Nice to see the new L1 list, haven't really seen enough of half the players on it.
I too have a couple of questions, mostly regarding players not making your list and how would you rate them.
First, Yacine Brahimi, I think he turned down representing Algeria, so he must fancy his chances for a France call-up in the future. From what I have seen, he is good offensively, how would you rate him compared to players you listed.
Secondly, what's your opinion of some goalies, who have represented France at youth level. I see you put Ospina there, and I agree his probably the best younger keeper in the league.
But do you see enough upside in Yohann Thuram and Anthony Mfa Mezui to one day become a borderline international keeper or at least a starter in the league? And what about Giorgi Makaridze, seems to have enough of physical ability, and he already has 5 caps for Georgia aged 20, which isn't too much for a keeper to maybe progress quite a bit still.
And lastly, Nigeria's Ideye Brown, who was a late addition to their WC squad (but didn't play). He qualifies by his age (1988 born) and maybe hasn't too much potential left, and wasn't a huge hit in Sochaux for the sizeable transfer fee they paid for, but he scored quite a bit in Switzerland. Maybe he could do better this season after getting acclimatized. Where would you rate him?
Brahimi would have been a top 20... if he was eligible. He hadn't played an L1 game when I made the list (he has since).
For goalies, you could talk about Olimpa too. I thought about these guys, same with Brown, but in the end I thought they were outside the top 50 or didn't have enough upside.
For instance, France rarely ever overclasses (I don't know the english word, but it means you put a young player on a youth selection) any player. Off the top of my head, only Diallo (U19 champs this summer as an 18 year old), Yaya Sanogo (U19 as a 17 year old this week), Mamadou Sakho (in every catagory) and Elaquim Mangala were "overclassed".
So yes I put Diallo, Ospina and Dreyer, whom I liked in nearly every game I saw.
I'm always tentative for goalies, because they're hard to judge, especially since they have so few opportunities to shine.
In the past, I have rated Rémy Riou, and he's still a backup. Benoit Costil, who was so good in youth selections is now playing Ligue 2.
I think I was very high on Lloris from very early on, but otherwise, I've made some mistakes on goalie ratings.
And one other thing about youth selection goalies : how many of them have a great career?
Recently, I can only think of Cech and Lloris (there are surely others). Some spectacular goalies in youth selections never break out.
As I said, goalies have very few opportunities and when they don't seize it, they're finished.
Costil is a very good example. Dominant goalie in youth selections, he had a window of opportunity (a very small one) with Caen, he didn't succeed, he was shipped out.
Goalies are a special branch, and their biggest quality must be mental, which is why it's so hard to project 18 year old.
Be ready to see Belguim emerge as a super power in 20 years.
Jean-Marc Guillou has openned an academy in Belgium! I hadn't heard about it, but apparenly, it's in (near?) Lierse.
Might be a bit sooner than that, have a decent core coming together with Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Defour, Vertonghen, Hazard, Lukaku, it's a pity that qualifying for major tournaments is so tough for them.
Sime Vrsaljko (18; right back/left back; Dinamo Zagreb, CRO; Croatia U19/U21)
Usually I don't hype talents from the Croatian league too much but I am buying into Vrsaljko. He apparently already has interests from top EPL and Bundesliga clubs and is a standard player for Dinamo Zagreb at 18 years old. He is on the fringes of the Croatian national team as well and should be playing for Croatia at the next summer's U20 World Cup. He can play at right back and left back. For Dinamo he plays right back as well at the U19 European Championships but with the U21s he plays as a left back and with the senior NT he is considered a left back
The last time I posted in one of these threads was Dejan Lovren when he was with Dinamo Zagreb, now he is with Lyon (though fairly inconsistent, it is expected with a 21 year old defender) so hopefully my predictions continue to be correct
Rafa Alcantara, Thiago's little brother, has been promoted to Barça B. He was doing really well with Juvenile A this season. Hopefully he gets the playing time with the B team, but regardless it'll definitely be a jump in competition with the B team being in Liga Adelente.
Hehe, there is an american player in Zenit with a typical american name Evgeny Starikov. Yesterday, he scored his first goal in preseason game vs Lokomotiv Plovdiv (Bulgaria)... It happened to be a winning goal actually. Zenit won 2-1...
Been two and a half years since my last prospects rankings on this forum...don't think they've done too badly myself. Possebon the only miss on the top 5 so far, although Wilshere would be #1 on a re-draft. Welbeck's doing nicely enough though.
Reckon if I did another one now I'd do a better job, benefitting from the extra two years of knowledge, insight and cynicism I've got.
Well, Mbaye Niang has just scored against Marseille and has 3 goals in 3 starts at age 16.
The guy's now completely at ease and shows excellent technique with his right foot. He's quicker than I thought and is a nice dribbler for a guy his size.
He has a huge package and huge potential.
The teams on their website are Marseille, Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Molde, Rosenborg, PSV, Celtic, Fenerbahce, Basel, Werder Bremen, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur. In case I'm missing something there's room for one more to reach their goal of 16 participants.
I hope this competition is successful and it encourages more teams to offer up youth teams to a point where it can be just like a Champions League competition. In fact UEFA should be using CL revenues in order to run one rather than have it done this way. This should have been done a while ago.