Kick around about all things soccer; explore football's storied history, current events in the soccer sphere, the intricacies of the game and more.
Ivan Toney is probably not a name you've heard before. An ex-Newcastle United player that featured in 2 substitute appearances before being sent on a plethora of loan spells was purchased outright by League One side Peterborough United for what Transfermarkt reported to be £650,000. He has repaid The Posh in bags, leading Peterborough to 6th in League One, only 2 points from 2nd place, before coronavirus brought footballing activity to a standstill.
Manuel Locatelli might be a name you've heard of before, having scored a scorcher against Juventus a couple of seasons ago for AC Milan. Since then, Locatelli has dropped off a little bit, spending the 2018/19 season with Sassuolo, before being purchased outright in the summer of 2019 for what Transfermarkt reported to be £11.25m. Still only 22 years old, Locatelli has used his time with Sassuolo to really demonstrate his qualities at the base of midfield, leaving I Neroverdi 11th in Serie A, 4 points from 7th placed AC Milan, before coronavirus brought footballing activity to a halt.
Marc Roca is a 23 year old defensive midfielder currently playing for bottom of La Liga side Espanyol. In an extremely disappointing campaign for Espanyol, one thing is for certain, Marc Roca is definitely operating above and beyond for Los Periquitos. Having made his debut in the 2016/17 season, Roca has gone from strength to strength, appearing for Spain's U21's in 2019. With clear quality, why is he still at Espanyol and will there be suitors in the summer of 2020, if RCD are to be relegated?
At 21 years of age, not many footballers have 3 seasons worth of meaningful minutes under their belt. This man boasts just that. Ezequiel Barco is an argentian currently playing with Atlanta United in the MLS. Having transferred to the US from local side Independiente in January of 2018 for what Transfermarkt report to be a fee of £11m, Barco has gone from strength to strength for the MLS outfit. A true creative force, Barco is a winger by nature, possessing bundles of pace and a wicked eye for a cross, as well as goal, occasionally.
Having only played 1,715 minutes of senior club football in his life, gambian Musa Barrow has scored 7 goals and 7 assists since the 2017/18 season, in which he made his debut. Playing 444 minutes for Bergamo outfit Atalanta, he scored 3 and assisted 2, a goal contribution every 89 minutes. The following season, Barrow still only played 592 minutes of league football, scoring 1 and assisting a further 2, soaring to a goal contribution every 197 minutes. Move onto the 2019/20 season and Barrow was behind Josep Ilicic, Duvan Zapata, Luis Muriel and Papu Gomez in the pecking order. So he waited for his chance and grabbed 2 assists in 186 Serie A minutes for Atalanta, before jumping ship to Bologna. Thriving, Barrow has 3 goals and 1 assist in 492 minutes played for the side based in northern Italy. Let's see why he deserves a shot in a bigger team.
Certainly not a spring chicken, Teji Savanier is aged 28 and is currently operating deep in the Montpellier engine room. Having switched Nimes for the southern France side in the summer of 2019 for around £8.5m, per Transfermarkt, he has gone from strength to strength. With some truly outrageous statistics for someone opperating in the relative unknown, lets see what makes the frenchman so undervalued.
Slightly older than the previous players covered on 'Scouting', Joan Jordan is 25 years of age and currently playing for Sevilla having transferred from Eibar in the summer of 2019 for a reported fee of £10m. Since Jordan's introduction to the spanish side, it's fair to say he's been a mainstay. He's clocked up over 1,500 league minutes in the centre of Sevilla's midfield, alongside 6 appearances in the Europa League. Let's see what makes him their midfield metronome.
Los Blancos are without a doubt the most successful European club in the game’s history, winning the most La Liga titles (33), the most European Cup / UEFA Champions League trophies (13) and they have also won the FIFA Club World Cup a record number of times (4). Real Madrid have managed to win all European and international competitions other than the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in which they were runners-up twice. Unrelenting in their quest for football dominance, there is one achievement that the club haven’t managed to accomplish – the treble.
Ibrahim Sangare is a 22 year old defensive midfielder playing for bottom of Ligue 1 side Toulouse. What with the french president Edouard Phillipe coming out and announcing an end to the league season in France due to the coronavirus outbreak, the standings currently mean that Toulouse are to be relegated to Ligue 2 for the following season. Having been given his first minutes in the 2016/17 season for the southern french side, he has been a mainstay in their side since the 2017/18 season. Ibrahim has managed over 2,000 league minutes this season, he has featured the 2nd most in Toulouse's side.
Swansea probably had high hopes going into the 2019/20 season, dreams of promotion back in to the Premier League. Instead, as coronavirus brought a close to football, they sit occupying 11th place but only 3 points away from a play-off spot in the Championship. One shining light has been 22 year old centre back Joe Rodon.
Ahead of the 2019/2020 season, Matty Cash was considered a left-winger/central midfielder for the Nottingham outfit, before injuries to Carl Jenkinson and Tendayi Darikwa left the academy graduate starting in the right back position for Sabri Lamouchi. Rather than let the position change affect his performance negatively, he has taken his game to the next level.
At 17 years of age, Camavinga has nearly a season and a half of professional football under his belt, a substantially larger amount than players in that age bracket. He currently plies his trade with Rennes in Ligue 1 and has been dominating their midfield since his debut in the 2018/19 season. Having put in displays beyond his years against the likes of PSG, Marseille and Lyon, I'm now going to analyse the teenager and which club may be best suited for the youngster in order for him to really progress to the next level.