07/07/11 - Maksym Koval
Team: Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine)
Shirt Number: 35
Height: 1.89 m / 6.2 ft
Weight: 86 kg / 189 lbs
Report: Ukraine's Next Goalkeeping Sensation
Dynamo Kyiv keeper Maksym Koval (18) had been marked for some time now as being one of the most promising goalkeepers in the Ukraine.
Koval has played for all national youth levels, highly impressing for the Ukrainian Under-17 squad. In June 2011 he was called up to play for the full senior squad, participating as third keeper in two friendly matches against Uzbekistan and France.
The 1.89m-tall is often compared to Russia's sensational goalie Igor Akinfeev, with both keepers fairly similar in their playing style, having a similar body structure and also holding excellent reflexes and aerial abilities.
Background and History
Koval is a product of Metalurg Zaporizhya youth academy, playing two years of senior level before heading out to Dynamo Kyiv , including a fantastic 2009/10 season as the first keeper of the team, playing 22 matches and conceding 26 goals.
Koval was already playing in the Ukrainian Premier League when he was 16, making him a very mature player for his age.
Last season Dynamo Kyiv acquired his services for an estimated transfer fee of €3M, signing him until the summer of 2015, with Koval having an immediate impact on the team in his debut season.
Koval surprisingly established himself as the first choice keeper for Dynamo, due to the absence of 36-year-old Ukranian international and Dynamo Kyiv captain Oleksandr Shovkovskiy, playing in 17 matches in all competitions for Dynamo last season, until naturally losing his place in the line-up when Shovkovskiy returned from his injury.
Dynamo Kyiv currently hold an impressive arsenal of keepers with veteran Shovkovskiy still holding onto the starting role, the experienced Stanislav Bohush (27) and Denys Boyko and Artem Kychak, who are both considered to be promising young talents.
Koval's strongest quality is his great reflexes, which is why he is also good in penalties and one-on-one situations, holding excellent aerial abilities.
For a goalkeeper controlling the ball with your feet is a serious advantage and Koval's foot playing ability is outstanding, able to help out his defenders under the pressing of the opponent.
Koval is not such a tall goalkeeper, but he is very good in the air and is able to position himself well inside the box, although he may sometime hesitate too long to come out of the goal-line for high balls.
Although very young, as already mentioned, Koval has received much experience so far in his short career at both domestic and international level, including appearances in both Champions League and Europa League, so he is a fairly mature and confident player.
Additionally, he is described as a cool-headed player, who has the right combination between intelligence and natural instincts.
In the beginning of the season, just after his move to Dynamo Kyiv , Koval was linked to Arsenal in their endless frenzy goalkeeping search for a new talent at the post. With Tottenham and Bordeaux targeting Koval around the same time, but no true offers ever came through.
Should he stay at Dynamo, Koval should become the main replacement for Shovkovskiy after he retires (which may not be so soon) and being an 18 year old keeper, he should still have the patience to wait it out.
Although, in the case of receiving very few minutes of playing time on the pitch and with several more talented goalkeepers at Dynamo's dispense, a move out is certainly not out of the question, especially with another top-quality keeper currently linked with a move to Dynamo.
Dynamo head coach Yuri Syomin has been reportedly looking to sign a former player of his, Brazilian goalkeeper Mainato Guilherme, who has played under Syomin at Lokomotiv Moskva- a move which could change the whole picture for Kolav.
To sign Koval, the pleasure may cost a club an estimated value of around €4M, a price which can gradually go down in the case of being sidelined in the coming season.
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07/14/11 - Ariel Borysiuk
Team: Legia Warsaw (Poland)
Shirt Number: 16
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Secondary: Center Midfielder
Height: 1.78 m / 5.84 ft
Weight: 70 kg / 154 lbs
Report: The Polish Midfielder on Udinese's Wishlist
20-year-old Polish starlet, Ariel Borysiuk , holds 73 appearances for Legia Warsaw since 2007, playing for the senior team since the age of 16.
Ariel is the second youngest footballer ever to play for Legia and the youngest player to score a goal at senior level for the club, scoring his first goal just two months after his arrival, adding up to a total of three goals at Legia until now.
Ariel represented Poland at all youth levels and was recently capped for the senior squad, holding three appearances in friendly matches.
Background and History
Borysiuk had begun his career at TOP 54 Biala Podlaska youth system marked as being a phenomenal young talent, before signing with Legia until the summer of 2013.
At Legia he gradually became a key member of the team's rotational line-up, mostly starting in the opening eleven, but he may also sometimes come off the bench.
The 1.78m-tall is an excellent defensive midfielder, described as a box-to-box midfielder, who holds a great ability to direct long passes down the field or out wide, providing amazing assists from long range.
Borysiuk strongest assent is his great vision of the field and high technical abilities, also possessing great speed and excellent stamina. Borysiuk can also be used as a central midfielder.
As for most 20-year-old's, experience is a key factor in order to make a successful transition to higher league, but with Borysiuk holding 73 senior appearances in the Polish Ekstraklasa- he has a good starting point. Although, he has never proved himself as a regular player on a team throughout a whole season.
Additionally, Borysiuk can also work on his heading and physical abilities, in order to stand his ground at the defensive end against stronger opponents.
Borysiuk is fairly mature for his age, having a great perspective on his abilities and is a hard worker. Only time will tell if his self-awareness will bring him the confidence he needs in order to break through at European level.
Udinese Calcio have been monitoring Borysiuk's development for some time now, scouting him at both domestic and international level, mostly while playing for the Under-21's.
Recently an official statement was made by the Italian side that they are interested in signing Borysiuk this summer, while Legia have made it clear that their asking price would be no less than two million euros.
It is currently predicted that Borysiuk's transfer is almost certain to take place in the coming week, but it also depends on the finalization of Alexis Sanchez's transfer, much like other transfers which Udinese have lined-up, but are awaiting the final verdict on Sanchez before moving on to other payers.
Udinese are desperate to sign a solid central midfielder after the departure of Gokhan Inler to Napoli and will probably also sign another striker to replace Sanchez.
Should Borysiuk complete his transfer, he will join a long list of young talents which have been exported out of Poland: with names such as Mateusz Klich (Wolfsburg), Adrian Mierzejewski (Trabzonspor), Bartosz Salamon (Brescia), Artur Sobiech (Hannover 96), Robert Lewandowski (Dortmund) and the list goes on.
---------- Post added at 10:06 ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 ----------
Damn...Double Post Prevention is going to kill this thread...