyk described the process: "I came from a small club in the Saarland, VfB Dillingen, and played in the Saarland selection. Köln scout Ralf Krutwig saw me in some games, rang me later and invited me for a trial. Five or six times I took part in training sessions. In parallel I was also at Karlsruhe but quite early on I chose FC Köln, because they simply fit the best. It was almost like love at first sight (laughs).”

    Whilst playing for the Under-19 side, Matuschyk trained with the first team, and during the 2008/2009 season he was promoted to the FC Köln II team. In his first season for the Köln second team he played 25 games scoring three goals.

    At the start of 2009/2010 he was still in Köln’s second team playing 11 games and scoring one goal. But by the winter break he was ready to make his big jump to the first team. Matuschyk: “It began during the winter break in the training camp. From this time it went pretty well for me. It was at times like a dream. I was able to gain much match practice and was able to show what I can do and I was quite satisfied.”

    The 21-year-old was part of the Köln squad that faced Borussia Dortmund in the first game of the second half of the season and six weeks later he made his Bundesliga debut. Matuschyk: "In the week before the game against Leverkusen I was beginning to think that one time or another I would make it. Also because in training I was often placed in the 'first eleven,' but I was not sure. When the coach told me after the final training, that I will play, it was almost a shock. But he said it would be a game like any other, with only a few more viewers."

    He was a bit scared before the first game, "because one would naturally like to make a good first impression." Matuschyk gained much confidence from his fifth appearance when he claimed two brilliant goals against Hoffenheim. Notice on the video below that he scored two goals from far out, one with his right foot and the other with his left.

    The rise of Matuschyk has led to the youngster admitting: “Sometimes when I lie in bed at night, I think that this is all a dream and I will wake up at some point." His brilliant performances against Hoffenheim made him the talk of the town in Germany.

    In Köln he has played as a left midfielder but he can also play as a defensive midfielder, he has superb technique and good ability and in Koln they see him as the future of the club and recently they extended his contract until 2014. In the coming years the club will try and bulk him up to improve his physical play, but he has all the makings of a top player.

    Outside of Germany it was reported that Manchester United were tracking him, but the Koln coach said "We were able to convince Adam but FC Köln see him as the future and so he remained happily here."






    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

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    04/29/10 - Pablo Barrera

    Team: West Ham United (England)
    Shirt Number: 12
    Nationality: Mexico
    Position: Attacking Midfielder (R)
    Secondary: Attacking Midfielder (L)
    Age: 23
    Height: 1.75 m / 5.74 ft
    Weight: 65 kg / 143 lbs


    Report: A Potential Mexican Star at the World Cup

    The 2010 World Cup is approaching and after selecting Manchester United bound Javier Hernandez as a Player to Watch in January, we have selected another potential Mexican World Cup star.

    Much of the Mexican World Cup squad are well known across the world, including the likes of Giovani Dos Santos , Rafa Marquez and Andres Guardado . Besides the well-known European based internationals, Javier Aguirre, the Mexican national team coach, has one more rabbit he can pull out of his hat and an opponent in South Africa may pay a high price if they have not done their homework on Pumas UNAM Mexico winger Pablo Barrera .

    The 22-year-old is an extraordinary winger who is still largely unknown outside of Mexico and North America. Barrera possesses tremendous speed and is capable of controlling and shooting the ball well with both feet, scoring goals from long and short distance as well.

    Usually Barrera does so with such grace that despite being naturally right footed sometimes it’s a hard task to say what his natural foot is. He likes to run down both flanks, is capable of swapping positions during the game and uses his deadly crosses in order to create opportunities.

    When Barrera is on the pitch he gives his team the option of playing fast, coming from behind and catching the opponents’ defence off guard with lethal counter attacks. He is also an efficient player in a slower tempo game thanks to his one on one ability. His technique and dribbling skills, together with his pace and acceleration gives him the ability of beating his opponents with ease and despite the fact he is not a striker he has quite good composure in front of goal and is capable of scoring goals.

    Barrera, whose talent was already spotted in Mexico early on, came through the youth system at Pumas back in 2005. Two years later he became a regular player for his club and in 2008/09 was part of the side that won the Clausura title and things looked bright for the young prospect at the time.

    It also didn’t take long for Barrera’s talent to be noticed by clubs around the world and there were already rumors linking Arsenal to the player, after the English side sent scouts to follow the young starlet for three months. But then Barrera’s luck took a bad turn. Barrera had to undergo surgery in order to repair a ruptured cruciate ligament in his left knee back in July 2008.

    It took Barrera six months to recover from the injury and it slowed his progress down at a crucial time, just before a likely lucrative transfer. Yet, Barrera is not one who will give up when things are tough. During the 2009/10 season Barrera has regained his full confidence and physical condition and he is a first team regular for his team and one of the most dominant and cultured players at Pumas.

    Ever since the Clausura started, back in January 2010, he has been in very good form, playing at a high level and is one of the most dominant players in the entire Mexican league. Judging from his speed and movement it seems that his old injury doesn't affect him at all.

    He has also taken part in some national team friendly matches in the last few months and played well and showed some glimpses of his talent. For now, as long as he stays healthy, it is most likely that he will be part of the Mexican national team during the World Cup.

    Barrera is still young and needs to get physically stronger in order to fit in at a high level European club and also improve some other tactical aspects of his game. But he may well have to settle for a place on the bench in South Africa in the group stages but there is no doubt that if he will be able to take advantage of the opportunity when it will come, a good performance at the World Cup will surely set his career back on track towards European football.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

  4. #44
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    05/06/10 - John Guidetti

    Team: Manchester City (England)
    Shirt Number: 60
    Nationality: Sweden
    Position: Striker
    Secondary: Left Forward
    Age: 18
    Height: 1.81 m / 5.94 ft
    Weight: 79 kg / 173 lbs


    Report: The Swedish Wayne Rooney

    Questions were asked of John Guidetti in Sweden when he signed for Manchester City in 2008 at the age of 15. Brought to the club by City’s then manager Sven Goran Eriksson, there were many in his homeland who believed that he should have spent his formative years in the Swedish Allsvenskan, learning his trade and honing his skills before a big move to a top European league.

    After impressing in the Manchester City reserve team, Guidetti returned to Sweden last month and has immediately proved his talent in his home country. Playing for former club IF Brommapojkarna , he has shown that even at his young age he can be physically imposing and Swedish pundits have been drooling over the striker’s undoubted talents.

    The 18-year-old striker can only play for his old club for a maximum of eight games but in just five so far he has shown undoubted promise. Guidetti is a right-footed striker who loves to run the channels and he knows how to work hard on the pitch, much like Carlos Tevez at his parent club.

    In his first game away at Trelleborgs, he came on with just over twenty minutes remaining and set up a last minute winner for Olof Guterstam. His instant impact led to a start in the next game at home to Gefle and he did not disappoint, with a goal and an assist. His 57th minute goal in this game was a fine finish, after he had rounded the keeper.

    He then played 90 minutes in the Allsvenskan defeat to Elfsborg in the next match and then returned the side to winning ways by setting up a last minute own goal for a 1-0 home win over Halmstads. Last night Guidetti again provided an assist in a 4-1 defeat at Atvidaberg.

    There is no doubt that IF Brommapojkarna have looked a far greater attacking force since Guidetti returned for his loan spell that comes to an end during the break for the World Cup. His stocky style is reminiscent of Tevez and Wayne Rooney and even at such a young age he looks too strong for Swedish football and perfectly suited to the English game.

    It has also been apparent since Guidetti has returned to Sweden that the youngster is not short of confidence and is hugely enthusiastic about his own playing career. On television he has praised Manchester City and expects to go out on loan next season due to the competition for places at Eastlands with a move to a Championship club the most likely scenario.

    Although Guidetti has shown glimpses of naivety in interviews, he takes his career very seriously and lives with his father in England who has played a prominent role in his career. He has not only been a success in Sweden but also impressed for the Manchester City reserve team, most notably claiming a hat-trick against the Burnley reserves who had included a number of experienced players.

    The main question now surrounding Guidetti is whether he can succeed at Manchester City where there seems no limit to their spending power. He has represented Sweden at Under-16 and Under-17 levels and seems likely to be a full Swedish international but displacing the likes of Carlos Tevez , Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz seems unlikely.

    From his time in Sweden it is fair to say Guidetti has decent pace, good vision, an awareness of his team mates and composure in front of goal. He is extremely strong and has been one of the most physical attackers in the Allsvenskan which at his age is a huge advantage.

    The young striker is also very versatile in his movement as he can either work the channels (due to his speed and fine technique) or be very effective in the penalty box thanks to his strong presence as he knows how to position himself to win the ball and overcome physically tough and imposing defenders.

    Of course, all the above comes with the caveat that Guidetti is very young and inexperienced and he sometimes makes bad decisions in his attacking play. But, this Swedish striker looks to have the world at his feet and he does not appear to be afraid of attempting to become a key man at the richest club in world football.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

  5. #45
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    05/13/10 - Ali Ottman

    Team: Maccabi Haifa (Israel)
    Shirt Number: 18
    Nationality: Israel
    Position: Right Defender
    Secondary: Left Defender, Defensive Midfielder, Right Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder (R)
    Age: 23
    Height: 1.74 m / 5.71 ft
    Weight: 71 kg / 156 lbs


    Report: The Best Right Back in Israel

    At the age of 23, many players are the finished product. But Ali Osman is somewhat of a late bloomer and an extremely interesting one. Only this season he made his full breakthrough and became undoubtedly the best right back in Israel, a player with high potential who in the near future could ply his trade for middle-class European sides in high profile leagues.

    Osman came through the ranks of Arab-Israeli team Bnei Sakhnin and until the age of 17 he played as a defensive midfielder. A random injury to the team's right back forced the coach to position Osman on the right flank, and a star was born. His rare blend of extreme pace and acceleration, nimble feet, strength, aggressiveness and stubbornness are all the features of a classic European full-back. And Sakhnin coaches quickly understood they had a gem on their hands.

    Osman's initial years as a senior player were tough. He played only seven matches in 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 and was moved frequently between the youth and senior sides of Sakhnin as he lacked confidence. He was coached at the time by Elisha Levi, currently his manager at Maccabi Haifa , who knew how talented Osman is and gave him the time to grow. In 2007/2008 he became a first team player and Sakhnin secured their best finish in history clinching fourth place in the table with Osman performing superbly.

    In the 2008/2009 season Osman fully positioned himself at Sakhnin and played 31 matches, catching the eye of all of Israel's biggest teams. He received offers from Maccabi and Hapoel Tel Aviv, but Osman refused. "I want to stay another year," he told Sakhnin's chairman, "it's too early for me." But under the surface, Osman was waiting for a chance to join his beloved club, Maccabi Haifa . This season it finally happened, and Maccabi Haifa paid half a million dollars to Sakhnin for Osman's services.

    Osman's start at Maccabi Haifa also wasn't easy. For a player who came from such a minor side, he was instantly thrown in the deep end in Maccabi Haifa 's Champions League campaign. He played as a defensive midfielder against Bayern Munich and as a right-sided attacking midfielder (and switched position to left back during the game) against Juventus. He showed his immense versatility during the season but was mainly a substitute player for almost the entire season, yet in the full games he played he showed his high potential. A recent injury to Eyal Meshumar, Haifa's right back, forced coach Elisha Levi to position Osman as a right back in the most important and decisive matches of the season, where he has flourished.

    Due to his extremely impressive performance in the last period, Osman is reported to be an important part of Israel's new national team led by coach Luis Fernandez. All signs suggest that Osman will be Israel's right back in the coming years as by now it is clear that his talent is rare for an Israeli player. He won the heart of Maccabi Haifa 's fans over this season with his determined performances and his efficient offensive ability, that are clearly much superior to those of Meshumar who is also a national team player and is set to lose his place in the side to Osman next season.

    So why is this guy so talented? It's not only his extremely impressive physical abilities; it's also not his excellent crossing and passing abilities; it's mostly because of his intelligence and mentality. Osman is the type of player coaches like. He is an extremely positive character for his team, a humble and intelligent guy who works extremely hard and is always willing to learn. He has the perfect character for a football player.

    For example, during his time in Sakhnin he used to stay for hours after training only to work on his crosses. He used to imagine that a striker was running into the box in a variety of positions and worked on his crossing while sprinting to the imaginary striker. A lot of people at Sakhnin couldn't understand him – why does he train alone for so many hours, they wondered. But that's what created his pin-point crossing ability, which is the best in Israel.

    Despite all that has been said, Osman can still improve a lot. He still hasn't scored a goal in his career despite having an excellent shot and it is only a matter of time and confidence until he starts scoring. He should especially work on his defensive abilities. Since he is so determined and impulsive, he is often over-aggressive and receives a lot of cards. He still has to react better to players that switch velocities in a fast way and to improve his reading of the opponent's moves. His decision making and ability to perform in big matches should improve as he is young and still inexperienced. He has a lot to improve, but the speed of his development since arriving at Haifa is highly impressive.

    All in all, Osman has great potential. His physical abilities, technique, intelligence, mentality and versatility make him a sound prospect. His excellent concentration and tactical awareness (two parameters that can still improve a lot in the coming years) make him a real utility player who can play as defensive midfielder, right winger and left back with the same efficiency. However he is at his best as a right back and it seems that Elisha Levi is starting to understand this. With all these qualities and his perfect mentality, Osman should have a bright future in the game.


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    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

  6. #46
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    05/20/10 - Lacina Traore

    Team: CFR 1907 Cluj (Romania)
    Shirt Number: 9
    Nationality: Ivory Coast
    Position: Striker
    Secondary: N/A
    Age: 20
    Height: 2.03 m / 6.66 ft
    Weight: 85 kg / 187 lbs


    Report: The New Emmanuel Adebayor

    With 4-5-1 such a popular formation in European football, all the top clubs are looking for a striker that can lead the line, hold the ball up and score goals. Strikers such as Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Adebayor are becoming the prototype, as they can play with another striker but also muscle their way past defenders when playing on their own up front.

    The major European clubs have long been aware of Lacina Traore - at 6.7ft he has been difficult to avoid. The Ivory Coast striker, who has yet to play for the Flying Elephants, is considered a huge talent and has been included in Sven Goran Eriksson’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad.

    Traore is a huge talent. This very tall striker has good technique despite his height and also decent pace, especially over long distances. He can score many goals with his head and also with both feet. Despite being Ivorian, Traore has been described as “the new Adebayor” since he reminds fans and pundits of the Togo striker, he is a nimble and quick striker ready for the next step in his career.

    The talented striker began his career at Jean-Marc Guillou's football school Academie de Sol Beni which was where Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure learnt the game. In 2008 he made his professional debut for Stade Abidjan and quickly made an impression with four goals in ten appearances in the Ivory Coast Championnat National.

    In early 2009 he joined CFR Cluj who showed their growing prominence in European football. Traore played a limited role in the second half of last season, scoring one goal in five appearances as his new side finished fourth in the Romanian Liga I after impressing in the Champions League.

    Season 2009/2010 has seen Traore emerge as a much more important player at CFR Cluj, as he scored eight goals in 33 appearances. These statistics are even more impressive considering he rarely plays 90 minutes as the Romanian side are still conscious of the fact that he is still young.

    Some of Traore’s goals have been hugely impressive and prove his undoubted talent. He claimed a terrific right footed goal against Otelul Galati in August and in the following month claimed another fine solo goal against FC Copenhagen in the Europa League.

    He does though have some clear weaknesses. Traore has a lot to learn in terms of positioning, balance and passing, but shows very good promise for his age. He is also very hot tempered, as can be shown by the five yellow cards he picked up this season. And whilst he is quick many scouts have suggested he doesn’t “punch his weight” as he should for a striker so tall.

    In many ways the hype around Traore has been more impressive than his statistics in what has been a short career so far. Arsenal were heavily linked with him in January and he said at the time: "It is sensational to hear [Arsene] Wenger is watching me."

    Arsenal are though just one of many clubs to have scouted Traore. Lazio, Hamburg, Udinese and CSKA Moscow were all linked and just this week reports in Italy suggested Napoli were also interested. During the January transfer window CFR Cluj president Iuliu Muresan said they were looking for a fee of four million euros to sell Traore.

    As ever, there are a number of young players emerging in world football who look like they have the world at their feet. Neymar and Romelu Lukaku are just two examples and Lacina Traore , who can be purchased for a relatively small fee, could also be a major name in the coming years.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

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    05/27/10 - Christian Eriksen

    Team: Ajax (Netherlands)
    Shirt Number: 8
    Nationality: Denmark
    Position: Attacking Midfielder (C)
    Secondary: Attacking Midfielder (L)
    Age: 18
    Height: 1.75 m / 5.74 ft
    Weight: 65 kg / 143 lbs


    Report: The New Laudrup

    Christian Eriksen, the 18-year-old Danish prospect, could be a household name following the upcoming World Cup in South Africa. He is one of the youngest players to be named in any of the provisional squads and has showed in his initial first team performances with Ajax that he can become a huge player.

    In March he made his first appearance for the Denmark senior national team as a substitute in a 3-1 defeat to Austria in a friendly, thereby becoming Denmark’s fourth youngest international. Eriksen could be key for a Danish side that lacks spark and creativity and could make the difference against Holland, Cameroon and Japan in Group E.

    Earlier in his short career, Eriksen was named Danish Under-17 Talent of the Year in 2008. After several amazing performances for Odense Boldklub and in the young Danish national teams, many European clubs showed an interest. But in October 2008, Ajax signed him on a three year contract. Eriksen made his debut for the senior Ajax team on January 17, 2010.

    Eriksen has without a doubt all the qualities to become a very good player or even world class. When you see him play as an attacking midfielder pundits claim it’s as if you’re watching “the new Laudrup” after former greats Michael and Brian.

    Ajax manager Martin Jol has compared him to former Ajax midfielders Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart, as Eriksen is a playmaker and an attacking midfielder. Jol said: "I have to be very wrong if this player will not become a good, a very good or a top player."

    He has a fluidity and style in his actions and when that is combined with his superb technical ability Eriksen is a joy to watch. Physically he’s light but he compensates for this with his speed, technique and excellent positioning. The Ajax number 51 has a good right foot shot, crosses the ball well and can play decisive passes that can open up a defence.

    For someone so young he has a remarkable insight and vision of the game, these are instinctive natural qualities making his action look simple. Mentally he’s very level headed, intelligent and keen to learn. At Ajax these virtues are encouraged and he has the opportunity to develop further.

    Eriksen has said that only when he has fully learned his trade and become a top player at Ajax then maybe he will consider moving abroad. Playing every week and developing as a player is more important to him than money.

    In recent months Eriksen was linked with a move to Arsenal after Dennis Bergkamp had reportedly recommended him to Arsene Wenger. Ajax reacted quickly to lengthen his deal in Amsterdam, to 2013/2014, but it is indicative of his potential that he is being talked about by one of the biggest Premier League clubs.

    If anything though, Eriksen has shown some weak points to his game. In his 17 appearances for Ajax in 2009/2010 he failed to score once despite being presented with a number of good opportunities. This is a facet of his game that needs to be improved and should with more playing time at the top level.

    Besides Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have also shown an interest. If Eriksen impresses at the World Cup the trickle of major clubs is likely to be a flood and the Danish playmaker could be the most in-demand youngster in European football.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

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    06/04/10 - Xherdan Shaqiri

    Team: FC Basel (Switzerland)
    Shirt Number: 17
    Nationality: Switzerland
    Position: Attacking Midfielder (L)
    Secondary: Attacking Midfielder (R), Left Midfielder, Right Midfielder, Left Defender, Right Defender
    Age: 19
    Height: 1.68 m / 5.51 ft
    Weight: 69 kg / 151 lbs


    Report: Swiss Teen Ready to Roll at World Cup

    Xherdan Shaqiri will be one of the youngest and most inexperienced players at the upcoming World Cup, yet this teenage starlet could well be a massive hit.
    Shaqiri is considered to be one of the brightest young talents of Swiss football today. He scored six goals and provided five assists in an impressive debut season (2009/10) at FC Basel , helping his team to the league and cup double. His terrific performances earned him a place in Switzerland's final World Cup squad at the expense of the gifted winger Valentin Stocker. However, despite his young age of just 18, not many eyebrows were raised when Shaqiri got the nod.
    At present, it appears that Shaqiri will start on the bench for Switzerland's games in South Africa, as it is likely that coach Ottmar Hitzfeld will prefer more experienced and proven players such as Valon Behrami and Tranquillo Barnetta on the Swiss wings. Still, Shaqiri could easily be an adequate replacement for either, coming off the bench to inject pace and energy to the team in the latter stages of games.

    Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if Shaqiri forces his way into the first XI during the tournament.

    Shaqiri is an ethnic Albanian, who was born in Kosovo. As a child, he immigrated together with his parents to Switzerland and started to play for the youth team of local side SV Augst. Later, he moved to FC Basel 's youth team in a bid to play at a higher level and to further develop his skills.
    Shaqiri, who usually plays as a left winger, is short but his physical strength belies his size. He is mostly renowned within Switzerland for his dribbling skills and remembered for a fantastic performance when Basel won the FIFA Youth Cup of 2009 that was held in Zurich. His great technique, good acceleration and pace make him a dangerous player, especially when he charges down the flank, looking for opportunities to shoot or cross the ball into the opponents' box.

    He is also a versatile player who can play in multiple positions, and it is not rare to see him as a defender or on the right wing. Shaqiri has a fearless reputation, as he isn't afraid to take risks during the match, running at defenders or shooting from long range with either foot. When he runs down the flank, his speed, agility and balance help him trick his opponents. He likes to take advantage of his quick feet and mind in order to unleash a rapid shot or release a swift pass, making it tough to close him down and contain him.

    For now, Shaqiri is still a young player who has just begun to appear on the professional scene, but there is no doubt that he is a special talent. With some more match experience, and under the right guidance, Shaqiri is sure to develop his game further and become a dominant force for the Swiss side. It is highly likely that Shaqiri's style of play will be a real asset for any of the world 's top football sides, particularly for attacking teams that like to play at a high tempo, relying on the technical skills and creativity of their players.
    His diversity and his ability to adapt well in multiple positions make him the archetypical modern player, the kind who can swap positions during the match and confuse the opponents' back line – a talent that will surely help him grow into an even better footballer.

    Here at IMscouting we believe there is a good chance Shaqiri will begin to build himself a worldwide reputation during the World Cup, but even if it doesn’t happen during the tournament in South Africa, it will be sooner rather than later that he bursts onto the global scene.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

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    06/11/10 - Marcus Pedersen

    Team: Vitesse (Netherlands)
    Shirt Number: 19
    Nationality: Norway
    Position: Striker
    Secondary: N/A
    Age: 20
    Height: 1.8 m / 5.91 ft
    Weight: 79 kg / 173 lbs


    Report: Norway's Answer to Wayne Rooney

    Many young Norwegian players have been linked with big European clubs in the past, but only a handful have actually earned a dream move and become a success at a higher level.

    Marcus Pedersen is one of those young prospects and has already been linked with several Bundesliga and Premier League sides. However, Pedersen appears to have both the ability and will to succeed on a much bigger stage than the Norwegian league.

    Pedersen is a hard working, fearless striker who's in his second year of top flight football at the age of 19. His combative style has earned comparisons with England star Wayne Rooney .

    Born in Hamar, Norway, he was feted as a future footballing prospect at a very young age. Pedersen joined his local second division club, HamKam and made his first team debut in a friendly at the tender age of 14. By 2006, he had been invited to Liverpool for a trial. In 2007, aged 17, Pedersen made his senior competitive debut for HamKam and the following year he scored his first goal. Pedersen then suffered from injuries, restricting him to only five appearances for HamKam in two years. However, he displayed enough talent to earn a move to Permier Division side Stromsgodest on a free transfer.

    Pedersen announced his arrival in top flight football in March 2009. Making his Stromsgodest debut against Start, Pedersen hit two goals in a 3-3 draw and hasn't looked back. Since then he has been a regular and valuable first eleven player. He finished the 2009 season with 10 goals in 24 matches, showing his quality throughout the season.

    Pedersen has been selected for Norway's youth teams at every age group, representing his country all the way from under-15 to under-21 level. He has scored 3 goals in 4 appearances for the under-21s and although he hasn't yet been called up to the senior squad, full international recognition cannot be too far away.

    The youngster started the 2010 season in very good goalscoring form, forging a dangerous partnership with Jo Inge Berget , another young talent who is on loan from Italian side Udinese. Pedersen scored 5 goals in the first 9 matches of the season for Stromsgodest, making him the second top scorer in Norway's top flight. His range of goals shows the youngster's all round talent and ability – Pedersen has scored in equal measure with his head, in one-on-one situations, on the counter attack, from shots outside the box and more…

    Pedersen is a fast striker with a good technique which enables him to make dangerous penetrative runs with the ball at his feet. The front man also has a hammer of a right foot and is a real threat to goal from outside the box. Recently, Pedersen has also used his powerful shot to develop a dangerous free kick, another weapon to his armory.

    Like Wayne Rooney , who burst onto the scene at an even younger age, Pedersen is very versatile in his playing style. In addition to his eye-catching and intelligent runs, he can score goals from nowhere, often having first won a tough physical battle. Pedersen is also effective as a lone target man, using his strength and excellent technique to keep possession of the ball while playing with his back to goal.

    Similarly to Rooney, Pedersen's acceleration can be deadly when facing goal. Given his great finishing skills in front of goal and strong aerial prowess, he is on his way to becoming a complete player at a young age.

    Pedersen still needs to improve his weaker left foot by being more willing to use it. He also has a habit of occasionally losing concentration. Some point out that Pedersen is guilty of perhaps looking for goal too much, when he could otherwise retain possession and link up with team-mates. However, this is surely just the sign of a young, confident and hungry striker who could go on to bigger and better things.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

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    06/18/10 - Andy Najar

    Team: D.C. United (USA)
    Shirt Number: 14
    Nationality: Honduras
    Position: Attacking Midfielder (R)
    Secondary: Attacking Midfielder (L,C), Right Forward, Center Forward, Left Forward
    Age: 17
    Height: 1.7 m / 5.58 ft
    Weight: 68 kg / 149 lbs


    Report: The New and Improved Freddy Adu

    Andy Najar is the next big thing in US Major League Soccer. The young Honduran is only 17-years-old, but he is one of the most exciting players in the MLS.

    Najar came to the United States when he was 13 and instantly set about playing football in his spare time at his high school in Virginia. In the kind of 'rags to riches' tale typical of America, an assistant football coach at Edison High School noticed Najar playing pick-up games in front of the school and recognized his talent. "One of the best kids I've ever had fell into my lap," recalls Edison head coach Scott Racek. "He would still be playing out front if it weren't for my assistant." In 2008 he joined DC United 's youth academy, having scored 22 goals in his final season at Edison.

    Najar excelled in two seasons at the D.C United academy. He showed his versatility and all round footballing ability, playing for a while as a right-back before quickly establishing himself as an attacker. Having been named in the national Development Academy Starting XI in 2009, he signed his first professional contract in March 2010. Najar made an inauspicious first team debut for DC United in a 4-0 defeat to Kansas City Wizards and was substituted at half-time. However, Najar's quality is unquestioned and he has been granted more and more playing time.

    Najar's most obvious quality is his outstanding technique. He can do almost anything with the ball and makes dribbling past four or five players look easy. He is employed mainly as a right winger, but Najar can play in almost every position in attack as he is equally comfortable with the ball at either foot.

    "He's a kid who every time he's on the field is going to be a little warrior. It's a rare thing and I'm glad we have him" says DC United 's assistant coach Ben Olsen. His first goal in MLS football came in a 3-2 victory over Chivas. In the 26th minute Najar latched on to a long ball from Quaranta and powered a strong header into the net. At 5ft 7in, Najar is not renowned for his aerial presence, but the goal emphasizes the quality of his all-round game. He has twice been named as man of the match against FC Dallas and Chivas. Last month, Najar faced some of Europe's top players when he played for DC United in a friendly against AC Milan.

    Najar has only been on the scene for a matter of months, but he has instantly been compared to a DC United wonder kid from the recent past - Freddy Adu . Adu was thrust into the glaring spotlight from a very young age and was subject to enormous expectation. Now plying his trade in Greece with Aris Saloniki, Adu's career has almost inevitably been less spectacular than expected. In contrast, Najar had not even played organized football until the age of 12 and was an almost total unknown coming into the MLS. In addition, Najar has drawn admiration so early on in his career in part due to his exceptional work rate, something that Adu has never been noted for.

    He has played only nine professional games, but his DC United team-mates believe that Najar has what it takes to be a genuinely top class player.

    DC United goalkeeper Troy Perkins commented, "I don't know where he came from. He's only 17 and he plays like he's 22, 23 years old. He's got grit, he's got the toughness and he's quick and creative and he's going to be a fantastic player."

    If he continues to progress at this rate, Najar could become the all new and improved Freddy Adu .




    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

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    06/25/10 - Connor Wickham

    Team: Ipswich Town (England)
    Shirt Number: 9
    Nationality: England
    Position: Striker
    Secondary: N/A
    Age: 17
    Height: 1.91 m / 6.27 ft
    Weight: 73 kg / 160 lbs


    Report: England's 2014 World Cup Star?

    There are few footballing nations that can match England for the weight of expectation placed on the national team. Equally, there are not many that have suffered such a long record of disappointment. Many special talents have promised to deliver long-awaited glory before, but in Connor Wickham , England may finally have found a player with the ability and mentality to succeed at the highest level.

    At 17-years-old, Wickham has already made his mark at both club and international level. The big striker scored four goals for Ipswich Town in last season's Championship, having started only five games, and last month he scored the winner for England in the European Under-17 Championship final against Spain.

    Ipswich Town have a proud tradition of developing young players. Bobby Robson molded a highly-successful team at Portman Road in the late 1970s and early 1980s which was comprised largely of local talent. Wickham is not actually a local boy, but he is certainly being nurtured in the finest traditions of the club.

    Wickham spent four years training at Reading and only moved to Ipswich as a 13-year-old because his father, a military man, was transferred from Aldershot to Colchester. Having fallen into their lap, Wickham became Ipswich's youngest ever player at the age of 16 years and 11 days, coming off the bench in a 3-1 defeat to Doncaster in April 2009.

    So far, he has progressed seamlessly to become an important component of manager Roy Keane's side. Wickham's most obvious asset is his physique. At 6ft 4in tall and weighing in at 14 stone, his strength is clearly a handful for any defence. However, Wickham is still growing and will only increase his power.

    It would be very unfair though to label Wickham as merely a powerful target man. There is plenty more to his game. He has an excellent eye for goal, and having scored three goals in four games in April 2010, he was voted the Football League Young Player of the Month. During the European Under-17 Championship a month later, he scored two goals in the semi-final with his left foot and the winner in the final with his right. His goal in the final also displayed Wickham's ability to take the ball past players, as he drifted past two Spanish defenders before applying a powerful finish. There appears to be no real weakness to his game.

    It is perhaps no surprise that Tottenham are rumoured to have offered Ipswich Ł5million for Wickham earlier this year. When he plays for Ipswich's first team or reserves, the club reportedly has to find around two dozen tickets for the scouts who come to watch him.

    While many youngsters might let this kind of rapid rise go to their heads, Wickham appears to be an incredibly level-headed young man. England Under-17 coach John Peacock commented, "He’s had a lot of accolades this year but he’s dealt with it all in a very mature manner."

    With the notoriously tough Roy Keane as his manager, Wickham has retained admirable modesty. Interviewed shortly before the European Under-17 Championships, Wickham showed his characteristic humility, commenting, “I’ve got my driving test in the week we get back from the Euros, in the first week of June. I’ve had 25-30 hours of lessons. I’m confident I can pass.”

    Confidence is certainly something that Wickham possesses in abundance on the pitch as well he might. There is little question that those who know him well have the highest of hopes for Wickham.
    Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie predicted, "The boy has everything, strength, skill, the lot. It would not surprise me if he were partnering Wayne Rooney up front for England in a few years time. He impresses me that much."

    It might just be worth making a note for the World Cup finals in 2014.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

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    07/01/10 - Yevhen Konoplyanka

    Team: Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine)
    Shirt Number: 10
    Nationality: Ukraine
    Position: Attacking Midfielder (C)
    Secondary: Attacking Midfielder (L,R), Left Forward, Center Forward, Right Forward
    Age: 21
    Height: 1.76 m / 5.77 ft
    Weight: 68 kg / 149 lbs


    Report: Ukrainian Football's Great New Hope

    Now that the mighty Andriy Shevchenko is at the twilight of his career, the Ukrainians are searching for the next rising star to join players such as Artem Milevskyi and Oleksandr Aliev in leading the national team to major tournaments.

    And in Yevhen Konoplyanka they appear to have hit the jackpot.

    Konoplyanka, who plays for Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk , has already drawn comparisons with Lionel Messi - and not only due to his physical resemblance to the Argentine phenomenon.

    Just like Messi, Konoplyanka is quick, has great technique and at times the ball appears to be glued to his feet.

    With strength that belies his size, Konoplyanka is capable of shaking off strong defenders.

    These similarities with Messi come as no surprise, with Konoplyanka himself saying that the Barcelona star is his role model, and that he tries to learn from him and incorporate the Argentine's moves into his own game.

    Just like Messi, Konoplyanka is also a versatile, all-round forward who can play in every attacking role. Konoplyanka likes to operate mainly on the wings, where he has more space to take advantage of his speed and his dribbling skills, but he is also adept at playing behind the strikers or even as an out-and-out forward himself.

    Even though he is naturally a right-footed player, Konoplyanka often plays on the left-wing for Dnipro, and with great success, too.

    This great versatility is a direct outcome of his professional attitude towards the game.

    Konoplyanka has stated his willingness to play in any role that he is entrusted with, even a defensive one, if it is beneficial to his team's success. This highly professional attitude reflects a mature personality and is likely to help him progress as a player.

    Konoplyanka likes to join the attack whenever he can, though, and he is always a threat with his fine long-range shooting. In time, when he learns to be more purposeful and finds the confidence to dribble his way into the box more frequently, he will become a huge attacking force and is sure to score more goals.

    Konoplyanka began his career in the youth team of Ukrainian local side Olympic (Kirovograd). At the age of 16 (in the winter of 2006) he was transferred to Dnipro, and a year later, in August 2007, he made his professional debut. Ever since that debut, Konoplyanka received more and more playing time, and in February 2010, he established himself as a first-team regular.

    During the 2009/10 season, Konoplyanka showed glimpses of his talent every time he touched the ball and he ended the campaign with some terrific performances that gave the impression that 2010/11 is going to be his breakthrough season.

    His tremendous form and potential caught the eye of Ukraine coach Myron Markevych, and Konoplyanka recently made his debut for the national team.

    At the time of writing, Konoplyanka has played in three international friendly games, in which he performed well and scored a goal. His displays prompted plaudits from the media as well as rivals' coaches.

    It seems that it won't be long before Konoplyanka joins a bigger club, probably in Ukraine or Russia.

    But we at IMScouting won't be surprised in the slightest if he eventually joins an even more prestigious league and graces a top European side.

    The future is extremely bright for this young starlet.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

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    07/08/10 - Jonathan Urretavizcaya (Urreta)

    Team: Benfica (Portugal) [On loan to Deportivo La Coruńa (Spain)]
    Shirt Number: 17
    Nationality: Uruguay
    Position: Attacking Midfielder (R)
    Secondary: Attacking Midfielder (L,C), Left Forward, Center Forward, Right Forward
    Age: 21
    Height: 1.73 m / 5.68 ft
    Weight: 68 kg / 149 lbs


    Report: The New Diego Forlan

    Uruguay had an impressive World Cup, getting further than most people expected, and a huge part of this success was courtesy of the phenomenal Diego Forlan .
    And although the 31-year-old has probably played his last World Cup, for his replacement, Uruguay needn't look any further than 20-year-old Jonathan Urreta viscaya, otherwise known as Urreta .
    Urreta can play as either an attacking midfielder or a forward, due to his pace and terrific technique. Just like Forlan, he has a wonderful first-touch and reflexes, and suburb dribbling ability. Urreta is also an unselfish player, who is excellent at whipping crosses into the box and is dangerous at set pieces.

    He is agreessive, has fantastic acceleration and is clinical in front of goal.
    Born in Montevideo, Urreta began his career with a bang. Aged just 17, he scored on his senior debut for his hometown side Club Atlético River Plate in a 2–0 win against Liverpool Montevideo in the first game of the Clausura - the second half of the Uruguayan season.
    He went on to bag an impressive nine goals in 15 games for his side that season, and his performances soon caught the attentions of several European clubs.
    Tottenham Hotspur had already seen Urreta 's tremendous potential in 2007, but he was denied a work permit after having trials at the North Londoners.

    He eventually joined Benfica, with the Portuguese giants snapping him up for of €1.3 million in July 2008.
    He made a confident start for his new club, finding the net in a pre-season friendly against Blackburn Rovers, as his side went down 3-2.
    But with strikers Angel Di María and the on-loan Jose Antonio Reyes ahead of him in the pecking order, Urreta didn't really get much of a look-in in his first season, making just 15 appearances in all competitions – mostly as substitute - and scoring one goal.

    Although Urreta 's luck didn't improve the following season, he was called up to the side for a big game against FC Porto in January 2010, due to Benfica's injury problems. And despite his lack of first team action, Urreta didn't disappoint, rising to the occasion to perform well in a 1–0 win that helped his side to the Portuguese title.
    He was then loaned to Uruguayan side C.A. Peńarol for the remainder of the season, returning to his country in a bid to gain more first-team experience, and scored four goals in 14 games for the side.

    For next season, Urreta has been loaned out again, this time to LA Liga outfit Deportivo La Coruńa.
    And under the tutelage of veteran playmaker Juan Carlos Valerón, Urreta certainly has the potential to take his game to new heights and prove he can compete against the very best of La Liga.

    Urreta has starred for Uruguay Under-15s, Under-17s and Under-20s, and national team coach Oscar Tabárez has already been impressed with the player, calling his development " incredible."
    So it can only be a matter of time before Urreta breaks into the senior side and proves to be a perfect replacement for the great Forlan.





    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

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    Nice review of Ozan Ipek vitomins.

    There is a big possibility that we can see him in Besiktas at January or at Summer. Few months ago, on a radio show he joined, he revealed that he is a Besiktas fan and would like to play for Besiktas. However, Bursaspor fined him for this comment and banned him from making interviews. Besiktas started negotiations with Bursaspor after this comment and Bursaspor wanted 2 of Delgado/Tello/Zapotocny plus 5 million Euros for him, which was a very astronomic value if you ask me. Besiktas offered only a trade between players with no money involved but Bursaspor rejected so negotiations went down. 1 week later, Besiktas released Delgado and Tello for free with the clause of not joining Bursaspor.

    This season, he doesn't looks as good as last seasons and in my opinion the reason is above. But still, he has the talent. And if he joins Besiktas in future, he will have more chance to show himself in European Arena.

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    07/15/10 - Danny Mwanga

    Team: Philadelphia Union (USA)
    Shirt Number: 10
    Nationality: Congo DR
    Position: Striker
    Secondary: Attacking Midfielder (L), Center Midfielder
    Age: 19
    Height: 1.88 m / 6.17 ft
    Weight: 79 kg / 173 lbs


    Report: From Personal Tragedy to MLS Stardom

    Danny Mwanga is one of the brightest prospects in the MLS and the man that could lead the Philadelphia Union attack for years to come – unless of course he is snapped up by top side in Europe, which we at IMScouting believe is a real possibility.

    Mwanga is a quick, powerful striker who has an excellent shot with both feet. He is also a versatile forward, who can play in almost any attacking position.

    He has a tragic personal story, which makes his development into a top MLS player all the more impressive.

    His father, Belmond Mwanga, was adviser to Joseph-Desire Mobutu, a dictator who ruled the Democratic Republic of the Congo - called Zaire during Mobutu's reign - with an iron fist for almost 32 years before being overthrown in 1997. Following Mobutu's exile, Belmond "disappeared," as most dictators' cronies tend to do after a coup.

    Following the tragedy, Mwanga's mother flew over to the US and settled there, and in 2006, Danny joined her after being granted refugee status.

    It didn't take long for Mwanga to be discovered as a future football star, and at the age of 15 he was offered to play professionally for the second-tier Portland Timbers.

    However, he was told he would be better off conserving his college eligibility and playing in the youth system, so he started playing for the Westside Metro Club U-16s.

    He had tough start though at Metro since he barely spoke any English and had problems with communicating and adapting to his new surroundings.

    Metro coach Monty Hawkins was a huge help. He gave Mwanga rides to practice and assisted his family with everything they needed. Hawking become like a father figure for Danny off the field, which helped his development on it.

    Mwanga dominated club and high school soccer, at one point scoring an astonishing 53 goals in nine games for Portland's Jefferson High School.
    "It was obvious that this was a pro soccer player playing with 15-year-old kids," Hawkins said.

    In 2008, Mwanga started to play for Oregon State Beavers, where he scored four goals in 11 games and was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Everybody then began to understand that he was a very special talent.

    Mwanga himself wanted to play in France, and trials were arranged with French first division clubs Auxerre and Lille, as well as French second division club Strasbourg. He was also offered a traineeship by Blackburn Rovers in England.

    But after deep consideration, Mwanga decided to opt for the proximity of his family and the chance of immediate first-team football, and signed a two-year deal with two additional mutual option years with the MLS on a Generation Adidas contract.

    In 2010, he was number 1 pick for the MLS super draft and he was chosen for the new team, Philadelphia Union .

    Mwanga, only 18, has begun the season is brilliant fashion, scoring five goals in his first nine games.

    He made a particular impression in a game against Houston.

    Mwanga came off the bench when the score was 1-1, and it wasn't looking too good for Union as four minutes after Mwanga's introduction, the side went 2-1 down.

    But three minutes later, he set up Sebastian le Toux to equalize, and in the 93 minute, Mwanga scored the winner.

    Mwanga has already displayed skills of the highest caliber in his first season. He is a regular star and a serious candidate for rookie of the year award along with past IMScouting Player-to-Watch Andy Najar.

    Philadelphia expects him to stay at the club for many years to come, but Mwanga himself has greater ambitions.

    "I grew up wanting to play in France, I'd like to play for Marseille," he recently said. "And it's a dream for me to play for Chelsea."

    And this youngster certainly isn't aiming too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

  16. #56
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    No Inter youth?!!

    Great work as usual vito


    Everything a man should be. We miss you Cipe.




  17. #57
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    07/22/10 - Bogdan Stancu

    Team: Steaua Bucureşti (Romania)
    Shirt Number: 28
    Nationality: Romania
    Position: Striker
    Secondary: Left Forward, Right Forward
    Age: 23
    Height: 1.82 m / 5.97 ft
    Weight: 75 kg / 165 lbs


    Report: Romania's Next Star Striker

    The 'golden generation' of Romanian stars produced the likes of Gheorge Hagi, Ilie Dumitrescu and Dan Petrescu in the 1990s. Since then, seldom few Romanian players have made their mark on world football. One notable exception is Adrian Mutu and in Bogdan Stancu , Steaua Bucharest have a striker with many similarities.

    Like Mutu, Stancu was born and raised in the small town of Pitesti, which is renowned for its football pedigree and produced possibly the country's greatest ever player, Nicolae Dobrin. Stancu came through the junior ranks at local club FC Arges Pitesti and made his first-team debut for the club aged 18. After a promising start, he was sent on loan to Dascia Mioveni. On his return to his parent club, Stancu found that he was out of favour with new manager Giuseppe Giannini. Sensing an opportunity, Unirea Urziceni stepped in and snapped up the youngster.

    Unirea coach Gigi Netoui clearly saw the potential in Stancu and wasn't disappointed. At Unirea, he built a reputation as an excellent all-round striker. Stancu's strength and technique make him into a more mature striker than his age would suggest. There doesn't appear to be an obvious weak link to Stancu's game. Like Adrian Mutu, he can score with both feet and similar to Mutu again, despite being only 5ft 9in, he is also dangerous in the air. Stancu's ability to do a bit of everything well also makes him very versatile in attack, able to perform several different roles going forward.

    Although in playing style there are similarities with compatriot Mutu, in terms of character the two couldn't be more different. While Mutu appears to relish the fame and his drug use has been well documented, Stancu is a humble and quiet character. He had to cope with losing his father as a teenager and some have even described him as an isolated individual. Nonetheless, Stancu's temperament makes him a calm player on the pitch.

    Having enjoyed two impressive years at Unirea, Romania's biggest club Steaua Bucharest signed Stancu for 1million euros in May 2008. He could not have got off to a better start, scoring on his debut in a friendly and impressively adding to his tally against AS Roma in another friendly soon after. Having scored four goals in his first five games for Steaua, Stancu ended his debut season as the club's joint leading scorer on 11goals.

    Last season saw the striker progress further. He improved his goal record, scoring 14 times in total. Importantly, Stancu also starred in Steaua's Europa League campaign, hitting six goals, including three strikes over two legs against Scottish side Motherwell. One of those goals was a superb long range effort, which have become somewhat of a trademark for Stancu. A successful season was crowned with a call up to the senior national squad by coach Razvan Lucescu for a game against Hungary, although Stancu is still waiting for his first cap.

    Steaua finished in a disappointing fourth place in the Romanian league last season and are desperate to reclaim the title during this coming campaign. Given his consistent progress and the ambition of the club, the stage is set for Stancu to really make his mark this term with a stand-out season. The signs are good, with Stancu having scored five goals in six pre-season games. Should he translate his potential into concrete results during the coming year, Stancu could be looking towards a bright future in one of Europe's bigger leagues, completing the same journey that Adrian Mutu also began in the small-town of Pitesti.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

  18. #58
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    07/29/10 - Luis Muriel

    Team: Udinese (Italy) [On loan to Granada CF (Spain)]
    Shirt Number: 24
    Nationality: Colombia
    Position: Striker
    Secondary: Left Forward, Right Forward, Attacking Midfielder (L,R)
    Age: 19
    Height: 1.78 m / 5.84 ft
    Weight: 75 kg / 165 lbs


    Report: The Young Colombian Ready to Take Europe by Storm

    Luis Muriel's is one of the most unusual football stories of the past year. Most promising starlets have been tracked for years and are followed closely at youth level before coming anywhere near first-team football in a European league. Muriel's dramatic rise is a very different story.

    Usually it takes time for promising young players to receive recognition. Most are subject to some media attention as they gradually come through the ranks of one club or another, often appearing for their national youth teams in the meantime. But until March of this year, Muriel was barely known inside his native Colombia, let alone abroad. Astonishingly, Muriel's rise to prominence took place having played just three senior matches, one at the back end of the 2009 season and two at the start of 2010. In total, the 19-year-old had played just 135 minutes of professional football before the sudden adulation began.

    The striker began his career in the youth ranks of minor side Atletico Junior. When he left in 2005, Muriel was told that he had not made the grade and it was unlikely that he ever would do as a professional footballer. However, he joined one of the most successful sides in Colombia, Deportivo Cali and has not looked back since. In July 2009, he made his debut against Envigado FC, coming off the bench for a brief appearance.

    In March 2010, in only the third game of his career, Muriel suddenly rose to fame when he scored an outstanding hat-trick in which he displayed a tremendous array of flair, strength, speed, technique and composure which not only made him a sensation in Colombia, but also caught the eye of some of the biggest clubs in world football. Almost overnight, Muriel was transformed from a completely unknown player to becoming one of the hottest young prospects in world football.

    To his credit, Muriel did not crumble under the pressure of instant fame. He went on to score nine goals in ten Colombian league matches.

    In his short playing career in Colombia, Muriel showed his unquestioned enormous potential. He possesses great pace and acceleration and his body mass allows him to gain speed in over longer distances. He is also a very agile attacker. Muriel's natural speed and athleticism makes it a difficult task for defenders to keep up with him and as he develops his physique further, Muriel is only likely to become quicker and stronger. Muriel can also boast very good finishing skills and he is capable of finding the net from both inside and outside the box. Given the sudden attention, Muriel has shown no sign of cracking under pressure and impressively takes goalscoring chances with great composure. He also has a nice touch on the ball and is able to dribble past defenders with ease.

    Having burst onto the local scene, international attention immediately followed. Clubs in Spain, Italy and Russia very quickly registered their interest in Colombia's latest football revelation. The president of Deportivo Cali explained that following his hat-trick, several enquiries were made about Muriel within days. At the end of last month, Italian club Udinese snapped up Muriel for €1.5million, an amazing fee for a player unknown just five months beforehand. Udinese is a club well-known for its' careful nurturing of young talent.

    There is every reason to believe that under the right guidance, Muriel could develop into a top-class player. In the 2010/11 season he will play for Spanish side Granada, having been loaned by Udinese in order to play regular first-team football in Europe. He will play in Spain's second division, in the same league in which Barcelona and Real Madrid's young stars are nurtured and learn to adapt to European football.

    The young Colombian has some rare skills and seems to have all the natural instincts of a true striker. His speed and technical skills already provide Muriel with a great starting point and if he can develop them over time, expect him to be a real success. One thing is for sure, Muriel is a definitely a name worth remembering.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

  19. #59
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    08/05/10 - Markus Henriksen

    Team: Rosenborg (Norway)
    Shirt Number: 19
    Nationality: Norway
    Position: Central Midfielder
    Secondary: Defensive Midfielder, Left Midfielder, Right Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder (L,C,R)
    Age: 18
    Height: 1.87 m / 6.14 ft
    Weight: 85 kg / 187 lbs


    Report: The Man to Steer Norway Out of the International Wilderness

    The son of Rosenborg BK 's assistant manager Trond Henriksen broke into the club's first 11 before he turned 18.

    Nepotism? Not on your nelly.

    Markus Henriksen is a central midfielder of the highest caliber, and is already one of the biggest, if not the biggest, talents in the country.

    He has an understanding of the game that belies his years, with excellent positional sense and mature decision-making, giving him an advantage over other players his age, and over many his senior.

    Henriksen is a box-to-box player who can be utilized as an attacking or defensive midfielder, having a lot to offer in both roles.

    He has great vision, a good passing game and a powerful shot - always looking to test the goalkeeper from distance.

    Henriksen came as a boy to Rosenborg, emerging early as an exciting midfielder with a well-developed understanding of football.

    In addition to his obvious technique, what was also striking was his remarkable endurance.

    Henriksen made his Rosenborg debut in May 2009 in a cup game against Gjřvik-Lyn, and debuted in the Norwegian Tippeligaen (Premier League) against Sandefjord in September 2009.

    He played three games that season and was a champion at the age of just 17, as Rosenborg clinched the title.

    The following season Henriksen made his real breakthrough.

    He became a regular at Rosenborg under Eric Hamrén and remained in the first team when Nils Arne Eggen took over as boss.

    Still aged just 17, Henriksen broke his duck for Rosenberg in April 2010 against Odd Grenland Skien, bagging a brace to help his side to a 3-1 victory.

    And things just got better for the teen.

    Three days after his 18th birthday, Henriksen scored in the Champions League second qualifying round as his side beat Linfield FC Belfast 2-0, and astonishingly found the net again in the next round away at AIK Solna.

    Scouts from Werder Bremen came to the match against the Northern Irishmen, but Rosenborg
    assistant director Erik Hoftun was quick to rule out a move, firmly declaring the teen was not for sale and saying he would be continuing his development at Rosenborg.

    Henriksen has scored one goal in three appearances for the Norway U19 national team, and was called up to the Under 21 squad for friendly matches against Hungary and Finland in late May and early June 2010. It will only be a matter of time before he is called up to the senior side, and he could well be the man to steer Norway to its first major tournament since Euro 2000.

    Henriksen has the skill, strength and composure to succeed at the very highest level, and recently said he would be interested in playing for Arsenal.

    Henriksen's coaches and mentors will have the tendency to wrap him up cotton wool, somewhat justifiably so, to help his progress. But whether Henriksen continues to develop his game at Rosenborg, or opts for Arsene Wenger's experience and great success and nurturing young talents into world beaters, one thing is for sure - this teen will get to the very top.


    Quote Originally Posted by brehme1989 View Post
    This season is unfortunately a 5 season setback. We were 1.5 mercato away from becoming a top team, now won't really have expectations of winning an important trophy until 2025.

  20. #60

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    Muriel IS A FUCKING BEAST! Seriously! he was the most youngest topscorer in colombian first division. In the U-17 Colombian league he scored 36 goals in a year. Atlético Junior (My second favorite team) Exchanged him for a CD of Vallenato, fucking hilarious history, only in Colombia
    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    All Inter fans are balding, unemployable losers. Some have latent homosexual tendencies.

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