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Old
01-12-2005, 04:24 AM
  #26
Evilo
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Here is an update as of 12/01/05
The last ranking (dating back from 12/12/04) is between brackets.
I chose to limit the number of ranked players to 40 and to give a higher reward for players with higher ceiling.

FRENCH LEAGUE

1 (1)- Phillipe Mexes, AS Roma, D, 30/03/1982
Filled with energy, Mexes is a marvelous defenseman. He's excellent defensively, good with the header, and his passing is great. He can also score quite a few goals a year. Simply a wonderful prospect.

2 (4)- Michael Essien, Ghana, Lyon, MF, 09/06/82
Was known in Bastia for his amazing shot, and good defensive midfield skills. Suffered a bad injury that prevented him to show his stuff in Lyon. He now has developped into a complete midfielder in Lyon. He’s a rock defensively, with effortless tackling skills, and is great in offensive support. He scores regularly now.

3 (3)- Hatem Ben Arfa, Lyon, ST, 07/03/87
Is making a huge impact for a guy his age. He can already hurt defenses thanks to his dribbling ability. A future star no matter what.

4 (2)- Nilmar, Brazil, Lyon, ST, 17/07/84
Now we know why he's supposed to be the next best thing in Brazil. Definitely a future star. A great feel for positionning. He has that uncanny ability to be where the ball will go.

5 (10)- Rio Mavuba, Bordeaux, MF, 08/03/84
Another Tigana according to Domenech, Rio was born on a boat people in the middle of the ocean. A great story, Rio's upside is so big that his future seems much brighter than his past. Real Madrid is interested in him.

6 (15)- Samir Nasri, Marseille, ST, 26/06/87
Is supposed to be a great technical striker/offensive midfielder. He has great technique and combativity. He should turn the season around for Marseille pretty soon thanks to a new coach that trusts him. And that’s what he’s doing.

7 (5)- Petr Cech, Czech Republic, Chelsea, G, 20/05/82
Big, rather agile, he's excellent at using his big frame and at stopping penalties.

8 (6)- Jérémy Menez, Sochaux, ST, 30/11/87
Another great striker coming up but this time for Sochaux. He has speed to burn, and is accurate in front of the net.

9 (8)- Franck Ribery, Metz, MF, 01/04/83
THE player of the beginning of the year. He was playing in the third division last year and emerged this year as a star player. He's a small player with great technique and superb awareness. Not only can he pass everywhere, but he can dribble a defense by himself and turn a game around in one single action. He's not physically strong (1,70m, 60kg) and that might be where his biggest difficulty is. He leads the league in assists.

10 (9)- Florent Sinama Pongolle, Liverpool, ST, 20/10/84
Great feel for the goal, a true striker. Lacks some physical tools, but his talent should get him a star status. Has seen a bit more time with Liverpool lately, with Cissé and Baros out. If Morientes signs with Livepool, we’ll have to see if that doesn’t hurt his development again.

11 (7)- Kim Kallstrom, Sweden, Rennes, MF, 24/08/82
Great vision and a knack for amazing passes. He had a very average EC for his talent. Is also excellent on free kicks.

12 (13)-Mathieu Bodmer, Lille, MF, 22/11/82
He’s the star in Lille. He makes blind passes look easy. One of the best passers in the league. Probably the main reason for Lille’s success.

13 (18)- Anthony Le Tallec, ? (on loan from Liverpool), ST, 03/10/84
Talent at its best. Has amazing techinque but even better vision. He’s aware of everything, has a pretty good shot, and it tall enough not to be pushed around. I expect great things from him. He’s been injured this season after a good start. He has trouble cracking the line up now, since St Etienne has scored the most goal in the league during his injury. He is supposed to leave Liverpool to be loaned to an english team. He simply needs some playing time.

14 (16)- Jérémy Mathieu, Sochaux, MF, 29/10/83
Sochaux midfielder is one of the most complete player in the league. He’s excellent defensively, and his offensive game is very good as well. He has a great shot and is a guy that will sacrifice for the team. He even plays left back once in a while. Lyon wants to buy him.

15 (11)- Modeste M’Bami, Cameroon, PSG, MF, 09/10/82
Untiring defensive midfielder from PSG. Very effective and good passing skills. Was rumored to sign with Chelsea just before he had a serious injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

16 (12)- Eduardo Costa, Brazil, Marseille, MF, 23/09/82
Defensive midfielder is probably already the best midfielder in France apart from Rothen (now that Giuly is gone). He is never tired, and has great offensive upside. His shot is simply a rocket. A bit disapointing in Marseille, but the whole team is.

17 (21)- Bryan Bergougnoux, Lyon, ST, 12/01/83
Lyon must lick their chops with this guy and Ben Arfa coming up. When France won the Toulon tournament, Bergougnoux scored 4 of his team’s 5 goals. Scored a goal in the CL this year.

18 (unranked)- Ahmed Yahiaoui, Marseille, MF, 12/01/87
Excellent defensive midfielder that has Arsenal and many big european teams interested.
He can also play right back very effectively, but his tenacity fits the defensive midfield better. He has great technique as well. I don’t know why I forgot about him previously.

19 (51)- Sylvain Idangar, ST, Lyon, 08/03/84
Can also play offensive midfield. He’s very fast and agile, and he can put the ball in the net. Has scored two CL goals in one game.

20 (48)- Jimmy Briand, Rennes, ST, 02/08/85
Rennes hopes to have the final piece of the puzzle here (Chaigneau, Faty, Kallstrom-Gourcuff and Briand are the core of the future for Rennes). Good finishing touch and great speed for Briand.

21 (23)- Emmanuel Adebayor, Togo, Monaco, ST, 26/02/84
The “Albatros” has all the tools. Strong, good headers, powerful shot, etc... Can he find the toolbox? He had a huge streak earlier this year that make me think he can find it. He’s scored 8 goals this season, as many as last year, except in half the number of games.

22 (24)- Pablo Francia, Argentina, Bordeaux, MF, 03/12/84
Argentinian midfielder proved stellar this year for Bordeaux. Great shot and great passes.

23 (14)- Gaël Clichy, Arsenal, D, 26/07/85
Left back will take Ashley Cole’s spot sooner or later. He needs some playing time to climb up this standing.

24 (Wild Card)- Claudiu Keseru, Roumania, Nantes, ST, ?-?-86
His potential is through the roof. He's a lefty and has a knack for scoring goals. He’s scored a goal in his first pro game (Cup game).

25 (28)- Yann Gourcuff, Rennes, MF, 11/07/86
Son of Christian, the coach. Is touted as the next boss for Rennes’ midfield. Has great awareness, which would be expected from Gourcuff’s son.

26 (20)- Marouane Chamakh, Marocco, Bordeaux, ST, 10/01/84
Was very effective. Isn’t an awfully talented striker but he positions himself nicely and is deadly in the box.

27 (19)- Lucas Perreira, Brazil, Ajaccio, ST, 02/05/82
He’s in competition for the scoring lead. He is excellent with the header, and smart in his positionning.

28 (22)- Ludovic Butelle, Valencia, G, 13/04/83
Metz goalie was so poised so young that Valencia booked him last year. After a freaky injury that nearly cost his live, he’s now come back to Valencia as the backup.

29 (17)- Jérémie Aliadière, Arsenal, ST, 30/03/83
With Wiltord gone and Bergkamp nearing retirement, Aliadière should see more time and he WILL produce. That is, if he can battle injuries. And injuries will keep him for climbing up this standing as well.

30 (26)- John Utaka, Nigeria, Lens, ST, 08/01/82
Plenty of skills, but so far no consistency. But look out, he can really score.

31 (25)- Charles Itandje, Lens, G, 02/11/82
Has amazing moves, including his now famous dance before penalties. Can be the best goalie in the world for a game and a pretty bad one in the following game. Needs to find consistency.

32 (29)- Sébastien Grax, Monaco, ST, 23/06/84
And the rich get richer. A great prospect playing as striker or offensive midfielder. Good technique. He’s among the best scorers in Ligue 2 this year (he was loaned to Troyes) with 7 goals in 16 games.

33 (41)- Jacques Faty, Rennes, D, 25/02/84
Called “the next Desailly”, Faty is a solid stay at home defenseman. Future captain of Rennes as well. Was the captain of the golden U17 and U18 generation.

34 (40)- Stephen Drouin, Nantes, D, 27/01/84
Excellent defenseman once again for Nantes.

35 (43)- Jérémy Toulalan, Nantes, MF, 10/09/83
Another Nantes diamond. Has ALL the tools.

36 (44)- Achille Emana, Cameroon, Toulouse, MF, 05/06/82
Bulldozer this year for Toulouse.

37 (32)- Matt Moussilou, Lille, ST, 01/02/82
Came out of nowhere this year to score goal after goal. We’ll see if that was fluke next year. Well after a few months, he’s definately not a fluke.

38 (27)- Jérémy Gavanon, Marseille, G, 20/09/83
Barthez’s backup will carry the load as soon as Fabien retires.

39 (45)- Florent Chaigneau, Rennes, G, 21/03/84
Rennes only bought Cech and Isaksson until this guy is ready to carry the load. During Cech’s injury this year, he proved already that he’s not far from the big show. He put up a “Banks” type of save. He also had a miserable game though, and that was probably enough for the Rennes management to seek another goalie for the immediate future.

40 (32)- Jérémy Berthod, Lyon, D, 24/04/84
A 20 year old guy being a regular on Lyon, french champions, is impressive, especially at left back.

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Old
01-19-2005, 08:29 AM
  #27
Sampe
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Time for a Finnish Veikkausliiga update. There haven't been any new prospects suddenly emerging, but some players are doing better than others. Or vice versa.

1. (1) Alexei Eremenko Jr
Born: 24.3.1983 -- Position: AM L/C -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: 183 cm -- Team: Lecce

Right on schedule. The tempo in Serie A did not prove to be a problem, but getting a starting spot in Lecce has been somewhat more difficult: he has started only two games on the pitch as opposed to the subs bench. In that sense Alexei Jr is perhaps a victim of circumstances as he's competing for a spot with players that provide more defensive coverage in an already too attacking minded team.

He is, however, Lecce's most used sub and has only failed to play in two games this season. What's even more pleasing is the fact that he's easily adjusted to the left wing and can now play two positions equally well. Eremenko Jr is mainly right footed which allows him to cut inside with the ball and cause havoc with his dribbling and passing or win freekicks from his favorite angle, while his left foot is still capable of delivering half decent crosses. But placing him on the left side will not keep him from the right as he is one of those players who tend to wander around the attacking zone.

So far Alexei has yet to score for Lecce and has only assisted 2-3 goals, but for Finland's hopes regarding the 2006 World Cup he's been worth his weight in gold. He's the 2nd leading goalscorer of the UEFA qualifying zone with 5 goals - 3 of them freekicks, one of them a penalty shot and the fifth one coming from a breakaway. With Mikael Forssell still out due to an injury, Alexei can count on getting much needed playing time.

2. (2) Niklas Moisander
Born: 29.9.1985 -- Position: D L -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: 181 cm -- Team: Ajax reserves

Moisander is finally back after the injury that kept him sidelined for a full year. Here's hoping the elegant full back can stay injury free from now on (*knock!*) and replace Janne Saarinen in the national team as soon as possible. We're getting quite desperate!

3. (3) Kasper Hämäläinen
Born: 8.8.1986 -- Position: M R/L/C -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: 184 cm -- Team: TPS

Talented youngsters recovering from major injuries, part II. Ended up missing the rest of the last season after all, but should be fine now. According to himself, will remain in Veikkausliiga this year and look for a transfer after that. Udinese have been rumored to be interested.

4. (5) Roman Eremenko
Born: 19.3.1987 -- Position: AM C -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: 180 cm -- Team: FF Jaro

Made his Veikkausliiga debut soon after my initial list, totalling four games and one goal for the senior team by the end of the season. Did not disappoint and therefore is now ranked one spot higher. Is in a rather interesting situation right now as he's competing for the playmaker's position with his own dad. Far from his older brother's physical strength, but should make up for that with his supposedly superior creativity (supposedly as in I still haven't seen him). Playmakers take long to mature so there's no need to expect great things just yet. Alexei Jr keeps hyping Roman, saying he's the biggest talent in the family, but that's what big brothers are for, right?

5. (4) Tim Sparv
Born: 20.2.1987 -- Position: M L/C -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: ??? cm -- Team: Southampton U18 or whatever it is

Nothing new here. Still an important player for the Saints' junior team, but will be overaged next season. We'll see what the future will hold for Sparv.

6. (6) Joona Toivio
Born: 10.3.1988 -- Position: DC/DMC -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: ??? cm -- Team: HJK reserves aka Klubi-04 (Finnish 3rd tier men's league)

The captain of Finland's U17 national team is still looking for his Veikkausliiga debut. Nothing new to report here, either, but keep an eye on this kid.

7. (10) Eero Korte
Born: 20.9.1987 -- Position: D/M -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: 178 cm -- Team: FC Lahti

Korte played in 3 Veikkausliiga games in 2004 and is looking for a breakthrough this year. Chelsea seems to be interested in him, but not just yet.


8. (7) Pekka Lagerblom
Born: 19.10.1982 -- Position: DMC -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: 180 cm -- Team: Nürnberg (on loan from Werder Bremen)

2004/05 has been a disappointing season for Lagerblom who has struggled to make the first team due to his bad play and several minor injuries, of which one he picked up after taking the ball from Vincent Kompany and then receiving Kompany's belated tackle to his ankle. Lagerblom was finally loaned to Nürnberg to get more minutes on the field, but was injured in practice right before his first game.

Lagerblom is nowadays a more or less regular visitor on the national team's subs bench, but obviously needs to play more in order to keep that spot.

9. (9) Aapo Kiljunen
Born: 24.1.1986 -- Position: GK -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: 187 cm -- Team: MyPa

No news here. MyPa's backup goalkeeper in the Veikkausliiga as far as I know, but hardly gets any playing time at all for the senior team. Raw, but has plenty of potential.

10. (8) Ville Taulo
Born: 14.8.1985 -- Position: DC/MC -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: 184 cm -- Team: FC Lahti

Taulo had a sophomore slump last year after the impressive 2003 season, but is far from a lost case. He still played in 17 out of 26 Veikkausliiga games in 2004 and is looking to re-establish himself this year.


Wild card:

Ümit Menekse
Born: 13.2.1986 -- Position: AMC -- Nationality: Finland -- Height: ??? cm -- Team: HJK reserves aka Klubi-04

No news here, either. A boom or bust type of playmaker.

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Old
02-27-2005, 04:45 AM
  #28
Evilo
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27/02/05
I found it hard to rank players who could have as much as 5 years between them, some being regulars, and some being projected as superstars. I also found it hard to rank players who didn’t have the same position (for instance, forwards get more press than defensemen or goalies). So for this update, I chose to separate the positions (top 5 for goalies, defensemen and midfielders and top 10 for forwards) and give reward to potential, NOT to achievements :

FRENCH LEAGUE

Goalies :
1- Petr Cech, Czech Republic, Chelsea, G, 20/05/82
Big, rather agile, he's excellent at using his big frame and at stopping penalties. He’s proven to be elite now in Chelsea.

2- Benoît Costil, Caen, G, 03/07/87
The projected french national team goalie. Has all the tools. He’s big (1m86) and yet fast to go down. Has some great reflexes.

3- Ludovic Butelle, Valencia, G, 13/04/83
Metz goalie was so poised so young that Valencia booked him last year. After a freaky injury that nearly cost his live, he’s now come back to Valencia as the backup.

4- Jérémy Gavanon, Marseille, G, 20/09/83
Barthez’s backup will carry the load as soon as Fabien retires.

5- Florent Chaigneau, Rennes, G, 21/03/84
Rennes only bought Cech and Isaksson until this guy is ready to carry the load. During Cech’s injury this year, he proved already that he’s not far from the big show. He put up a “Banks” type of save. He also had a miserable game though, and that was probably enough for the Rennes management to seek another goalie for the immediate future. Has a conflict with Boloni, Rennes’ coach, so he’s relegated to third goalie on the depth chart. Moving to another team might be the solution.

Defensemen :
1- Phillipe Mexes, AS Roma, D, 30/03/1982
Filled with energy, Mexes is a marvelous defenseman. He's excellent defensively, good with the header, and his passing is great. He can also score quite a few goals a year. Simply a wonderful prospect.

2- Steven Thicot, Nantes, D, 14/02/87
Big, solid and a leader. He’s the next Thuram according to most experts.

3- Gaël Clichy, Arsenal, D, 26/07/85
Left back will take Ashley Cole’s spot sooner or later. He needs some playing time to climb up this standing.

4- Jacques Faty, Rennes, D, 25/02/84
Called “the next Desailly”, Faty is a solid stay at home defenseman. Future captain of Rennes as well. Was the captain of the golden U17 and U18 generation.

5- Stephen Drouin, Nantes, D, 27/01/84
Excellent defenseman once again for Nantes.
40 (32)- Jérémy Berthod, Lyon, D, 24/04/84
A 20 year old guy being a regular on Lyon, french champions, is impressive, especially at left back.

Defensive midfielders :
1a- Michael Essien, Ghana, Lyon, MF, 09/06/82
Was known in Bastia for his amazing shot, and good defensive midfield skills. Suffered a bad injury that prevented him to show his stuff in Lyon. He now has developped into a complete midfielder in Lyon. He’s a rock defensively, with effortless tackling skills, and is great in offensive support. He scores regularly now. Is wanted by Juventus, Real Madrid and several other big teams.

1b- Rio Mavuba, Bordeaux, MF, 08/03/84
Another Tigana according to Domenech, Rio was born on a boat people in the middle of the ocean. A great story, Rio's upside is so big that his future seems much brighter than his past. Real Madrid is interested in him. Is pretty close to Essien’s potential, maybe bigger, but I’d like to see him in european competition before ranking him first.

2- Ahmed Yahiaoui, Marseille, MF, 12/01/87
Excellent defensive midfielder that has Arsenal and many big european teams interested.
He can also play right back very effectively, but his tenacity fits the defensive midfield better. He has great technique as well. I don’t know why I forgot about him previously.

3a- Eduardo Costa, Brazil, Marseille, MF, 23/09/82
Defensive midfielder is probably already the best midfielder in France apart from Rothen (now that Giuly is gone). He is never tired, and has great offensive upside. His shot is simply a rocket. A bit disapointing in Marseille, but the whole team is.

3b- Mathieu Bodmer, Lille, MF, 22/11/82
He’s the star in Lille. He makes blind passes look easy. One of the best passers in the league. Probably the main reason for Lille’s success. Called the “white Vieira”.

4- Jérémy Mathieu, Sochaux, MF, 29/10/83
Sochaux midfielder is one of the most complete player in the league. He’s excellent defensively, and his offensive game is very good as well. He has a great shot and is a guy that will sacrifice for the team. He even plays left back once in a while. Lyon wants to buy him.

5- Modeste M’Bami, Cameroon, PSG, MF, 09/10/82
Untiring defensive midfielder from PSG. Very effective and good passing skills. Was rumored to sign with Chelsea just before he had a serious injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

Offensive midfielders :
1- Samir Nasri, Marseille, ST, 26/06/87
Is supposed to be a great technical striker/offensive midfielder. He has great technique and combativity. He should turn the season around for Marseille pretty soon thanks to a new coach that trusts him. And that’s what he’s doing.

2- Kim Kallstrom, Sweden, Rennes, MF, 24/08/82
Great vision and a knack for amazing passes. He had a very average EC for his talent. Is also excellent on free kicks.

3- Franck Ribery, Metz, MF, 01/04/83
THE player of the beginning of the year. He was playing in the third division last year and emerged this year as a star player. He's a small player with great technique and superb awareness. Not only can he pass everywhere, but he can dribble a defense by himself and turn a game around in one single action. He's not physically strong (1,70m, 60kg) and that might be where his biggest difficulty is. He leads the league in assists.

4- Pablo Francia, Argentina, Bordeaux, MF, 03/12/84
Argentinian midfielder proved stellar this year for Bordeaux. Great shot and great passes.

5- Yann Gourcuff, Rennes, MF, 11/07/86
Son of Christian, the coach. Is touted as the next boss for Rennes’ midfield. Has great awareness, which would be expected from Gourcuff’s son.


Forwards :

1- Hatem Ben Arfa, Lyon, ST, 07/03/87
Is making a huge impact for a guy his age. He can already hurt defenses thanks to his dribbling ability. A future star no matter what. Is known has arguably the best 87 born player in the world.

2- Jérémy Menez, Sochaux, ST, 30/11/87
Another great striker coming up but this time for Sochaux. He has speed to burn, and is accurate in front of the net. In the other part of the 87 trio (Nasri, Ben Arfa, Menez). Great technique, blind passes, lobs, has all the tools of a great forward. Has made a huge impact this season, behind the youngest player ever to sign a pro contract, the youngest ever to score a goal, and the youngest ever to score a hattrick (in 15 minutes).

3- Claudiu Keseru, Roumania, Nantes, ST, 2-12-86
His potential is through the roof. He's a lefty and has a knack for scoring goals. He’s scored a goal in his first pro game (Cup game). And has now scored regularly when given playing time in Nantes.

4- Florent Sinama Pongolle, Liverpool, ST, 20/10/84
Great feel for the goal, a true striker. Lacks some physical tools, but his talent should get him a star status. Has seen a bit more time with Liverpool lately, with Cissé and Baros out. Is injured for the rest of the season. We’ll see if it hinders his development.

5- Anthony Le Tallec, Liverpool, ST, 03/10/84
Talent at its best. Has amazing techinque but even better vision. He’s aware of everything, has a pretty good shot, and it tall enough not to be pushed around. I expect great things from him. He’s been injured this season after a good start. Now back with Liverpool, and with the injuries (Sinama, Cissé...), he could see some playing time. Was pretty good in his CL debut.

6- Nilmar, Brazil, Lyon, ST, 17/07/84
Now we know why he's supposed to be the next best thing in Brazil. Definitely a future star. A great feel for positionning. He has that uncanny ability to be where the ball will go.

7- Bryan Bergougnoux, Lyon, ST, 12/01/83
Lyon must lick their chops with this guy and Ben Arfa coming up. When France won the Toulon tournament, Bergougnoux scored 4 of his team’s 5 goals. Scored a goal in his CL debut this year. Has scored key goals in the french league as well and is now a fixture in Lyon’s attack.

8a- Sébastien Grax, Monaco, ST, 23/06/84
And the rich get richer. A great prospect playing as striker or offensive midfielder. Good technique. He’s second among Ligue 2 scorers this year (he was loaned to Troyes) with 15 goals.

8b- David Gigliotti, Monaco, ST, 30/05/85
Scored the most amazing first pro goal I’ve ever seen (bicycle kick from 15 meters). Is touted as a pure finisher.

9- Jimmy Briand, Rennes, ST, 02/08/85
Rennes hopes to have the final piece of the puzzle here (Chaigneau, Faty, Kallstrom-Gourcuff and Briand are the core of the future for Rennes). Good finishing touch and great speed for Briand. Is among the leading scorer in CFA (french 4th division with B pro teams) and is now seeing time with the A team.

10- Emmanuel Adebayor, Togo, Monaco, ST, 26/02/84
The “Albatros” has all the tools. Strong, tall (1m90) fast, good headers, powerful shot, etc... Can he find the toolbox? He had a huge streak earlier this year that make me think he can find it. He’s scored 8 goals this season, as many as last year, except in half the number of games.

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Old
03-10-2005, 12:56 AM
  #29
Galiza_Rules
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Here goes my list:
And i'm so high in some players and not in others although upsides of ones can be better than others because a lot of teams don't believe in his prospects and other yes (especially Espanyol, Sevilla and Atl. Bilbao):

#1-Andres Iniesta -OM/RW,Spain,Barça,11/5/84- Top end talent, superb passing and vision habilities especially to find holes between the defenders, good shot and dribbling. His natural position is behind the strikers creating the team offensive play, he is the brain of spanish sub-21 team, but in barça Ronaldinho occupies that place and he plays as RW where he shows IMO his only weakness: the lack of top speed to pass the defenders.

#2-Fernando Torres -F,Spain,Atl. Madrid,20/3/84- First of all i want to say that i'm not a great fan of him and i think he is vastly overrated (especially by the spanish press). He is a good forward with above average skills (shoot, dribbling), good physically (speed, body, header) but lacks the killing instict of the greatest strikers. None the less, he is the franchise player for one of the historical teams in Spain and the starter forward of the national team since his 19.

#3-Sergio Ramos -RB,Spain,Sevilla,30/3/86 - Excellent right back with great speed. Playing in a defensive team like Sevilla means his defensive play is so good for a player of his age, but he contributes offensively as well. Next national team right back substituing Michel Salgado sooner than later.

#17-Albert Zapater -OM,Spain,Zaragoza,13/6/85- Plays in the midfield (primary as an OM), a very creative and skilled player, was the surprise of the zaragoza in the preseason making the pro team out of the junior team.

#16-Hector Font -RW,Spain,Villareal,15/6/84- Plays as RW, playing in a defensive team as villareal his play is at times limited by this. But he has a good shot combined with above average speed and contributes with some goals coming from behind.

#19-Redondo -RW,Spain,Albacete(loaned by Valencia),17/4/82- Plays in albacete loaned by Valencia to gain experience, he is a RW with good speed and average skills but never stops fighting, he is a grinder.

#13-Diego Capel -F/W,Spain,Sevilla,16/2/88- The gem of sevilla, i only see him in a couple of games and is a very fast and skilled player that truths in himself, so is always trying to make things happen. The future is in his hands, right now depends most of his head that in his football skills.

#5-Jesus Navas -LW,Spain,Sevilla,21/11/85- Plays as LW in sevilla, a defensive team where a player can never forget the defensive part of the game (thing that IMO is always good in the development of a player). None the less, he is a fast, skilled player (good dribbling to pass through defenders) with a great shot that contributes with a good amount of goals every season.

#6-Daniel Alves -RW,Portugal,Sevilla,6/5/83- Plays as RW, all that i said to sevilla players can be apply to him. Like Navas, is a fast player, with less skills but better defensively and fighthing more.

#7-Andoni Iraola -RB,Spain,Atl. Bilbao,22/6/82- Is a versatile player, can play as RB or RW or CB. Is a very fast player with good dribbling, playing in a all attack team.

#8-Ander Murillo -CB,Spain, Atl. Bilbao,22/7/83- Has played in every defensive position, LB, CB or RB but in the national team plays as CB. He is a good header and positionally sound. Playing in a all attack team (fact that helps development of offensive players but i think doesn't as for defensive ones) can probably seem that the defense of Athletic (formed all by young players, Del Horno, Gurpegui, Iraola, he ...) is bad, but this is false, they are a very good group of young defenders demostrating it in the national team.

#21-Fernando Llorente -F,Spain,Atl. Bilbao,26/2/85- Old time striker, very big (1'93) not slow but with limited skills. Having the athletic another forward with the same caracteristics (Urzaiz) can help his development a lot.

#14-Arizmendi -F,Spain,Atl. Bilbao,3/3/84- Very fast striker with good definition. Scored in every level but the presence of Torres probably is hurting his development because the athletic only plays with one pure striker.

#4-Kameni -G,Camerun,Espanyol,18/2/84- Has astonishing reflexes and stops a lot of penalties. For his age has a lot of experience. Like a lot of young goalies lacks the authority in the flying balls and the centres to transmit security to his defense, but this will problably come with the experience. At times allows soft goals (especially at the start of the season), But now is playing so well.

#9-Moya -G,Spain,Mallorca,2/4/84- Great goalie, starter for Spain in all the categories (except the absolut) has a lot of hability and reflexes between the pipes but going out the net fails at times. The soft goal that allows at the Camp Nou was very odd, he usually doesn't make mistakes (after i make this line he make another horrible mistake against real sociedad but is a good goalie).

#18-Thiago Motta -DM,Brasil,Barça,28/8/82- Versatile player (in barça played in all the midfiled positions and as LB), but his natural position is DM where he adds grit to a delicatessen team like Barça. Has a cannon in his left leg, scoring long shots whit regularity.

#10-Juanfran -RW,Spain,Real Madrid,9/1/85- old time winger that has a lot of dribbling, the defender never knows what he will make to beat him. Plays primarly as RW. But playing in madrid having Figo ahead and probably Joaquin will make him triumph on another team, because he is so good.

#11-Javier Garrido -LB,Spain,Real Sociedad,15/3/85- LB international for the under-21 (that has probably the best pair of fullbacks, he and S. Ramos), is a very good back that has an average defensive game but a well developed for his age offensive game, helping a lot his LW.

#15-Mikel Arteta -OM,Spain,Real Sociedad,26/3/82- has returned to spain from Rangers to play in one of the worst teams of Liga. Plays as OM with good passing abilities and incredible experience for a player of his age, giving him the chance to handle the game, but in Real Sociedad, a struggling team, he is usually chasing other teams’ midfielders, making impossible for him to use his game.

#20-Mark Gonzalez -LW,Chile,Albacete,17/7/84- He is one of the fastest players of Liga, skill that he uses to pass the defender on the LW, that is his natural position.

#12-Sergio Garcia -F,Spain,Levante (loaned by Barça),9/6/83- Plays for Levante, loaned by barça. Fast player, good striker and especially good in the 1vs1.

Other names to keep an eye:
Webo -RW,Camerun,Osasuna,20/1/82- plays in Osasuna, very fast and scores a lot of goals playing like winger, in both sides.

V. Valdes (G,Spain, Barça,14/1/82) and Asier Riesgo (G,Spain,Real Sociedad,6/10/83) - two starters in his respective teams but in the case of Valdes, i think overrated, the previous barça goalie prospect (Reina) was a lot better. And Asier plays for a bad team but his game is improving, his primary ability are the flying balls.
Lionel Messi -W,Argentina,Barça,24/6/87- Great young winger, with a lot of skill but phisically isn't developed, in a couple of years can be a force (and for what i see can play in both sides)
Damia -RB,Spain,Barça,15/4/82- Good player very strong phisically but needs to improve his offensive game


Players that friends and me heard names of, but never see them play enough to make an opinion:

Javier Casa Cuevas (LB athletic bilbao)
Igor Angulo (LW athletic)
Arizt Solabarrieta (LW/F athletic bilbao)
Jarque (CB espanyol)
Albiol (M Getafe)
Ramis (CB/B mallorca)
Corrales (LB osasuna)
Piqué (CB Manchester United)
Sissoko (M valencia) (i see him play but i think he is only a body, can develope but i'm not high on him)


Last edited by Galiza_Rules: 03-11-2005 at 02:08 PM.
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04-27-2005, 08:29 AM
  #30
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Reordered Galiza's SPANISH LIST:


#1-Andres Iniesta -OM/RW,Spain,Barça,11/5/84- Top end talent, superb passing and vision habilities especially to find holes between the defenders, good shot and dribbling. His natural position is behind the strikers creating the team offensive play, he is the brain of spanish sub-21 team, but in barça Ronaldinho occupies that place and he plays as RW where he shows IMO his only weakness: the lack of top speed to pass the defenders.

#2-Fernando Torres -F,Spain,Atl. Madrid,20/3/84- First of all i want to say that i'm not a great fan of him and i think he is vastly overrated (especially by the spanish press). He is a good forward with above average skills (shoot, dribbling), good physically (speed, body, header) but lacks the killing instict of the greatest strikers. None the less, he is the franchise player for one of the historical teams in Spain and the starter forward of the national team since his 19.

#3-Sergio Ramos -RB,Spain,Sevilla,30/3/86 - Excellent right back with great speed. Playing in a defensive team like Sevilla means his defensive play is so good for a player of his age, but he contributes offensively as well. Next national team right back substituing Michel Salgado sooner than later.

#4-Kameni -G,Camerun,Espanyol,18/2/84- Has astonishing reflexes and stops a lot of penalties. For his age has a lot of experience. Like a lot of young goalies lacks the authority in the flying balls and the centres to transmit security to his defense, but this will problably come with the experience. At times allows soft goals (especially at the start of the season), But now is playing so well.

#5-Jesus Navas -LW,Spain,Sevilla,21/11/85- Plays as LW in sevilla, a defensive team where a player can never forget the defensive part of the game (thing that IMO is always good in the development of a player). None the less, he is a fast, skilled player (good dribbling to pass through defenders) with a great shot that contributes with a good amount of goals every season.

#6-Daniel Alves -RW,Portugal,Sevilla,6/5/83- Plays as RW, all that i said to sevilla players can be apply to him. Like Navas, is a fast player, with less skills but better defensively and fighthing more.

#7-Andoni Iraola -RB,Spain,Atl. Bilbao,22/6/82- Is a versatile player, can play as RB or RW or CB. Is a very fast player with good dribbling, playing in a all attack team.

#8-Ander Murillo -CB,Spain, Atl. Bilbao,22/7/83- Has played in every defensive position, LB, CB or RB but in the national team plays as CB. He is a good header and positionally sound. Playing in a all attack team (fact that helps development of offensive players but i think doesn't as for defensive ones) can probably seem that the defense of Athletic (formed all by young players, Del Horno, Gurpegui, Iraola, he ...) is bad, but this is false, they are a very good group of young defenders demostrating it in the national team.

#9-Moya -G,Spain,Mallorca,2/4/84- Great goalie, starter for Spain in all the categories (except the absolut) has a lot of hability and reflexes between the pipes but going out the net fails at times. The soft goal that allows at the Camp Nou was very odd, he usually doesn't make mistakes (after i make this line he make another horrible mistake against real sociedad but is a good goalie).

#10-Juanfran -RW,Spain,Real Madrid,9/1/85- old time winger that has a lot of dribbling, the defender never knows what he will make to beat him. Plays primarly as RW. But playing in madrid having Figo ahead and probably Joaquin will make him triumph on another team, because he is so good.

#11-Javier Garrido -LB,Spain,Real Sociedad,15/3/85- LB international for the under-21 (that has probably the best pair of fullbacks, he and S. Ramos), is a very good back that has an average defensive game but a well developed for his age offensive game, helping a lot his LW.

#12-Sergio Garcia -F,Spain,Levante (loaned by Barça),9/6/83- Plays for Levante, loaned by barça. Fast player, good striker and especially good in the 1vs1.

#13-Diego Capel -F/W,Spain,Sevilla,16/2/88- The gem of sevilla, i only see him in a couple of games and is a very fast and skilled player that truths in himself, so is always trying to make things happen. The future is in his hands, right now depends most of his head that in his football skills.

#14-Arizmendi -F,Spain,Atl. Bilbao,3/3/84- Very fast striker with good definition. Scored in every level but the presence of Torres probably is hurting his development because the athletic only plays with one pure striker.

#15-Mikel Arteta -OM,Spain,Real Sociedad,26/3/82- has returned to spain from Rangers to play in one of the worst teams of Liga. Plays as OM with good passing abilities and incredible experience for a player of his age, giving him the chance to handle the game, but in Real Sociedad, a struggling team, he is usually chasing other teams’ midfielders, making impossible for him to use his game.

#16-Hector Font -RW,Spain,Villareal,15/6/84- Plays as RW, playing in a defensive team as villareal his play is at times limited by this. But he has a good shot combined with above average speed and contributes with some goals coming from behind.

#17-Albert Zapater -OM,Spain,Zaragoza,13/6/85- Plays in the midfield (primary as an OM), a very creative and skilled player, was the surprise of the zaragoza in the preseason making the pro team out of the junior team.

#18-Thiago Motta -DM,Brasil,Barça,28/8/82- Versatile player (in barça played in all the midfiled positions and as LB), but his natural position is DM where he adds grit to a delicatessen team like Barça. Has a cannon in his left leg, scoring long shots whit regularity.

#19-Redondo -RW,Spain,Albacete(loaned by Valencia),17/4/82- Plays in albacete loaned by Valencia to gain experience, he is a RW with good speed and average skills but never stops fighting, he is a grinder.

#20-Mark Gonzalez -LW,Chile,Albacete,17/7/84- He is one of the fastest players of Liga, skill that he uses to pass the defender on the LW, that is his natural position.

#21-Fernando Llorente -F,Spain,Atl. Bilbao,26/2/85- Old time striker, very big (1'93) not slow but with limited skills. Having the athletic another forward with the same caracteristics (Urzaiz) can help his development a lot.

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04-27-2005, 11:46 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frolov 6'3
My new top5

1- Arjen Robben
2- Wesley Sneijder
3- Salomon Kalou
4- Nigel de Jong
5- Robin van Persie
My updated new top5

1- Arjen Robben
2- Salomon Kalou
3- Wesley Sneijder
4- Robin van Persie
5- Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (From out of nowhere, I hadn't ranked him last year).

The same can be said of Aurouna Koné (Roda JC) and Maduro (Ajax). Both enter my top 10. Perhaps I should make a complete new ranking.

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05-17-2005, 10:44 AM
  #32
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Below is the order i would follow at the moment to draft out of the available class of prospects
(born on or later 1/1/82 and playing in one of the countries reported in the title brackets).
please check here: http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...&postcount=775
and http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...&postcount=927 for a brief presentation.
The column on the right indicates the list (the country) where the player is ranked and described (for the first player selected out of each country there is a link to the related most comprehensive/updated list posted so far).
The acronym 'nry' (not ranked yet) is there for the players not ranked in any list yet (and the related link provides birthdates, team and nationality).


helicecopter's OVERALL TOP 100 for the ’82 limited class
(out of Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland)


#-name----------nation--------list

1- Kaka---------------Brazil-------------ITA http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...7&postcount=18
2- Adriano-----------Brazil-------------ITA
3- L.Messi----------Argentina---------nry http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...&postcount=774
4- W.Rooney--------England-----------ENG http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...9&postcount=12
5- F.Torres-----------Spain-------------SPA http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...9&postcount=63
6- A.Robben---------Holland-----------HOL http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...7&postcount=70
7- V.Kompany-------Belgium-----------BEL http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...0&postcount=68
8- C.Ronaldo---------Portugal----------ENG
9- A.Cassano---------Italy--------------ITA
10- A.Gilardino-------Italy-------------ITA
11- H.Ben Arfa--------France-----------FRA http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...3&postcount=58
12- A.Iniesta---------Spain-------------SPA
13- Sergio Ramos-----Spain------------SPA
14- O.Martins---------Nigeria-----------ITA
15- R.Babel-----------Holland----------HOL
16- L.Podolsky-------Germany--------GER http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...0&postcount=29
17- P.Lahm----------Germany---------GER
18- S.Nasri-----------France------------FRA
19- P.Cech-------------Czech R.--------FRA
20- B.Schweinsteiger--Germany-----GER
21- J.Reyes------------Spain-----------ENG
22- D.De Rossi---------Italy------------ITA
23- P.Mexes------------France---------FRA
24- C.Fabregas----------Spain---------ENG
25- Jesus Navas---------Spain---------SPA
26- R.Van Persie-------Holland-------HOL
27- M.Essien-----------Ghana---------FRA
28- V.Bojinov----------Bulgaria-------ITA
29- O.Quincy----------Holland---------HOL
30- J.Menez------------France---------FRA
31- P.Senderos-------Switzerland-----SWI http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...5&postcount=17
32- D.Fletcher---------Scotland-------ENG
33- Alex---------------Brazil------------HOL http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...4&postcount=20
34- R.Mavuba---------France----------FRA
35- Nilmar--------------Brazil----------FRA
36- S.Kalou------------Ivory C---------HOL.
37- S.Downing--------England----------nry
38- M.Sissoko-----------Mali-----------SPA
39- D.Alves-----------Brazil-------------SPA
40- J.Mikel-----------Nigeria------------nry
41- W.Snejider-------Holland----------HOL
42- D.Capel-----------Spain-------------SPA
43- G.Pazzini----------Italy--------------ITA
44- F.Llorente--------Spain--------------SPA
45- J.Farfan------------Perù-------------nry
46- K.Kuranyi--------Germany---------Ger http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...&postcount=607
47- K.Kallstrom-------Sweden----------FRA
48- H.Maduro----------Holland---------HOL
49- J.Milner------------England---------ENG
50- J.Huntelaar---------Holland--------HOL
51- R.Van der Vaart----Holland--------HOL
52- S.Proto--------------Belgium--------BEL
53- A.Le Tallec---------France----------ENG/FRA
54- R.Montolivo--------Italy------------ITA
55- M.Vucinic----------Serbia-----------ITA
56- J.Defoe-------------England----------ENG
57- P.Guerrero--------- Perù-------------Ger
58- M.Meghni-----------France----------ITA
59- G.Piqué-------------Spain--------------nry
60- Kameni------------Cameroon--------SPA
61- J.Jenas---------------England---------ENG
62- J.Toulalan----------France------------FRA
63- E.Adebayor---------Togo--------------FRA
64- N.Valdez----------Paraguay----------GER
65- T.Motta------------Brazil--------------SPA
66- N.De Jong-----------Holland----------HOL
67- C.Keseru-----------Rumenia-----------FRA
68- J.Vonlanthen------Switzerland------SWI/HOL
69- P.Mertesacker-----Germany----------Ger
70- J.Hejtinga------------Holland----------HOL
71- G.Rodriguez--------Argentina---------nry
72- I.Abate---------------Italy--------------ITA
73- A.McGeady---------Ireland------------SCO http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...1&postcount=24
74- A.Cerci---------------Italy--------------ITA
75- R.Ziegler---------- Switzerland--------SWI
76- A.Lupoli-------------Italy--------------ITA
77- A.Yahiaoui----------France------------FRA
78- T.Barnetta--------Switzerland---------SWI
79- J.Reina---------------Spain-------------nry
80- G.Clichy-------------France------------FRA/ENG
81- A.Aquilani-----------Italy--------------ITA
82- A.Hinkel----------Germany------------Ger
83- G.Curci--------------Italy---------------nry
84- R.Huth-----------Germany-------------GER
85- V.Diaby ---------France----------------nry
86- G.Chiellini-----------Italy--------------ITA
87- Juanfran-------------Spain-------------SPA
88- G.Castro------------Spain---------------Ger
89- A.Zapater-----------Spain---------------SPA
90- V.Valdes----------Spain-----------------nry
91- A.Vanden Borre---Belgium------------BEL
92- T.Hitzlsperger----Germany------------GER
93- C.Obodo----------Nigeria---------------ITA
94- S.Thicot-----------France---------------FRA
95- L.Jimenez---------Chile-----------------ITA
96- A.Iraola------------Spain---------------SPA
97- M.Gonzalez-------Chile-----------------SPA
98- W.Routledge------England-------------ENG
99- T.Kahlenberg------Denmark-----------DEN http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...7&postcount=71
100- A.H.Mido----------Egypt---------------FRA
------ M.Bodmer ---------France -------------FRA
------ Y.Gourcuff --------France--------------nry


Very close:
Benzema (nry), Bergougnoux (FRA), Costa (FRA), Pongolle (FRA), Damia (nry), Moya (SPA), Jurado (SPA), M.Motta (ITA), Muntari (ITA), Johnson (ENG), Spector (nry), Behrami (SWI), Djourou (SWI), D.Beasley (nry), A.Eremenko (FIN http://www.hfboards.com/showpost.php...5&postcount=59 )


Honorable mentions:
BEL: Né
DEN: Agger, Jacobsen
ENG: S.Davis, Walcott (nry), Vaughan (nry), Holmes (nry)
FRA: Aliadiere, Flamini, Francia, Ribery, Taiwo(nry), Mathieu, Kaboul (nry), Faty, Mvuemba (nry)
GER/Ger: Jansen, Hunt (nry), Kruska, Trochowsky, Okoronkwo (nry), Hanke, R.Adler (nry), Gentner (nry)
HOL: Pienaar, Mitea, Aborah, De Ridder, De Mul, Emanuelson, John, Castelen,
ITA: D’Agostino, Olivera, Makinwa, Pandev, Giu.Rossi, Coloccini (nry)
NOR: Braathen, Ogbuke (nry)
SPA: Murillo, Garrido, Arteta, Riesgo, Riera, C.Arzo, Alexis (nry)
SWI: P.Degen


Please keep your eventual comments in the discussion thread: http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.p...80#post2869780


Last edited by helicecopter: 08-06-2005 at 01:09 PM.
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06-02-2005, 08:59 AM
  #33
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Belgian Prospect List for 2005

First of all, I’ve omitted all the 1982 birthday’s. We’re entering a new year wich means we have to up the limit for availability. Don’t worry I’ll give a short description of those 82’s in my ‘graduated prospects’ at a later time.

On to the list now!

1. Vincent Kompany

DOB: 10/04/1986
Club: Anderlecht
Nationality: Belgian
Position: Central defender / Defensive midfielder

Nothing much has changed here still the best prospect by far in Belgium. Kompany won the golden boot trophy for the best player in the Belgian league with an historic record score. The youngest winner since Enzo Scifo in 1984, that should tell you something about his talent level.
There have been some changes at Anderlecht recently with Hugo Broos getting fired and assistant Franky Vercauteren taking over. Anderlecht was playing a lot better (new 4-3-3 formation – 3-5-2 at times) and they still got close to Bruges. The second place is secured wich means they are in the CL qualifying, the main goal of this season that was. Recently president Vanden Stock admitted that Anderlecht had received a formal enquiry by Chelsea but nothing by anyone else. He said he planned to keep Vincent in Belgium for one last season next year, either keeping him altogether or a sale/loan back transaction.
Personally I’m not sure he’s got much left to learn in Belgium, but on the other hand he might not yet play every game at a real top club so an extra year of schooling wouldn’t do him any harm.
He was offered a 5 year contract wich makes him the best payed player in Anderlecht, so right now the information we have indicates he’s staying at Anderlecht

Talent Analysis:
This guy really has everything. Big, strong, fast but most of all, an incredible natural technical ability. Some of the things he does are really amazing. I think he could be the most skilled central defender I’ve ever seen. After two seasons at an extremely high level I think it’s fair to say there are no consistency issues either.

Yet there’s still some negatives. Positional / tectical and mental errors still creep into his game from time to time. He needs to work on his heading, he should be dominating in the air but isn’t nearly there yet. From time to time he makes too risky a play, especially his outlet passes should be more considered, he has the required passing ability but tends to give to risky an outlet pass from time to time. He gets way with that in Belgium but that must improve.
There’s been some talk about his discipline as well, he’s known for showing up late on training from time to time. He says that’s got to do with his African roots and that may very well be. But he’ll need to grow up if he wants to make it at a top club. However he should benefit from the new guidance by his mentor Vercauteren.
Also the issue is being raised more and more that his best position is defensive midfielder. I somewhat agree there as his incredible talent is somewhat wasted staying back all the time. When he goes forward his dribbles often make the opponents (he takes on 2 or three at times and simply beats them, amazing) look silly. At the moment RSCA need him at the back though so it’s going to be an experiment for the future.

Prognosis:
World class central defender for a world class club. Anything less would be a surprise, he’s that good.


2. Silvio Proto

DOB: 23/05/1983
Club: La Louvière
Nationality : Bel
Position : Goalkeeper

Is now Belgium’s first choice national goalkeeper. Is being watched by a number of European top clubs (Arsenal have expressed the most interest) and has finished his career in La Louvière and possibly in Belgium ( although Anderlecht is still a possibility if they get their act together).

Talent Analysis:
Silvio isn’t the biggest or strongest goalie out there, that’s his main drawback. Apart from that he’s got everything a goalie needs: mental strength, consistency, reflexes, aerial ability, …
I’d say his handling and confidence on crosses and his reflexes are his strongest points. He’s also above average on one on ones. Mentally he’s exceptional, he makes very little positional or mental mistakes and his feet are firmly placed on the ground from what I’m hearing. He’s about the top goalie in Belgium right now (tough to pick between Proto, Laquait and Butina to be honest) and this being his 3d or 4th season in the league I don’t think he’s got much left to learn in La Louvière. The next step should be a top club, preferably in a smaller league where he can learn to cope with the pressure of having to win every week (at La Louvière that’s not the case). If he gets through that test, he should be able to grow into a class goalie for a good team.

Projection:
Might turn in to a great shot stopper. Should definitely end up being a great keeper in the ‘second rate’ leagues like Germany or France, but IMO he’s got what it takes to make it at a club like Arsenal.


3 Emmanuel Eboué

DOB : 04/06/1983
Club: Arsenal
Nationality: CIV
Position: Defender

Emmanuel left Beveren for Arsenal in the Mercato and has already made a few appearances in the less important (read Cup) games and a few sub appearances as well. He seems to have adapted well judging by the fact he worked himself in Wenger’s plans this fast.

Talent Analysis:
He’s a rather small player for a defender, yet he’s got an unbelievable natural strength in his body, he rarely gets out muscled even by guys that are clearly bigger then him, he’s a bit like Kolo Touré in that aspect. Incredible technical ability for a defender. He plays pretty much everywhere at the back, but I think at Arsenal he’ll be best suited for the wing back positions. If he learns the tactical game he will turn into a good defender, he’s got the ability to do that.

Projection:
Starter for a good team in a good league, he might even develop into a regular starter at Arsenal.


4. Kevin Vandenbergh
DOB: 16/05/1983
Club: KRC Genk
Nationality: Belgian
Postion: Striker

Started to come to live again after a difficult start of the season, where he wasn’t used a lot by coach Rene Vandereyken. However his goals meant it was impossible to continue to ignore him and near the end of the season he was back on top form. He more or less brought Genk into Europe single-handedly by scoring three goals in the 2 playoff matches against Standard. Finished the season on a high and was awarded with yet another selection for the national team, even though he is yet to start a game. Antheunis should really start playing him, I can’t believe people are saying he’s not ready yet for International level…


Talent Analysis:
Just think of his father, Erwin Vandenbergh and you’re very close. Although I’ll argue that Kevin is really developing into a more complete striker, but probably a less prolific player than his father (who was probably the greatest pure goalscorer Belgium ever produced). He’s not very big, not very fast and not incredibly technical. What he will do however is put the ball in the net. And he’s also got this uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time, like real strikers do.
Short example: I played him when he was 15 (I was 16) and I tought I did pretty well against this little guy. Didn’t loose any sprints against him or didn’t loose too many tackles or headers. Yet at the end of the game he somehow had inexplicably scored two goals… Has improved a lot though, his passing and technical ability is not to be diminished just because he scores a lot of scrappy goals.

Projection:
30 Goals scorer in for a top club Belgium. Top scorer at a mid table club in a stronger league ala France or Germany.


5. Koffi Romaric N’Dri
DOB: 04/06/1983
Club: Beveren
Nationality: Côte d’Ivoir
Position: Attacking midfielder/second striker

Basically Beveren’s only player left standing near the end of the season, while the rest collapsed, he remained on his level and scored the goals Beveren needed to secure a prolonged stay in the first league. Plays as second striker, attacking midfielder and occasionally out wide on the left.

Talent Analysis
Probably one of the most talented players in Belgium. He’s built like a tank (1.87, 85 kilo’s) is extremely strong and has one of the hardest shots I’ve ever seen (something comparable to Roberto Carlos). Very good on free kicks, but also a solid all round player. He’s got good technical abilities but nothing out of this world.
So his main weapons are his shot and his strength. He has some mentality issues (got a lot of red cards and had problems with the coach as well) but near the end of the season he becamse a true leader for Beveren so if we’re lucky his problems are out of the way now.

Signed for freshly promoted French league 1 club Le Mans and I’ll back him to do well in France, scoring ten goals or so!

Projection:
Should be a very good player in a strong league, like France. That is if he keeps himself under control.



6 Marco Né

DOB: 17/07/1983
Club: Beveren
Nationality: Côte d’Ivoire (CIV)
Position: Central Midfielder

Bit less impressive in the second half of the season for me, Beveren as a whole was pretty bad and almost got in relegation trouble. Still I like the player very much.
I’ve always been of the opinion that Marco’s better than Eboué (albeit they play different positions) and since Eboué’s adapting well at Arsenal I don’t see why Né shouldn’t have a place at Highbury, he should be able to provide more than a Flamini IMO.

Talent Analysis:
A real joy to watch. The flair and ability of the great midfielders. He can dribble, deliver a through ball and hit a long pass without any problems. Always seems to be in control of the ball whenever he touches it, always looks for the footballing solution and you’ll rarely see him just clearing straight to the opposition.
The negatives are the same as with all Beveren’s Ivorian gems. Marco still needs to work on his tactical game, he’s more advanced then the rest of his teammates I’d say but he is still prone to letting his man get away and rushing forward when the team already has committed enough people forward. Yet he’s one of the more responsible players on the team and seems like a good coachable guy so they might be able to rid that aspect of his game.

Projection:
He’ll be a pretty good player, after a lot of indication earlier he might be on his way to Arsenal (Beveren in Arsenal’s feeder club) it seems as if he won’t go there after all. He should move to Germany or France in that case, possibly this off season or at the very last next off season, teams should take a chance on him to develop him.



7. Anthony Vanden Borre

DOB: 24/10/1987
Club: Anderlecht
Nationality: Bel
Position: Right Back / wing back

Well I made reservations this past summer and some of it has already shown. Has been struggling mightily with his form, and completely lost his confidence after a few horrible performances.
However he came back strong in the second half of the season once again showing that he could turn out to be a great player. Doesn’t have the same natural class as Kompany wich clearly shows at times, when he comes forward and does something wrong. But like I said he’s back to his best now and is back with the national team as well. Hamburger SV already came in with an €2.5M offer wich Anderlecht rightfully brushed aside. The way he’s playing right now he’s worth at least three times that price.

Talent analysis:
Very strong guy he already out muscles players twice his age with ease. Very strong in the tackle and also very strong and tough to handle going forward. Not a slow player either so he’s got every physical tool needed to become a great back somewhere.
The mental and technical aspects of his game are still very raw though. His tactical awareness needs to improve but since Vercauteren took over it has and he’s shown good ability to make decisions on his own as well.
Technically he needs to improve everything, especially his passing which is potentially good enough but is still very bad at times.


Projection:
Depending on his mental ability to cope with everything the sky is the limit for himif he works hard: he can develop a top class right back with a bit of luck, I’m more confident right now in him then I was last season

8. Jonathan Blondel

DOB: 03/04/1984
Club: Club Brugge
Nationality: Belgian
Position: Attacking Midfielder (left or central)

Well, Blondel couldn’t repeat his brilliant form from last season, simply because Nastjah Ceh is blocked him at Bruges, and Blondel couldn’t get into the first team. He’s played midfield (instead of Ceh) and left attacker (in stead of Balaban – Ishiaku) occasionally and still looks like a very bright talent every time he comes on.

Talent analysis:
Very technical player with above average passing and vision, can be a very effective playmaker. Very small frame but a tough little bugger, he’s nasty tackler and doesn’t back down. Effectively uses his small stature to gain free kicks from time to time as well.

Projection:
He’ll be a future international, once he gets regular playing time either in Bruges or somewhere else. Typical victim of Trond Sollied’s prospect hell in Bruges, there are a few more coming up in the list.

9. Faris Haroun

DOB: 22/09/1985
Club: KRC Genk
Nationality: Bel
Position: Midfielder

I really like this player. He’s an attacking midfielder, with above average work rate and a knack for scoring important goals. Hasn’t been able to get a starting place in Genk’s XI consistently yet though (blocked by Engelaar mostly) but when he plays it shows he’s more than ready and can be used whenever necessary. Was MVP of our U-19 squad last summer and has continued to improve. Will be an international for Belgium in a year or two, three once he starts playing regularly

Talent Analysis:
A complete player. Is a great and relentless runner who will get in the box and provide danger but who can also be counted upon to take care of his defensive duties. Can scorer regularly, is a very good passer and his technical ability is above average as well.

Projection:
Should end up in a better league than the Belgian league. Playing regularly for a top 4 team at his age is rare but he’s up for it.


10. Jonathan Legear

DOB: 13/04/1987
Club: Anderlecht
Nationality: Bel
Position: midfielder

Very good player already at 17 years of age. Was a regular contributor to the Anderlecht side when he went down with an injury shortly after the new year. Hasn’t been able to return to the first team yet but he should be ready next season. Don’t think he’ll find his way into the starting lineup just yet but he shouldn’t be far out.

Talent Analysis:
Two footed player, he prefers his right foot and playing right midfielder (either as winger in a 4-4-2 or wide midfielder in a 4-3-3) but has performed well at the left side as well. Solid but not spectacular type of player: defensively responsible, good passing, makes the right play most of the time. I think he can really develop into a very good player if given the opportunity. Has dropped a bit in the ranking but that’s due to the others getting more of the limelight with Jonathan being injured right now.

Projection:
Hard to tell at this stage but he certainly looks to be good enough to be an International for Belgium within a year or three if he gets enough playing time. He could end up playing for a good team in a strong league eventually. We’ll know more when is becomes clear whether he can confirm his form from this season next year or not…

11. Benjamin ‘Benji’ De Ceulaer

DOB : 19/12/1983
Club : Sint Truiden (RKC – on loan from Feyenoord next season)
Nationality: Belgian
Position: Right winger

Enjoyed a continuation of his impressive form wich attracted interest from a number of clubs. Very good dribbler, very tough to stop this guy. Has a problem finishing chances but he creates plenty for himself or for his teammates.

Talent Analysis:
A good old fashioned winger (so he should do good in Holland): pretty fast, very good dribbler and overall technical ability and a solid cross. Flashy player and very nice to watch. Has a bit of consistency problems going in and out of matches but I guess that’s natural with these kinds of players.
Projection:
Not sure how high his upside is personally, I think he can succeed in Holland, even at Feyenoord eventually but much higher might be a reach, tough to tell.


12. Moussa Sanogo

DOB: 16/07/1983
Club: Beveren
Nationality: Côte d’Ivoire
Position: Striker

Another Beveren player who had an up and down season. Still finished the season as the top scorer in Beveren scoring 14 in 29 matches. I like him but he lacks consistency, he has the tools to score some 20-25 goals or possibly more in a league like the Belgian one, but he doesn’t show it all the time.
Might leave Belgium in the summer, there has been interest (Germany and France) but nothing official yet. He might be suited by another season under a new coach though.

Talent Analysis:

Very fast, very explosive and a decent enough finisher. He can dribble and make defenders look silly as well. Not a strong player and at times he misses the odd easy chance as well, but he’ll get better I’m sure.


Projection:
For me this guy can go to a better league in the near future. He has all the tools just needs to learn to use them consistently.
15 Goal scorer for a mid table team in a strong league like France or Germany eventually.


13. Mbark Boussoufa

DOB: 15-08-1984
Club: AA Gent
Nationality: Dutch
Position: Attacking midfielder / right wing

Very small player (1.66, 58 Kilos) who has enjoyed a very good season his first year in Belgium. I believe he has been through the youth ranks in Ajax but didn’t make it there and eventually ended up in Ghent. Was a very important player in Ghent’s good season under coach Georges Leekens.

Talent Analysis:
Incredible dribbler and creative little player.
Due to his small frame it’s tough for him against mammoth midfielders as he’s not incredibly quick but usually he’s quick enough to find some space. Can score as well if needed and is a very good runner off the ball as well, good stamina to though he tailed ff a bit towards the end off the season.

Projection:
If he can confirm his status next year he might end up at a top club in Belgium, not sure if his small frame would allow him to shine in stronger leagues but who knows, the kid’s got game that’s for sure!!

14. Logan Bailly
DOB: 27/12/1985
Club: RC Genk
Nationality: Bel
Position: Goalkeeper

Logan played for Genk’s feeder club (Heusden Zolder) last season (who were playing in the first division!) and came in the team when the first keeper was injured. The starting goalie never regained his place. Also got a trial at Liverpool last year…
This season it was back to Genk for him where he was more or less stuck after Jan Moons, the first choice keeper. He got a few games though and showed his immense potential. If he would play regularly on first division level he would be top 5 in the list.

Talent analysis:
Big frame (1.89 for 80 kilos) and that shows. Very good on crosses and is a pretty imposing figure in goal. Looks very solid in all other departments from what I’ve seen from him. Should get some playing time, he can be really, really good IMO.

Projection:
Who knows? I really see someone here who might challenge Proto in the future.

15. Alexis Kubilskis
DOB: 10/12/1986
Position: attacking midfielder/forward
Nationality: Bel
Club: FC Brussels

This kid was so impressive with the reserves he got to make his debut for Molenbeek towards the end of the season. Still only 18 and he’s said to be a great talent, can score as well and has shone at international U-19 level.

Haven’t seen him play a full game yet, next season will teach us more. Molenbeek will offer him a pro contract after his recent performances and he should be a lot more in action next year.

16. Maarten Martens
DOB: 02/07/1984
Position: Left winger
Nationality: Bel
Club: Anderlecht (RKC Waalwijk)

Loaned out to Holland due to a lack of first team possibilities at Anderlecht. Did very well over there and had a starting position at RKC in the Dutch Eredivisie. Not yet sure what will happen with him next year but he might possibly leave Anderlecht.
True winger with especially a good cross and dribble, not overly fats or flashy though.

17. Serhiy Kovalenko
DOB: 10/05/1984
Position: Striker
Nationality: Ukraine
Club: Standard

Came over from Italy and has been pretty effective with limited playing time. Scores very easily and has good positioning and heading in the box. Became something of a super sub for Standard late in the season scoring a few goals as well.


18. Mohammed Tchité
DOB: 31/01/1984
Position: Striker
Nationality: Congo DR
Club: Standard

Started of the season like a rocket, scoring 5 goals in 4 matches. After that he and Standard got out of form and Bangoura, Roussel and Kovalenko overtook him in the pecking order. Still, a fast striker that can score, should be a solid player in the future.

19. Glenn Verbauwhede

DOB: 19/05/1985
Club: Club Brugge
Nationality: Bel
Position: Goalkeeper

Still an incredible talent, according to anyone who’s watched him play. Hasn’t played one single minute in the league though (thank you Sollied L). Is the keeper of the U-21 team over Bailly but I’m so impressed by Bailly he got ranked higher here, when I get to see Verbauwhede that might change.


20. Dieter Van Tornhout

DOB: 18/03/1985
Club: Club Brugge
Nationality: Bel
Position: Striker

Unlike his compatriot Verbauwhede Van Tornhout has managed to get a few minutes here and there. The reason is pretty simple: he’s scored so often that Sollied can’t but play him a few minutes from time to time (3 goals in 83 minutes).
He’s a towering, strong striker, very good positionally and should develop into a real target man type of striker. I like him!

21 Nicolas Lombaerts
DOB: 20/03/1985
Club: A.A. Gent
Position: Defender / Defensive midfielder

Started off the season as starting left back for Ghent but had injuries worries later on. Still enjoyed a good first season after being starved for first team football in Bruges. Ghent took him on and were already well rewarded, and if he can stay fit he should be set for a breakthrough season next year.
Very solid and responsible defender. Played a bit defensive midfielder for the U-19’s as well. Solid and typical Belgian no-nonsense player. Has leadership qualities as well.

22. Stijn Desmet
DOB: 27/03/1985
Position: Striker
Nationality: Bel
Club: Cercle Brugge

Very quick striker who likes to run into space and when on the ball loves to run at his opponent. Looks to be a good finisher as well, has already scored a few goals in the first league while not being an undisputed started yet. Reminds me a bit of Matja Kezman in style. Should be a full time started next year and he will score more goals then. Could end up at a Belgian top club or beyond.

23. Nicolas Colpaert
DOB: 13/09/1986
Club: FC Brussels
Nationality: Bel
Position: Defender

Once more the Molenbeek academy produces (Sonck, Haroun, Kubilskis, …, …).

Very good defender already, has been in the team in the beginning of the season but near the end when the relegation scramble was at it’s fullest he had to make way. Will be back next season though.

24. Jeanvion Yulu Matondo
DOB : 05/01/1986
Club : Club Brugge
Nationality: Belgian
Position: Striker/forward

Came into the scene after January. He’d been so impressive for the youth and reserve teams he got into the first team squad in Bruges. Eventually he didn’t get much playing time but showed a lot in the short playing time he got.

Very quick and fast player, rather small and weak though. Burns markers with his pace and his dribbling is very good as well. Works well on the left wing as an attacker in a 4-3-3, should also work well as striker in a 4-4-2 as he can score plenty as well (proved that with the reserves and scored a few senior goals as well)

Haven’t seen much of him but looks like a very good striker in the works.


25. Timothy Derijck
DOB: 25/05/1987
Club: Anderlecht (Feyenoord next?)
Nationality: Bel
Position: Central defender

Timothy enjoyed a great season with the reserves and youth ranks and was rewarded with a few call ups for the first team. Hasn’t figured yet on the pitch but is the next great central defender to come out of the ranks at Anderlecht after Kompany.
RSCA stalled a bit about offering him a contract and all of a sudden it looks Feyenoord will prize him away to the Kuip!


26. Mohamed Messoudi
DOB: 07/01/1984
Club: Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen
Nationality: Bel
Position: Midfielder

Undisputed starter for GBA now, has impressed me more and more the longer the season went on. Is a defensive midfielder with above average passing skills and technical skills. Solid little player, could end up at a top club in Belgium.

27. Julien Pinelli
DOB : 27/01/1987
Club : La Louvière
Nationality : Bel
Position : Left winger

Was spectacular in the middle part of the season but regressed a bit and was no longer a starter the last 5 matches or so. Still good dribbler and great crosser, excellent delivery on set pieces as well, extremely sweet left foot.

28. Thibaut Detal
DOB: 01/01/1985
Club: SC Charleroi
Nationality: Bel
Position: Midfielder

More or less a victim of Charleroi’s success. Not been in the team an awful lot this season, but I’m sure he’ll bounce back. Defensively responsible midfielder with a wickerd shot.

29. Moussa Dembele
DOB: 16/07/1987
Club: Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen
Nationality: bel
Position: Striker

Striker made his debut this season at a very young age. Impressive in the reserves and youth ranks, Anderlecht are close to signing him.

30. Steven Defour
DOB: 15/04/1988
Club: Racing Genk
Nationality: Bel
Position: attacking midfielder / striker

According to reports he is a huge talent, haven’t seen him but he’s come on as a sub a few times for the first team, wich is notable at that young age. Looking forward to seeing more of him next season.


Other notables – some are just off the list, others (**) I can’t rank because I’ve never seen them or because they never appeared in the Belgian league (*):
Keepers:
_Bram Verbist – GBA (1983) talented young goalie, can’t get a game at GBA because he’s blocked. Deserves a shot at a league one team though.
_Siebe Blondelle - Vistesse (20/04/1986) (**) Young goalie who plays for Vitesse and is apparently off the level of Bailly or Verbauwhede
_Yves Ma Kalambay (31/01/1986) (**) HUGE (6’5’’ !!) young goalie, currently at Chelsea. Had a few injuries this year but should be OK and a future starter at a very good club.

Defenders:
_Thomas Vermaelen – RKC/Ajax (14/11/1985) (*) Young central defender who enjoyed his first season of top flight football in Holland at RKC Waalwijk. Is in the Ajax system and should be a big talent.
_Spencer Verbiest – Heerenveen (06/02/1984) (**) In Heerenveen’s system (see: Brian Vandenbussche) and a fixture at the U-21’s, only played in 2 games though, don’t think he’s as good as Vermaelen.
_Pieterjan Monteyne - GBA (01/01/1983) - Unbelievable this guy is still only 22 years old. Played in the first league for 4 straight years, he’s already more or less a veteran. Still I’m not convinced he has much upside left.

Midfield:
_Tom De Mul - Ajax (04/03/1986) (*) Taken away from GBA’s youth setup by Ajax. Pure right winger but personally I’ve never been overly impressed by him. After falling back this season he looks set to be part of Ajax 1 squad again next year.
_Stanley Aborah - Ajax (23/06/1987) (*) Also came from GBA and he got a few minutes for the big boys this year. Looks like a very effective attacking midfielder, second striker to me, should be a good one as well.
_ Florent N’Galula M’buy – Man Utd (07/03/1987) (**) Defensive midfielder type, brought to United last year and is a regular fixture at the reserves and right now it looks as if he’s got a future at that club.
_ Jerome Colinet – Roda JC (26/04/1983) (**) Midfielder who joined Roda from Standard and has appeared in more than a few Eredivisie games, scoring 3 goals in the process. U-21 player, not sure if he’s got much upside.
_ Francisco Sanchez Davolio – Mouscron (16-05-1986). Midfielder who has more or less earned himself a starting spot at Mouscron this season. Haven’t really noticed him a lot but apparently he’s going to be pretty good, probably an entry for next year in my main list.
_ Alessandro Cordaro – Mons (02/05/1986). Defensive midfielder fought himself to a starting place in Mons’ relegating side. Good passer, solid technique, I’ve been impressed by him but only saw him play one game. U-19 member and I think a good team might be wise to add him this off season, he’s definitely one to watch, but that will be tough if he goes down with his team to League 2.
_ Dickson Agyeman – GBA (14/09/1985)/ Right winger, very small but nice little player!

Forwards:
_ Prince Asubonteng – GBA (06-03/1986) – talented striker, hasn’t been able to find the net yet at senior level. Dembele looks to be the better talent of the two though.
_ Kevin Mirallas – OGC Lille (05/10/1987) (**) – Talented young forward. Scored on his debut for Lille. Left the Standard youth setup (see also: Legear) because he and his surroundings (read: father) felt he needed a more professional approach to develop his talent.
_ Jurgen Rutten – Sint-Truiden (19/02/1986) – young forward made a few impressions as sub.
_ Jochen Vanarwegen – Westerlo (03/02/1986) – played a lot of minutes for Westerlo and was pretty useful. Hard worker who will be a handful in the box. Hasn’t scored yet at senior level though.
_ Tim Matthijs – AA Gent (13/12/1983) – picked up out of the third division and didn't look out of place. He deserves his place in the first league. Very fast and he’s played a lot (5 goals) but need consistency and more confidence in his finishing ability if he wants to move to an even higher level.


That’s basically it, not sure if I forgot anyone, that’s always possible.
I’ll finish my 1982 born list when I have the time. Finished this list because I had a free afternoon, doesn’t look as if I’ll have another one the first few weeks…

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06-03-2005, 04:18 AM
  #34
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Prospects by team :

Ajaccio

Lucas (Striker) : Scored an awful lot early on thanks to great awareness. He had a bad injury and took some time to come back but he did score in the last few games. I still think he needs better teammates to score more. He could be a deadly scorer IMO. He finished with 11 goals.

Merlin (offensive midfielder) : Has good upside but didn’t get much playing time.


Auxerre

Yebda (midfielder) : Everyone thought he’d be playing this year. He didn’t. I don’t have any reason for that. We’ll see next year.

Ciani (defenseman) : Another guy who was supposed to play a lot but didn’t.

Kaboul (defenseman) : the tall defenseman was a pleasent surprise. He could be a hit.


Bastia

Ben Saada (Striker) : very disapointing season for Choukie. He’ll do better next year in Ligue 2.

Leca (goalie) : didn’t get any playing time.

Song (DM, CB) : Played very steady. A lot of teams are interested in him.


Bordeaux

Mavuba (Defensive midfielder) : Rio had a good season, and if onyl he had a supporting cast, he’d be even better. Still he was easily ranked as his team’s best players in L’Equipe’s rankings (5.59).

Chamakh (Striker) : Had an under-average season, like the whole Bordeaux team. Still he managed to score 10 goals. Is really wanted by Lyon.

Francia (Offensive Midfielder) : Same as the other Bordeaux prospects. Good talent, but under-achieving. Still had his moments.

Riera (Offensive Midfielder) : Also uner-achieving.


Caen

Zubar (Defenseman) : Another one who came out of nowhere. Caen has often made some excellent players (Gallas, Rothen for instance) and Zubar is just another example. He was very steady, making few mistakes. A lot of teams are interested in him.


Istres
-


Lens

Utaka (Striker) : Another up and down season for Utaka. He’s got talent to sell, but is inconsistant. He scored 12 goals. He should leave Lens this summer, with Rennes the likely destination.

Itandje (Goalie) : Had a few great games and a miserable one. He still needs to work on his consistency. But he’s already one of the best goalies in Ligue 1.

Jussie (forward) : we can see the potential. But he hasn’t made a big impact yet.


Lille

Bodmer (Defensive Midfielder) : He’s now ranked as a star in Ligue 1. He was unkown but was the master in an incredible Lille team. He has great passing skills and is very good defensively. Will probably stay in Lille one more year.

Moussilou (Striker) : Is the only regular scorer for Lille. He is very steaky. He finished with 12 goals (including 4 in a single game).

Makoun (midfielder) : was good two ways. He is a big reason for Lille’s success. Was ranked as his team’s best player (and 8th overall) by L’Equipe (5.83)


Lyon

Essien (Defensive midfielder) : A great season. Essien is now known world wide thanks to a great CL campaign. He probably was the best player in Ligue 1 this year and one of the best in Europe. Also played great for a stretch at center back with a lot of injuries to the defensemen.

Ben Arfa (Forward) : A very limited playing time and a bad injury. That’s how Hatem season went. He started to play more and more until a long injury, and Le Guen almost didn’t play any youngster in the second half (probably with the trophies being at stake). He still came late in the PSV semi. He is not in full agreement with the Lyon staff, and he could leave (Ajax was interested).

Benzema (Forward) : A very talented forward that was overshadowed by Ben Arfa and Bergougnoux. He played very very well in the games he’s had, but like Ben Arfa, didn’t get much playing time in the second half.

Bergougnoux (Striker) : He was an instant hit. He scored in his first Champions’ League game, and was a threat everytime he was playing. He scored quite a few times in Ligue 1 action as well. He established himself in the rotation in the first half, but exactly like Ben Arfa and Benzema, didn’t play much in the second half. He still showed a lot of promise, but rumors say he also wants to leave.

Berthod (left back) : he actually played more last year. Of course, Abidal is so impressive that it’s hard for Berthod to get any playing time. Still he almost didn’t play at all this year.

Nilmar (Striker) : he started very strong, scoring two goals in his first 15 minutes of Ligue 1 action. But again, he wasn’t played much in the second half, and when he was he was not very impressive. He still scored some key goals this year (2 against Fenerbahce in a 4-2 win) and had an obvious penalty not whistled in the PSV matchup. Rumour has it he also asked to leave.

Hartock (goalie) : will be Lyon’s second goalie next season with Puydebois’ departure.

Clément (defensive midfielder) : again he didn’t play much in the second half, but was very good when he played.

Jacmot (offensive midfielder) : didn’t play at all.

Idangar (OM/ST) : scored two goals in his first CL game. I don’t he played one minute after that.


Marseille

Nasri (Offensive Midfielder) : He quickly established himself as the playmaker when he was finally called upon in december. Strangely enough, Marseille had a great stretch and was second behind Lyon for a while. He faltered, like his whole team in the second half of the season. Still at 18, he had an impressive season.

Costa (Defensive Midfielder) : He had an awful season. Marseille bought him and Pedretti to play with the best pair of defensive midfielder in Ligue 1 (with Lyon), but instead, they only played with one, and Pedretti was that one. Costa didn’t play much, and didn’t play well when he did. He really needs to rebound elsewhere.

Gavanon (goalie) : Had so-so games when Barthez was shelfed. Not a really convincing year. He’ll leave OM for playing time.

Bamogo (striker) : average season for an average player.

Yahiaoui (DM/RB) : played well when called upon late in the season. Didn’t get enough playing time IMO.

Barry (sriker) : very talented striker. He didn’t get a playing minute though.

Koke (sriker) : Had a few good games, but too many bad ones.


Metz

Ogbeche (forward) : Is disapointing. A lot of wasted talent.

Gueye (striker) : started strong, but faded quickly.

Obraniak (midfielder) : played very well. Very steady.


Monaco

Adebayor (Striker) : He finally showed some consistancy early on. With Cheventon out, Adebayor was hard to defend. His combination of big size, good technique and decent speed was instrumental to Monaco in its CL campaign. Still, he was not as good in the second half (like the whole Monaco team though), and he asked to leave Monaco, but Deschamps is not keen on letting this young guy go to PSG.

Plasil (midfielder) : Was again steady this year. He doesn’t have enough play making skills IMO.

Lacombe (offensive midfielder) : didn’t play at all this year after a full season on loan to Ajaccio last year.

Camara (striker) : didn’t play much.

Lescure (RB) : Didn’t play at all.

Gigliotti (Striker) : was scoring a lot in lower divisions, so Deschamps once sent him in during a game and he scored the most amazing first pro goal I’ve seen. Since then he was a regular substitution and played well enough.


Nantes

Keseru (Striker) : another guy that scored a lot compared to his playing time. He was played in january-february and scored some key goals. He almost had no playing time when the season was on the line for Nantes. Coaches are so much under pressure that they simply don’t play the youngsters.

Toulalan (Defensive Midfielder) : was touted as a possible good player with the upside of a great player before the season. He’s now touted as a good player, possibly great and with the upside of something very special. He was THE player for Nantes this year. He didn’t suffer one bit fomr his team’s poor play. When his team was dismal, he was still exceptionnal. His consistency at such a young age was the most impressive part. He’s fast, he’s a rock defensively, winning nearly every challenge and he has good offensive instincts. He doesn’t use his shot enough yet (he has a good one), but that will come. Lyon is desperately trying to get him. Ranked as his team’s best player (and 4th overall) in L’Equipe (6).

Glombard (Striker) : didn’t play much. He could help though.

Yapi Yapo (midfielder) : showed some promise last year, but was awful this year. Will leave Nantes.

Drouin (defenseman) : Simply lacked some playing time.

Thicot (defenseman) : the great prospect didn’t get any playing time even though Nantes’ defensemen sucked. He’s ready by what I’ve seen.

Fae (defensive midfieler) : Was OK, but overshadowed by Toulalan most of the season.


Nice
-


PSG

Cana (defensive midfielder) : he does everything well and has a lot of heart.

Haddad (offensive midfielder) : The very talented Haddad didn’t play much this year. As usual per PSG policies.

Djadje (Striker) : Same as Haddad, except he didn’t play at all.

M’Bami : Was good this year, but simply not as good as before his injury. He was supposed to join Chelsea but his injury prevented him. Will have to rebound next season, especially since he’s not so liked by his teammates.

Badiane (defenseman) : Played very well when called upon. Of course that was very rare.


Rennes

Kallstrom (Offensive Midfielder) : Was injured a lot in the first half of the season but was IMO the MVP of the second half. Rennes skyrocketed after his return to form. He scored 5 goals this season, most of them in the second half.

Gourcuff (midfielder) : can do it all. He just needs some playing time.

Didot (defensive midfielder) : was very good when he played. Didn’t play enough to my taste. He could move to PSV this summer. Was ranked as his team’s best player by L’Equipe (5.70)

Faty (DM/CB) : established himself as one of the finest defensemen in Ligue 1. Is talked about for the national team.

Chaigneault (goalie) : A season to forget. He clashed with Rennes’ coach and was sent home every Saturday. Will have ot leave Rennes to establish himself.

Briand (striker) : a guy that shines with France U21, but that can’t get any playing time with Rennes. He did well in his showings, but they were too rare.

Adailton (defenseman) : started strong but lost his starting job.


Saint Etienne
-


Sochaux

Menez (Striker) : Started strong, had the best moment of the year with a hattrick in 12 minutes, but faded after that. The pressure was probably too big. He even got a red card against Rennes. Still he has a bright future and he should produce with more playing time.

Mathieu (DM/LB/CB) : Was again solid playing everywhere he was asked to play. He’ll move to a bigger team and showcase his (multiple) talents.

Zairi (forward) : the mad dribbler tried to gain some consitency this year. He still tries to do too much and he still misses too many opportunities. Still he has progressed.


Strasbourg

Farnerud (offensive midfielder) : had a huge impressive streak. But was invisible before and after.


Toulouse

Taider (midfielder) : Is very complete, but lacks consistency.

Emana (midfielder) : had a so-so season compared with his talent. Will probably leave Toulouse this summer.

Aubey (defenseman) : has a very steady season, and some foreign teams are trying to get him already.


Ligue 2

Perquis (defenseman, Troyes) : Was the revelation in Ligue 2 this year. He will leave Troyes for a big team this summer.

Grax (Striker, Troyes on loan from Monaco) : Was the main scorer behind Kone. He showed his talent. He will be on loan to Troyes again next season. He finished with 16 goals. A bit too streaky.

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06-06-2005, 03:39 PM
  #35
Ajacied
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Figured I'd come up with an update as well. It will be much like Belgians' in terms of how their season went, progession being made, their upside and what can we expect. Like Belgians' I also excluded the 82 born..

The number between brackets is where I had them on the original list from july 2004.

The Dutch squad under 17 is said to be our next best generation, they lost the finals vs Turkey during last month's EK. Naturally, these players are too young (15/16) to appear on this list, but it's worth noting none-the-less. I've added quotes of what others are saying about some of the players who will be taking part in the upcoming World Cup this week in the Netherlands, not all, but some (Babel, Maduro, John, Vlaar, Quincey, Efellay will are star during next week's WC under 20 from these 15. There will be more in the next 10)..

Here are the first 15, I will add 10 more within the next few days, creating a list of 25, added with Honorable Mention's and cutt off's.


01) Arjen Robben - Dutch - 1984 - Winger - Chelsea - (2)

Well his first year in England should definitely be considered a succes, even though Robben himself thought it was the worst year of his short career so far. Somewhat understandable considering he was bothered by nagging injuries that kept him out of the line-up during crucial games, but still, he was EPL's top player in November (as awarded) before his first injury struck him. In the end, Arjen Robben earned some heavty praises after contributing with 7 goals and 9 assists in 18 games as a 20/21 year old. Coach Morinho was even quoted as saying how he thought Robben was his team's best player. Even though Robben played in only half of the games, he still finished runner up to Wayne Rooney in talent of the year and is a finalist for world wide talent of the year with the same Rooney and with Spain's Fernando Torres. I'm a firm believer Arjen would've been the favorite if not for injuries.

Talent analysis: A fast dribbler who's hard to knock off the ball, always seems to be in control of the ball and gets by oppenents with ease. Not because of his technique, but because of his fast handlings and offensive awareness. Superb cross and is an even better finisher for a man his position. Can get to the corners for the cross or cutt inside for the shot. Feisty and emotional player, he's becoming a complete package for his position.

Projection: Arjen Robben already is the best winger in the world of soccer today. He was phenomenal as a 19 year old at the EC and has delivered for his club in both the season as well as CL. Arjen Robben has superstar potential and if he can avoid or at least slim down on the injuries, Arjen Robben will definitely become a top 10 player in the world some day, and that day might come as early next year.


02) Rafael van der Vaart - Dutch - 1983 - Attacking Midlfielder - Ajax/HSV Hamburg - (01)

Rafael van der Vaart has been an easy target the past 2 years. He's had a difficult time proving himself to the media, the crowd and to his coach, nothing seemed to work. In those 2 years, Ajax changed styles, changed coaches, and changed players. So blaming Rafael entirely for not progressing further isn't all that fair, as Ajax's has had a pretty big share in Rafael's poor seasons in 2004 and 2005 as well. Then there was his marriage That said, going to Hamburg might prove to be an excellent move, he needed a fresh start. As the "Biggest talent to come out of Holland since Marco van Basten", Rafael will have a good oppertunity to play himself into the spotlights again. He seems very passionate as of late..

Talent analysis: Reads plays extremely well. A highly gifted and versatile player who can play on all midfield positions as well as striker. Ultimate position will always be #10 as the "shadow striker".. Worked hard on his defensive abilities the past two years, dangerous playmaker and can finish on every way possible. His creativity is something special. Agressive defensively..

Projection: After how Rafael played after Blind arrived, there's no reason not to believe why Rafael won't return to 2002 form and continue that pace in the near future. People forget he's only 21/22, and that he scored 18 goals and added 9 assists for 27 points in 21 games as a *midfielder* when he was 19/20 years old and guided Ajax to the CL QF's. I expect him to bounce back nicely in the Bundes Liga, maybe not instantly, but definitely within a year or 2 two. Rafael has world class potential and might very well become the best at his position someday, his upside is that high. He and Kaka were always mentioned in the same breath until Rafael's down year. But he has a lot to prove, I've definitely been very generous placing him at #2 but his upside is simply immense, and too big to pass up.


03) Robin van Persie - Dutch - 1983 - Attacking Midlfielder - Arsenal - (5)

As quoted from the original write up;

Quote:
Arguably the most talented one out of all the ones mentioned here in this post. He can become a world class player strictly based on his skillset. He has a crazy technique, he is fast, is a superb playmaker and on top of it, has a deadly free kick.. Robin has the potential to lead this list but he just hasn't proven as much as those standing above him. This is mainly due to the fact Robin and his (former) coach, Bert van Marwijk, never got along. He never got much playing time, but whenever he did, he just oozed with potential and despite his off-the-pitch problems, was a fan favorite. Robin van Persie is very simular to Christiano Ronaldo in a lot of ways, only where Christiano tends to go back and to deke his opponent out once more, van Persie seems to be more effective. Some question his physical shape because he rarely played (injuries, in the doghouse), so leaving to an English Premier Club (Arsenal), one of many that wanted his services, in a league that relies more on conditioning and physical strenght than anywhere else, could make or break his early years there. If he indeed develops those aspects, Robin could very well find himself passing up a few spots on this list, but untill then, he's still too unproven to be mentioned between those above him
Voila..

Arsene Wenger's child has had a very solid first year in the Premier League. He made his presence known and proved himself he belongs in the short stints to earn himself a lot more playing time. 5 Goals and 5 assists in 27 games of limited action should be considered a succes. Robin displayed a high area of skills and is maturing a lot. However, Robin might have been a tad too egocentric when he's nearing the box. Completely understandable considering he's young and wants to prove himself though.

Talent analysis: A highly talented offensive midfielder, Robin van Persie is actually a nice mix between Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart, he has speed, he makes quick decisions, is highly skilled, a dangerous playmaker and an underrated finisher. One of his best assests are also his free kicks. Also a versatile player, can attack from both wing positions.

Projection: He's making it very hard for Wenger to keep him out of the starting eleven. The only reason he's not as much on the pitch as he should be is because of Dennis Bergkamp, expect Robin's minutes to increase next year, but watch him develop into a major contributor for Arsenal in 2006/2007 when Bergkamp retires. He's also pushing hard to earn a spot amongst the Dutch starting eleven. Last year I had some doubts as of whether Robin could ever make the step to superstardom, right now however, I have all the faith in the world Robin van Persie will become a star known worldwide and be amongst the best in what he does someday.


04) Ryan Babel - Dutch - 1986 - Striker/Winger - Ajax - (NR)

Ryan Babel emergence as Ajax's answer at the striker position came rather suddenly. He scored on the first ball he touched and has continued scoring for the remainder of the season. Babel probably could've scored as much as 10/15 if not for the experiments trying to add Charisteas into the picture. This had Babel playing wing which resulted in "only" 7 goals in 20 games. Definitely not a bad thing as the switch in positions only made Babel a much better player. He scored 6 goals and 1 assist in his first 8 games, and in his wing period he scored once while adding 3 assists. It was hard scoring for Ajax this year though, but Babel led the way while averaging around 65 minutes per game. He also contributed with a goal in the UEFA cup and one more in the Amstel Cup. Ryan Babel is only 19 years old and is already on his way on becoming a full time international, so far his goal scoring clip in Orange is a .500

Talent analysis: It wasn't hard for people to draw comparisons to Patrick Kluivert. The two are nearly indentical in pretty much each and every facet of the game when Kluivert was still 19. They are even equal in terms of height and size. Many people, including myself also see a bit of Thierry Henry in him, in how he uses his speed and techinque better and in that he's more athletic..

Projection: Ryan Babel has the potential to start for the best teams in Europe. It's only a matter of time before he leaves to a big club abroad. But Ajax will ask a heavty price for him, especially now that van der Vaart is gone, Babel has become their new buildingblock. Considering Babel and Kluivert are so indentical when both were 19, it wouldn't shock me if Babel also becomes a top 3 striker in the world someday. He's already a fairly mature and complete striker..

Babel is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

Quote:
John van den Brom (assistent coach Oranje under 20):
'What can I say? Everyone sees him play. Complete striker, fast, strong, great technique, accurate in his chances and already a member of the Dutch national squad. Ryan is actually still a junior, but they don't say "what's good, comes fast" for nothing. The best part of Ryan is that he's never satisfied, he must and will continue to become better. I do think he's not all that great with the header, so he's working on that. The upcoming WC is a good tourney for a player like Ryan, he can distinguish himself there.

05) Nigel de Jong - Dutch - 1984 - Right Back/Midfielder - Ajax - (12)

In the last two months of the season, Nigel de Jong played some of the best football I've seen out of any Ajacied during the past few seasons. Naturally due to the fact Blind let him play his favorite position (on the right in an attacking role). He was simply amazing and so it didn't come as a shock when he was choosen as Ajax's top player of the 2004/2005 season. It also had to become obvious on the list, hence Nigel is the biggest riser, going from 12th into the top 5, surpassing teammate Johnny Heitinga. With 5 goals and 4 assists, (4 goals - 3 assists since the arrival of Blind (a ppg)), Nigel de Jong was also an extremely fun player to watch. His rushes and combinations had a lot of people sitting on the edge of their seat. Since making the switch from defense to midfield, I can't imagine Nigel to ever miss out on the Dutch national side anymore.

Talent analysis: Fast dribbler with rapid footwork. Reads the game well at both ends, loves to tackle, but loves to lead a rush even more. Can get by his man by technique or go for the combination (he and Steven Pienaar are a sick combo).. Accurate finisher, long cross needs some work. Strong vocal leader for a kid his age (20)..

Projection: Manchester United is pulling hard, as are several other big teams, but Ajax is keen on keeping him. After saying how he wouldn't mind a transferm, Nigel came back at this during the last game of the season, saying he'd be back for another season, fortunately. Nigel is a pretty unique player, he can cover an entire flank, he can score, defend and play with flair. Will be a major contributor wherever he goes. Definitely a star in the making. One problem however, will be his minutes for the national squad. Now that he's established himself as a quality midfielder, he has to fight with van Bommel, Landzaat, Sneijder, van der Vaart, Maduro, Davids, Seedorf, Cocu for playing time.


06) Salomon Kalou - Ivory coast (soon to be Dutch) - 1985 - Striker - Feyenoord - (15)

Salomon Kalou has had an amazing season for a grossly underachieving team. He and striker collegue Dirk Kuijt combined for 49 goals and 24 assists, which unfortunately proved to be the only bright spot for Feyenoord this year. With 20 goals (2nd) and 11 assists (4th) in his rookie season, Salomon Kalou is proving to be something special. The 19 year old is pushing hard to earn a Dutch passport, as both he and Marco van Basten want eachother. Seems to be some struggle, but I think it will be worked out. With a potential group of Kalou, van Persie, Robben, van der Vaart, Babel, Huntelaar, John and Quincey, the Dutch won't have to worry about offensive talent anytime soon.

Talent analysis: Fast, agile, nose for the net, constantly aware, a real "goaltjes dief" (goalgetter). Doesn't score many goals from outside 16 meters, but will be a threat at every place on the pitch. Is not a very complete striker.

Projection: Whether the competiveness in the Dutch league is average at best or not, scoring 20 goals and adding 11 assists as a 19 year old is amazing. Salomon will likely leave for a big team in a year or two, but I don't think he'll fit in everywhere.. There's no telling in how good he may become. I can see him becoming a top notch striker for an European sub topper, ala Olympique Lyon, FC Porto, Valencia etc, or even in the mold of Bayern Leverkussen.. Will eventually make the Dutch national squad if everything goes well.


07) John Heitinga - Dutch - 1983 - Central Defender/rightback - Ajax - (4)

Much like every Ajacied this season, Johnny didn't enjoy a very good season either. Still, he's had his moments this year. He even got named Captain for a stretch but like all he was constantly in and out of the line-up (No Ajacied managed to be a full time starter, they all got benched sooner or later). He's getting way too cocky for his age and reputation, but still, even in a down season, Heitinga showcased his worth and has gotten some quality teams asking for his services (Juventus, Manchested United). He maintained his spot on the national team, that was his first priority and he seemed to managed that. He dropped out of the top 5, but that's not saying all that much considering the gap between the top and the rest of the top 10 is extremely, extremely close.

Talent analysis: potentially, Heitinga can be one of the most complete defenders in the world. He has speed, strenght, loves to tackle, is strong in the air, passionate, sound positionally, has very strong leadership qualities, a great long pass, accuracy and an offensive game. He has it all but hasn't quite put it all together in a package just yet, hence his biggest flaw, inconsistency.

Projection: Needs another full, healthy year with Ajax before he leaves for a bigger team or else the transition might be too much of a problem. Has the potential to anchor and captain defenses of great teams. Arguably the Dutch next Captain in line as well..


08) Wesley Sneijder - Dutch - 1984 - Midfielder - Ajax - (3)

A very odd 5 spot drop for Wesley Sneijder as he was probably the most consistent Ajacied of all, and that's quite the accomplishment on his own seeing as how ****** and inconsistent everyone else played. That said, Babel emerged, Kalou developed into a premier goalgetter while van Persie did what he had to do for Arsenal. He was arguably better than Rafael was this year, but Rafael had his moments where he showcased his brilliance, Wesley was consistently playing on the same level (Rafael could play below par for 10 games only to look brilliant in the next. Wesley was solid most of the time and didn't have Rafael's peaks). With 7 goals and 8 assists, Sneijder finished the season as Ajax's top player statistical wise. Wesley maintained himself as a valueble member of the national squad as well.

Talent analysis: Extremely accurate in his passes, Sneijder loves to join the attack as well as being defensively accountable. Wesley easily has the biggest shot among all the prospects I've listed, as about 65% of his goals came from a range of 16/25 meters. They are hard, suprising, accurate and nearly impossible to stop, he rarely misses the target. His only knock against him should be his size, but due to his fast style, his awareness and feisty game, it has hardly been a problem so far.

Projection: At least another season with Ajax to develop a better defensive game, must try to be more consistent as well. Can be a key presence for pretty much every team in the world when he reaches his full potential and learns to be consistent. One of the Dutch building blocks for the future, Sneijder will likely leave the Ere divisie in 2006/2007.


09) Hedwiges Maduro - Dutch - 1985 - Midfielder - Ajax (HM)

What a year it was for Hedwiges Maduro. After starring for Holland's youth in 2004, Maduro managed to crack and maintain a spot in the starting eleven. Not only that, he impressed Marco van Basten (who also coached him with Jong Oranje) that much, that he also earned himself a place on the national team. Provided a strong defensive presence at midfield, and also managed to score twice in 12 games.

Talent analysis: A tall and reliable player, Maduro is a two way midfielder who's a vocal, yet quiet presence. Can be assigned to take someone out, or be assigned to create offense. Strong shot, good with the header, strong on the ball. He's extremely effective in everything he does. Maduro can become the Dutch most complete player walking around at midfield, for his age group that is.

Projection: Probably an Ajacied for at least a few more years. Maduro's future looks extremely bright. He will be heavily scouted the upcoming year(s). Maduro will be a player teams are after who lack a stable, quiet, all-round force at midfield. Big teams will soon stand in line for him, if they aren't already. Because of his maturity, attitude and all-round game, Maduro will fit in pretty much everywhere. The Serie A will be the league most suited for him IMO.

Hedwiges Maduro is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

Quote:
John van den Brom (assistent coach of Oranje under 20):

'It's going hard with Hedwiges. He knows how to deal with the pressure, He's a smart guy. Beautiful, complete player with a superb pass. Hedwiges is strong, fast, atlethic and on top of it he makes goals relatively easy.. I think he has to be more of a leader on the pitch, he has the qualities. He has to develop further on the personal level.'

10) Klaas-Jan Huntelaar - Dutch - 1983 - Striker - Heereveen - (NR)

Oh how PSV would like to invent the time machine, only to fly back to 2003 when they let Klaas-Jan Huntelaar walk (on loan, but still, they no longer hold his rights). Huntelaar went to the Graafschap (bottom feeder) where he couldn't crack the squad as a 19 year old. He then went to a 2nd division club which he absolutely tore apart. He quickly got noticed by Heereveen where he now is their starting striker while finishing 4th in the league in goals. The 21 year old was streaky though, he had about 12 goals in the first half, but only 5 in the second, including a hattrick.

Talent analysis: A physical, deadly striker, Huntelaar is simular to Ruud van Nistelrooy in some ways (both have also played for Heereveen and PSV). Uses his body well, turns in and out and finishes quickly. Isn't much of a ball hog, he either shoots or he passes it back. A simple and utterly effective striker. Good control with the ball at all times.

Projection: Has the potential to lead the league in scoring as early as next season. Very much capable of 20+ goals in a league not relying as much on technique, but more on strenght and effectiveness (Germany, England, Scotland). I see him following Ruud's footsteps. Maybe even to the detail, joining Manchester United when Ruud leaves (which seems like a realistic sight these days).. Only a matter of time before he makes his debute in Orange. He's already been selected a couple of times, but it's hard to crack the Dutch national squad as a 21 year old striker when you've got to compete with Ruud van Nistelrooy, Roy Makaay, Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuijt. Then there are also Pierre van Hooijdonk, Patrick Kluivert, Jimmy Hasselbaink, and a few promessing youngsters (John, Quincey, Kalou), who are all still eager to return/make their debute. Will be very tough, especially since Marco van Basten likes to play with only one striker. He will make it eventually, just not anytime soon. He has to wait till the current generation retires or decline (Ruud, Makaay, Kluivert)..


11) Quincey Owusu-Abeyie - Dutch - 1986 - Striker/Shadow striker - Arsenal - (NR)

"Stolen" from Ajax's junior ranks, Quincey is a rare and sick talent but isn't breaking into my top 10 because of inexperience at the highest level (understandable) but also a bit because he likes to toy with his opponent too much, resulting in ineffectiveness at times, so his maturity needs some work. Though only 19 for about a month, Quincey already played a few games for the Gunners this season, drawing some attention with his highly entertaining game. Arsene Wenger is said to have big plans for Quincey in the near future.

Talent analysis: Based on pure talent and instincts, Quincey would lead this list by a fairly decent margain. He's probably the highest skilled player I've ever had the pleasure to watch live.. He's so strong physicaly, it's not that as much as he's a bulldozer, but you nearly can't knock him off the ball when he has his sights set towards the goal. He combinates this with rediculous speed and control, to go with a high arsenal of moves.

Projection: Fortunately for Quincey, his 2 biggest problems are completely understandable for a kid his age and are relatively easy to overcome. He will no longer toy around much once Wenger gets to have more time on his hands with him. A player with superstar potential, if all goes well Quincey could play for the biggest teams there are and skyrocket into the top 5, if not take over the reigns. Will definitely be a full time international once he matures and gets some playing time.

Quincey Owusu-Abeyie is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

Quote:
Foppe de Haan (headcoach of Oranje under 20):

'Quincey kind of plays like a rookie. And I don't mean that in a negative way. The unexpected and unexplainableness (word?) of his game makes him so hard to contain for his opponent. Quiney is such a rare player in that everyone who plays against him will be terrified. So fast, such rediculous moves.. He's actually a bit of a phenom.

12) Ron Vlaar - Dutch - 1985 - Central defender - AZ - (NR)

Ron Vlaar made his debute for AZ in the UEFA Cup quater finals this season and hold his own just perfectly. He controlled his nerves from there on and proved to be a very reliable and stable force for AZ's backline. Of major value for young Oranje and so Marco van Basten called him up for the big boys right away. Has yet to make his debute, but this may come as early as wednesday vs Finland. Van Basten is a huge fan of his.

Talent analysis: A big, sound defender who's always calm and never panics. Not defensively, but not with the ball either. Always makes the right decision, very smart player who I think will be quite underrated because of his quiet, yet effective game. Above average speed for a guy his size, but relies more on a positional game anyway. Solid with the ball, but won't ever be an offensive threat.

Projection: A very raw talent, Ron Vlaar will play at least play a few more years in the Dutch competiton. Defenders like him are needed everywhere and should have little trouble fitting in. Doesn't have game breaking potential or anything, defenders in that mold rarely have, but he should be a wanted commodity. I see him playing for a subtopper in the PL someday..

Ron Vlaar is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

Quote:
Co Adriaanse (his coach with AZ, now coach of FC Porto):

'A good, rightfooted central defender who we included in the selection during the winter break. Ron is developing himself extremely well. He's very strong defensively but can also be of value in ball posession. He's a player of the future '

13) Steven Pienaar - South African/Dutch - 1982 - Right midfielder/forward - Ajax - (9th)

A personal favorite of mine, Steven is a product of Ajax’ education system in South Africa. He’d probably start on a lot of teams already, but that’s rather difficult and hard to do when you have Sneijder and van der Vaart ahead of you on the depthchart. Plays with heart and despite his funny way to walk and sprint, is actualy quite fast. Plays a mature game and seems to be one of the vocal leaders on the youngest squad in the world.

Talent analysis: Always active, with or without the ball, can play every midfield position as well as playing behind the strikers but also likes to tackle and defend agressively. Likes to show off his skills.

Projection: More of a roleplayer than a scorer, Steven Pienaar will likely get more credit whenever he sees regular time on the pitch.


14) Ibrahim Efellay - Dutch - 1986 - Creative Midfielder - PSV - (NR)

A highly talented youngster, Ibrahim is PSV's most promessing player. A broken toe saw him making his defenitive debute later than expected (his official debute came in 2003 at the age of 17), but the breakthrough came. Ibrahim stepped out of the shadow with 2 goals against arch rivals Feyenoord, (two beauties btw). Ibrahim had a great season, even though he appeared in only 7 games (started in 3 - Finished with 2 goals, 1assist).

Talent analysis: A player with fast ball handlings and good offensive instincts. Loves to make meters and go on fancy dribbling tours. Owns a good cross but prefers to go for personal succes as he has the talent to do so. Lanky, athletic offensive dynamo with an impressive area of skills.

Projection: Efellay is expected to be a full time regular for PSV next season. He will likely start rushes from the right, whereas Park tries to do the same from the left flank. Judging by his skillset can become a star potential player. Still very raw so it's hard to see what the future holds for him, but it's definitely promessing. A player in the mold of slightly lesser skilled Robin van Persie but with a lot more defensive comittment.


15) Arouna Koné - Ivory Coast - 1983 - Striker - PSV, on loan from Roda JC - (HM/21)

The 21 year old is coming off a good, yet still a somewhat dissapointing season. With 15 goals (good for 7th in the league, no penalties) and 7 assists, Koné was one of the top point getters of 2005. The bad news was that he failed a physical when a dream transfer to Ajax seemed all but done. Koné was coming off an injury at the time, so he had a legit excuse, but Ajax wanted to handle fast since they wanted to use him in European games as well. The deal fell through and Koné since had trouble regaining his form. He got it back in the later stages of the season and finished on pace again.

Talent analysis: A skillful, yet streaky striker. Koné's ability to score from everywhere makes him a dangerous threat the opposition needs to keep their eye on at all times. Tends to dig himself in holes when he isn't playing as well as he should. As most of his countrymen, is a flashy but still effective player. Weak with the header and isn't much of a physical player, Koné relies on his finesse skillset, his shot and overal awareness.

Projection: Probably enjoying his last season for mid range club Roda JC. Ajax seems to be off the list now, but there's still plenty of interest both from the Dutch league as world wide. Could become a valueble striker in a stronger league, ala France where Lyon would be a perfect fit. Lacks the physical strenght and hardiness to survive in say the Premier League.


16) Daniël de Ridder - Dutch - 1984 - Attacking Midfielder/Winger - Celta de Vigo, on loan from Ajax - (10)

Due to Ronald Koeman wanting to have a pure right winger more so than a tweener, Daniel de Ridder didn't quite have the season he had hoped. He only appeared in 15 games, scoring twice, assisting twice, in limited action. Daniel has been superb for Young Oranje and with a quality season (read: lots of playing time), he'll definitely be considered for the big boys of Holland. He has what it takes..

Talent analysis: Daniel de Ridder is a flashy and talented player who loves to attack. Amazing free kick and a cross which always seems to find its target. Needs to be more consistent and pay more attention to the defensive side of the game. Poor header and gets knocked from the ball still a bit too easily..

Projection: Lots of teams have contacted Ajax about a possible loan, but Ajax isn't wanting to hear anything about it. De Ridder is in Ajax's plans, but he's playing the most crowded position there is. He has to fight harder and/or wait for his turn. His time will definitely come, but whether it's with Ajax is yet to be seen. Also a player who's potential is of higher quality then of the current competition he's in. He might actually move as soon as next year if he won't get the proper playing time a kid his age should get, whether Ajax would like that or not.


17) Collins John - Dutch - 1985 - Striker - Fullham (16)

It was hard deciding between John and Huntelaar, but seeing as how John did manage to crack the national squad (twice actually), while Huntelaar never got further than the bench, I gave him the edge. With 4 goals in 8 games for Fullham last year, Collins John had a tough time cracking Fullham this season. However, John requested to start in the later stages of the season and impressed a lot of people. He scored in both of them while creating plenty of more oppertunities.

Talent analysis: A mix between Jimmy Hasselbaink and Samuel Eto'o. Owns a very hard shot, loves to fight through traffic. A physical imposing player, John is also good with the head. Best asset is probably his deadlyness whenever he's in the box, also knows where to be whenever oppertunities appear. Not much of a playmaker at all, highly skilled, but not al that flashy. Control needs help as well. Tends to keep his head down when things aren't going his way.

Projection: Has probably impressed his coach enough to justify better treatment and at least become a regular starter. When he establishes himself, he could very well become a 15/20 goal scorer, if not compete for the title. Perfect Premier League player, I can see him succeding in England for a long time, though Spain might suit him as well. Already a Dutch international at the age of 19, so his future seems very promesing. His potential is probably too high for Fullham to keep him during his prime years, one of Englands top teams will probably sign him in a few years.

Collins John is a WC under 20 participant

Edit: dropped from 10th to 17th due to poor WC performance and inability to earn minutes for Fullham.


18) Haris Medunjanin - Dutch - 1985 - Shadow Striker/Creative midfielder - AZ - (NR)

Another participant of the WC under 20, this may be seen as a surprise pick. Haris only has 3 professional games on his hands with AZ but I think he has game breaking potential and thus decided to place him above some who might've been more deserving in terms of experience and such, but this list is probably more based on potential anyway.

Talent analysis: A potential difference maker, Medunjanin is a hard working playmaker with a nice touch of flair in his actions. Some like to make Dennis Bergkamp/Barry van Galen comparisons when they hear his name (strictly stylewise though), mainly because he has this unpredictable, yet accuracy with his passing in crowded area's.

Projection: Both the striker as shadow striker positions are well stacked for AZ, so Medunjanin probbaly has to wait another year before he can push to become a full time regular. Expect him to take away some minutes from Barry van Galen (36), but nothing more just yet. A player to keep your eye on for the future. I'm positive Medunjanin will represent the big boys of Holland someday. Until then, AZ will develop him nicely before preparing a big move abroad when he's nearing his prime. He'd probably have the skills and potential to play in Europe's biigest league's.

Haris Medunjanin is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

Co Adriaanse (his coach with AZ, now coach of FC Porto):

Quote:
'I'm a huge fan of Haris and didn't let him have his debute for nothing. He's a real #10, very creative with a sharp cutting pass as his trademark. On top of it, he can score goals quite well. His mentality is good and he is, as everyone in our youth ranks, a down to earth, normal kid. We find that important. Haris has everything what it takes to make it in the big show'

19) Urby Emanuelsson - Dutch - 1986 - Left Midfielder/Defender - Ajax - (HM/24)

18 Year old Urby Emanuelsson managed to crack Ajax and play in the final 3 games of the season, starting in the last two. He played all of them out of position (left back), but increased his game significantly over those 3 matches. He got graded a 4.0 in his first full, 90 minute debute (they don't grade substitutors, which he was in his official debute) but was still among the better defenders of his side. He received a 6.0 (usually the highest grade of the game is a 7, that game it was a 6.5 from van der Vaart) in the last game of the season and made sure Ajax fans have something to look forward to in 2005/2006.

Talent analysis: A player who will likely be a succes in many places due to his effectiveness in terms of skill as well positionally. A fast and entertaining player to watch, Urby is one of Holland's brightest all-round midfielders. Can be used to create offense or contribute defensively, a versatile player.

Projection: With the future of Trabelsi and Maxwell uncertain, Urby will likely play as a defender in the first stages of his career. Very comparable to Nigel de Jong, Urby Emanuelsson will always try to show off his offensive skills, whether he's being used as a defenseman or not. Ultimate left midfielder though. Urby is expected to make the step from Oranje under 20/Young Oranje to the official Dutch squad some day.

Urby Emanuelsson is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

John van den Brom (assistent coach Oranje under 20):

Quote:
'A pure footballplayer, leftfooted, awsome technique, always seems to know where to be positionally and makes the right choices. Urby is a left midfielder but can also play in the middle or succeed as a left back. If I have to be critical, I'd probably mention his right foot, but with his qualities he's bound to follow Maduro and Babel, making his Ajax debute'.

20) Gianni Zuiverloon - Dutch - 1986 - Central/Right Defender - Feyenoord - (NR)

A young, promessing defender who should have been a regular this year, but the staff decided to go with expensive players from abroad. Zuiverloon is a better player than whatever Feyenoord bought, but he's young (18) so he'll get his chance. He did manage to appear in 10 games scoring no points, playing his secondary position (RB)..

Talent analysis: A lanky two way defender, Gianni is probably the most offensively gifted defenseman you'll find on this list, he does this without letting it affecting his defensive responsibilities. A tough player one on one, but also understands the game positionally. Good with the header as well.. Long cross needs some work.

Projection: Should become a full time regular for Feyenoord within the next 2 years. Definitely won't move out yet as Feyenoord isn't exactly filled with defensive youngsters, not with Gianni's pontential at least. Expect Feyenoord to treat him as their first born but they will likely have to see him leave to a quality team abroad in the end. With de Jong officially being transferred to a midfielder, Zuiverloon's path to become an eventual international seems like a realistic sight in a few years.

Gianni Zuiverloon is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

Ruud Gullit (his coach with Feyenoord):

Quote:
'Gianni is a central defender of origin, but plays on our right from time to time. He's learned a lot but isn't always training along as he has a school to finish first. He's got a great technique and doesn't shies away from physical matchups, you could see that in our lost game in The Hague vs ADO. He was the only player on the pitch to get a quality grade. He has the qualities to reach impressive hights in the world of soccer'.
21) Rasmus Lindgren - Swedish - 1984 - Creative midfielder - FC Groningen, on loan from Ajax- (19)

Rasmus Lindgren made his competition debute this past year and he's done amazingly well in all 4 of the games he saw. He started 3 of them, receiving respectful grades of a 7, 6 and another 6, in that order. He's been better than the 20th spot, but too many players have emerged this year and at 20/21, he's a little bit older than the rest. Tough choice, but like the top 10, the bottom 10 are every bit as close.

Talent analysis: Despite his size, Rasmus is a player hard to get off the ball and always finds his way to deliver the ball wherever he wants it to. Loves to set up attacks and always manages to be the open man in order to create plays. Haven't seen his shot much..

Projection: With Rafael gone, Galasek aging, Ajax fans will see a little more out of Lindgren next season. Definitely more than the 4 games we saw of him this past season. He will likely be with the group all season long, and start a game here and there. He won't be a regular as long as he has Maduro, de Jong and Sneijder ahead of him. A potential stud, Lindgren too, will have to wait before he can really show what he's capable off game in game out.

Edit: Now with Groningen, Lindgren now has the perfect oppertunity to prove what he's really made off. He's already scored in his debute.


Last edited by Ajacied: 09-14-2005 at 04:08 AM.
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07-14-2005, 04:49 AM
  #36
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Updated danish list..
I've left the 82's in as per helice's instructions but as you can see, they aren't really a huge part anyway.
I'm also listing Krohn-Dehli even though he is technically not eligible, but he's not on any Dutch list and I think he's too important to miss out on.

Only comments for the top 10 right now, I'll add more later.

#1 - Thomas Kahlenberg, AJ Auxerre, 1983. (last list: 1)
Position: Versatile midfielder.
2004-05: 33 (of 33) games, 13 goals with Brøndby IF.
National: 3 full caps, total of 42 minutes played. 19 games, 5 goals for U21.
Description: Can play anywhere in midfield, has two good feet on him, reads the game very well and can both pass and finish, as well as perform in a holding role. I think he's the most exciting danish prospect since Jesper Grønkjær, and I'm happy he will now get to prove that abroad. In fact I'd written out his profile here on how much I hoped he'd get to move on, but that became obsolete. He's been sold for more than €4 million, a very nice price for Brøndby, but also one that l'AJA could well recoup in a few years if Kahlenberg lives up to his promise.

#2 - Leon Andreasen, Werder Bremen, 1983. (last list: 13)
Position: Central defender.
2004-05: 31 (of 33) games, 3 goals with AGF.
National: Has been included in full squad, but not played. 15 U21 games, 5 goals.
Description: Technically, aereally and physically strong defender, tackles and marks well and has a lightning fast shot too. Doesn't have great speed and can lose concentration at times but is most of the time a solid player at the back. Has been very important to AGF over the last couple of seasons and now gets his chance abroad. I expect him to do well in his first Bundesliga season, and he should get in at least 20 apperances in domestic competition. Cost Bremen about €2m. Is currently involved as a suspect in an assault case after a night out, but claims complete innocence, has witnesses supporting him, and personally I don't doubt him. He's a level-headed guy and this doesn't seem like him at all.

#3 - Daniel Agger, Brøndby IF, 1984. (last list: not ranked)
Position: Central defender.
2004-05, 26 (of 33) games, 5 goals.
Rumoured interest from: Everton, Wigan, Glasgow Rangers, Gladbach, others.
National: 1 full cap (whole game vs. Finland, June 2005), 6 games for U21's with 3 goals.
Description: Very skilled defender, came out of nowhere (0 senior games before this year) to ably replace Andreas Jakobsson (went to Southampton) in Brøndby's central defence. The incredible season saw him called up to the national team, become a part of the successful U21 nat'l team and named 2nd-best player of the season by the two big tabloids in the country. Incidentally, Kahlenberg was the best in one of them, and 3rd-best in the other. Brøndby's defensive record was also drastically better in games that Agger played in. Agger & Kahlenberg were also the two main players that prompted David Moyes to come by and watch Brøndby play, and Everton also had scouts at the FInland game. Spending another season in Denmark won't be a catastrophe for Agger, solidifying his status in Brøndby rather than warming the bench abroad. Probable asking price: €3m+.

#4 - Michael Krohn-Dehli, RKC Waalwijk, 1983. (last list: 8)
Position: Attacking midfielder/Winger.
2004-05: 31 (of 34) games and 2 goals.
National: Impressive in 7 U21 games, scored 2 goals, would have been with the full squad in June if not for injuries, according to coach Morten Olsen.
Description: A natural fit for the Ajax system's right winger, K-D excels in ball control and has an accurate cross, but is also happy to cut in and try to finish on his own. As a 21-year-old, stepping into RKC and performing week-in-week-out in the Eredivisie, has to be viewed as an impressive feat. Next season can perhaps show even more of what he's made of, and maybe land him a move to a bigger club when his contract expires in 2006.

#5 - Michael Jakobsen, AaB, 1986. (last list: 15)
Position: Central defender.
2004-05: Mid-season transfer from PSV, 15 (of 18) games and 2 goals for AaB.
National: 23 (!) games for the U17 team, 13 for U19's and debuted for U21's in recent Finland game.
Description: "Mature beyond his years" is a bit of a sporting cliché, but it's absolutely true for MJ. Moved from B93 to PSV at just 17 and made his way into the 1st team squad and his Eredivisie debut already in his firt season. But mid-way through his second year PSV accepted an offer from AaB and he agreed to return home to the danish league. Noone knew what to expect, but Jakobsen effortlessly stepped in and made a 1st team spot his own. Elegant on the ball, two steps ahead of the play off it, and with a fair mean streak to him. Just 19, he has great potential and will no doubt be knocking on the national team door along with Andreasen and Agger in the near future.

#6 - Jesper Bech, Malmö FF, 1982. (last list: 2)
Position: Forward/winger.
2004-05: 28 (of 33) games, 5 goals with FC Copenhagen.
National: Just 1 U21 game (and 1 U19).
Description: Bech in one word would be: Flair. Unfortunately, he at times lacks more to his game, and his actions can be predictable and easy to trap. But he's a very gifted technical player who is often the most exciting individual on the pitch, and he's got two good feet. He's left FC Copenhagen this summer due to not getting enough playing time, and because he wants to be used as a striker only. I like him more as a winger but he did more or less singlehandedly win the championship for FCK two seasons back, playing as a striker. I'll miss those wonderful long-range strikes.

#7 Morten "Duncan" Rasmussen, AGF, 1985. (last list: 10)
Position: Striker.
2004-05: 28 (of 33) games, 8 goals.
National: 8 U21 games, 6 goals. 37 below U21 level, with 27 goals.
Description: Gifted striker has banged them in at schoolboy, youth and youth national levels, but still hasn't quite found his feet in the senior league. He's realied on heavily in the weak AGF attack and I'm confident he will grow with the task, and should in the coming few seasons become, at the very least, a top scorer in the danish league.

#8 Danilo Arrieta, AGF, 1987. (last list: joker (age))
Position: "#10".
2004-05: 19 (of 33) games, 1 goal. Many as a substitute.
National: 17 U17 games and 3 on the U18 team, with 9 and 3 goals .respectively.
Description: Small and mobile playmaker, so promising a talent that Valencia signed him as a 15-year-old 3 summers ago. He never settled, though, and returned for last season with AGF. He thrived in the reserves to start off with and soon became impossible to ignore for the first team staff. Made his debut in the fall and became a virtual regular in the spring season, netting his first goal along the way, too. His main asset is the way he finds other players, though, and he will be relied on to help feed Duncan in the coming campaign. "The Chilean Michael Laudrup" could be off to foreign turf in the near future again.

#9 Rasmus Würtz, AaB, 1983. (last list: 20)
Position: Central (defensive) midfielder.
2004-05: 32 (of 33) games, 2 goals.
Rumoured interest from: FCK, Brøndby.
National: 1 full cap, substitute for Gravesen in most recent (Finland) game, came on to captain team. U21 captain, 18 games. 23 sub-U21 level games.
Description: Joined AaB from a lower league team as an 18-year-old and has since then played in all but 4 games for them over 3 seasons. Is as important to them as he is to the success of the U21 national team, and he will soon be a regular part of the national team squad, according to Morten Olsen. Has all the usual characteristics of a defensive midfielder: Reads the play well, tackles strongly and with great timing, and is always both open for his teammates to pass to, as well as very capable in redistributing it.

#10 Razak Pimpong, FC Midtjylland, 1982. (last list: not ranked)
Position: Left wing/forward.
2004-05: 28 (of 33) games, 8 goals.
National: Ghanaian, National team status unknown.
Transfer Info: Has signed pre-contract from Jan 1st with FC Copenhagen, may join them now pending negotiations.
Description: Exciting wide man who has many of typical strengths and weaknesses found in attacking african players: Strength, pace, great stamina and determination, mixed with occasional selfishness, as well as general tactical weakness and inconsistency. All season long proved a force on the wing, a menace to defenders with his quick feet and whipped crosses. Is slowly developing more of a scoring touch, too, and netted a hat-trick in the last game of the season. It will be interesting to see how he handles the much higher expectations in one of the two big clubs.

#11 Mikkel Thygesen, FC Midtjylland, 1984. (last list: 16)
Position: Tenacious central midfielder.
2004-05: 29 (of 33) games, 2 goals.
National: 2 U21 games.
Description: Strong, energetic and at times very dominant central midfielder. Really blossomed last season, his first with FCM. Strong on the ball, very good passer, and isn't afraid to move forward himself, either. Works hard all game and is a very good team player, too. It's a term that shouldn't be overused, but he really is a Gravesen type. Not likely to ever be as good, though, but may come close.

#12 Lasse Qvist, FC Copenhagen, 1987. (last list: 3)
Position: Striker.
2004-05: ??
National: 8 U19 games (in 04-05) but just 1 goal and not great form. Set records with U17 nat'l team: 20 games, 18 goals (including 10-game scoring streak (16 gls)) before being prematurely moved up 1, then 2 notches.
Description: Goalscoring (duh) striker, physically very mature and strong, prompted Frank Arnesen and PSV to sign him as a a 17-year-old, but after just one year in Holland (often part of 1st team squad but no appearances as far as I know) will move back to Denmark and FC Copenhagen. Will start in reserves but should hopefully have some first team games under his belt by the end of the year. As one of few on this list, riding high (well, moderately high) on more or less reputation alone.

#13 Jeppe Curth, AaB, 1984. (last list: 6)
Position: Forward.
2004-05: Loaned out from Feyenoord to Excelsior in the dutch 2nd tier for half a season, 19 games (of ??) and 8 goals.
National: Has featured heavily for all 5 junior national teams, most impressive with U19: 14 games, 11 goals.
Description: More complete forward than Qvist but not the same upside. Stronger on the ball but without the same physical capabilities and is not as strong in the air, either. Will be very exciting to follow in AaB where he will most likely get a fair share of playing time.

#14 Kristian Bak Nielsen, FC Midtjylland, 1982. (last list: not ranked)
Position: Central defender.
2004-05: 31 (of 33) games, 2 goals.
National: 1 U21 game.
Description: One of the best central defenders in Denmark, a rock in and very important part of FCM's defense. Very intelligent both on and off the ball, good tackler and strong in the aerial game.

#15 Jonas Kamper, Brøndby, 1983. (last list: 14)
Position: Right winger.
2004-05: 31 (of 33) games, 4 goals.
National: All-time danish record holder for most junior nat'l games. (Amongst others: ) 25 U21 games with 2 goals. Not really close to senior team, though.
Description: Very fast winger/wide attacker, good dribbler and decent crosser but not a great finisher. In trouble at times when his team is down, can get frustrated, impatient and lose his head - but on the other hand can dominate when his morale is high.

#16 Simon Bræmer, AaB, 1984. (last list: not ranked)
#17 Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard, Hertha Berlin, 1983. (last list: 18)
#18 Dennis Cagara, Hertha Berlin, 1985. (last list: 4)
#19 Jonas Troest, Silkeborg, 1985. (last list: not ranked)
#20 Morten Bergvold, FC Copenhagen, 1984. (last list: 12)
Joker Kasper Schmeichel, Manchester City, 1986. (last list: joker)

Dropped out:
Mads Timm -
Jakob Poulsen - regressed.
Johan Absalonsen - still hopeful but needs playing time.
Seb Svärd - awful year, change of scenery (moving to Guimaraes) may help.
Mads Beierholm - weakest season yet - losing focus?
Niki Zimling - disappeared from Brøndby's plans?


Last edited by mole: 07-19-2005 at 07:56 AM.
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07-28-2005, 03:08 PM
  #37
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1983

1- Jérémy Toulalan, DM, Nantes
An absolute beast. The guy seems to win every challenge he’s involved in. He’ll move to Lyon either this summer or next and will probably play for the nation squad in the next year.
He’s IMO better than Mavuba right now (but he’s older).

2- Jérémy Mathieu, LB/DM, Toulouse
I’ve hyped this guy a lot because he’s very underrated. He’s a defensive rock and can play central Dman, left back or defensive midfielder with success each time. He won’t get much publicity, but he’s a guy every team would love to have.

3-Franck Ribéry, OM, Marseille
The guy started so strong last season that even though he left for Galatasaray in December, he still was among the assists leaders at the end of the season. He’s a real playmaker in every sense of the word. Careful though, he’s not the brightest.

4- Lorick Cana, DM, PSG
Cana is the heart and soul of PSG. He’s albanian, and he was formed in Paris. He’s a rock in defensive midfield, and he loves PSG so much that he said no to Bayern Munich a year ago.

5- Jussie, St, Lens
Jussie is a lot of fun to watch. He can start to dribble and be a joy to the fans. However he needs to find some consistency in front of the net as he misses too many opportunities right now.

6- Jean Makoun, DM, Lille
He’s very hyped, but IMO he’s a result of the great collective game in Lille. It makes him look better than he is IMO.

7- JM Badiane, D, PSG
He’s a stud at the back. He’s powerful, with a good header. He needs to be focused for the whole game though.

8- Etienne Didot, DM, Rennes
He’s a can do it all type of player. He can play either DM or OM with ease. He won’t do anything greatly, but everything very well. He lacks a big weapon IMO.

9- Baptiste Chabert, GK, Auxerre
He’s a good goalie prospect.

10- Nabil Taider, DM, Toulouse
He’s a solid midfielder with a great shot.

11- Bakari Sagna, RB, Auxerre
He’s very hyped, way too much to my liking. Some have him very high, but he’s never impressed me so far.

UnRanked- Thomas Kahlenberg, OM, Auxerre
I saw him in one game, where he was arguable Auxerre’s best player. I need to have more looks to make a judgment, but the quality of his corners and free kicks will be a plus for Auxerre.


1984

1- Rio Mavuba, DM, Bordeaux
Everything’s been said about him. He’s a future national team player. Errhh, actually, he’s already a national team player.

2- Mourad Meghni, OM, Bologna
The madly talented but fragile Meghni is well known. His ability to stay healthy will probably determine his career. Oh and his environement too. There are rumors his agents are in the same mold as Anelka’s. Not good.

3- Jacques Faty, D, Rennes
Faty is regared as a top notch defenseman. He was the captain of this golden generation (U18 World Champs). He’s a leader and a complete rock on defense. If needed, he can play DM. He’s exactly like Desailly was at his age. Some think of him for the national team.

4- Nilmar, St, Lyon
Nilmar has a lot of talent, but he has to understand he isn’t going to be an every week starter with the depth Lyon has. Nilmar’s biggest weapon is his offensive sense. He knows where to be and when to be there.

5- Emanuel Adebayor, St, Monaco
Cris, L1’s best defenseman said the striker that was the most difficult to guard was the Albatros. Adebayor is very tall, rather quick, extremely agile, and has a good header and adequate shot. That is a whole lot of package right there. Consistency is the key to his future.

6- Lucien Aubey, D, Toulouse
Aubey is a rock on defense. He’ll explode this season, I can bet right now.

7- Marouane Chamakh, ST, Bordeaux
Chamakh is big, strong and is very good 1 on 1 against the goalie. He has similar weapons as Trézéguet, although not quite as good obviously. Still think he has a great future.

8- Sébastien Grax, St, Monaco (loaned to Troyes)
Grax was probably the best young player with Marquis in L2 last year. He’s ambitious, and he didn’t want to ride the bench in Monaco (wise decision). So he was loaned once again to Troyes, but this time, he’ll see L1 time. He’s fast, very technical and very streaky.

9- Bryan Bergougnoux, ST, Toulouse
Bergougnoux is very much like a young Papin. He tries to shoot from everywhere, had a lot of passion and it seems his rockets are guided by his will alone. I could see him score a bunch of goals this year with Toulouse, where he’l finally get playing time.

10- Jérémy Gavanon, GK, Marseille (loaned to Clermont)
He was looking for some playing time and with Barthez for another year in OM, he decided to be loaned. He’s highly touted but we’ll learn more this year.

11- Emerse Fae, DM, Nantes
He’s a very solid DM, and he’s a bit overshadowed by Toulalan. He has good potential though.

12- Pablo Francia, OM, Bordeaux
Francia is a talented midfielder with great touch. I still think he should produce more, so I’d say he’s underachieving, like his whole team.

13- Florant Chaigneau, Gk, Rennes
Chaigneau is IMO ready to start. But he doesn’t have a good relationship with Boloni, his coach, and with Isaksson in front of him, his future doesn’t seem to lie in Rennes.

14- Damien Perquis, D, St Etienne
Voted as L2’s best defenseman last season, Perquis does everything well. He’s also quite a leader for his age.

15- Alexander Farnerud, OM, Strasbourg
Farnerud is so talented that it makes Strasboug so frustrated with how he produces… When he finds consistency, watch out. He does it only by short stretches right now.

16- Jérémy Clément, DM, Lyon
Clément is buried behind Essien, Diarra and Pedretti. But the guy is always good when he has some playing time.

17- Jérémy Berthod, LB, Lyon
Berthod is a dynamic left back with a great spirit. He’s a leader. But unfortunately, he has Abidal and Monsoreau in front of him, two of the best defensemen in L1.

18- Nicolas Fauvergue, St, Lille
Fauvergue is a surprising player really. How much of his play is due to the collective play of his team is unkown. He can score from long range as well as close range. He doesn’t have a big weapon though.

19- Michael Ciani, D, Auxerre (loaned to Sedan)
Ciani is a very physical defenseman that looks for playing time. His loan to Sedan will tell us more about his upside.

20- Stephen Drouin, D, Nantes
Drouin is a solid defenseman that will surely get some playing time this year.

21- Hassan Yebda, OM, Auxerre
He’s a very talented midfielder but didn’t warrant Roux’ trust. We should see him more with Santini.

22- Aimé Lavie, D, Sochaux (loaned to Sete)
This guy was hyped a lot but couldn’t crack Sochaux’ lineup. We’ll see how he fares in L2.

24- Laurent Merlin, DM, Ajaccio
Solid DM. Nothing spectacular.

25- Laurent Lanteri, St, Monaco (loaned to Chateauroux)
I haven’t been very impressed by this guy, but Monaco doesn’t want to lose him at any cost, so there must be something...

UR David Chuimento, OM, Le Mans
Haven’t seen him yet.


1985

1- Arnold Mvuemba, DM, Rennes
MVP of the last Toulon tournament, Mvuemba combines excellent defensive work with great passing. We’ll see more of him in Rennes this year and we’ll know how that works in L1.

2- Ronald Zubar, D, Caen
Zubar was one of the most sought player this summer after his excellent season in L1 last season. Caen’s president said he was untradeable, and denied offers of more than 10M euros. Zubar is a rock defensively, making very few mistakes while being very aware on the offensive side as well.

3- Cristian Rodriguez, OM, PSG
Very highly touted, the young uruguyan will play as Rothen’s sub this year. We’ll see how he fares.

4- Carl Medjani, D, Liverpool
Medjani is a leader and a ery physical player. His header is extremely efficient as well, and he can score a lot on corners.

5- Rudy Haddad, OM, PSG
Haddad is extremely gifted, and he showed that in Toulon. But he has a tough time getting some playing time in Paris. But Fournier should use him this year.

6- Lassana Diarra, DM, Chelsea
Diarra had a good Toulon tournament. He’s solid, very solid, but I don’t think moving to Chelsea is a great choice.

7- Yoann Folly, DM, Southampton
Folly had a great Toulon tournament as well, using his speed to create a lot of danger on the wings. He can play either DM or RM.

8- David Gigliotti, ST, Monaco
Gigliotti is a very efficient striker with a lot of passion. His first pro goal was arguably the best goal in L1 action last year.

9- Jimmy Briand, ST, Rennes
Compared to Henry and Cissé because of his speed and power, he hasn’t proved his worth in the few L1 games he’s seen last year. He should see more time this season though.

10- Steve Mandanda, GK, Le Havre
Was backup last year but he’s pencilled as starter this year. He was very good in Toulon.

11- Taye Taiwo, LB, Marseille
Had an impressive U20 WC and is pencilled as a starter this year for Marseille.

12- Olivier Veigneau, D, Monaco
A guy that was a low profile defenseman but is now hyped a lot after his performance in the Toulon tournament.

13- Daniel Congre, D, Toulouse
Another guy that is highly touted. He could climb up the standings of that generation very fast if he plays good this year in Toulouse where’s he projected as starter.

14- Mathieu Debuchy, DM, Lille
Very complete guy that can play anywhere on the field.

15- Loic Perrin, DM, St Etienne
Solid DM with good upside.

16- Guillaume Plessis, DM, Lens
Could see time this year. A complete DM.

17- Benjamin Psaume, ST, Toulouse
Scored a few nice goals last year. We’ll see how he develops.


1986

1- Youness Kaboul, D, Auxerre
I love the way this guy plays. Calm, full of elegance. A future superstar.
Jean Gallice (U19 national coach) : "An out of the ordinary potential. Powerful, fast, he still needs to work on his short passing, his technique in small spaces and above all, manage his head given his fast stardom".

2- Claudiu Keseru, St, Nantes
A lot of upside for the roumanian striker. I just hope he gets more time because he produces.

3- Yohan Gourcuff, OM, Rennes
Elegance, class, dribbling ability, passing, vision, he has all the qualities.
Gallice : "He's part of the players that are already used to L1, with a great football sense and a good technique. Dangerous on free kicks and corners, he must be consistant in his efforts."

4- Vassikiry Diaby, DM, Auxerre
The new Vieira, with dribbling ability. I will see how he performs in Auxerre, but he was breathtaking in U19 EC.
Gallice : "Another Vieira. Very strong athletically, he is everywhere, with dribbling ability above everyone. He must tone down his individual expression to be more useful in the collective game."

5- Abdoulaye Baldé, St, Amiens
Baldé is fast, he’s strong and he can finish. He’ll be a starter for Amiens in L2.
Gallice : "Powerful with good goal sense. Must focus more on his defensive role."

6- Frank Djadjedje, ST, PSG
The guy is an athlete. Extremely strong, extremely quick, and with huge jumping ability, Djadjedje has only started playing football 5 years ago. He’s a freak of nature, and his physical impact is huge. He’s been scoring a lot with the national selection, and he’s waiting for a few opportunities to shine with PSG.
Gallice : "The prototypical modern football forward. Powerful, explosive, fast and not individualistic. Because of his generosity, he sometimes miss chances despite a good header and a huge right footed shot. He's a player for the future, great in the collective life."

7- Yohan Gouffran, St, Caen
Very gifted player, Gouffran lacks the killer instinct as of now.
Gallice : "Incredible during our qualifying round in Spain, he's very interesting in deep spaces and has a good goal scoring sense. He must work on his technique when he has the back towards the goal."

8- Didier Digard, DM, Le Havre
He’s very similar to Deschamps, a give it all DM, with a lot passin for the game. He’s a real winner.
Gallice : "Vice-captain, he's a dolis player, generous, who takes away a lot of balls. Must be aware that after such a great work taking the ball away, you have to make good passes."

9- Hugo Lloris, GK, Nice
Very calm and solid goalie.
Gallice : "To me, he's a future L1 goalie. A very friendly and intelligent player. Gifted with surprising reflexes, he saved us many times. Against the U20 of Nigeria, the opponent's bench stood up to congratulate him."

10- Rachmane Barry, ST, Marseille
Touted as a future star, Barry has had trouble confirming and cracking OM’s lineup.

11- Babacar Gueye, St, Metz
Gueye played well for a few stretches for Metz, but he has to gain some consistency.

12- Arnaud Lescure, D, Monaco
Solid right back.

13- Yassine Moutaouakil, RB, Chateauroux
Another good right back. Is very technical and has been a starter over Lescure, but I think he has less upside.
Gallice : "Sprinter and marathonian at the same time, he allies generosity and taste for effort. He shows a great competitive spirit. He must only work on his technique when on the move."


1987

1- Hatem Ben Arfa, OM/St, Lyon
Disgustingly gifted. Ben Arfa has been in trouble because of his unwillingness to use his teammates. He seems to have put it together early on, and if it’s the case, then watch out because he can do it all.

2- Samir Nasri, OM, Marseille
Nasri is a very gifted playmaker. He’s an old fashion #10. He’ll be a cornerstone for OM at age 18.

3- Jérémy Menez, St, Sochaux
Was a tossup for the second place, but I thought Nasri had more game breaking ability. Menez is the third extremely gifted 87 player. He started in L1 at age 17, was the youngest player to sign a pro contract, was the youngest player to score a goal in L1 and the youngest player to score a hattrick. Still he was very streaky, and was rather disapointing in the last matches of the season. We’ll see how he rebounds this year.

4-Steven Thicot, D, Nantes
A rock, stay at home Dman. Thicot is THE leader of that golden generation.

5- Ahmed Yahiaoui, DM, Marseille
Yahiaoui is a true OM player, filled with energy and talent. He’s a DM, but can also play LB if needed. He’s disapointed because he hasn’t been given a number this summer, even though he performed well in the games he played last year.

6- Benoit Costil, GK, Caen
Costil is projected as a future national team goalie. He’s tall but gets down quickly.

7- Karim Benzema, ST, Lyon
Heavily talented, he is overshadowed by Menez, Nasri and Ben Arfa. With his work ethic, he could soon be at these guys’ level though.

8- Franck Songo’o, DM, Barcelona
Very talented player, son of goalie Jacques Songo’o. He plays DM in Barca and RM with France. He’s good enough to play winger and makes great crosses.

9- Serge Akapko, D, Auxerre
He’s a rock. Similar to Boumsong (although he doesn’t have the size yet).

10- Alexandre Song-Billong, DM/D, Arsenal/Bastia
I put him here since it’s not sure yet whether he will sign with Arsenal. Song is a very cool guy, very calm and he makes few mistakes. He played a whole year as starting Dman for Bastia.

11- Sandy Paillot, D, Lyon
He’s a very good defenseman, but he was overshadowed by the incredible Thicot with the national team.

12- Rémy Riou, GK, Lyon
Riou is a very good goalie, and would be the started most years. Unfortunately, he has Costil in front of him.

13- Joan Hartock, GK, Lyon
Hartock is a Lama protégé. Just like Riou, he would be a starter for France if not for Costil, and he’s very close to Riou in terms of talent and potential. Hartock is more of an acrobat I’d say.

14- Maxime Josse, D, Sochaux
Josse is a very good defenseman with good passing skills.

15- Eliot Grandin, St, Caen
Gradin has speed to burn and could develop nicely.

UR- Kévin Mirallas, St, Lille
Miralas scored in his only L1 game, so that’s impressive. I don’t know much about him, so we’ll see this year if he has any potential.


1988

UR- Kévin Monnet-Paquet, ST, Lens
Has scored a lot with the national team. He’s highly touted, but I haven’t seen him.


1989

UR- David N’Gog, ST, PSG
N’Gog is another hyped forward. He’s a starter for the national selection. Haven’t seen him play.

UR- Armand Traore, D, Arsenal
Was highly touted as well, haven’t seen him either, and he’s just been bought by Asrenal.

UR- Romain Dedola, OM, Lyon
Dedola is the star of the 89 generation, but I haven’t seen him play yet.


Last edited by Evilo: 07-29-2005 at 04:36 PM.
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09-14-2005, 04:10 AM
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Ajacied
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott = Snott
Figured I'd come up with an update as well. It will be much like Belgians' in terms of how their season went, progession being made, their upside and what can we expect. Like Belgians' I also excluded the 82 born..

The number between brackets is where I had them on the original list from july 2004.

The Dutch squad under 17 is said to be our next best generation, they lost the finals vs Turkey during last month's EK. Naturally, these players are too young (15/16) to appear on this list, but it's worth noting none-the-less. I've added quotes of what others are saying about some of the players who will be taking part in the upcoming World Cup this week in the Netherlands, not all, but some (Babel, Maduro, John, Vlaar, Quincey, Efellay will are star during next week's WC under 20 from these 15. There will be more in the next 10)..

Here are the first 15, I will add 10 more within the next few days, creating a list of 25, added with Honorable Mention's and cutt off's.


01) Arjen Robben - Dutch - 1984 - Winger - Chelsea - (2)

Well his first year in England should definitely be considered a succes, even though Robben himself thought it was the worst year of his short career so far. Somewhat understandable considering he was bothered by nagging injuries that kept him out of the line-up during crucial games, but still, he was EPL's top player in November (as awarded) before his first injury struck him. In the end, Arjen Robben earned some heavty praises after contributing with 7 goals and 9 assists in 18 games as a 20/21 year old. Coach Morinho was even quoted as saying how he thought Robben was his team's best player. Even though Robben played in only half of the games, he still finished runner up to Wayne Rooney in talent of the year and is a finalist for world wide talent of the year with the same Rooney and with Spain's Fernando Torres. I'm a firm believer Arjen would've been the favorite if not for injuries.

Talent analysis: A fast dribbler who's hard to knock off the ball, always seems to be in control of the ball and gets by oppenents with ease. Not because of his technique, but because of his fast handlings and offensive awareness. Superb cross and is an even better finisher for a man his position. Can get to the corners for the cross or cutt inside for the shot. Feisty and emotional player, he's becoming a complete package for his position.

Projection: Arjen Robben already is the best winger in the world of soccer today. He was phenomenal as a 19 year old at the EC and has delivered for his club in both the season as well as CL. Arjen Robben has superstar potential and if he can avoid or at least slim down on the injuries, Arjen Robben will definitely become a top 10 player in the world some day, and that day might come as early next year.


02) Rafael van der Vaart - Dutch - 1983 - Attacking Midlfielder - Ajax/HSV Hamburg - (01)

Rafael van der Vaart has been an easy target the past 2 years. He's had a difficult time proving himself to the media, the crowd and to his coach, nothing seemed to work. In those 2 years, Ajax changed styles, changed coaches, and changed players. So blaming Rafael entirely for not progressing further isn't all that fair, as Ajax's has had a pretty big share in Rafael's poor seasons in 2004 and 2005 as well. Then there was his marriage That said, going to Hamburg might prove to be an excellent move, he needed a fresh start. As the "Biggest talent to come out of Holland since Marco van Basten", Rafael will have a good oppertunity to play himself into the spotlights again. He seems very passionate as of late..

Talent analysis: Reads plays extremely well. A highly gifted and versatile player who can play on all midfield positions as well as striker. Ultimate position will always be #10 as the "shadow striker".. Worked hard on his defensive abilities the past two years, dangerous playmaker and can finish on every way possible. His creativity is something special. Agressive defensively..

Projection: After how Rafael played after Blind arrived, there's no reason not to believe why Rafael won't return to 2002 form and continue that pace in the near future. People forget he's only 21/22, and that he scored 18 goals and added 9 assists for 27 points in 21 games as a *midfielder* when he was 19/20 years old and guided Ajax to the CL QF's. I expect him to bounce back nicely in the Bundes Liga, maybe not instantly, but definitely within a year or 2 two. Rafael has world class potential and might very well become the best at his position someday, his upside is that high. He and Kaka were always mentioned in the same breath until Rafael's down year. But he has a lot to prove, I've definitely been very generous placing him at #2 but his upside is simply immense, and too big to pass up.


03) Robin van Persie - Dutch - 1983 - Attacking Midlfielder - Arsenal - (5)

As quoted from the original write up;



Voila..

Arsene Wenger's child has had a very solid first year in the Premier League. He made his presence known and proved himself he belongs in the short stints to earn himself a lot more playing time. 5 Goals and 5 assists in 27 games of limited action should be considered a succes. Robin displayed a high area of skills and is maturing a lot. However, Robin might have been a tad too egocentric when he's nearing the box. Completely understandable considering he's young and wants to prove himself though.

Talent analysis: A highly talented offensive midfielder, Robin van Persie is actually a nice mix between Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart, he has speed, he makes quick decisions, is highly skilled, a dangerous playmaker and an underrated finisher. One of his best assests are also his free kicks. Also a versatile player, can attack from both wing positions.

Projection: He's making it very hard for Wenger to keep him out of the starting eleven. The only reason he's not as much on the pitch as he should be is because of Dennis Bergkamp, expect Robin's minutes to increase next year, but watch him develop into a major contributor for Arsenal in 2006/2007 when Bergkamp retires. He's also pushing hard to earn a spot amongst the Dutch starting eleven. Last year I had some doubts as of whether Robin could ever make the step to superstardom, right now however, I have all the faith in the world Robin van Persie will become a star known worldwide and be amongst the best in what he does someday.


04) Ryan Babel - Dutch - 1986 - Striker/Winger - Ajax - (NR)

Ryan Babel emergence as Ajax's answer at the striker position came rather suddenly. He scored on the first ball he touched and has continued scoring for the remainder of the season. Babel probably could've scored as much as 10/15 if not for the experiments trying to add Charisteas into the picture. This had Babel playing wing which resulted in "only" 7 goals in 20 games. Definitely not a bad thing as the switch in positions only made Babel a much better player. He scored 6 goals and 1 assist in his first 8 games, and in his wing period he scored once while adding 3 assists. It was hard scoring for Ajax this year though, but Babel led the way while averaging around 65 minutes per game. He also contributed with a goal in the UEFA cup and one more in the Amstel Cup. Ryan Babel is only 19 years old and is already on his way on becoming a full time international, so far his goal scoring clip in Orange is a .500

Talent analysis: It wasn't hard for people to draw comparisons to Patrick Kluivert. The two are nearly indentical in pretty much each and every facet of the game when Kluivert was still 19. They are even equal in terms of height and size. Many people, including myself also see a bit of Thierry Henry in him, in how he uses his speed and techinque better and in that he's more athletic..

Projection: Ryan Babel has the potential to start for the best teams in Europe. It's only a matter of time before he leaves to a big club abroad. But Ajax will ask a heavty price for him, especially now that van der Vaart is gone, Babel has become their new buildingblock. Considering Babel and Kluivert are so indentical when both were 19, it wouldn't shock me if Babel also becomes a top 3 striker in the world someday. He's already a fairly mature and complete striker..

Babel is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:




05) Nigel de Jong - Dutch - 1984 - Right Back/Midfielder - Ajax - (12)

In the last two months of the season, Nigel de Jong played some of the best football I've seen out of any Ajacied during the past few seasons. Naturally due to the fact Blind let him play his favorite position (on the right in an attacking role). He was simply amazing and so it didn't come as a shock when he was choosen as Ajax's top player of the 2004/2005 season. It also had to become obvious on the list, hence Nigel is the biggest riser, going from 12th into the top 5, surpassing teammate Johnny Heitinga. With 5 goals and 4 assists, (4 goals - 3 assists since the arrival of Blind (a ppg)), Nigel de Jong was also an extremely fun player to watch. His rushes and combinations had a lot of people sitting on the edge of their seat. Since making the switch from defense to midfield, I can't imagine Nigel to ever miss out on the Dutch national side anymore.

Talent analysis: Fast dribbler with rapid footwork. Reads the game well at both ends, loves to tackle, but loves to lead a rush even more. Can get by his man by technique or go for the combination (he and Steven Pienaar are a sick combo).. Accurate finisher, long cross needs some work. Strong vocal leader for a kid his age (20)..

Projection: Manchester United is pulling hard, as are several other big teams, but Ajax is keen on keeping him. After saying how he wouldn't mind a transferm, Nigel came back at this during the last game of the season, saying he'd be back for another season, fortunately. Nigel is a pretty unique player, he can cover an entire flank, he can score, defend and play with flair. Will be a major contributor wherever he goes. Definitely a star in the making. One problem however, will be his minutes for the national squad. Now that he's established himself as a quality midfielder, he has to fight with van Bommel, Landzaat, Sneijder, van der Vaart, Maduro, Davids, Seedorf, Cocu for playing time.


06) Salomon Kalou - Ivory coast (soon to be Dutch) - 1985 - Striker - Feyenoord - (15)

Salomon Kalou has had an amazing season for a grossly underachieving team. He and striker collegue Dirk Kuijt combined for 49 goals and 24 assists, which unfortunately proved to be the only bright spot for Feyenoord this year. With 20 goals (2nd) and 11 assists (4th) in his rookie season, Salomon Kalou is proving to be something special. The 19 year old is pushing hard to earn a Dutch passport, as both he and Marco van Basten want eachother. Seems to be some struggle, but I think it will be worked out. With a potential group of Kalou, van Persie, Robben, van der Vaart, Babel, Huntelaar, John and Quincey, the Dutch won't have to worry about offensive talent anytime soon.

Talent analysis: Fast, agile, nose for the net, constantly aware, a real "goaltjes dief" (goalgetter). Doesn't score many goals from outside 16 meters, but will be a threat at every place on the pitch. Is not a very complete striker.

Projection: Whether the competiveness in the Dutch league is average at best or not, scoring 20 goals and adding 11 assists as a 19 year old is amazing. Salomon will likely leave for a big team in a year or two, but I don't think he'll fit in everywhere.. There's no telling in how good he may become. I can see him becoming a top notch striker for an European sub topper, ala Olympique Lyon, FC Porto, Valencia etc, or even in the mold of Bayern Leverkussen.. Will eventually make the Dutch national squad if everything goes well.


07) John Heitinga - Dutch - 1983 - Central Defender/rightback - Ajax - (4)

Much like every Ajacied this season, Johnny didn't enjoy a very good season either. Still, he's had his moments this year. He even got named Captain for a stretch but like all he was constantly in and out of the line-up (No Ajacied managed to be a full time starter, they all got benched sooner or later). He's getting way too cocky for his age and reputation, but still, even in a down season, Heitinga showcased his worth and has gotten some quality teams asking for his services (Juventus, Manchested United). He maintained his spot on the national team, that was his first priority and he seemed to managed that. He dropped out of the top 5, but that's not saying all that much considering the gap between the top and the rest of the top 10 is extremely, extremely close.

Talent analysis: potentially, Heitinga can be one of the most complete defenders in the world. He has speed, strenght, loves to tackle, is strong in the air, passionate, sound positionally, has very strong leadership qualities, a great long pass, accuracy and an offensive game. He has it all but hasn't quite put it all together in a package just yet, hence his biggest flaw, inconsistency.

Projection: Needs another full, healthy year with Ajax before he leaves for a bigger team or else the transition might be too much of a problem. Has the potential to anchor and captain defenses of great teams. Arguably the Dutch next Captain in line as well..


08) Wesley Sneijder - Dutch - 1984 - Midfielder - Ajax - (3)

A very odd 5 spot drop for Wesley Sneijder as he was probably the most consistent Ajacied of all, and that's quite the accomplishment on his own seeing as how ****** and inconsistent everyone else played. That said, Babel emerged, Kalou developed into a premier goalgetter while van Persie did what he had to do for Arsenal. He was arguably better than Rafael was this year, but Rafael had his moments where he showcased his brilliance, Wesley was consistently playing on the same level (Rafael could play below par for 10 games only to look brilliant in the next. Wesley was solid most of the time and didn't have Rafael's peaks). With 7 goals and 8 assists, Sneijder finished the season as Ajax's top player statistical wise. Wesley maintained himself as a valueble member of the national squad as well.

Talent analysis: Extremely accurate in his passes, Sneijder loves to join the attack as well as being defensively accountable. Wesley easily has the biggest shot among all the prospects I've listed, as about 65% of his goals came from a range of 16/25 meters. They are hard, suprising, accurate and nearly impossible to stop, he rarely misses the target. His only knock against him should be his size, but due to his fast style, his awareness and feisty game, it has hardly been a problem so far.

Projection: At least another season with Ajax to develop a better defensive game, must try to be more consistent as well. Can be a key presence for pretty much every team in the world when he reaches his full potential and learns to be consistent. One of the Dutch building blocks for the future, Sneijder will likely leave the Ere divisie in 2006/2007.


09) Hedwiges Maduro - Dutch - 1985 - Midfielder - Ajax (HM)

What a year it was for Hedwiges Maduro. After starring for Holland's youth in 2004, Maduro managed to crack and maintain a spot in the starting eleven. Not only that, he impressed Marco van Basten (who also coached him with Jong Oranje) that much, that he also earned himself a place on the national team. Provided a strong defensive presence at midfield, and also managed to score twice in 12 games.

Talent analysis: A tall and reliable player, Maduro is a two way midfielder who's a vocal, yet quiet presence. Can be assigned to take someone out, or be assigned to create offense. Strong shot, good with the header, strong on the ball. He's extremely effective in everything he does. Maduro can become the Dutch most complete player walking around at midfield, for his age group that is.

Projection: Probably an Ajacied for at least a few more years. Maduro's future looks extremely bright. He will be heavily scouted the upcoming year(s). Maduro will be a player teams are after who lack a stable, quiet, all-round force at midfield. Big teams will soon stand in line for him, if they aren't already. Because of his maturity, attitude and all-round game, Maduro will fit in pretty much everywhere. The Serie A will be the league most suited for him IMO.

Hedwiges Maduro is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:




10) Klaas-Jan Huntelaar - Dutch - 1983 - Striker - Heereveen - (NR)

Oh how PSV would like to invent the time machine, only to fly back to 2003 when they let Klaas-Jan Huntelaar walk (on loan, but still, they no longer hold his rights). Huntelaar went to the Graafschap (bottom feeder) where he couldn't crack the squad as a 19 year old. He then went to a 2nd division club which he absolutely tore apart. He quickly got noticed by Heereveen where he now is their starting striker while finishing 4th in the league in goals. The 21 year old was streaky though, he had about 12 goals in the first half, but only 5 in the second, including a hattrick.

Talent analysis: A physical, deadly striker, Huntelaar is simular to Ruud van Nistelrooy in some ways (both have also played for Heereveen and PSV). Uses his body well, turns in and out and finishes quickly. Isn't much of a ball hog, he either shoots or he passes it back. A simple and utterly effective striker. Good control with the ball at all times.

Projection: Has the potential to lead the league in scoring as early as next season. Very much capable of 20+ goals in a league not relying as much on technique, but more on strenght and effectiveness (Germany, England, Scotland). I see him following Ruud's footsteps. Maybe even to the detail, joining Manchester United when Ruud leaves (which seems like a realistic sight these days).. Only a matter of time before he makes his debute in Orange. He's already been selected a couple of times, but it's hard to crack the Dutch national squad as a 21 year old striker when you've got to compete with Ruud van Nistelrooy, Roy Makaay, Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuijt. Then there are also Pierre van Hooijdonk, Patrick Kluivert, Jimmy Hasselbaink, and a few promessing youngsters (John, Quincey, Kalou), who are all still eager to return/make their debute. Will be very tough, especially since Marco van Basten likes to play with only one striker. He will make it eventually, just not anytime soon. He has to wait till the current generation retires or decline (Ruud, Makaay, Kluivert)..


11) Quincey Owusu-Abeyie - Dutch - 1986 - Striker/Shadow striker - Arsenal - (NR)

"Stolen" from Ajax's junior ranks, Quincey is a rare and sick talent but isn't breaking into my top 10 because of inexperience at the highest level (understandable) but also a bit because he likes to toy with his opponent too much, resulting in ineffectiveness at times, so his maturity needs some work. Though only 19 for about a month, Quincey already played a few games for the Gunners this season, drawing some attention with his highly entertaining game. Arsene Wenger is said to have big plans for Quincey in the near future.

Talent analysis: Based on pure talent and instincts, Quincey would lead this list by a fairly decent margain. He's probably the highest skilled player I've ever had the pleasure to watch live.. He's so strong physicaly, it's not that as much as he's a bulldozer, but you nearly can't knock him off the ball when he has his sights set towards the goal. He combinates this with rediculous speed and control, to go with a high arsenal of moves.

Projection: Fortunately for Quincey, his 2 biggest problems are completely understandable for a kid his age and are relatively easy to overcome. He will no longer toy around much once Wenger gets to have more time on his hands with him. A player with superstar potential, if all goes well Quincey could play for the biggest teams there are and skyrocket into the top 5, if not take over the reigns. Will definitely be a full time international once he matures and gets some playing time.

Quincey Owusu-Abeyie is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:




12) Ron Vlaar - Dutch - 1985 - Central defender - AZ - (NR)

Ron Vlaar made his debute for AZ in the UEFA Cup quater finals this season and hold his own just perfectly. He controlled his nerves from there on and proved to be a very reliable and stable force for AZ's backline. Of major value for young Oranje and so Marco van Basten called him up for the big boys right away. Has yet to make his debute, but this may come as early as wednesday vs Finland. Van Basten is a huge fan of his.

Talent analysis: A big, sound defender who's always calm and never panics. Not defensively, but not with the ball either. Always makes the right decision, very smart player who I think will be quite underrated because of his quiet, yet effective game. Above average speed for a guy his size, but relies more on a positional game anyway. Solid with the ball, but won't ever be an offensive threat.

Projection: A very raw talent, Ron Vlaar will play at least play a few more years in the Dutch competiton. Defenders like him are needed everywhere and should have little trouble fitting in. Doesn't have game breaking potential or anything, defenders in that mold rarely have, but he should be a wanted commodity. I see him playing for a subtopper in the PL someday..

Ron Vlaar is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:




13) Steven Pienaar - South African/Dutch - 1982 - Right midfielder/forward - Ajax - (9th)

A personal favorite of mine, Steven is a product of Ajax’ education system in South Africa. He’d probably start on a lot of teams already, but that’s rather difficult and hard to do when you have Sneijder and van der Vaart ahead of you on the depthchart. Plays with heart and despite his funny way to walk and sprint, is actualy quite fast. Plays a mature game and seems to be one of the vocal leaders on the youngest squad in the world.

Talent analysis: Always active, with or without the ball, can play every midfield position as well as playing behind the strikers but also likes to tackle and defend agressively. Likes to show off his skills.

Projection: More of a roleplayer than a scorer, Steven Pienaar will likely get more credit whenever he sees regular time on the pitch.


14) Ibrahim Efellay - Dutch - 1986 - Creative Midfielder - PSV - (NR)

A highly talented youngster, Ibrahim is PSV's most promessing player. A broken toe saw him making his defenitive debute later than expected (his official debute came in 2003 at the age of 17), but the breakthrough came. Ibrahim stepped out of the shadow with 2 goals against arch rivals Feyenoord, (two beauties btw). Ibrahim had a great season, even though he appeared in only 7 games (started in 3 - Finished with 2 goals, 1assist).

Talent analysis: A player with fast ball handlings and good offensive instincts. Loves to make meters and go on fancy dribbling tours. Owns a good cross but prefers to go for personal succes as he has the talent to do so. Lanky, athletic offensive dynamo with an impressive area of skills.

Projection: Efellay is expected to be a full time regular for PSV next season. He will likely start rushes from the right, whereas Park tries to do the same from the left flank. Judging by his skillset can become a star potential player. Still very raw so it's hard to see what the future holds for him, but it's definitely promessing. A player in the mold of slightly lesser skilled Robin van Persie but with a lot more defensive comittment.


15) Arouna Koné - Ivory Coast - 1983 - Striker - PSV, on loan from Roda JC - (HM/21)

The 21 year old is coming off a good, yet still a somewhat dissapointing season. With 15 goals (good for 7th in the league, no penalties) and 7 assists, Koné was one of the top point getters of 2005. The bad news was that he failed a physical when a dream transfer to Ajax seemed all but done. Koné was coming off an injury at the time, so he had a legit excuse, but Ajax wanted to handle fast since they wanted to use him in European games as well. The deal fell through and Koné since had trouble regaining his form. He got it back in the later stages of the season and finished on pace again.

Talent analysis: A skillful, yet streaky striker. Koné's ability to score from everywhere makes him a dangerous threat the opposition needs to keep their eye on at all times. Tends to dig himself in holes when he isn't playing as well as he should. As most of his countrymen, is a flashy but still effective player. Weak with the header and isn't much of a physical player, Koné relies on his finesse skillset, his shot and overal awareness.

Projection: Probably enjoying his last season for mid range club Roda JC. Ajax seems to be off the list now, but there's still plenty of interest both from the Dutch league as world wide. Could become a valueble striker in a stronger league, ala France where Lyon would be a perfect fit. Lacks the physical strenght and hardiness to survive in say the Premier League.


16) Daniël de Ridder - Dutch - 1984 - Attacking Midfielder/Winger - Celta de Vigo, on loan from Ajax - (10)

Due to Ronald Koeman wanting to have a pure right winger more so than a tweener, Daniel de Ridder didn't quite have the season he had hoped. He only appeared in 15 games, scoring twice, assisting twice, in limited action. Daniel has been superb for Young Oranje and with a quality season (read: lots of playing time), he'll definitely be considered for the big boys of Holland. He has what it takes..

Talent analysis: Daniel de Ridder is a flashy and talented player who loves to attack. Amazing free kick and a cross which always seems to find its target. Needs to be more consistent and pay more attention to the defensive side of the game. Poor header and gets knocked from the ball still a bit too easily..

Projection: Lots of teams have contacted Ajax about a possible loan, but Ajax isn't wanting to hear anything about it. De Ridder is in Ajax's plans, but he's playing the most crowded position there is. He has to fight harder and/or wait for his turn. His time will definitely come, but whether it's with Ajax is yet to be seen. Also a player who's potential is of higher quality then of the current competition he's in. He might actually move as soon as next year if he won't get the proper playing time a kid his age should get, whether Ajax would like that or not.


17) Collins John - Dutch - 1985 - Striker - Fullham (16)

It was hard deciding between John and Huntelaar, but seeing as how John did manage to crack the national squad (twice actually), while Huntelaar never got further than the bench, I gave him the edge. With 4 goals in 8 games for Fullham last year, Collins John had a tough time cracking Fullham this season. However, John requested to start in the later stages of the season and impressed a lot of people. He scored in both of them while creating plenty of more oppertunities.

Talent analysis: A mix between Jimmy Hasselbaink and Samuel Eto'o. Owns a very hard shot, loves to fight through traffic. A physical imposing player, John is also good with the head. Best asset is probably his deadlyness whenever he's in the box, also knows where to be whenever oppertunities appear. Not much of a playmaker at all, highly skilled, but not al that flashy. Control needs help as well. Tends to keep his head down when things aren't going his way.

Projection: Has probably impressed his coach enough to justify better treatment and at least become a regular starter. When he establishes himself, he could very well become a 15/20 goal scorer, if not compete for the title. Perfect Premier League player, I can see him succeding in England for a long time, though Spain might suit him as well. Already a Dutch international at the age of 19, so his future seems very promesing. His potential is probably too high for Fullham to keep him during his prime years, one of Englands top teams will probably sign him in a few years.

Collins John is a WC under 20 participant

Edit: dropped from 10th to 17th due to poor WC performance and inability to earn minutes for Fullham.


18) Haris Medunjanin - Dutch - 1985 - Shadow Striker/Creative midfielder - AZ - (NR)

Another participant of the WC under 20, this may be seen as a surprise pick. Haris only has 3 professional games on his hands with AZ but I think he has game breaking potential and thus decided to place him above some who might've been more deserving in terms of experience and such, but this list is probably more based on potential anyway.

Talent analysis: A potential difference maker, Medunjanin is a hard working playmaker with a nice touch of flair in his actions. Some like to make Dennis Bergkamp/Barry van Galen comparisons when they hear his name (strictly stylewise though), mainly because he has this unpredictable, yet accuracy with his passing in crowded area's.

Projection: Both the striker as shadow striker positions are well stacked for AZ, so Medunjanin probbaly has to wait another year before he can push to become a full time regular. Expect him to take away some minutes from Barry van Galen (36), but nothing more just yet. A player to keep your eye on for the future. I'm positive Medunjanin will represent the big boys of Holland someday. Until then, AZ will develop him nicely before preparing a big move abroad when he's nearing his prime. He'd probably have the skills and potential to play in Europe's biigest league's.

Haris Medunjanin is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

Co Adriaanse (his coach with AZ, now coach of FC Porto):




19) Urby Emanuelsson - Dutch - 1986 - Left Midfielder/Defender - Ajax - (HM/24)

18 Year old Urby Emanuelsson managed to crack Ajax and play in the final 3 games of the season, starting in the last two. He played all of them out of position (left back), but increased his game significantly over those 3 matches. He got graded a 4.0 in his first full, 90 minute debute (they don't grade substitutors, which he was in his official debute) but was still among the better defenders of his side. He received a 6.0 (usually the highest grade of the game is a 7, that game it was a 6.5 from van der Vaart) in the last game of the season and made sure Ajax fans have something to look forward to in 2005/2006.

Talent analysis: A player who will likely be a succes in many places due to his effectiveness in terms of skill as well positionally. A fast and entertaining player to watch, Urby is one of Holland's brightest all-round midfielders. Can be used to create offense or contribute defensively, a versatile player.

Projection: With the future of Trabelsi and Maxwell uncertain, Urby will likely play as a defender in the first stages of his career. Very comparable to Nigel de Jong, Urby Emanuelsson will always try to show off his offensive skills, whether he's being used as a defenseman or not. Ultimate left midfielder though. Urby is expected to make the step from Oranje under 20/Young Oranje to the official Dutch squad some day.

Urby Emanuelsson is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

John van den Brom (assistent coach Oranje under 20):




20) Gianni Zuiverloon - Dutch - 1986 - Central/Right Defender - Feyenoord - (NR)

A young, promessing defender who should have been a regular this year, but the staff decided to go with expensive players from abroad. Zuiverloon is a better player than whatever Feyenoord bought, but he's young (18) so he'll get his chance. He did manage to appear in 10 games scoring no points, playing his secondary position (RB)..

Talent analysis: A lanky two way defender, Gianni is probably the most offensively gifted defenseman you'll find on this list, he does this without letting it affecting his defensive responsibilities. A tough player one on one, but also understands the game positionally. Good with the header as well.. Long cross needs some work.

Projection: Should become a full time regular for Feyenoord within the next 2 years. Definitely won't move out yet as Feyenoord isn't exactly filled with defensive youngsters, not with Gianni's pontential at least. Expect Feyenoord to treat him as their first born but they will likely have to see him leave to a quality team abroad in the end. With de Jong officially being transferred to a midfielder, Zuiverloon's path to become an eventual international seems like a realistic sight in a few years.

Gianni Zuiverloon is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

Ruud Gullit (his coach with Feyenoord):



21) Rasmus Lindgren - Swedish - 1984 - Creative midfielder - FC Groningen, on loan from Ajax- (19)

Rasmus Lindgren made his competition debute this past year and he's done amazingly well in all 4 of the games he saw. He started 3 of them, receiving respectful grades of a 7, 6 and another 6, in that order. He's been better than the 20th spot, but too many players have emerged this year and at 20/21, he's a little bit older than the rest. Tough choice, but like the top 10, the bottom 10 are every bit as close.

Talent analysis: Despite his size, Rasmus is a player hard to get off the ball and always finds his way to deliver the ball wherever he wants it to. Loves to set up attacks and always manages to be the open man in order to create plays. Haven't seen his shot much..

Projection: With Rafael gone, Galasek aging, Ajax fans will see a little more out of Lindgren next season. Definitely more than the 4 games we saw of him this past season. He will likely be with the group all season long, and start a game here and there. He won't be a regular as long as he has Maduro, de Jong and Sneijder ahead of him. A potential stud, Lindgren too, will have to wait before he can really show what he's capable off game in game out.

Edit: Now with Groningen, Lindgren now has the perfect oppertunity to prove what he's really made off. He's already scored in his debute.

Somewhat updated.. Tried to move up Afellay but the competition is too tight. Check back to the 2nd page to read the quotes though as they aren't shown when you quote them again..

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09-14-2005, 10:17 PM
  #39
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Portuguese League Top 15 prospects(Vaz Te technically plays in England)

1)Joao Moutinho, Sporting Lisbon, CM, 08-09-1986

Strengths: At only 20 years of age Joao Moutinho has shown some remarkable ability at such a young age. He has become a regular on the Portuguese national team and is now the catalyst at midfield for Sporting Lisbon due to the transfer of Fabio Rochemback to Middlesbrough.

Future Projection: Star on one of Europe's better squads(English Premier, Serie A) and consistent starter on Portuguese national team

2)Ricardo Quaresma, F.C Porto, RM, 26-09-1983

Strengths: Incredible talent and playmaking/dribbling ability, Some say he has more overall talent that Cristiano Ronaldo. His problem is that he does tend to try to do to much on his own and holds the ball to much he also must keep his temper in check.

Future Projection: If he reaches his potential he could become a big time star. Co Ardianesse seems to have him in check and if he becomes consistent the sky's the limit for Quaresma

3)Diego, Brasilian,F.C Porto, AM, 28-02-1985

Strengths: A great possesion player with dynamic dribbling. Reminds many of a younger version of Deco. Nicknamed "The Sock"

Future Potential: Possible Brasilian national teamer and consistent starter at midfield

4)Manuel Fernandes, Benfica, CM, 05-02-1986

Strengths: Great shooting ability and posseses adequate dribbling ability. Comparisions to Claude Makalele

Future Potential: Starter on Portuguese National team

5)Ibson,Brasilian, F.C Porto, CM, 07-11-1983

Strengths: Very good dribbler with great vision and passing abilty

Future Potential: Consistent starter on FC Porto

6)Pinilla, Chile, Sporting Lisbon, F, 04-02-1984

Strengths: Very good finisher and posseses a punishing shot

Future Potential: Consistent Chilean National teamer

7)Nélson, Benfica, RB, 10-06-1983

Strengths: Very good defender that gets involved offensively as well. Decent crosser with good heading ability

Future Potential: Probable national teamer, consistent starter on top Portuguese teams

8)Custódio, Sporting Lisbon, CM, 24-05-1983

Strengths: Above average passer with decent dribbling abilities. Possess above average soccer IQ

Future Potential: Probable national team sub most of his career

9)Hugo Almeida, F.C Porto, F, 23-05-1984

Strengths: Behemoth of a young lad at over 6"3. Possesses great heading ability and is a good finisher.

Future Potential: Starter at FC Porto. Starter on Portuguese national team replacing Pedro Pauleta

10)Ivanildo, F.C Porto, F, 09-01-1986

Strengths: Great dribbling ability and for a player his age posses quite a good maturity level

Future Potential: Starter

11)Miguel Garcia, Sporting Lisbon, RB, 04-02-1983

Strengths: Possesses good offensive instintcs for a defender. Possesess a good shot/header and is also sound defensively,

Future Potential: Injury replacement on National Team, Starter at Sporting Lisbon

12)Bruno Vale, Estrela Amadora, G, 08-04-1983

Strengths: Reads plays very well and comes up with some remarkable saves in the most pressure packed times

Future potential: Will someday reaplce Vitor Baia in the F.C Porto net. Possible starter on National team, definite number two.

13)Carlitos, Benfica, RM, 06-09-1982

Strengths: Good dribbling abilty and is a decent finisher. Solid youngster with potential

Future Potential: Starter at Benfica

14) Anderson, Brasilian, F.C Porto,AM, 13-04-1988

Strengths: Posseses incredible dribbling ability and is a great finisher. Has yet to be tested in the Portuguese first division.

Future Potential: Dubbed by many as the next Ronaldinho if he reaches his potential he could become one of the games greats.

15)Ricardo Vaz Te, (England's Bolton Wanderers), AM, 1-10-1986

Strengths: Great finisher that went to play in England with Bolton very early in his career.The striker made an immediate impact, scoring eight goals in his first three Academy games, and that led to him being called into the first team squad for the Carling Cup tie against Gillingham shortly after his 17th birthday.

Future Potential: Very talked about player in Portugual that has many people buzzing. He and Hugo Almeida seem to be the future likely replacements to Pedro Pauleta at striker on the national team. Vaz Te's potential exceeds that of Almeida's and he will most likely get the oppurtunity to be the national team's striker for year's to come


Last edited by ATG: 09-14-2005 at 10:29 PM.
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Old
10-27-2005, 06:32 AM
  #40
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Most visible prospects by team since the start of the L1 season :

Ajaccio

1- Fabien Laurenti (D, 83)
Has developped into an undisputable starter. Is very solid.


Auxerre

1- Kahlenberg (M, 83, DEN)
Has played like advised by posters here : good both ways, very solid on free kicks and the passing game in general. He has one goal (very nice to boot) and is leading the entire league in assists.
2- Abou Diaby (M, 86)
Coming off an injury, he has provided a nice boost in midfield and has scored a beauty as well. Is turning into a definite starter.
3- Youness Kaboul (D, 86)
I rank him third mostly because he has only played one game this year. He was out with injury before that. Arguably the best defensive prospect in France with Thicot.
4- Serge Akapko (D, 87)
One of the best 87 born defenseman.
4- Bakari Sagna (RB, 83)
I don’t like him a lot, but he has been solid this season.


Bordeaux

1- Marouane Chamakh (St, 84, Mar)
Very elegant scorer with good size and good timing.
2- Rio Mavuba (M, 84)
Somewhat of a disappointment this year IMO.
3- Pierre Ducasse (M, 87)
The underrated offensive player of the 87 generation, know for its stars.
4- Julien Faubert (M, 83)
Nice right winger with speed and determination.


Le Mans

1- Tulio De Melo (St, 85, BRA)
Has been one of the most efficient scorer in L1, thanks to his great size and heading ability.
2- Davide Chiumento (M, 84, SWI)
Hasn’t played much because of an injury, and hasn’t made an impact yet.
3- Romaric (St, 83, IvC)
Was injured obviously, but was disappointing in his games.
4- Chiguy Lucau (St, 84, Con)
Is finding his groove and has started scoring.


Lens

1- Benoît Assou-Ekotto (LB, 84, Cam)
Has become one of the best at his position in L1. Is developping better than anyone thought.
2- Jussie (St, 83, Bra)
After some dazzling moves, he showed his colors, and they’re disappointing : inconsistant, poor in front of the net, bad choices... I expected much more from him.


Lille

1- Jean II Makoun (M, 83, Cam)
Very very effective, and very good with the header despite his small size.

2- Mathieu Debuchy (M, 85)
A very good two way midfielder that has a great shot. All around the pitch type of guy.

3- Yohan Cabaye (M, 86)
Similar to Debuchy, except more defensively oriented.

4- Kevin Mirallas (St, 87, Bel)
Hasn’t had too much to prove himself, but Puel is a believer.

5- Stefan Lichtsteiner (D, 84, Swi)
Has been solid, but could do better.


Lyon

1- Hatem Ben Arfa (St, 87)
Has been incredible in each of his games this year. Lyon’s system doesn’t give him too many playing time (he’s a support striker, and Lyon plays 4-3-3). Still it’s only a matter of time before the system is built around him.
2- Fred (St, 83, Bra)
Has been as good as advertised. Not very fast, but deadly in front of the net. Tall, tough to move.
3- Karim Benzema (St, 87)
Some consider him better than Ben Arfa (kind of Ovechkin vs Malkin). Benzema has all the qualities of a great striker. He has been good in every appearance, rare because of Lyon’s depth.
4- Jérémy Berthod (LB, 84)
Has played mich more than anyone thought. Sure Abidal was injured, but he pushed Monsoreau, one of the best and most versatile defenseman in L1 to the bench. Has been very impressive.
5- Kévin Jacmot (M, 84)
A very good offensive midfielder.
6- François Clerc (RB, 83)
Has played a very good game against Rennes the other day. I didn’t expect him to be this good.
7- Sandy Paillot (D, 87)
Considered by some the best 87 defenseman on par with Thicot. In any case he’s also a leader.
8- Joan Hartock (G, 87)
A real cat. Very similar to Bernard Lama.
9- Jérémy Clément (M, 84)
Very solid defensive midfielder, he provides a lot of stability. Great tactical sense for a guy his age.


Marseille

1- Samir Nasri (M, 87)
Has been played once every other game to preserve his health, as he finished the season last year completely burnt.
2- Frank Ribéry (M, 83)
The OM MVP so far. He has been spectacular.
3- Taye Taiwo (LB, 85, Nig)
Solid defensively (though he could be better), he has provided offensive punch through his monster free kicks.
4- Lorick Cana (M, 83, Alb)
Very solid defensive midfielder. Technical too. Though the way he treated PSG after being benched 3 games isn’t really worthy of praise.


Metz

1- Carl Medjani (D, 85, on loan from Liverpool)
Hasn’t played much yet, but with Metz’s dismal run, he should see some time soon. He’s a very complete defenseman with excellent leadership skills.


Monaco

1- David Gigliotti (St, 85)
Very deadly striker. Lacks a bit of size, but makes up for it with offensive sense and natural shooting ability. He likes the spectacular plays.
2- Emanuel Adebayor (St, 84, Tog)
The Albatros has suffered a lot lately, through his incredible misses all season long in front of the net. He has missed some goals every 10 year old would manage to score. Still his combination of agility, adequate speed, big size, and natural ability should make him a valuable prospect.
3- Olivier Veigneau (D, 85)
Hasn’t played much with Monaco, but he’s a very promising prospect.


Nancy

1- Pape Diakhate (D, 84, Sen)
Very solid two way player, who is very tough on the ball.
2- Landry N’Guemo (M, 85, Cam)
Has seized the opportunity to shine after a rash of injuries. He has been very very effective and active.


Nantes

1- Jérémy Toulalan (M, 83)
One of the very best L1 players, he has been average at the start of the season, but has picked up where he left off last season now. He has been extremely impressive the last few weeks.
2- Steven Thicot (D, 87)
The natural born leader of the 87 generation. He’s also a very solid defenseman with dominating ability.
3- Claudiu Keseru (St, 87, Rou)
A natural born scorer. Has the sense you can’t teach.
4- Emerse Fae (M, 84, IvC)
A very good two way player. Has been put on the right side this season, and has shined there.


Nice

1- Hugo Lloris (G, 86)
A very good goalie with good reflexes.


PSG

1- Rudy Haddad (M, 85)
Wanted by Inter or ManU a few years ago, the extremely gifted Haddad has finally some playing time lately. He’s a PSG player at heart.
2- Cristiano Rodriguez (M, 85, Uru)
Heavily touted and hyped. He has yet to play the game until FIFA decides what happens to him and Bueno.
3- David N’Gog (St, 89)
Is way too good for the guys his age. Has trained with L1 players and will see some time soon.
4- Franck Djadjedje (St, 86)
Very strong bulldozer with good timing in the box. Very prolific scorer at every level.
5- Jean-Michel Badiane (D, 83)
Very solid defenseman that can also play RB.


Rennes

1- Arnold Mvuemba (M, 85)
Very technical defensive midfielder. Is not big, but he can dribble through several players, and has incredible vision.
2- Jacques Faty (D, 84)
A rock on defense. Faty is the former captain of the Le Tallec/Sinama generation. Is talked about for the national team.
3- Yoann Gourcuff (M, 86)
A very good midfielder, with good free kick ability. Gourcuff is first and foremost a good passer.
4- Jimmy Briand (St, 85)
A pure scorer, Briand has speed and is accurate in front of the net.
5- Simon Pouplin (G, 85)
A very good goalie prospect.
6- Florent Chagneau (G, 84)
Chaigneau is IMO one of the best prospects out there, but he’s in conflict with his coach. Which will lead him nowhere.
7- Etienne Didot (M, 83)
A solid two way midfielder, he’s highly rated game in and game out. Won’t dazzle you, but is very consistent.
8- Adailton (D, 84, Bra)
Solid defenseman.


St Etienne

1- Loic Perrin (M, 85)
A very solid defensive midfielder with good offensive skills. He scored in his first pro game from a nice shot outside the box.
2- Damien Perquis (D, 84)
The best defenseman in L2 last year. He’s been solid this year.


Sochaux

1- Jérémy Menez (St, 87)
Menez has been under a lot of heat from fans for the start of the season. They seem to expect too much of him. After an average start, he’s been good lately, and he scored his first goal recently.
2- Mourad Meghni (M, 84)
Mourad was excpected to be the savoir, and he’s failed. His technique is marvelous, but he doesn’t have enough impact on his team.


Strasbourg

1- Alexander Farnerud (M, 84, Swe)
Still a lot of talent. And still very frustrating.
2- Ricardo Faty (M, 86)
A very tough midfielder. He’s the future of Strasbourg midfield.
3- Karim Haggui (D, 84, Mar)
A young defenseman that is excellent with the header. He has scored three goals in a week on set plays. Can play RB too.
4- Sidi Keita (M, 85, Mal)
He’s been a rock this season, and Strasbourg’s MVP.
5- Athur Boka (LB, 83, IvC)
Ivory Coast starting left back. Is good at passing, but could be better on defense.


Toulouse

1- Alexandre Bonnet (M, 86)
Very gifted youngster (to the point where it’s ridiculous), but it’s hard to say if his huge upside will amount to anything.
2- Lucien Aubey (D, 84)
Very, very good defenseman prospect. Among the best at his position. Some big teams inquired about him (EPL and Calcio).
3- Daniel Congre (D, 85)
The best 85 defenseman IMO.
4- Bryan Bergougnoux (St, 83)
Bergougnoux is a crazy striker who never hesitates to shoot. He has power, and has scored at a very impressive rate in youth selections.
5- Jérémy Mathieu (D/M, 83)
Mathieu has seemed to regress in Toulouse. His versatility is still here (he can play central back, left back, left midfielder, defensive midfielder and even some offensive midfield), but he seems to underachieve big time.
6- Nabil Taider (M, 83, Tun)
Young talented two way defenseman. He chose to play for Tunisia even though he is born in France.


Troyes

1- Sébastien Grax (St, 84, on loan from Monaco)
A talented striker. Monaco could sure use him this year. Finished third in scoring in L2 last year (behind Kroupi and Koné). Is good with the head, has good finish, but is a bit streaky. He can score a goal a game for a good stretch and be invisible for a good stretch too. He really needs to work on his consistency.
2- Stephen Drouin (D, 84, on loan from Nantes)
Drouin has rebounded from so-so games to being a monster lately. He has a lot of potential, but it’s still untaped IMO.

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Old
12-20-2005, 01:35 PM
  #41
Ajacied
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Here are the first 15:

Probably a very unfamiliar bunch to the rest of you as a lot of youngsters on the following list have yet to make their professional debute. That said, I wanted a stronger cutt-off age. Due to this I've missed to mention plenty of potential gems who I will mention seperately at the bottom. The order was hard to make, as most prospects are barely 17 years old, having accomplished little, to some who are 20 and are already fulltime internationals. That said, I tried hard, and have basicly created a list based on potential and what they've done lately.

Nine of the 25 prospects are from the youthranks of Ajax, which is no coincident. There are plenty of scouts from elite European teams scouting the junior squads of Ajax, pretty much every game. This is said by many to be the Dutch best generation in years, it includes the U17 squad who lost the European Finals to Turkey but then beat the same Turkey squad at the WC where they finished 3rd, as the best European nation. They accomplished so without the young stud who leads my list:

PS: Former write ups were added for some players.

01) Ismael Aissati 16-08-1988 MF - PSV - (Marocco/Holland)

Picture

Ismael Aissati already saw some minutes as a substitute for PSV this year, but his fulltime debute was quite special. Just 17 years and 2 months old, Ismael Aissati started his first game vs European Giants AC Milan. Ordered by Guus Hiddink to keep Andrea Pirlo in check, yet what turned out was the exact opposite. Ismael Aissati has not looked back since and has been a big part of young Oranje, despite the fact he is nearly 4 years younger than his collegue's. In his first two young Oranje games, he had the ball 170 times, losing it only 4 times. He even is being courted by Marco van Basten to play for the big boys.

Ismael Aissati is a very shy individual, but once on the pitch he goes completely out. He simply always knows to do with the ball,
an instict unable to be taught. He rarely, rarely loses it, knows when to speed things up and slow things down, can create oppertunities with slick playmaking and can already shadow some of the game's best. He's a complete package, a very, very smart kid..

Outlook: Piet de Visser (Chelsea scout) recently called Aissati the most promessing and unique 17 year old in the World. Ismael Aissati will likely play for PSV for quite some time. His game requires no adjustments, he should fit in and contribute everywhere.


02) Salomon Kalou 05-08-1985 W/S - Feyenoord - (Ivory Coast/Holland)

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Not really optimized playing for Feyenoord at the moment as Feyenoord already have Dirk Kuijt at striker, but Salomon Kalou can be a dangerous winger as well. Blessed with speed and technique, Marco van Basten likes to compare him to Arjen Robben in that both have game breaking ability. There's been a lot of commotion around Kalou this year as he is trying hard to persue a career in Oranje, as he was born in the Ivory Coast, just like brother and former Feyenoorder Bonaventure Kalou (PSG). Kalou would compete with van Persie, Robben, Castelen and Babel, and odds are strong he will outperform all but one and start for Oranje in 2006.

Salomon Kalou has been one of the most underrated youngsters of Europe since making his professional debute. Scoring 20 as a 19 year old didn't get him enough recognition to be mentioned for the Golden Boy award, yet he's arguebly a better player than Ryan Babel, Quincy Owusu, and at the moment even Hedwiges Maduro, who all did get nominations. Anyway, Kalou is lightning quick, can beat you with technique or speed and is stronger with the head than you would think. Can be used as a shadow striker, as a striker or as a winger.

Outlook: Look for Kalou to have a simular career to Arjen Robben, though maybe not injury wise. They are extremely alike, so much alike in fact, that Chelsea has been scouting the youngster for about the last few games. Kalou however, do needs to learn to pass more, he's been quite selfish this season.


03) Hedwiges Maduro DF - 13-02-1985 - Ajax (Holland)

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Already a firm strenght on the Dutch national squad, Maduro is one of van Basten's favorites. Hence why Maduro is starting over the likes such as Davids, Sneijder, Cocu and Seedorf. Teams are after Maduro for quite some time. When he was 15, Manchester United showed strong interest, but decided to back out due to Fergeson not being impressed. Little did they know as Maduro is now a starting force on the Dutch national team, playing the style United urgently lacks at midfield.

Maduro plays for Ajax, arguably the team with the best educational youth system in the world. It's hard cracking the team, but it's even harder maintaing. Dealing with pressure, the constant breathing in your neck of the next talent in line, having to play not only efficient but also entertaining, etc., etc.. And just a while ago Maduro found himself in a tough spot. He was not a starter for the first time since his debute, but Maduro has worked hard, and didn't had a funk very long, in fact, he's already a valueble presence once again. Maduro plays a safe game, he's should already be considered one of the best in handling the flow of a game. Can play as a CB or as a DM.

Outlook: Maduro has often drawn comparisons from Frank Rijkaard, one of the best ever at his position. He's not as tough nor as good defensively as Rijkaard was, but his game overall resembles him alot. Maduro is being courted by United, Juventus, Milan and Chelsea, just to name a few, but the sober guy that he is, doesn't even think of leaving just yet. He feels he stil has a lot to learn and won't consider leaving before he feels the time is right.

His previous write up:

Quote:
What a year it was for Hedwiges Maduro. After starring for Holland's youth in 2004, Maduro managed to crack and maintain a spot in the starting eleven. Not only that, he impressed Marco van Basten (who also coached him with Jong Oranje) that much, that he also earned himself a place on the national team. Provided a strong defensive presence at midfield, and also managed to score twice in 12 games.

Talent analysis: A tall and reliable player, Maduro is a two way midfielder who's a vocal, yet quiet presence. Can be assigned to take someone out, or be assigned to create offense. Strong shot, good with the header, strong on the ball. He's extremely effective in everything he does. Maduro can become the Dutch most complete player walking around at midfield, for his age group that is.

Projection: Probably an Ajacied for at least a few more years. Maduro's future looks extremely bright. He will be heavily scouted the upcoming year(s). Maduro will be a player teams are after who lack a stable, quiet, all-round force at midfield. Big teams will soon stand in line for him, if they aren't already. Because of his maturity, attitude and all-round game, Maduro will fit in pretty much everywhere. The Serie A will be the league most suited for him IMO.

04) Vurnon Anita MF - 04-04-1989 - Ajax - Holland

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There are no real single studs in the current youth ranks of Ajax right now, but a whole bunch who are hard to differ from eachother. IMO Vurnon Anita leads the list. He was a strong member on both U17 squads which won silver and bronze at the most recent U17 EC and WC, respectively. Vurnon Anita is a versatile and prodigious talent who can play on the right wing or in the centre of midfield and defence.

He's often been compared to Clarence Seedorf when he was the same age (16). And that's about the biggest comparison any 16 year old midfielder can have, as Clarence Seedorf was deemed as the world's greatest talent before he made his proffesional debute at the tender age of 16. Anita plays alot like his model, his strong on the ball, but he's faster and having more defensive tasks throughout his career makes him a pretty complete package, not to mention that he was also the captain during the EC. Also highly skilled, Anita is a midfielder of a new era, he can be a world class neutral midfielder, or compete on offense like the best of 'm.

Outlook: One of the most versatile players of his agegroup, Anita is at just 16 years the youngest one so far. It's hard reading his upside, he should become a simular player like Seedorf, here's hoping he won't walk with his head in the clouds as early as Seedorf did. I doubt he will have a simular career, as few can tip what Seedorf has accomplished. No one in fact. As most Ajax youngsters, Vurnon has already drawn a lot of interest from scouts worldwide. Anita is on the verge of making his professional debute for Ajax 1. Oh yeah, I also think he will be better than Maduro, but Maduro's resume is hard to deny right now.


05) Ron Vlaar CB - 16-02-1985 - AZ - Holland

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Things went fast with Ron Vlaar, perhaps too fast. After his oustanding play in the quarter and semi finals of the UEFA Cup last season, it didn't take long for Vlaar to wear famous Orange jersey. This year however, has been rough. Vlaar does not seem to like coach van Gaal, who has him as the team's 3rd ranked Central Back, both are Dutch internationals. Vlaar openly expressed his feelings with fines and a nice, warm seat in the stands as a result. Vlaar wants out, his play is suffering because of it, hinted by his game vs Italy. Luckily for Ron, pretty much every team is dying to add him, especially after being named top defender of the most recent WC under 21. Ajax has been the supposed front runner, mainly because Vlaar is an Ajax fan himself, but AZ is not coorperating with a deal to such a rival. Interested English teams such as Tottenham and Arsenal are now a more realistic place for Vlaar to continue his progression.

The next Jaap Stam, Ron Vlaar is an immensely strong and stable defender who stands his ground. Loves to battle in the air, has a hard, powerful shot, a good long pass and just like Stam, a very underrated part of his is his speed. Rarely panics with the ball and often is the foundation of an attack. He's a beast when it comes to
one on one defending, but might need more tweaking on his positional game.

Outlook: 20 Years of age, Dutch international, experience in European tournaments, interest from Ajax, Arsenal and Tottenham, being compared to Jaap Stam; hard to say the future doesn't look bright for this towering defender. His days for AZ are numbered, but times for a more powerful team are just around the corner. And since he's still in his junior contract, he won't even be expensive either, but you can't really be an expensive player when you play for AZ in the Ere Divisie in the first place.


06) Jeffrey Sarpong - MF - 03-08-1988 - Ajax - Holland

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Another one of the U17 generation, Sarpong is a highly skilled and techniquely gifted teenager. He scored two goals in the final for the bronze at the most recent WC U17, making the so called "tournament all-star team", suddenly getting recognition from all over the globe. Moments it looked like as if Chelsea would pry another talent away, but Jeffrey Sarpong declined and instead signed a new contract with Ajax.

He's alot like Vurnon Anita in that both have the same offensive game, yet he's nowhere near as well-rounded. Sarpong has some killer one on one moves and seems to prefer shooting above passing.

Outlook: If Ajax' talent pool wasn't so deep, he'd probably would have made his debute this season. He has to wait another year, maybe even two, but the future looks extremely bright for Jeffrey. I expect Ajax to build around Anita and Sarpong once they become contributors to Ajax 1, and become a strong foundation on a team with very high expectations. They've already proven to be able to carry teams in the past, whether it was with junior Ajax teams or with the National squad. The two are lethal combined and are pretty much inseperateble.


07) Dirk Marcellis - CB - 13-04-1988 - PSV - Holland

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The Captain of the U17 squad which won Bronze during the U17WC this past summer, Marcellis beat out several of his collegue's to win soccer talent of the year here in Holland. Marcellis' potential is absolutely huge, he's an entirely different kind of a defender than Ron Vlaar or even Heitinga for example. He just always knows where to be, he's like the Ruud van Nistelrooij among defenders, plays a mature, no nonsense game, constantly wins his battle's and like most Central Backs, has a rocket of a shot.

Outlook: Expect Marcellis to join the selection of PSV when Alex da Costa leaves, likely as early as next season. He should make his debute somewhere late in 2006. Even though he's already quite high on the list, Marcellis will more than likely move up than fall down. Somehow I see Marcellis joining Chelsea in a few years, the two teams have connections, that and Chelsea scout Piet de Visser seems to have a man crush on Dirk ever since he made his U17 debute. He wouldn't look out of place, his upside is immense.

08) Urby Emanuelson - LB/M - 16-6-1986 - Ajax - Holland

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When it became obvious that Maxwell would be out for more than 6 months, Ajax had to insert a home grown talent into the line-up. But I doubt they expected his replacement to not only to fill the void left by Maxwell, but perhaps being even more of a contributor. Urby Emanuelson has been nothing short of amazing so far. He's been named man of the match 5 times just this season already. He's also become a Dutch international and should easily start ahead of Gio, who Marco van Basten likes for some odd reason.

Emanuelson is a fast, skillful two-way back. Can leave a few holes here and there due to his enthiusiasm, but that's understandable considering he's only 19 years old. Loves to create and start something from the left, loves to cutt inside, loves to combinate, and loves to shoot. Also a fearced tackles, Emanuelson can be important both defensively as offensively. LB or LM, Emanuelson would probably make an effective LW as well. He really can cover an entire flank..

Outlook: AC Milan have already been reported as interested in Emanuelson, and that's only a blip of things to come when Emanuelson will be a full time regular next season. The future on LB of the Dutch national squad, Emanuelson will be the first quality LB since Arthur Numan. He has the potential to be among the best at his position.


09) Ryan Babel - W/S - 19-12-1986 - Ajax - Holland

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Just like every Ajacied who went before him, Babel has to deal with a downfall sooner or later, and for Ryan, it's happening right now. A striker of origin, Ryan Babel has strictly been used as a left wing, as Ajax is not wanting to giving up on aquisitions Charisteas and Rosenberg. Babel is useful, but not very effective on the wing, this as resulted in minimal playing time.

Babel is a striker and should be used as such, only then will he reach his rediculous upside. He reminds fans of Patrick Kluivert, while some see more of a Thierry Henry in him. Babel has a nose for the net, has a strong drive, wide arsenal of moves and a hard, accurate shot. This is probably the lowest you'll ever find Babel on the list, he might even be first depending on whether he's playing striker or not next season. I also really hope he is not serious about his rap career.. "MC Ryan Babel, zit maar lekker comfortabel!".. please!

His previous write up:

Quote:
Ryan Babel emergence as Ajax's answer at the striker position came rather suddenly. He scored on the first ball he touched and has continued scoring for the remainder of the season. Babel probably could've scored as much as 10/15 if not for the experiments trying to add Charisteas into the picture. This had Babel playing wing which resulted in "only" 7 goals in 20 games. Definitely not a bad thing as the switch in positions only made Babel a much better player. He scored 6 goals and 1 assist in his first 8 games, and in his wing period he scored once while adding 3 assists. It was hard scoring for Ajax this year though, but Babel led the way while averaging around 65 minutes per game. He also contributed with a goal in the UEFA cup and one more in the Amstel Cup. Ryan Babel is only 19 years old and is already on his way on becoming a full time international, so far his goal scoring clip in Orange is a .500

Talent analysis: It wasn't hard for people to draw comparisons to Patrick Kluivert. The two are nearly indentical in pretty much each and every facet of the game when Kluivert was still 19. They are even equal in terms of height and size. Many people, including myself also see a bit of Thierry Henry in him, in how he uses his speed and techinque better and in that he's more athletic..

Projection: Ryan Babel has the potential to start for the best teams in Europe. It's only a matter of time before he leaves to a big club abroad. But Ajax will ask a heavty price for him, especially now that van der Vaart is gone, Babel has become their new buildingblock. Considering Babel and Kluivert are so indentical when both were 19, it wouldn't shock me if Babel also becomes a top 3 striker in the world someday. He's already a fairly mature and complete striker..

10) Ibrahim Afellay - AMF - 02-04-1986 - PSV - Marocco/Holland

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Afellay's career is continueing nicely. His strong play off last season got rewarded with an invitation from Marco van Basten to play for Oranje. His play in the Champions League has also remained quite stellar, he backs down from no one, and has really been some kind of rolemodel for Aissati.

Not much has changed for Afellay. He isn't playing for Ajax, so a downfall is unlikely to come. He's a great down to earth kid with plenty of potential. Guus Hiddink knows how to capatilize his youngsters.

His previous write up:

Quote:
A highly talented youngster, Ibrahim is PSV's most promessing player. A broken toe saw him making his defenitive debute later than expected (his official debute came in 2003 at the age of 17), but the breakthrough came. Ibrahim stepped out of the shadow with 2 goals against arch rivals Feyenoord, (two beauties btw). Ibrahim had a great season, even though he appeared in only 7 games (started in 3 - Finished with 2 goals, 1assist).

Talent analysis: A player with fast ball handlings and good offensive instincts. Loves to make meters and go on fancy dribbling tours. Owns a good cross but prefers to go for personal succes as he has the talent to do so. Lanky, athletic offensive dynamo with an impressive area of skills.

Projection: Afellay is expected to be a full time regular for PSV next season. He will likely start rushes from the right, whereas Park tries to do the same from the left flank. Judging by his skillset can become a star potential player. Still very raw so it's hard to see what the future holds for him, but it's definitely promessing. A player in the mold of slightly lesser skilled Robin van Persie but with a lot more defensive comittment.

11) Jonathan de Guzman - AMF - 13/09/1987 - Feyenoord - Canada/Holland

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De Guzman suddenly had to step in for Feyenoord this year, and he's been great. De Guzman won the Dutch talent of the year award last season and just recently he was named man of the match in the game vs PSV. He fits in very well..

Jonathan de Guzman has already developed a knack for coming up big in the clutch. He reads play well, posseses some good moves but can also be valueble controlling the play. Versus PSV for example, de Guzman did not give anythign away against Philip Cocu, and that's not an easy thing to do.

Outlook: Jonathan de Guzman and Ibrahim Affelay are both extremely alike. I'm not sure who's better right now or who will be better in the future. The only reason de Guzman is behind Affelay is because of experience. Heck, both even face the decision whether they want to comitt their soccer careers to Holland or to Marocco/Canada. Jonathan de Guzman too has been scouted by Chelsea recently (seems like everyone is). Jonathan de Guzman will get a more in depth role once Kuijt and Kalou leave, and I think he can handle that just fine. He's a stud, plain and simple.


12) Quincy-Owusu Abeyie - AMF/W/S - 15-04-1986 - Arsenal - Holland

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Arguably one of the most entertaining prospects in the world. Owusu's extremely wide arsenal of moves is a joy to watch, however, he's often been doing them for no reason, with no efficient result. He now seems to struggle not knowing when to go all dandy and when not. Still, his skillset, his speed and physical strenght are too good for him to only become an average player.
Owusu will be a world class stud once he knows how to combine all his intangibles. He has also started for Arsenal a few games this year, so things haven't been bad.

His previous write up:

Quote:
"Stolen" from Ajax's junior ranks, Quincey is a rare and sick talent but isn't breaking into my top 10 because of inexperience at the highest level (understandable) but also a bit because he likes to toy with his opponent too much, resulting in ineffectiveness at times, so his maturity needs some work. Though only 19 for about a month, Quincey already played a few games for the Gunners this season, drawing some attention with his highly entertaining game. Arsene Wenger is said to have big plans for Quincey in the near future.

Talent analysis: Based on pure talent and instincts, Quincey would lead this list by a fairly decent margain. He's probably the highest skilled player I've ever had the pleasure to watch live.. He's so strong physicaly, it's not that as much as he's a bulldozer, but you nearly can't knock him off the ball when he has his sights set towards the goal. He combinates this with rediculous speed and control, to go with a high arsenal of moves.

Projection: Fortunately for Quincey, his 2 biggest problems are completely understandable for a kid his age and are relatively easy to overcome. He will no longer toy around much once Wenger gets to have more time on his hands with him. A player with superstar potential, if all goes well Quincey could play for the biggest teams there are and skyrocket into the top 5, if not take over the reigns. Will definitely be a full time international once he matures and gets some playing time.

Quincey Owusu-Abeyie is a WC under 20 participant, his regarding quote:

Quote:
Foppe de Haan (headcoach of Oranje under 20):

'Quincey kind of plays like a rookie. And I don't mean that in a negative way. The unexpected and unexplainableness (word?) of his game makes him so hard to contain for his opponent. Quiney is such a rare player in that everyone who plays against him will be terrified. So fast, such rediculous moves.. He's actually a bit of a phenom.

13) Diego Biseswar - RMF - 08-03-1988 - Feyenoord - Holland

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I don't think I'm doing Biseswar justice placing him at 13th, but it's a tight group all together. Give it a few more weeks and the list will look entirely different. Biseswar is yet another one of those studs of the U17 squad. Unlike Anita and Sarpong however, Biseswar has made his professional debute already. In fact, he already did in 2004/2005 when he was 15/16 years old. This year he scored in his first game, and it proved out to be the game winner as well.

Biseswar is a strong forward who likes to create havoc. He had outstanding U17 tournaments and yes, you guessed it, he too was scouted by Chelsea. Diego is extremely smart in the small, crowded areas. He is already quite a mature player for his age.

Outlook: Expect Biseswar's role to increase when Kuijt and Kalou leave. He might not become a starter immidiately, but it's definitely a possibility. If he proves he can be succesful on a consistant base playing for Feyenoord 1, then his international Oranje debute will only be a matter of time, just like it is for Anita and Sarpong. All are so gifted and loaded with potential, I have a tough time thinking of European top teams they wouldn't fit into.


14) John Goossens - W/S - 25-07-1988 - Ajax - Holland

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John Goossens was the Dutch top scorer in both the EC and WC, it got him a mention on the tournament all-star squad. Much like Sarpong, John Goossens too, was nearly convinced by Chelsea, but eventually signed his signature for Ajax (LINK).

Out of the current young talents, John Goossens is said to be the first to make his debute. He can play both LW as well as Striker. Goossens is a striker in the mold of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, with a tad more speed. He has the ability to score out of all angles, but also posseses a good cross and good one on one moves, hence his stints at wing.

Outlook: Expect Goossens to make his debute next season, perhaps even this season if injuries occur. Ajax is being very careful with John, they have high expectations of him and will bring him slowly. With Rosenberg, Babel and Huntelaar, Goossens likely won't be making his debute as a striker. John Goossens should succeed playing for Ajax 1 after being through the entire youth ranks, who too imply the same system. And usually, every home grown striker who succeeds for Ajax is one to remember (Cruijff, van Basten, Bergkamp, Kluivert).


15) Murat Yildirim - DMF - 24/4/1987 - Ajax - Turkey/Holland

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Murat Yildirim was named Ajax talent of the year in 2005, quite the accomplishment. Previous winners are Dennis Bergkamp, Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, John Heitinga, Tom de Mul and Hedwiges Maduro so big things are expected of Yildirim,
who btw is not related to Heereveen winger Ügur Yildirim. Yildirim deems as one of Turkish biggest talents and is a valueble member of their U19 squad.

Yildirim is a feisty defensive midfielder who is capable of creating plenty of offense, but isn't always allowed to do so. He is quite small in stature, couple that with his work ethic, and people tend to compare him to Edgar Davids when he was 17/18.

Outlook: Yildirim joined Ajax when he was 15, which is quite late. He got scouted due to his tenicious defense, this should get him in Ajax 1 someday. So despite the fact that he plays the most crowded position, he should still have a chance due to his willingness and ability to do the dirty work.


Last edited by Ajacied: 12-20-2005 at 02:22 PM.
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01-19-2006, 09:25 AM
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New top 50 L1 prospects

In order to describe each player’s potential and chance of reaching it, I put up a mark similar to HF’s rankings :
From 1 to 10 ranks the potential of the player (10 being a Maradona or Pele)
From A to F the chance of reaching it (A being there already)

1- Hatem Ben Arfa, Lyon, Striker/Offensive Midfielder, 87
Ranking : 9.5 C
He has the highest potential of any french prospect, so that’s why he ranks #1 in my book. Obviously, the C part is based on his maturity level and the few holes in his game (defensive game mainly). When Hatem reaches maturity (if he ever does in fact), he’ll be absolutely unstoppable IMO. He can dribble through anyone, can make blind passes look easy, and has a very good shot. His offensive sense is second to very few. He can shoot the free kick and is very poised on penalties. He’s not afraid of taking responsabilities, so in a sense he’s mature, but the big progress he has to make is making the right choices, and not being selfish.
PS : Euro champs with the 87 generation.

2- Frank Ribéry, Marseille, Striker/Offensive Midfielder, 83
Ranking : 9 B+
I don’t think we’ll see much progress in Ribéry, except maybe for consistency. He’s already arguably the best player in L1 at only 22 years old. His dribbling is dazzling, he has a good shot, and is a great passer. His corners are the most dangerous in L1. His main progression possibilities are playing more with Nasri and his strikers. Still he seems to play well under pressure, and that’s a good sign.
The big question mark for me is whether he’ll avoid big career mistakes. He doesn’t seem to bright so it is indeed a possibility.

3- Karim Benzema, Lyon, Striker, 87
Ranking : 9 B+
The guy is a sure fire superstar. Very intelligent player, who knows he has to work hard to succeed, despite his great talents. Obviously, he’s always been in Ben Arfa’s shadow, but many people have claimed for a long time that he’ll be the better player, thanks to his superior mental game and maturity. The guy is a sniper, very similar to Trézéguet (shoot on target every time it seems), but with better all around skills (faster, good passing, good dribbling). Obviously, he’s not on Trezegol’s level yet as far as killer instinct and clutchness, but he has the tools to be there in a few years.
PS : Euro champs with the 87 generation.

4- Cristian “cebello” Rodriguez, PSG, Offensive Midfielder, 85, Uruguay
Ranking : 9 B
Some have already called him a Maradona clone (like Messi), and even though it’s obviously a stretch, his game is very similar to Diego. Fast-paced dribbling, effective shooting, precise passing. But more than anything, it’s the sudden accelerations that striker the similarity. At any given moment, he can take the ball, dribble through three defensemen and score a goal. He’s also a tough customer, as he played nearly a full game (from the 10th to the 80th minute) with a twisted ankle. He is a treat to watch. His ranking could go to 9.5 B if he continues like that.

5- Samir Nasri, Marseille, Offensive Midfielder, 87
Ranking : 9B
Nasri has ups and downs and seems fragile physically (getting tired after a stretch of games). That’s for the negative. Because the rest of his game is just incredible. He’s fast, is a good passer, above-average shooter, but his main forte is his ability to make good choices when dribbling at full speed. The guy just has superior football sense and awareness. He’s IMO a pretty much lock for the national team in a few years.
PS : Euro champs with the 87 generation and named MVP.

6- Jérémy Toulalan, Nantes, Defensive Midfielder, 83
Ranking : 8.5 B
Toulalan is out of the top 5 because of 5 exceptionnal offensive talent, but when it comes to defensive midfielders, none is a better prospect than Toulalan. He’s just a motor, winning every challenge and he has very good offensive sense as well, knowing when to pass and when to shoot.
He isn’t as dominant this year as he was last year, but that’s probably because he was bothered by his aborted transfer to Lyon and a few small injuries. I expect him to have a dominant second half, and reach stardom for a bigger team next year.

7- Jérémy Menez, Sochaux, Striker/Offensive Midfielder, 87
Ranking : 9 B-
Now often played as offensive midfielder (even winger at times) instead of striker, Menez is still that incredibly talented offensive force that can turn a game around on one single play. Often pointed as a selfish player, he has to work on his consistency and mental game, but the talent is there and astounding. As a reminder, he was the youngest pro player to sign a pro contract, the youngest player to play in L1, the youngest player to score a goal, and the youngest player to score a hattrick (in 12 minutes against Bordeaux and Ramé). This year, after a rough start, he’s been Sochaux’ best player over the past two months and seemingly their only producing offensive player (either through goals or assists).
PS : Euro champs with the 87 generation.

8- Rio Mavuba, Bordeaux, Defensive Midfielder, 84
Ranking : 8.5 B+
He’s already Bordeaux’ best and most active player, and for the second year in a row. He seems never tired, runs for 90 minutes and plays a “no brainer” type of game : take the ball away, pass it to offensive player. He’s a classic defensive midfielder with a limited offensive upside. I don’t think he’ll get much better, but the experience will help him, as any defensive midfielder.
PS : Toulon tournament winner and MVP.

9- Fred, Lyon, Striker, 83, Brazil
Ranking : 8.5 B
The brazilian striker is a very complete forward, with a deadly scoring touch. He has a very powerful shot, and is among the best in L1 for headers. He reminds me of a certain Jardel a few years back, when he was among the best strikers in the world. Not overly fast, but a real finisher with good positionning. He surely loves playing with passers like Malouda, Govou, Juninho or Ben Arfa.

10- Youness Kaboul, Auxerre, Central Defenseman, 86
Ranking : 8.5 B
The young tall defenseman still reminds me of Laurent Blanc. He has exceptionnal vision and is a true leader. Poise is like a second nature for him, and it took him two or three games to be Auxerre’s best defenseman last year. He’s been injured all season so far, but I can’t see him drop out of the top 10 when he comes back.
PS : Euro champs with the 86 generation.

11- Abou Diaby, Arsenal, Defensive midfielder/Offensive midfielder/Winger, 86
Ranking : 8.5 B-
Diaby has exceptionnal tools, but his versatility is also a trouble, because it seems he hasn’t found a true position yet. Often compared to Vieira (they look exactly the same), his game is more technical, and obviously not as powerful... yet. I still think he should play as defensive midfielder and use his offensive skills (dribbling, shooting) from time to time. He can score some pretty nice goals, but he needs to work on his consistency and decision making, especially using his teammates better.
PS : Euro champs with the 86 generation.

12- Tomas Kahlenberg, Auxerre, Offensive midfielder/Winger, 83, Denmark
Ranking : 8 B+
As much as he was hyped by dane posters, it seems it was not enough still. The guy had absolutely no adaptation period and was Auxerre’s playmaker from day one. His main forte is passing, especially on set plays. He’s L1’s best passer and can score a few beauties of his own. I like this player a lot because he does it all on the field, and works his butt off. He doesn’t have the ceiling that other guys on the list have (hence the 8), but he’s a sure fire international to me (meaning for a long time).

13- Sébastien Grax, Troyes (on loan from Monaco), Striker, 84
Ranking : 8 B
He could have higher potential, but I think an 8 is just right : a regular 15-20 goals scorer in any league. I don’t think he’ll ever be a Henry, Trézéguet or Anelka, but he could be a very good scoring machine. He has lots of tools and has a VERY nice shot. He’s a bit streaky, but it’s quite funny to think that he’d be Monaco’s best scorer this year, even though they felt they didn’t need him again this season.

14- Jimmy Briand, Rennes, Striker, 85
Ranking : 8.5 B-
He has very good potential, because he has a lot of qualities : speed, finishing touch, excellent awareness, good collective sense, etc...
However, I’m not sure he has the maturity to reach his full potential, as he’s said to be rather cocky. Still the comparisons with Henry are valid.

15- Jérémy Berthod, Lyon, Left Back, 84
Ranking : 7.5 A
Berthod will never be a Zambrotta, but he’ll be a reliable solid defenseman that gets the job done and that is a lockerroom leader. He still beats out highly touted Clichy (who has higher potential) in most selections, so that says a lot about his character.
PS : World champs with the 84 generation.

16- Claudiu Keseru, Nantes, Striker, 87, Roumania
Ranking : 9 C
Keseru has a very high potential because he seemingly can do it all in the box. He’s got natural finishing touch and has great positionning. And he can score from outside the box too, with a heavy shot. However, he’s very inconsistent, and isn’t keen on passing the ball to his teammates.

17- Mourad Meghni, Sochaux (on loan from Bologna), Offensive midfielder, 84
Ranking : 9 D
The new Zidane is the biggest disapointment of the L1 season. It was big news when he came back to France, and the least we can say is that he hasn’t deliver. Obviously, the L1 isn’t the best league for offensive players, but still he isn’t a starter for bottom feeder Sochaux anymore. The problem isn’t with the injuries now (the biggest problem before this season) but with his confidence. He showed a few glimpse of his AMAZING talent earlier in the season, but after touching a few goals posts, he completely disappeared.
He’s 17th mainly because his ceiling is huge, but he’ll only go down at this rate.
PS : World champs with the 84 generation.

18- Jacques Faty, Rennes, Central defenseman, 84
Ranking : 8.5 B-
Called by many the new « Desailly », the older Faty is a beast on defense, very physical. He’s also a natural born leader. However, he needs to find consistency to reachy another level.
PS : Captain of the 84 world champs.

19- Yoann Gourcuff, Rennes, Offensive midfielder, 86
Ranking : 8 B
Gourcuff is the definition of an intelligent player with a marvelous foot. He’s very accurate, especially on free kicks and set plays, and can score some beauties. He has some similarities with Kahlenberg, but isn’t making as big of an impact yet (he’s also younger).
PS : Euro champs with the 86 generation.

20- Ricardo Faty, Strasbourg, Defensive midfielder, 86
Ranking : 8 B
Just missed the Euro championships, Faty, brother of Jacques, is a very very active defensive midfielder. He should blossom soon into one of the best in L1.

21- Rudy Haddad, PSG, Offensive midfielder/Striker, 85
Ranking : 8.5 B-
What’s frustrating about Haddad is that you KNOW he’ll be a good player, but he still gets no playing time. And when he does get a few minutes, he seems to being unable to seize the opportunity. Rudy has an extremely talented foot, and has a very soft touch. He’s a PSG fan, and wants to succeed there, but since he can’t get playing time, it seems that at every mercato teams are lining up for a loan. And yet every time, PSG refuses saying they’ll need him. This week for instance, Nancy asked for a loan, and everyone at Paris agreed to the loan, except.... the coach, Lacombe. As Lacombe likes to play youngsters, we’ll have to see if this time Haddad will have his chance, but we might just waste a player here. And a big talent.
PS : Toulon tournament winner.

22- David Gigliotti, Monaco, Striker, 85
Ranking : 8 B
Compared to Trézéguet by some media because of his finishing touch, Gigliotti is deadly in the box. However, he needs to work on his positionning and focus IMO. Still he’s a good bet to develop into a very solid scorer in the future.

23- Benoît Costil, Caen, Goalie, 87
Ranking : 8.5 B
Benoît has the potential to be a dominating goalie, but he needs some playing time. Caen has several very good goalies, so it will be hard to crack the lineup. Still he has very very good tools.
PS : starting goalie for the 87 world champions generation.

24- Rémy Riou, Lyon, Goalie, 87
Ranking : 8 B
Has less potential than Costil, but is probably more of a sure thing. Isn’t as spectacular but gets the job done. Has taken over the starting spot recently. The 87 goalie generation is very competitive with Costil, Riou and Hartock (Lyon as well).

25- Jean II Makoun, Lille, Defense midfielder, 83, Cameroon
Ranking : 7.5 A
Makoun is one of the best DM in L1, thanks to a very complete game. He can be a threat offensively, especially with the header (depsite his small size) and is very active defensively. A true team player, he’ll be a very good club player throughout his career, but probably won’t develop into something special like others could.

26- Taye Taiwo, Marseille, Left back, 85, Nigeria
Ranking : 8 B
Taiwo is now famous for his heavy shot. His left foot can send some rockets. His pysical presence is also a nice element of his game. However, his game is really not complete, especially on defense where he is often beaten by dribblers. His potential is nice, but I don’t see him become more than a poor man Roberto Carlos.
PS : starter for the nigerian national team

27- Arnold Mvuemba, Rennes, Defensive midfielder, 85
Ranking : 8.5 B-
Mvuemba is a very uncharacteristic player because he is known more for his offensive skills than his defensive, and yet he plays defensive midfielder. This guy has surreal technique for a DM, and he can dribble through plenty of players. He can play some very very nice one touch football, and his forte is passing. That said, he can do the dirty work. He needs to find some consistency defensively, especially since he’s on the small side (1.72m) and he’ll never be a physical presence. If he can develop some Makelele type of defensive science, this guy could be one day the center piece of the national team.
PS : Toulon tournament MVP in 2005.

28- Benoît Assou-Ekotto, Lens, Left Back, 84, Cameroon
Ranking : 7.5 B+
Assou-Ekotto is among the best left backs in L1, and has progressed nicely this year. He has natural defensive sense and can bring some danger up front. He is quite direct in interviews and sometimes he can hurt some feelings. I don’t see him as having huge upside, but he’s as steady as they come.

29- Jérémy Clément, Lyon, Defensive midfielder, 84
Ranking : 7 A
Clément will never be a Vieira. He’ll never be a Pirlo either. He’s just a steady guy with a perfect defensive sense. He’s not flashy, he’s never been touted as a big prospect. But it seems he makes the right move every time he’s on the field.

30- François Clerc, Lyon, Right back, 83
Ranking : 7.5 B
Clerc is taking the whole L1 by surprise. Not only is this guy playing on L1’s best team, but he’s nearly always among the best players on the pitch. He’s tall (1.87m), but not slow. He is very steady defensively, and can contribute very nicely offensively, through nice crosses. He reminds me of a certain Willy Sagnol.

31- Olivier Veigneau, Monaco, Central defenseman/Left back/Defensive midfielder, 85
Ranking : 7.5 B
Veigneau is simply an intelligent player. He can play pretty much any defensive spot and succeed. He has very good positionning, and can contribute offensively, as his first L1 goal the other day showed. He’s a guy that *could* have a higher upside than 7.5, but I need to see more film of him.
PS : 2005 Toulon tourmanent winner.

32- Emmanuel Adebayor, Arsenal, Striker, 84, Togo
Ranking : 8.5 B-
Adebayor has the potential to do everything : score, pass, defend on set plays, weigh on defenses, tire opposing defensemen, etc...
He has good technique, is obviously a big guy and has a very good first touch. He is not Henry fast, but is still surprisingly fast for such a big guy. The main problem with him is mental. He doesn’t have a very stable mind and can crack under pressure. He’s has trouble with Monaco management and with Togo’s coach. He likes to think too highly of him. He’s missed an awful lot of easy goals, but as I said, it has more to do with the mental part of the game, where he fears to miss.

33- Kévin Hartock, Lyon, Goalie, 87
Ranking : 8.5 B-
I still think he has the upside to be the best goalie of the 87 generation next to Costil. He’s had the bad luck to be overshadowed by two outstanding 87 goalies (Costil and Riou) on the national selections, and one of them (Riou) even plays for his own team Lyon.
He’s a Bernard Lama clone, very athletic, with incredible leaping ability. He’s Lyon’s third goalie right now, one notch above Riou.
PS : Euro champs with the 87 generation

34- Emerse Fae, Nantes, Defensive midfielder, 84, Ivory Coast
Ranking : 7.5 B+
I don’t think as much of him as others. I think he’ll be a useful player to have on your team, but will never turn into a dominant player. He’s very good defensively though not exceptionnal, and he can contribute nicely offensively.
PS : Starter for the Ivory Coast national team.

35- Marouane Chamakh, Bordeaux, Striker, 84, Marocco
Ranking : 8.5 C
Chamakh is big, rather fast, has a good first touch, can shoot the ball and is dominant in the air. What else could you ask for? A brain I’d say. He has a bery big potential but so far he’s walking outside his shoes.

36- Simon Pouplin, Rennes, Goalie, 85
Ranking : 8 B
Pouplin is a reflex goalie. He needs ot work on focus, but he has a bright future.
PS : 2005 Toulon tournament winner.

37- Hugo Lloris, Nice, Goalie, 86
Ranking : 8 B
Lloris is a very calm goalie that can frustrate a striker through his nice positionning and quick reflexes on the line.
PS : 2005 Euro champs with the 86 generation.

38- Etienne Didot, Rennes, Defensive midfielder, 83
Ranking : 7 B+
Didot is a do it all defensive midfielder. He’s a fighter that can play well both ways. He doesn’t have any particular skill that would set him apart. He has very nice awareness.

39- Bryan Bergougnoux, Toulouse, Striker, 83
Ranking : 7.5 C+
Bergougnoux is a powerful striker who’s fast, and has a heck of a shot. He’s very inconsistant though, and can have some brain farts. He will try his luck form anywhere on the field and will surely score a few highlight reels every season.

40- Jussie, Lens, Forward/Winger, 83, Brazil
Ranking : 8.5 C
Jussie has a lot of tools. He can dribble at full speed, has a nice shot, etc... However, he has zero consistency.

41- Lucien Aubey, Toulouse, Central defenseman, 84
Ranking : 8 B
Aubey is on many big teams shopping list as he has the potential to be a dominant CB. He’s similar to Faty in certain ways. However, his mental lapses this season have probably hurt his status.

42- Alexander Farnerud, Strasbourg, Offensive midfielder, 84, Sweden
Ranking 8.5 C-
The guy is just awfully talented but can’t find any form. He’s either injured, on a cold streak or just inconsistant. He’s a big disappointment, as I don’t think he’ll ever reach his potential, which is huge.

43- Carl Medjani, Metz (on loan from Liverpool), Central defenseman, 85
Ranking : 8 B-
Medjani should climb up these rankings pretty soon, as he’s been very steady lately. He’s a leader, can score some goals and could be a very good CB down the road.
PS : 2005 tournament winner.

44- Karim Haggui, Strasbourg, Central defenseman/Left back, 84, Tunisia
Ranking : 7 B
Haggui is a good CD, but his main forte is his heading ability on set plays. He can score many goals this way.
PS : starter for the Tunisia national team.

45- Kévin Gameiro, Strasbourg, Striker, 87
Ranking : 7.5 B
Gameiro is the leading scorer this season for the 87 generation. He’s a very small energy player that can score plenty of goals thanks to his very astute way of playing and his offensive awareness.

46- Habib Bellaid, Strasbourg, Central defenseman, 86
Ranking : 8 B-
Bellaid is very hyped in football circles but hasn’t had much of a chance of showing his skills yet. However, he was a starter against AS Roma in UEFA cup action, and he was incredible in the Olympic Stadium, scoring a goal after a long action where he looked like Laurent Blanc.

47- Lorik Cana, Marseille, Defensive midfielder/Central defenseman, 83, Albania
Ranking : 7 A
Cana won’t progress much IMO, but he’s a steady guy that can get the job done defensively. He’s versatile to boot and is a character player.

48- Loic Perrin, St Etienne, Defensive midfielder, 85
Ranking : 7 B
Perrin is a very nice defensive midfielder who’s a good bet to be a key element to a contender. He has good passing ability and a good shot.

49- Nicolas Maurice-Belay, Monaco, Striker, 85
Ranking : 8 C-
IMO, he’s overhyped. Some call him the new Henry, but I find it very exagerated to say the least. Sure he has speed and nice dribbling skills, but he doesn’t have the offensive awareness I’d like to see.

50- David N’Gog, PSG, Striker, 89
Ranking : 8.5 D
OK, this could be my wild card, and plenty of players could say they deserve to be there instead of him (De Melo, Chiumento, Badiane, Gakpe, Akpa-Akpro, etc...). But I still think he’s the best striker prospect we’ve had since Benzema (at least). He has the combination of speed, size, skill and sniper ability. He still needs to bury his opportunities more, but you can just see how great he *could* become. PSG is not used to playing youngsters, and yet they’re talking about giving a 16 year old some playing time THIS YEAR in L1 (he would be the youngest ever).

Top 5 L2 prospects :

1- Ronald Zubar, Caen, Central back/Left back/Defensive midfielder, 85
Ranking : 8.5 B
One of the best defensive prospects out there, he's the young captain of Caen, a team well known for developping talents (Mendy, Rothen, Gallas, etc...). He's a physical freak, very fast, very strong, and can play pretty much any defensive position. He still needs to work tactically, but he's ready to move to a bigger team. He was almost a Lyon player this winter, and almost a St Etienne player last summer. He'll definately move to the spotlight next season, where ever he goes to. It's also interesting to note that he is the only 1985 guy that plays with the U 21 national team (84 generation). France is not used to play younger guys in national selections, as they would rather play a guy with his age category. He's the exception.

2- Steve Mandanda, Le Havre, Goalie, 85
Ranking : 8.5 B-
Mandanda has taken everyone by surprise by establishing himself as the best L2 goalie even though he wasn't even pencilled as the starter of his young team (Le Havre). Le Havre has a famous academy as well (N'Zogbia, Boumsong, Sinama, Le Tallec, etc...), and Mandanda is the goalie of the future. However, if they can't access L1 in a year from now, Mandanda will probably leave. He's a very athletic goalie who can make highlight reel. But above all, he inspires confidence in his teammates as he makes few mistakes. Le Havre was in a free fall when he was named starter, and they suddenly turned their season around with him in nets as they went on a very long undefeated streak with very few goals against.
PS : 2005 Toulon tournament winner.

3- Yoann Gouffran, Caen, Striker, 86
Ranking : 8 B
Gouffran was key in the 2005 Euro championships win. He scored a few important goals and a few very nice goals too. He's a fast striker with a nice shot. He has to progress on the physical side of things, but he has a nice future.
PS : Euro champion with the 86 generation.

4- Eliott Grandin, Caen, Striker, 87
Ranking : 8 B
Yet another Caen product, Grandin is a member of that storied 87 generation (Ben Arfa, Benzeman, Thicot, Costil, etc...). Grandin is very similar to Gouffran in his qualities and flaws.

5- Didier Digard, Le Havre, Defensive midfielder, 86
Ranking : 7.5 A
Digard, also from Le Havre, is a Deschamps clone. He's a fierce competitor with a very sound tactical sense. He'd break his leg for a win, and is just a true warrior. He's not a dirty player though. He has limited offensive upside, but as long as he's capable of playing responsible football this well, he should have a nice career. Another player who could have been at this spot is David M'Bodji from Créteil, who scored 11 goals as a 21 year old. However, I think Digard's game could get him a better future.
PS : Euro champions with the 86 generation.


Last edited by Evilo: 02-09-2006 at 07:46 AM.
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02-02-2006, 08:44 AM
  #43
Belizarius
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I made my own French rankings, with some differences.
*Rankings by position
*I didn't do an analysis, I don't think I can do it as I didn't see every player enough. Still, a top-5 rank is pretty good and a top-3 means potential star. I don't made comments but if you really want to, I'll work on it...
*I used lequipe.fr as a start to collect infos on every player in L1 and a few others. If there's an error, not my fault.
*I still have a file (xls) with these players, with 3 folders : 1/every L1 player 2/Every player born after 1983 3/these rankings. If you want it, tell me and I'll put it and my website.

Here's my rankings...
GK
1 COSTIL Benoît FRA 7/3/1987 Caen
2 POUPLIN Simon FRA 5/28/1985 Rennes
3 LLORIS Hugo FRA 12/26/1986 Nice
4 RIOU Rémy FRA 8/6/1987 Lyon
5 HARTOCK Joan FRA 2/12/1987 Lyon


LB
1 BERTHOD Jérémy FRA 4/24/1984 Lyon
2 ASSOU-EKOTTO Benoît CAM 3/24/1984 Lens
3 TAIWO Taye NGA 4/16/1985 Marseille
4 VEIGNEAU Olivier FRA 7/16/1985 Monaco
5 MARANGE Florian FRA 3/3/1986 Bordeaux
6 LAURENTI Fabien FRA 1/6/1983 Ajaccio

CB
1 FATY Jacques FRA 2/25/1984 Rennes
2 KABOUL Younes FRA 1/4/1986 Auxerre
3 ZUBAR Ronald FRA 9/20/1985 Caen
4 HENRIQUE BRA 5/2/1983 Bordeaux
5 AUBEY Lucien FRA 5/24/1984 Toulouse
6 EBONDO Albin FRA 2/23/1984 Toulouse
7 CONGRE Daniel FRA 4/5/1985 Toulouse
8 THICOT Steven FRA 2/12/1987 Nantes
9 HAGGUI Karim TUN 1/20/1984 Strasbourg
10 PAILLOT Sandy FRA 2/27/1987 Lyon
11 BADIANE Jean-Michel FRA 5/9/1983 Paris SG


RD
1 CLERC François FRA 4/18/1983 Lyon
2 LICHTSTEINER Stefan SWI 1/16/1984 Lille
3 SAGNA Bakari FRA 2/14/1983 Auxerre
4 MARTIN Baptiste FRA 5/14/1985 Auxerre
5 JOSSE Maxime FRA 3/21/1987 Sochaux

DM
1 TOULALAN Jérémy FRA 9/10/1983 Nantes
2 MAVUBA Rio FRA 3/8/1984 Bordeaux
3 CLEMENT Jérémy FRA 8/26/1984 Lyon
4 DIDOT Etienne FRA 7/24/1983 Rennes
5 MAKOUN Jean CAM 5/29/1983 Lille
6 BOURILLON Grégory FRA 7/1/1984 Rennes
7 FAE Emerse CIV 1/24/1984 Nantes
8 CANA Lorik ALB 7/27/1983 Marseille
9 MVUEMBA MAKENGO Arnold FRA 1/28/1985 Rennes
10 FATY Ricardo FRA 8/4/1986 Strasbourg

LW
1 RIBERY Franck FRA 4/1/1983 Marseille
2 KAHLENBERG Thomas DEN 3/20/1983 Auxerre
3 RODRIGUEZ Cristian URU 9/30/1985 Paris SG
4 MATHIEU Jeremy FRA 10/29/1983 Toulouse
5 BRISON Jonathan FRA 2/7/1983 Nancy
6 RENOUARD Sebastien FRA 6/11/1984 Metz
7 LEMAÎTRE Reynald FRA 6/28/1983 Caen

RW
1 NASRI Samir FRA 6/20/1987 Marseille
2 FAUBERT Julien FRA 8/1/1983 Bordeaux
3 DIMITRIJEVIC Milos FRA 2/16/1984 Nantes
4 DEBUCHY Mathieu FRA 7/28/1985 Lille
5 PERRIN Loïc FRA 8/7/1985 Saint-Etienne
6 FRANCIA Pablo ARG 12/3/1984 Bordeaux
7 HADDAD Rudy FRA 2/5/1985 Paris SG
8 OBRANIAK Ludovic FRA 11/10/1984 Metz

OM
1 FARNERUD Alexander SWE 5/10/1984 Strasbourg
2 TAIDER Nabil FRA 5/26/1983 Toulouse
3 MEGHNI Mourad FRA 4/16/1984 Sochaux
4 GOURCUFF Yoann FRA 7/11/1986 Rennes

5 GENGHINI Benjamin FRA 12/16/1985 Sochaux
6 CABAYE Yohan FRA 1/14/1986 Lille
7 BONNET Alexandre FRA 10/17/1986 Toulouse

F
1 BEN ARFA Hatem FRA 3/7/1987 Lyon
2 JUSSIE BRA 9/19/1983 Lens
3 BERGOUGNOUX Bryan FRA 1/12/1983 Toulouse
4 MAURICE-BELAY Nicolas FRA 4/19/1985 Monaco
5 GOMIS Batefimbi FRA 8/6/1985 Saint-Etienne
6 BRIAND Jimmy FRA 8/2/1985 Rennes
7 RUDOLF Gergely HUN 3/9/1985 Nancy
8 FAUVERGUE Nicolas FRA 10/13/1984 Lille
9 GAMEIRO Kevin FRA 5/9/1987 Strasbourg
10 MIRALLAS Kevin BEL 10/5/1987 Lille
11 GLOMBARD Luigi FRA 8/21/1984 Nantes
12 MOUNIER Anthony FRA 9/27/1987 Lyon

Str
1 BENZEMA Karim FRA 12/17/1987 Lyon
2 MENEZ Jérémy FRA 5/7/1987 Sochaux
3 FRED BRA 10/3/1983 Lyon
4 GRAX Sébastien FRA 6/23/1984 Troyes
5 KESERU Claudiu ROM 12/2/1986 Nantes
6 GIGLIOTTI David FRA 5/30/1985 Monaco
7 DE MELO Tulio BRA 1/31/1985 Le Mans
8 CHAMAKH Marouane MAR 1/10/1984 Bordeaux
9 AKPA AKPRO Jean-Louis FRA 1/4/1985 Toulouse
10 GAKPE Serge FRA 5/7/1987 Monaco
11 BETTIOL Grégory FRA 3/30/1986 Lyon


Last edited by Belizarius: 02-07-2006 at 04:15 PM.
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04-04-2006, 11:45 AM
  #44
elmoro87
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Polish List 2005/2006

Goalkeepers:
1.Lukasz Fabianski (Legia Warszawa) 18.04.1985
2.Radoslaw Cierzniak(Amica Wronki) 24.04.1983
3.Przemyslaw Tyton(Gornik Leczna) 23.05.1987
4.Pawel Linka(Amica Wronki) 20.06.1986

Left Defenders:
1.Dariusz Dudka (Wisla Krakow) 9.12.1983
2.Grzegorz Wojtkowiak(Amica Wronki) 26.01.1984
3.Blazej Telichowski(Lech Poznan) 6.06.1984
4.Mariusz Pawelec(Gornik Leczna) 14.04.1986

Right defenders:
1.Grzegorz Fonfara(GKS Belchatow) 8.06.1983
2.Artur Marciniak (Lech Poznan) 18.08.1987

Central defenders:
1.Krzysztof Lagiewka(Krylya Samara) 23.01.1983
2.Lukasz Szukala(TSV 1860) 26.05.1984
3.Jakub Rzezniczak(Legia Warszawa) 26.10.1986
4.Dawid Kucharski(Amica Wronki) 19.11.1984
5.Antoni Lukasiewicz(Polonia Warszawa) 26.06.1983

Defensive Midfielders:
1.Filip Burkhardt(Amica Wronki) 23.03.1987
2.Pawel Strak(GKS Belchatow) 24.03.1983

Central Midfielders:
1.Marcin Burkhardt(Legia Warszawa) 25.09.1983
2.Mariusz Zganiacz(Korona Kielce) 31.01.1984
3.Grzegorz Bartczak(Zaglebie Lubin) 21.06.1985

Left Midfielders:
1.Dawid Plizga(Zaglebie Lubin) 17.11.1985
2.Piotr Brozek(Wisla Krakow) 21.04.1983
3.Marcin Siedlarz(Widzew Lodz) 15.02.1988

Right Midfielders:
1.Jakub Blaszczykowski(Wisla Krakow) 14.12.1985
2.Sebastian Szalachowski(Legia Warszawa) 21.01.1984
-.Grzegorz Bonin(Korona Kielce) 2.12.1983
4.Marcin Kikut(Amica Wronki) 25.06.1983

Strikers:
1.Dawid Janczyk(Legia Warszawa) 23.09.1987
2.Pawel Brozek(Wisla Krakow) 21.04.1983
3.Karol Gregorek(Amica Wronki) 26.01.983
4.Lukasz Piszczek(Zaglebie Lubin) 3.06.1985
5,Kamil Oziemczuk(Gornik Leczna) 29.03.1988

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Old
04-08-2006, 06:15 AM
  #45
Ajacied
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Number definition:

10 - Once in a life time player
09 - Superstar
08 - Star
07 - Good just not great
06 - Above average/usefull player
05 - Average player
04 - Below average player
03 - Mediocre player
02 - Not a professional calibre talent
01 - Go play korfbal


Grade definition:

A - Sure fine bet to reach potential/Already is.
B - Nearly having furfilled his potential
C - Need seasoning before reaching potential/to bigger league.
D - Very young and thus having a lot to prove
E - Unlikely to reach potential

Added style comparisons for some of those with at least a grade above 8.0..

Graduated (81/82's):

1) Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa (D - PSV/Chelsea - Brasil) 9.0C
2) Khalid Boulahrouz (D - Hamburg SV - Holland) 8.5B
4) Maarten Stekelenburg (G - Ajax - Holland) 8.0C
4) Michael Dingsdag (D - Vitesse - Holland) 7.0B
5) Serginho Greene (D - Feyenoord - Holland) 7.0B
6) Youssoef Hersi (W/S - Ajax/Vitesse - Holland) 7.5D
7) Andy van der Meyde (W - Internazionale - Holland) 6.5B

By position:

Goalkeepers:

01) Kenneth Vermeer (G - Ajax - Holland) 8.5D
02) Tim Krul (G - Newcastle United - Holland) 8.0D
03) Stef Doedee (G - Feyenoord - Holland) 7.5C
04) Sherif Akrami (G - Feyenoord - Egypt) 7.0C
05) Marco van Duin (G - Ajax - Holland) 8.0D
06) John Vos (G - Helmond Sport - Holland) 7.0D
07) Koen Verhoeff (G - Ajax - Holland) 7.0D
08) Remko Pasveer (G - Twente/Heracles - Holland) 6.0B
09) Job Bulters (G - AZ - Holland) 6.0C


Defenders:

01) Johnny Heitinga (CB/RB - Ajax - Holland) 9.0C Nesta
02) Urby Emanuelson (LB - Ajax - Holland) 8.5C Maxwell
03) Gijs Luirink (CB - Groningen - Holland) 8.0B F. de Boer
04) Ron Vlaar (CB - Feyenoord - Holland) 8.5D Stam
05) Dirk Marcellis (CB - PSV - Holland) 8.0C
06) Jan Verthongen (CB/MF - Ajax - Belgium) 8.5D
07) Emmanuel Boakye (RB - Ajax - Holland) 7.5B Trabelsi
08) Royston Drenthe (LB - Feyenoord - Holland) 8.0C
09) Ramon Zomer (CB/LB - Twente - Holland) 7.5B
10) José Plá Moya (SB - PSV - Spain) 7.5C
11) Paul Verhaegh (SB - Vitesse - Holland) 7.0C
12) Jeffrey Altheer (SB - Feyenoord - Holland) 8.0D
13) Koen Stam (CB - AZ - Holland) 7.0D
14) Edson Braafheid (RB - Utrecht - Holland) 7.0B
15) Tomas Vermaelen (CB/LB - Ajax - Belgium) 7.5C
16) Robbert Schilder (LB/MF - Ajax - Holland) 7.5B
17) Dwight Tiendalli (SB - Utrecht - Holland) 7.0B
18) Donovan Slijngard (SB - Ajax - Holland) 7.0B
19) Ryan Donk (CB/SB - RKC - Holland) 7.0C
20) Christian Supusepa (LB/CB - Ajax - Holland) 8.0D
21) Niklas Moisander (CB - Ajax - Finland) 7.0D
22) Gibril Sankoh (RB - Groningen - Sierra Leone) 6.5B Eboue
23) Manuel da Costa (SB - PSV - Portugal) 7.0B
24) Jordi Buijs (D - Feyenoord - Holland) 6.0B
25) Michael Timisela (SB - Ajax - Holland) 6.0C
26) Mark Otten (D - Excelsior - Holland) 7.0D
27) Dustley Mulder (D - Feyenoord/RKC) 6.5C
28) Tom Hiariej (D - Groningen - Holland) 6.0C
29) Matijn van der Laan (D/MF - Groningen - Holland) 5.5C
30) Frank van der Struijk (D - Willem II - Holland) 7.0C
31) Timothy Derijck (D - NAC/Feyenoord - Belgium) 5.0B
32) Jeroen Drost (D - Heereveen - Holland) 6.0B
33) Marijn Sterk (D - Ajax - Holland) 5.5C
34) Gill Swerts (D - Vitesse - Belgium) 5.0B
35) Henrico Drost (D - Heereveen - Holland) 6.0B


Midfielders:

01) Rafael van der Vaart (MF - Hamburg - Holland) 9.0B
02) Vurnon Anita (MF - Ajax - Holland) 9.0C Seedorf
03) Jeffrey Sarpong (MF - Ajax - Holland) 8.5C Riquelme
04) Wesley Sneijder (MF - Ajax - Holland) 8.0A
05) Hedwiges Maduro (D/MF - Ajax - Holland) 8.5B Cocu
06) Haris Medunjanin (MF/S - AZ - Bosnia/Holland) 8.5C Zidane
07) Ismaël Aisatti (MF - PSV - Holland) 8.5C
08) Jonathan de Guzman (MF - Feyenoord - Holland) 8.5C
09) Diego Biseswar (MF - Feyenoord - Holland) 8.5D
10) Nacer Barazite (AMF - Arsenal - Holland) 8.5D
11) Anouar Diba (MF - NAC - Holland) 8.0B
12) Ibrahim Afellay (MF - PSV - Holland) 8.0B
13) Nigel de Jong (MF - Hamburg - Holland) 7.5A
14) Moubarek Boussaffa (MF - AA Gent - Holland) 8.0C
15) Nassir Maachie (MF/W/S - Utrecht - Holland) 8.0D
16) Stijn Schaars (MF - AZ - Holland) 7.0A
17) Lee Nguyen (MF - PSV - USA) 7.5C
18) Edgar Barreto (MF - NEC - Paraguay) 7.5D
19) Gianni Zuiverloon (D/MF - RKC/Feyenoord - Holland) 6.5B
20) Marvin Emnes (MF/S - Sparta - Holland) 8.0C
21) Ruud Vormer (MF - AZ - Holland) 8.0C
22) Nicky Hofs (MF/W - Feyenoord - Holland) 7.0B
23) Kees Luycks (MF - AZ - Holland) 7.0B
24) Anes Ribeiro (MF - Feyenoord - Holland) 7.5C
25) Marvin Zaalman (MF/W/S - Sparta - Holland) 7.5E
26) Benjamin de Ceulaer (MF - RKC - Belgium) 6.0B
27) Edgar Manucharyan (MF - Ajax - Armenia) 7.5E
28) Danny Buijs (MF - Groningen - Holland) 5.5A
29) Lorenzo Davids (MF - Feyenoord - Holland) 7.0C
30) David Jones (MF - Manchester United/NEC - England) 7.0C
31) Rasmus Lindgren (MF - Groningen/Ajax - Sweden) 6.5B
32) Ricky Kruys (MF - Utrecht - Holland) 6.5C
33) Demy de Zeeuw (MF - AZ - Holland) 6.0B
34) Javier Martina (MF/W/S - Ajax - Holland) 7.0D
35) Murat Yilderim (MF - Ajax - Holland) 7.5D
36) Evandro Sno (MF - NAC - Holland) 7.0D
37) Michael Krohn-Dehli (MF - Ajax - Denmark) 6.0C
38) Maarten Martens (MF - AZ - Belgium) 6.0B


Forwards:

01) Arjen Robben (W - Chelsea - Holland) 9.0A Cruijff
02) Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (S - Ajax - Holland) 9.0B van Basten
03) Robin van Persie (MF/S/W - Arsenal - Holland) 9.0B Bergkamp
04) Salomon Kalou (W/S - Chelsea - Ivory Coast/Holland) 9.0C
05) John Goossens (S - Ajax - Holland) 8.5D
06) Ryan Babel (W/S - Ajax - Holland) 9.0D Henry
07) Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (W/S - Spartac Moscow - Holland) 9.0E Okocha
08) Jefferson Farfán (W/S - PSV - Peru) 8.5B
09) Collins John (S - Fullham - Holland) 7.5B Hasselbaink
10) Kevin Wattamaleo (AMF/S - Feyenoord - Holland) 8.5D
11) Moussa Dembele (S - Willem II - Belgium) 8.0D
12) Tim Janssen (S - Eindhoven - Holland) 7.5D
13) Hanne Hagary (W/S - Feyenoord - Holland) 8.0D
14) Romeo Castelen (W - Feyenoord - Holland) 7.5C Overmars
15) Ferdi Somnez (AM/S - ADO Den Haag - Holland) 8.0D
16) Michel Poldervaart (W - Feyenoord - Holland) 8.0C
17) Arouna Koné (S - PSV - Ivory Coast) 7.5C
18) Vitor Santiago Leonardo (S - NAC - Brazil) 9.0E Romario
19) Leandro Resida (SS - Ajax - Holland) 8.0C
20) Vincent van den Bergh (AM/W/S - Arsenal - Holland) 8.0C
21) Joran Pot (S - FC Twente - Holland) 8.0C
22) Daniël de Ridder (MF/W - Celta de Vigo - Holland) 8.0D Redondo
23) Tim Vincken (W - Feyenoord - Holland) 7.5C
24) Johan Vonlanthen (S - NAC - Switserland) 7.5D
25) Kemy Agustien (S - Willem II - Holland) 7.5D
26) Mounir el Hamdaoui (W/S - Tottenham - Holland) 7.5C
27) Ratko Vansimpsen (ARM/RW - Willem II - Belgium) 7.0C
28) Prins Rajcomar (S - Den Bosch - Holland) 7.5D
29) Roy Beerens (S - PSV - Holland) 7.5D
30) Rydell Poepon (S - Ajax - Holland) 7.5D
31) Nicola Mitea (W - Ajax - Romania) 7.5D
32) Derk Boerrigter (W - Ajax - Holland) 7.5C
33) Patrick Geritssen (F - Twente - Holland) 7.0B
34) Georgios Samaras (S - Manchester City - Greece) 6.0B
35) Reza Ghoochannejhad (S - Heereveen - Holland) 7.0D
36) Jermaine Lens (S - AZ - Holland) 7.5C
37) Etienne Esajas (W - Ajax/Vitesse - Holland) 6.5D
38) Per Weihrauch (W - Ajax/Chelsea - Denmark) 7.0D
39) Eljero Elia (W/S - ADO - Holland) 6.5C
40) Julian Jenner (W - NAC - Holland) 6.5D
41) Tom de Mul (W/S - Vitesse/Ajax - Belgium) 7.0E
42) Fred Benson (S - Vitesse - Holland) 6.5B
43) Ottman Bakal (W - PSV/Eindhoven - Holland) 6.0B
44) David Coonen (S - Utrecht - Holland) 6.0C


The quality at midfield and forward esspecially is just sick..


Last edited by Ajacied: 08-07-2006 at 04:42 PM.
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Old
06-02-2006, 08:17 AM
  #46
Juni
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Right, I finally got around to getting this together, feel absolutely free to debate any of these positions/ask questions in the discussion thread. We'll be able to get a more rounded English list that way. I might do a writeup on some of the top players at some point.

I've used O=S' grading system because I believe it fits very well.

Number definition:

10 - Once in a lifetime player
09 - Superstar
08 - Star
07 - Good just not great
06 - Above average/usefull player
05 - Average player
04 - Below average player
03 - Mediocre player
02 - Not a professional calibre talent
01 - Go play korfbal

Grade definition:

A - Sure fine bet to reach potential/Already is.
B - Nearly having fulfilled his potential
C - Need seasoning before reaching potential/needs to join a bigger team.
D - Very young and thus having a lot to prove
E - Unlikely to reach potential

==

English List: Players born 1/1/86 and later

1 GK John Ruddy 24/10/1986 Everton England 8 D
2 GK Tim Krul 03/10/1988 Newcastle Holland 8 D
3 GK Kasper Schmeichel 05/11/1986 Man City Denmark 8 D
4 GK Vito Mannone 05/02/1988 Arsenal Italy 8 D
5 GK Shane Supple 14/05/1987 Ipswich Ireland 8 D
6 GK Ben Alnwick 01/01/1987 Sunderland England 7 C
7 GK Ricardo Batista 19/11/1986 Fulham Portugal 7 C
8 GK Yves Makalambay 31/01/1986 Chelsea Belgium 7 C
9 GK Joe Lewis 06/10/1987 Norwich England 7 C
10 GK Joe Hart 19/04/1987 Man City England 7 C
11 GK Robert Olejnik 26/11/1988 Aston Villa Austria 7 C
12 GK Thomas Heaton 15/04/1986 Man Utd England 6 C

1 DF Michael Mancienne 08/01/1988 Chelsea England 9 D
2 DF Johann Djourou 18/01/1987 Arsenal Suisse 8 C
3 DF Matthew Mills 14/07/1986 Man City England 8 C
4 DF Steven Taylor 23/01/1986 Newcastle England 8 C
5 DF Micah Richards 24/06/1988 Man City England 8 C
6 DF Reto Ziegler 16/01/1986 Tottenham Suisse 8 C
7 DF Kerrea Gilbert 28/02/1987 Arsenal England 8 C
8 DF Billy Jones 24/03/1987 Crewe England 8 C
9 DF Jonas Elmer 28/02/1988 Chelsea Suisse 8 D
10 DF Scott Golbourne 29/02/1988 Reading England 8 D
11 DF Lewin Nyatanga 18/08/1988 Derby Wales 8 D
12 DF Ryan Bertrand 21/11/1989 Chelsea England 8 D
13 DF Gerard Pique 02/02/1987 Man Utd Spain 8 C
14 DF Matthew Bates 10/12/1986 Middlesbrough England 7 C
15 DF Nedum Onuoha 30/11/1987 Man City England 7 C
16 DF Joey O'Brien 17/02/1986 Bolton Ireland 7 C
17 DF Jon Spector 01/03/1986 Man Utd USA 7 B
18 DF Paul McShane 06/01/1986 Man Utd Ireland 7 C
19 DF David Wheater 14/02/1987 Middlesbrough England 7 C
20 DF Martin Crainie 26/09/1986 Southampton N.Ireland 7 C
21 DF Phil Ifil 18/11/1986 Tottenham England 7 C
22 DF Tony McMahon 24/03/1986 Middlesbrough England 7 C
23 DF Liam Fontaine 07/01/1986 Fulham England 6 A
24 DF Dan Smith 05/10/1986 Sunderland England 6 C
25 DF Nathan Ashton 30/01/1987 Charlton England 6 C

1 MF Francesc Fabregas 04/05/1987 Arsenal Spain 9 A
2 MF Aaron Lennon 16/04/1987 Tottenham England 8 B
3 MF Charles N'Zogbia 28/05/1986 Newcastle France 8 C
4 MF Ricardo Vaz Te 01/10/1986 Bolton Portugal 8 C
5 MF Theo Walcott 16/03/1989 Arsenal England 8 D
6 MF Lee Cattermole 21/03/1988 Middlesbrough England 8 C
7 MF Fabio Ferreira 07/03/1989 Chelsea Portugal 8 D
8 MF Ricardo Fernandes 10/03/1989 Chelsea Portugal 8 D
9 MF Jimmy Smith 07/01/1987 Chelsea England 7 B
10 MF James Milner 04/01/1986 Aston Villa England 7 C
11 MF Vassiriki Diaby 11/05/1986 Arsenal France 7 C
12 MF Tom Huddlestone 28/12/1986 Tottenham England 7 C
13 MF James Morrison 25/05/1986 Middlesbrough England 7 C
14 MF Alex Song 09/09/1987 Arsenal France 7 C
15 MF Floribert Ngalula 07/03/1987 Man Utd Belgium 7 C
16 MF Simon Walton 13/09/1987 Leeds England 7 C
17 MF Myles Weston 12/03/1988 Charlton England 7 C
18 MF Tom Soares 10/07/1986 Crystal Palace England 7 C
19 MF Adam Johnson 14/07/1987 Middlesbrough England 7 C
20 MF Lee Martin 09/02/1987 Man Utd England 7 C
21 MF Fabrice Muamba 06/04/1988 Arsenal England 7 D
22 MF Owen Garvan 29/01/1988 Ipswich Ireland 7 D
23 MF Franck Songo'o 14/05/1987 Portsmouth France 7 D
24 MF Mark Noble 08/05/1987 West Ham England 7 D
25 MF Anthony Grant 04/06/1987 Chelsea England 6 B
26 MF Sergio Peter 12/10/1986 Blackburn Germany 6 C
27 MF Nathan Dyer 29/11/1987 Southampton England 6 C
28 MF Joe Ledley 23/01/1987 Cardiff Wales 6 C
29 MF Stephen Ireland 22/08/1986 Man City Ireland 6 D
30 MF Cole Skuse 29/03/1986 Bristol City England 5 D

1 FW Daniel Sturridge 23/06/1989 Man City England 9 D
2 FW Giuseppe Rossi 01/02/1987 Man Utd Italy 8 C
3 FW Dean Bowditch 15/06/1986 Ipswich England 8 C
4 FW Cameron Jerome 14/08/1986 Birmingham England 8 C
5 FW Nicklas Bendtner 16/01/1988 Arsenal Denmark 8 D
6 FW Gabriel Agbonlahor 13/10/1986 Aston Villa England 8 D
7 FW Arturo Lupoli 24/06/1987 Arsenal Italy 7 C
8 FW Scott Sinclair 26/03/1989 Chelsea England 8 D
9 FW Luke Moore 13/02/1986 Aston Villa England 7 D
10 FW Matt Jarvis 22/05/1986 Gillingham England 7 C
11 FW Sylvain Blake 29/03/1986 Man Utd England 7 C
12 FW Dave Cotterill 04/12/1987 Bristol City Wales 7 C
13 FW Leon Best 19/09/1986 Southampton Ireland 7 C
14 FW David McGoldrick 29/11/1987 Southampton England 7 D
15 FW Jennison Williams 10/01/1988 Bristol City England 7 C
16 FW Billy Sharp 05/12/1986 S****horpe England 6 D
17 FW Ishmael Miller 05/03/1987 Man City England 6 B
18 FW Matt Derbyshire 14/04/1986 Blackburn England 6 C
19 FW Dexter Blackstock 20/05/1986 Southampton England 6 C
20 FW Hogan Ephraim 31/03/1988 West Ham England 6 D
21 FW Victor Anichebe 23/04/1988 Everton Nigeria 6 D
22 FW Joe Garner 12/04/1988 Blackburn England 6 D
23 FW James Vaughan 14/07/1988 Everton England 5 C
24 FW Sone Aluko 19/02/1989 Birmingham England 5 D

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08-09-2006, 08:17 AM
  #47
Ajacied
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Updated top 50 list:

Date cut off: 01-01-1984

Number definition:

10 - Once in a life time player
09 - Superstar
08 - Star
07 - Good player, just not a great one
06 - Above average/useful player
05 - Average player
04 - Below average player
03 - Mediocre player
02 - Not a professional calibre talent
01 - Go play korfbal


Grade definition:

A - Sure fine bet to reach potential/Already is.
B - Nearly having furfilled his potential
C - Need seasoning before reaching potential/to bigger league.
D - Very young and thus having a lot to prove
E - Unlikely to reach potential


Top 10 of most notable prospects who graduated (83's):

01) Arjen Robben (W - Chelsea - Holland - 84) 9.0A Cruijff
02) Rafael van der Vaart (MF - Hamburg - Holland) 9.0B
03) Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (S - Ajax - Holland) 9.0B van Basten
04) Robin van Persie (MF/S/W - Arsenal - Holland) 9.0B Bergkamp
05) Johnny Heitinga (CB/RB - Ajax - Holland) 9.0C Nesta
06) Gijs Luirink (CB - Groningen - Holland) 8.0B F. de Boer
07) Anouar Diba (MF - NAC - Holland) 8.0B
08) Romeo Castelen (W - Feyenoord - Holland) 7.5C Overmars
09) Arouna Koné (S - PSV - Ivory Coast) 7.5C
10) Ramon Zomer (CB/LB - Twente - Holland) 7.5B

10) Edson Braafheid (RB - Utrecht - Holland) 7.0B

HM) Vitor Santiago Leonardo (S - NAC - Brazil) 9.0E Romario
HM) Nicky Hofs (MF - Feyenoord - Holland) 7.0A

Updated top 50 list

Technically a prospect due to age, but might have appeared in too many professional games


01) Vurnon Anita (MF - Ajax - Holland - 89) 9.0C Seedorf

Picture

The difference between the previous #1 (Robben) and #2 is nearly 5 and a half years, but the difference in upside is minimal, if any. Vurnon Anita is the best product in Ajax' potent youth academy. Reminds some a lot of Seedorf, except Vurnon's explosiveness sets him apart. Strong on the ball, makes quick decisions and is very, very technical. Anita's biggest assest might be his versatality however, being able to play at all MF positions as well as CB. Anita prefers to play in central midfield in a free role.

Did you know Vurnon Anita won silver during the U17 EC and was even named tournament MVP? Anita also won Bronze during the WC U17, earning himself a spot on the All-Star squad. Did you also know Anita is the second youngest player to ever make his professional Ajax debute? Ironicly, only his comparison, Clarence Seedorf, has him beat.


02) Wesley Sneijder (MF - Ajax - Holland - 84) 9.0B Deco

Picture & Clip

Sneijder is barely 22 but already has more international experience than most of his fellow age companions. Valueble for his national team, but even moreso for his club. Sneijder is a smallish, but quick midfielder who has a winning mentality. Can play the role of a playmaker, of a scorer or even as a defensive midfielder. Wesley has one of the most accurate long distance shots in the world, and he's not afraid to use it. Instantly making him a free-kick specialist as well. Has brought his game to another level this year and due to a solid WC where he showed to be a capable DM as well, Sneijder's value has gone up by a lot lately.

Did you know that Sneijder's percentage of game winning or game tying goals is the highest of the Eredivisie?


03) Urby Emanuelson (LB - Ajax - Holland - 86) 8.5C Maxwell

Picture & Clip (first professional goal

Emanuelson is a left back who we (Holland) haven't had before. He has a constant urge of going forward, always trying to create something rather than savely tapping it backwards. He does this without neclecting his defensive tasks, showing determinating, hussle and well-timed tackles in his own zone. Only 19 years old but already got to sniff Oranje. If he progresses properly, Emanuelson has the potential to be the very best at his position someday.

Did you know Emanuelson won the EC U21 with Oranje this past summer? Emanuelson even was voted best Leftback and earned himself a spot on the All-Star squad. Did you also know that Emanuelson was once on a TV show for kids, expresing his desire of once playing for Ajax? Picture..


04) Hedwiges Maduro (D/MF - Ajax - Holland - 85) 8.5B Wim Jonk

Picture & Clip

Maduro is one of the most special, rarest yet undervalued prospects in the world. His maturity goes beyond his age (20) and it's obvious on the pitch. Has the rare ability to control the pace of the game, perfectly knowing when to speed things up or when to slow things down. Not really vocal, but is a born leader nonetheless, captaining U21 to the WC Quarters 2 years ago. Reminds me a lot of Cocu with a higher skillset. Maduro is even as versatile as Cocu, being able to play all defensive and midfield positions, but his true role is that of a defensive or neutral midfielder. Already was a full-time Dutch international at the age of 18. Very good in crowded situations. Recently has problems with his conditions as he's probably played more games than any other age-companion so far. Often rests and sits out games for Ajax and Oranje now.

Did you know Maduro was scouted by Alex Fergeson when he was barely 16 years old? Fergeson scouted Hedwiges on advice from his scouts, but left Amsterdam unimpressed. United have re-newed their interest when Maduro broke through but will have to cough up a lot more than the 30k you could've sign him for back in the days.


05) Ismaël Aissati (MF - PSV - Holland - 88) 8.5C Philipe Cocu

Picture & Clip (first professional goal)

Ismael Aissati had a rough season in 2006. After a stunishing debute in 2005, Aissati hasn't quite managed to impress ever since highly respected scout Piet de Visser said how the young teenager might be the best 17 year old in the world. This was expectable though, management gave experience a higher priority and Aissati has to accept his benchrole. He still managed to appear in 18 games, dishing out 3 assists while scoring twice. Expect Aissati to be brought in slowly, he might not be fully ready for a starting spot for two years, but whenever he does, PSV has got a real diamond on their hands. Aissati plays a lot like Maduro (mentioned above) in that he can control and dictate the play. He rarely, ever loses balls and always seems to make the right decision. Not afraid to challange opponents, not even when they are named Kaká, Pirlo or Seedorf. Has a very underrated shot as well. Ismael's ideal position would probably be the neutral midfielder role his team captain Philipe Cocu currently furfilles.

Did you know that Ismael Aissati is the youngest CL participant ever?


06) Jeffrey Sarpong (MF - Ajax - Holland - 88) 8.5C Kaká

Picture & Clip

Made his debute this season, appearing in 9 games, recording two assists while we still have to wait on his first professional goal. Sarpong is a highly gifted, creative midfielder. Quick, lightfeeted and is a player who improvises extremely well. He can get himself out of hopeless situations with the necessary tricks and uses his skillset efficiently. Very raw, but can grow on to become a superstar. His potential is huge..

Did you know Sarpong declined on the option of signing for Chelsea prior to the start of last season? Did you also know Sarpong once appeared in a tv show called "Willem Wever" (a person who handles all your questions) when he was just 7 years old? His question was: "How do I play for Ajax?".. The rest is history..

Did you also know Sarpong won silver during the U17 EC, and bronze during the WC U17 in Peru, earning himself a spot on the All-Star squad of both tournaments?


07) Jefferson Farfán (W/S - PSV - Peru - 84) 8.5B

Picture & Clip

Jefferson Farfán is (at least in the Eredivisie) already one of the most hardest players to defend. His goal scoring versatality knows no bounds. Just last season he scored 27 goals while playing the entire season from the wing. Very accurate in his finishing, scores easily from in or outside the box, and is even a free-kick specialist. Not really a playmaker, always prefers to score above anything. A quality of his is that he is able to run at full speed and still be nearly impossible to knock off balance. His control is outstanding at full speed, and that's pretty darn fast.

Did you know Farfán is already considered the greatest player his country has ever produced? Did you also know Chelsea wanted to get him early in 2004, but couldn't due to international laws?


08) John Goossens (LW/S - Ajax - Holland - 88) 8.5D Makaay

Picture

Goossens is one of the top forward prospects of his country. His speed is one thing, but the power and accuracy of his shot is something special. Just a deathly player when he gets free, but instead of rocketing it in, he also has the patience to overlook the situation, resulting in possible crosses. Just like his age companions, he likes to play with flair. Very strong physicly too, good in the air and hard to knock of the ball. Needs to improve his one on one skills from what I've seen though.

Did you know John Goossens too, declined on the option of signing with Chelsea prior to the start of last season? Did you also know Goossens won silver during the U17 EC and bronze during the WC U17 in Peru, where he finished as topscorer?


09) Salomon Kalou (W/S - Chelsea - Ivory Coast/Holland - 85) 9.0C Eto'o

Picture & Clip

Kalou, now with Chelsea, is one of the top young players in the game. He can play wing as well as striker. A real goalgetter who can create plenty of chances on his own. Can get by opponents like they are pylons. Very fast and technicly gifted. Needs to progress his decision making somewhat, being accused of being selfish many times. Also is very inconsistent as he can be gods gift to football one day, and be invisable the next day.

Did you know Salomon Kalou wanted to go to the WC with Oranje, but couldn't get a Dutch passport in time? There was even made a funny commercial about the situation where he did manage to go to the WC: Link


10) Kenneth Vermeer (GK - Ajax - Holland - 86) 8.5D Menzo

Picture

Vermeer is arguably the best goalkeeper in the system right now. Only Tim Krul (Newcastle) is a real threat for that title. Average height (1.81) but is Very athletic and has a lot of 'air time'. Used to be a real showkeeper but has limited that somewhat. Ajax refused to loan him out for a consecutive season and VErmeer will now head into the new campaign as Maarten Stekelenburg's backup. Meaning he's ahead of Dennis Gentenaar, an experienced and very decent tender, on the depthchart. Like most Dutch goalkeepers, Vermeer likes to be involved in plays and has great ballhandlings. He just has to hope Stekelenburg underperforms or makes a move abroad, as Vermeer seems ready to be a starter.

Did you know Kenneth Vermeer won the EC U21 with Holland this past summer? He started in all of the games, allowing 3 goals while being named 3rd best goalkeeper of the tournament.


11) Ryan Babel (W/S - Ajax - Holland - 86) 9.0D Kluivert/Henry

Picture & Clip

After a very promesing rookie season, Babel, like most Ajacieden, took a little fall this past season. He got out of favor with Danny Blind and with the arrival of Huntelaar, his dream of starting at centre forward were demolished. He had to accept a role on the bench and try to earn some minutes as a left winger. It worked, somewhat. As Ryan Babel still managed to appear in 25 games, scoring twice while setting up 3 more. Ryan Babel is not looking like the 18 year old stud in the making when he plays from the wing, and has expressed his toughts about playing wing several times. It looks like he just has to accept it now that Huntelaar is here for a full season. Not only that, but with Manuacharyan and Mitea healthy, Rosenberg and Perez capable of playing LW, Babel might be in for another dissapointing season. However, expect Babel to skyrocket on this list once Huntelaar leaves and he's able to fill in the striker position. As Ryan Babel might very well posses more natural talent and upside than any of the ones mentioned above (or below) him, for maybe except Quincy Owusu.

Did you know Babel is from the projects and is serious about following a rap career?


12) Tomas Vermaelen (CB/LB - Ajax - Belgium - 85) 8.0B

Picture

Vermaelen's career just skyrocketed during the past few months. After being with the Ajax selection two seasons ago, Vermaelen was judged too lightly and unexperienced and was loaned out to RKC. He impressed a lot there and Ajax got him back prior to the start of last season. During his first 5 games with Ajax, he was voted man of the match 3 times and eventually became a core member of the 2005/2006 squad, even scoring 3 goals. Vermaelen is a very smart defender who relies on positioning and mobility. He's much stronger than he appears and has a good mentality. Stands his ground in one on one battles and is strong in the air. Owns a decent long cross and can be the foundation of succesful attacks. He has it all to become a succesful defender abroad someday, but questions remain how he would perform against more physical opponents as he already has had plenty of troubles with Dirk Kuijt. Playing side by side with Jaap Stam might have Vermaelen developing even further.

Did you know Vermaelen became a Belgian international this year?


13) Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (W/S - Arsenal/Spartac Moscow - Holland - 86) 9.5E

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Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, quite a story. In terms of pure technical talent, Owusu might be the best prospect in the world. Unfortunately for him, there are more things involved in being a succesful football player. After dominating with Arsenal's youth team, even scoring 4 times in one game, Owusu made the first team. However, he didn't feel like waiting and decided to go to Spartac Moscow. QOA is a player with endless moves, he does them all the time, sometimes without reasoning but often also with a lot of efficiency. One of the fastests players in the world, Owusu is also strong physicaly, making it very hard to knock him off the ball, even at full speed. Pair that with his tecnique and you have a deadly weapon. His shot is hard, but not as accurate as he'd like. People also tend to view him as being selfish, but I think that's overblown. He just likes to make his actions, and with such skills, I don't blame him. Whenever he's near the goal he always passes when he isn't in a position to shoot, that or he creates room so he can shoot. Has a bit of a bad boy image as well. Has worked against him in the past. Not sure whether going to Moscow was the smartest move, but if he can mature and gain playing time, there's no reason why Owusu won't be one of the world's best players someday. Chances are slim though..

Did you know Quincy Owusu Abeyie was sent away from Ajax' youth ranks because of bad behaviour? Did you also know Quincy was arrested on April the 25th 2005 for fighting during an awardshow in London?


14) Ron Vlaar (CB - Feyenoord - Holland - 85) 8.5D Stam

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Tall (1.89), physicaly imposing defender. Very sound positionally and is faster than you'd think. A beast in the air and owns a shot you just don't want to run into. Inconsistent and tends to struggle with confidence issues at times, but easily one of the top defensive prospects of Holland, and probably even the world. Already played some games for Oranje and looks to be our future CB alongside Gijs Luirink, who just graduated.

Did you know Vlaar won the EC U21 with Holland this past summer? Vlaar started in all of the games and should've made the All-Star squad.


15) Haris Medunjanin (MF/S - AZ (loaned out to Sparta) - Holland - 85) 8.5C Zidane

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Mendunjanin is a player who haven't seen a whole lot, but I've been very high on him for quite a while now. Only has 13 Eredivisie games under his belt, spread out over 2 seasons. Scored 3 times last season, mostly from long distance, and even dished out two assists as well. Is a tall, not very fast, but very techniqually gifted player. Uses his skillset very maturely, doesn't toys around. Ideally plays as an AM or as a SS. I'm guessing, but mostly hoping, that he will have a great season playing for Sparta.

Did you know Medunjanin was a fugitive from the war in former Yougoslavia when he was just 5 years old?


16) Jonathan de Guzman (MF - Feyenoord - Holland - 87) 8.5C Pirlo

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De Guzman was named 2005's talent of the year and he hasn't looked back since. A master of the term 'two-way' as de Guzman can take out his man as well as contribute offensively. Jonathan de Guzman has already developed a knack for coming up big in the clutch. He reads play well, posseses good moves but can also be valueble controlling the play. Despite his stature, he's gotten the better end of several high end opponents, including Philipe Cocu. De Guzman could expect a call from Marco van Basten very soon now, he's that good.

Did you know de Guzman's father wanted his sons to play basketball but decided not to because of their size? De Guzman's brother, Julian, is playing for Deportivo now.


17) Tim Krul (G - Newcastle United - Holland - 88) 8.0D

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Krul impressed so much during the U17 EC in Italy in 2005, that he had 7 English teams to chose from. Eventually he chosed for Newcastle, thinking he might have the best shot at starting for them someday. Krul is an all-round goalkeeper, possessing all of the goalkeeping facets. A bit nervous at times though, here and there he fumbles somewhat but is usually a very stable and consistent force in his own net. Very vocal.

Did you know Krul was named best keeper of the tournament during the EC U17 in Italy, where his team won silver? He also won bronze during the WC U17 a year later in Peru.


18) Diego Biseswar (MF - Feyenoord (loaned out to Heracles) - Holland - 88) 8.5D

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Biseswar is known as an extremely talented, but hot headed kid. Appeared in 6 games for Feyenoord this year after making his debute the year before. Everything went well, Biseswar impressed a lot, even scoring a very important game winner during his debute. However, being the undiciplined boy that he is, he was dropped out of the first squad for bad behaviour. But, being a huge talent, Biseswar needed playing time and most of all needed to mature, hence Feyenoord loaning him out to Heracles. Expect him to start for Feyenoord next year if he has a good season. Still very young, but definitely has a huge shot at making big Oranje someday.

Did you know Biseswar is the youngest player to make his Feyenoord debute at the bare age of 16? Did you also know Biseswar won silver during the U17 EC and bronze during the WC U17 in Peru?


19) Nacer Barazite (RW/S - Arsenal - Holland - 91) 9.0D A more mobile, less on strenght relying Luca Toni

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A huge talent, Barazite is an exciting young striker. He's a kid trapped in a man's body, as the only 15 year old Nacer already is 1.86, possibly growing out to well over 1.90 when he matures. Strong physically, especially for his age. Lost some explosiveness due to his growth, but makes up for it with technical skills. Good at guarding the ball, often preparing a turning move or a one/two to launch his lethal shot. Scored a lot with his head due to his size advantage.

Did you know Barazite's parents refused to let their son join Arsenal? The club then offered them a job with the team and a house nearby the stadium. Did you also know Barazite has an 18 year old brother, Younes who was deemed every bit as good, but had to quit due to having pfeiffer?


20) Dirk Marcellis (CB - PSV - Holland - 88) 8.5D John Terry

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If everything works out well, Marcellis might go on to become the best center back prospect the Dutch have had since Jaap Stam. A leader in the purest form, Marcellis is a stable and reliable force who's not afraid to play it the nasty way. With PSV's selection right now, and with Ooier possibly moving to the Premiership, it opens up a vacant CB position. If Marcellis continues to have a strong pre-season and Ronald Koeman isn't afraid to handle big responsibilities to youngsters, Marcellis might very well see himself playing side by side with Alex da Costa. There are worse scenarios imaginable for the 17 year old stud in the making.. All this depends on the departure of Ooier though, and even if he leaves, they might try and get a replacement instead of inserting Marcellis. He's still awfully raw and young ofcourse.

Did you know Marcellis was the captain of the U17 squads which won silver and bronze during the EC and WC respectively? Did you also know that Marcellis has played in more young Oranje games than any other player ever has before? Not only that, but did you also know that Marcellis won Limburgs biggest sporttalent award in 2005?


21) Stijn Schaars (LMF/DM - AZ - Holland - 84) 7.0A

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Schaars is one of those smart, hard working players who can really carry teams due to his fighting spirit and vocal skills. Never quits and always gives it all, always trying to be the perfect rolemodel for his teammates. Underrated dribbler, and owns a hard, accurate shot, which he rarely ever uses (unfortunately). Can contribute offensively with 'tape to tape passes' (hey, it's a hockeyboard afterall) as witnessed during the EC U21 where he had 2 crucial assists.

Did you know Stijn Schaars captained the U21 to the European title this past summer? Did you also know Stijn Schaars is Evilo's favorite player in the entire world?


22) Ibrahim Afellay (RMF - PSV - Holland - 86) 8.0B

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Afellay went from a 2 game season in 2004, a 7 game season in 2005 to suddenly playing 23 games for PSV last season. Proving that his development is going nicely as planned. Afellay didn't start in all of those 23 games, and because he never quite knew whether he would start or not, it seemed as if he wasn't always prepared. In 7 games in 2005, Afellay scored 2 goals. Last season, in 23 games, Afellay scored 2 goals as well. Just like the statistics show, Afellay is progressing by baby steps. First comes playing time, then comes locking up a starting place on the squad, then the goals and assists will come. He is aware of this and is willing to work hard. Afellay remains a highly touted prospect who always overlooks the situation. Will dribble or shoot if he finds no one to pass it to, as he isn't very fond of going backwards. Also has a lot of technical skills.. Expect Afellay to start in most of the games for PSV this season, scoring around 5 goals is not out of the question. This also might be the year where Afellay might make his Oranje debute. He already was selected in the past but never had to dress up.

Did you know Afellay missed the U21 EC due to injury and had to see how his teammates won the tournament from his couch? Afellay lead the teams in assists during qualification.


23) Moubarek Boussoufa (MF - Anderlecht - Holland - 84) 8.0C

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Boussoufa wasn't good enough to break through with Ajax and found a home in London where he played a while for Chelsea before heading to Belgium. Boussoufa managed to impress a lot in the Jupiler league, even winning the award for best player. Like most Dutch-Maroccans, Boussoufa is a highly gifted player who combines speed and finess paired with a lethal, accurate shot.

Did you know Moubarek Boussoufa once entered a 'keep the ball-up competition' during warming up of an Ajax game when he was 13 years old? He stopped when he was at 900 since he wanted the game to start. Pretty funny, you have to check it out: Link

Did you also know Boussoufa's transfer to Anderlecht was the most expensive one in history of Belgian League football?


24) Nicolae Mitea (W - Ajax - Romania - 85) 8.0D Martins (minus physical part)

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Had an outstanding rookie season in 2004, where he had 7 goals and 5 assists and even being named 'talent of the year'. Things were looking bright for Ajax at left wing, untill 2005 that is, as Mitea injured his knee and was out 9 months. He finished rehabilitating not too long ago and has been playing with the team for a few weeks now before again, yup, injuring himself. Luckily not very seriously, but it does show how fragile he really is. If he's healthy and in form, Mitea is one of the fastest players in the world. Controls his dribbles well, even at full speed and scores easily when he's in the box. If Mitea wasn't as fragile and was a little bit stronger on his feet, he might be one of the top wingers in the world someday. But he's still young, so it might actually happen someday, though I'm not holding my breath.

Did you know Mitea has spent more time rehabilitating than actually playing when he joined Ajax 3 years ago?


26) Moussa Dembele (S/SS - AZ - Belgium - 87) 8.5D Thierry Henry

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Dembele is a very down to earth, smart kid with a lot of ambitions and most of al, a crapload of potential. Enjoyed an awesome rookie season with Willem II, scoring in double digits and even earning a call-up for his national squad. Dembelé has a lot of simularities to Thierry Henry in that both are strikers who rely on speed and vision, they're even build the same as well. Dembelé also has a lot of ways to finish and can also function as a shadow striker. Could play wing as well seeing his skillset. Not much of a playmaker, Dembelé might go on to become a superstar someday. I won't be surprised when he scores 20+ goals in the Eredivisie in a year or two and then do the same in a bigger league. I'm a pretty big fan of his. Could work on his heading, his playmaking and ofcourse overcome the inconsistency bug.

Did you know Dembele chosed AZ over Real Madrid, Bayern München, PSV, Feyenoord and Ajax when he decided to leave Willem II this past summer?


27) Jan Verthongen (CB/MF - Ajax - Belgium - 87) 8.0C A mix of Frank and Ronald de Boer

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Vertonghen has been highly thought of for a while now and has managed to officially crack Ajax' squad for next season. A huge accomplishment for the 18 year old. Vertonghen captained several youth teams to national title's and is known as a mature, calm, reliable, all-round force. Won't impress you with speed or even tricks, Vertonghen just knows what to do in the field. Great mentality, a beast in the air and is very firm on the ball. Might have to concentrate himself on his secondary position (DSMF) as he won't crack our defensive line just yet.

Did you know that, because of an injury occuring, Ajax had to give the ball back to their opponents (Cambuur) and Jan Vertonghen decided to give it a long sweep forward? It ended up being a goal! Ajax then let Cambuur score freely to equal the score.. Here's a clip Clip, pretty funny.


28) Royston Drenthe (LB - Feyenoord - Holland - 87) 8.0C Mario Melchiot

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Drenthe is one of Feyenoord's biggest talents. He's very, very strong physically, has the speed to keep up with the fastest wingers and strikers and can contribute a lot offensively. Might fill in the LB position for Feyenoord this year. He's left a good impression so far but coach Erwin Koeman has a trouble with his age (18).

Did you know Drenthe was named Oranje's best player during the Toulon youth tournament, where his team reached the finals this year?


29) Emmanuel Boakye (RB - Ajax (loaned out to Heracles) - Holland - 85) 7.5B Trabelsi

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Boakye pretty much earned a call-up out of nowhere last season. He suddenly had to step in and replace one of the top RB's of the world. Surprisingly enough, Boakye did so extremely well, that Trabelsi sat on the bench even when he was healthy. Boakye shares a lot of simularities with Hatem Trabelsi as well. In fact, I think he's a carbon copy. Needs to gain experience and with the arrival of Ogararu, Boakye was able to be loaned out.

Did you know Boakye was actually born in Ghana but can still decide for which country he might play for? If he continues to play like he has for another season or two, a call up from van basten will then only be a matter of time.


30) Nigel de Jong (RMF - Hamburg SV - Holland - 84) 7.5B

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Nigel de Jong moved to HSV in the mids of last season. He only had 6 months remaining of his contract and leaving during the season still got Ajax a decent sum (1M). De Jong is a very all-round player. Started out as a RB but possessed too much offensive skill to play so low in the line up. He also isn't the tallest guy around which might have had a part in the decision. De Jong is techniqually gifted, has a great dribble but is not always a great decision maker. Has speed, a good shot, very, very clutch, is versatile and has a great mentality, he just is highly inconsistent. It will likely prevent him from ever becoming a real star.

Did you know Nigel de Jong opened a little football field in his home neighberhood to keep the children from criminally active? Picture


31) Dwight Tiendalli (SB - Utrecht - Holland - 85) 7.5B

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Dwight Tiendalli's path to succes was a rather familiar route. Went through Ajax' youth ranks, couldn't get a call-up and decided to move. Utrecht was as smart as picking him up. Tiendalli, like most who went through Ajax' system, has above average technical skills and likes to join the attack a lot, which resulted in 2 goals and 2 assists last season. Owns a good dribble for a defender. Positionally sound but can be overenthousiastic at times. Should toughen up a bit more. Sometimes challanges too softly. Declined on the options of moving to Real Betis and Feyenoord this past summer. He wants to be sure of playing time, saying it will be crucial for his development. I wish more players were as smart..

Did you know Tiendalli won the European title with Oranje U21 this past summer and was voted best right back of the tournament?


32) Daniël de Ridder (RMF/RW - Ajax/Celta de Vigo - Holland - 84) 8.5E Christiano Ronaldo/Redondo

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Daniël de Ridder, 'the eternal talent', he's kind of like the lost child. Just blessed with technique and great dribbling skills, but became the doom of his own confidence. Wanted to leave Ajax as he felt he didn't have anything to prove in the Eredivisie anymore (after 30 games). Landed on the bench because of it for an entire season before Ajax reached an agreement with Celta de Vigo. Seems to get enough playing time there but whether he actually develops is another thing. He could have been at the top of the list if he had a more down to earth mentality. His upside was and perhaps still is massive. One of few prospects, or players for that matter, in the world who can really, really embarass opponents. He and Quaresma are quite simular. But my money is on neither to eventually realise their potential.

Did you know de Ridder won the European title with Oranje U21 this past summer? Did you also know de Ridder was 3rd in voting the sexiest footballer of the world (Beckham, Ronaldo being 1/2)?


33) Donovan Slijngard (LB/LCB/LMF - Ajax - Holland - 87) 8.0D

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I'm assuming Slijngard is quite unknown to most of you, but when I mention that he won Ajax' 'youth talent of the year-award' last season, I'm sure he'll be kept an eye on. Won the award by own surprise as he felt the 2 year younger Vurnon Anita had it all locked up. Owns a great acceleration and reads the game extremely well. Plays a lot like Edgar Davids in that he doesn't quit fighting before he has the ball. Has a lot of offensive potential as well, as he can work his way to the cornerflag and provide the necessary cross.

Did you know Slijngard won the award for best talent in the Ajax youth ranks this year? Considering the previous winners (van der Vaart, Heitinga, Sneijder, Vermeer, Maduro and Murat Yildirim), his future looks to be extremely bright.


34) Edgar Manucharyan (W/S/SS - Ajax - Armenia - 87) 8.5D

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Manucharyan, quite a talent. He will enter his 2nd season with the club but has appeared in only 5 games or so. Awfully gifted and not afriad to showcase some moves to please the crowd. Owns an accurate cross but prefers to create an oppertunity for himself. Unlikely to start for Ajax this year, altough I sure hope he does. Ideal position is striker, but can also play on the wing. He has stiff competition at both positions. Just recently Lyon showed interest but I figure Ajax will try to enjoy Edgar for more than just 5 games before making money of off him. Check the compilation above though, that's pretty much what I have seen of him.

Did you know Manucharyan was named Armenian football player of the year when he was just 17 years old? Did you also know he chosed Ajax above Real Madrid, PSV, Chelsea and Fiorentina because it was his most favorite club in the world growing up?


35) Vincent van den Bergh (AM/RW - Arsenal - Holland - 88) 8.5C

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Vincent van den Bergh is a winger from the superb 88/89 generation who relies alot on his speed to make it to the corner flag and provide a hard, but perfectly excuted cross. There's a lot of accuracy in everything that he does, be it passing or shooting. Has the ability to deke out opponents, whether he stands still or is in motion. Already played a few games with Arsenal and has gotten a lot of praise from Arsene Wenger so far. Let's just hope he made the right decision.

Did you know van den Bergh was one of 7 Dutch players who could sign a contract with a Premierleaue club after winning bronze during the WC U17 in Peru, but only he and goalkeeper Krul (Newcastle) did? Anita, Biseswar, Sarpong and Goossens (all Chelsea) decided not to, whereas Marcellis (United) didn't either. Emnes and Zaalman both reportedly declined on offers as well.


36) Patrick Gerritsen (RW/S - Twente - Holland - 87) 8.0D

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Had a strong 2005/2006 pre-season but with Blaisse N'Kufo already playing striker, management let Gerritsen concentrate on the wing, as they persisted on playing him. He didn't dissapoint, either. The 17/18 year old went on to have an outstanding season, scoring 6 goals in 24 games, assisting on 2 more. Gerritsen is a smart forward who media feels will make Oranje some day. Already very all-round as he possesess all the right ingredients to become a great striker someday. Speed, physical strenght and has a knack for knowing when and where to be. Outstanding sniper skills as well. Expect Gerritsen to score in double digits next season if all goes well. I can't imagine him staying with Twente much longer.

Did you know Gerritsen won the EC U21 with Oranje this past summer? He never saw much playing time (Huntelaar) but managed to impress international scouts nonetheless.


37) Marvin Emnes (RW/MF/S - Sparta - Holland - 88) 8.0C

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Marvin Emnes is the first of the outstanding 88/89 generation who scored his professional goal last season, and it proved out to be the game winner as well. He appeared in 11 games for Sparta and somehow they won more whenever he was in the line-up. Isn't as cocky in the field as he used to be while playing with players of his age, a little bit nervous perhaps, but you can clearly see the potential. Like most of his generation, his game relies a lot on his gifted technique and speed.

Did you know Marvin Emnes won silver during the U17 EC and Bronze during the WC U17?


38) Jeffrey Hoogervorst (CB - Real Madrid - Holland - 84) 8.0D

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Hoogervorst is yet another former Ajax product who was sent away because he wasn't judged good enough. Ended up with Sporting Gijón in the Segunda Division, appearing in 25 games, of which he started the final 17. He impressed enough for Real Madrid to sign him and he's been with them (or their youth team) ever since. Apparantly making pretty big noise in Spain considering his age, but I haven't quite kept track of him since he went away. Being sent away from Ajax doesn't mean a whole lot, btw. Arjen Robben, Mark van Bommel and Jaap Stam are just 3 examples of players who went through some of the youth ranks and had to leave.

Did you know Hoogervorst was 'forgotten' by coach Foppe de Haan when he selected his EC U21 squad last season?


39) Per Weihrauch (W/S - Chelsea - Denmark - 88) 8.0D

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Per Weihrauch is a Danish striker who was part of one of the greater Ajax-generations since the 83/84's. Won a lot of titles alongside teammates Anita, Sarpong and Goossens. Was allowed to leave the club, as management felt he was injured too often, not offering him a new contract. Now with Chelsea, the tricky striker likes playing the off-side trap. Could need some work on his finishing to be even more deathly. Very all-round.

Did you know Weihrauch ended up with Chelsea on advice from former Danish and Ajax great Søren Lerby?


40) Melvin Zaalman (RW/RMF - Sparta Rotterdam - Holland - 88) 8.0D

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Lightning fast, gifted technique, good in crowded areas, good, quick passing work. Has some weaknesses too (hard but sometimes overenthousiastic shot, judged too selfish at times and has poor balance) but has it all to become a stud winger someday. Will likely make his official debute this season.

Did you know Melvin Zaalman won silver during the U17 EC and Bronze during the WC U17?


41) José "Pepe" Plá Moya (LB - PSV - Spain - 87) 8.0D

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Former captain of the Spanish U18 squad. Went through the youth ranks of Valencia but because he couldn't break through he decided to look elsewhere. Chosed PSV over several English clubs.. Might see his debute this season though he's still awfully young.

Did you know Pepe chosed PSV because of Guus Hiddink, who coached Valencia earlier in his career?


42) Martijn van der Laan (LCB/LB - Groningen - Holland - 88) 8.0D

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Very strong physically, a lot of speed for a defender and a rocket of a shot. Idolizes Roberto Carlos and likes to compare his game to him. Rushes a lot and likes to cover as much of the left flank as possible. Need to calm down under pressure situations and could improve his right leg. Other than that, he's one of the top defensive prospect of Holland and has a serious shot at making the big squad some day. But up first is making his professional debute for FC Groningen, which will more than likely happen this season.

Did you know Martijn van der Laan won silver during the U17 EC and Bronze during the WC U17?


43) Jordy Buijs (CB/RB - Feyenoord - Holland - 88) 8.0D

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Buijs is probably Feyenoord's biggest talent on defense. Has great winning mentality, a strong and powerful header and never quits. Considers his passing and ability to overlook the situation as his two strongest points. But can be more vocal on the pitch. Might make his debute this season and enjoy a fine career from there on. He's perfectly suited for the Premierleague and I won't be surprised if he ends up there someday. Quite possibly a future Oranje international..

Did you know Jordy Buijs won silver during the U17 EC and Bronze during the WC U17?


44) Tim Vincken (W - Feyenoord - Holland - 86) 7.5C

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A real handy, dandy winger with a lot of lust in his game. Small in stature.. runs a lot, has a lot of speed and always seems to deliver his cross. Already made his debute last season but injuries prevented him from playing a lot. Will try to earn playing time this year, but with Castelen on the right flank, it might prove out to be a very hard task. Concentrating himself on the leftside might be a better idea, as he is capable of playing there..

Did you know Vincken was a huge Feyenoord fan before they came knocking on his door when he was just 9 years old?


45) Nassir Maachi (RW/LW - Utrecht - Holland - 85) 8.0D

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Made his debute for FC Utrecht this past season and it proved out to be a stellar one. He scored twice, including the winner as well as assisting on one more to complete a stunishing debute. Utrecht is always very cautios with their youngsters and Maachie is no exception. Despite his outstanding debute, Nassir Maachie had to accept his minor role on the bench and appeared in only 9 games there after, still managing to score another goal and assist. He's not your prototype winger who heads for the backline where he delivers a cross. Maachie just runs with the ball and just awaits where the situation takes him. He is very fast and likes to cutt back inside for the shot. Haven't seen him a whole lot, but might need to bulk up and improve his strenght. Surprisingly good with the head.

Did you know that Maachi's debute stands as the most productive Eredivisie debute in history (modern age at least)?


46) Robbert Schilder (LCB/LB/LMF - Ajax - Holland - 86) 7.5B

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Made his debute for Ajax last season. Schilder is an all-round and versatile player. Calm on the ball and a fighter off the ball. He might just be a Cocu in the making. Will challenge Emanuelson for time at the left flank. Will likely appear in at least 10+ games next year.

Did you know he was named man of the match vs Feyenoord this past season? Not only did he had Kalou in his pocket, he also provided the game tying assist.


47) Jermaine Lens (SS/S - AZ - Holland - 87) 8.0D

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Lens is another former Ajax product who was sent away. Played with AZ A1 vs Ajax A1 and despite the fact his team lost (no surprise, Ajax dominates youth on every level), he just toyed with a lot of his former teammates. He embarrassed it's defense and its player frequently and management must have had second thoughts whether they did good sending Lens away like that. Like most current Dutch products, Lens has a gifted technique which he isn't afraid to use. Fast with or without the ball and owns a hard, deadly shot. Inaccurate dribble's at times though, often wanting too much. Made his debute last season, a short one (5 minutes but a debute nonetheless). With the current AZ selection right now and despite AZ's rediculous depth, Lens might actually see some minutes this year. Will be a major part of AZ's core for the future.

Did you know Lens was last season's top goalscorer in his age competition (Nike A-junioren Eredivisie) with 19 goals?


48) Rydell Poepon (AM/SS/S - Ajax - Holland - 88) 8.0D

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If Babel, for some odd reason, stops developing, Ajax will have another waiting in the wing. Poepon plays a lot like him, possessing the same technique and shot technique he's often fooled goalkeepers with. Not as fast as Babel is. Relatively big and strong physical. Not really a one on one challenger as his dribbling isn't top notch. A rocket of a shot though.. Officially with the Ajax squad heading into next season, and that's an accomplishment on its own. First position is striker, but so is that of Huntelaar, Rosenberg, Babel, Manucharyan and Charisteas. Will likely apear in a game here and there, but can't imagine him making any noise just yet. We would have to wait another year for that. However, with Huntelaar, Manucharyan, Poepon, Babel and Goossens, Ajax' won't have to worry about who will score for them within the next few years. They might very well have the best crop of young strikers in the world. Hence it won't be a surprise if Poepon only plays in a few games.

Did you know Poepon finished the Nike A-junioren Eredivisie tied for 2nd in the goalscorer ranks alongside teammate John Goossens with 15 goals?


49) Kemy Agustien (S - AZ (loaned out to Roda JC) - Holland - 86) 8.0D Kluivert

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Deemed as a huge talent, Agustien might pop out to be the most complete striker of this entire list. Has been with Willem II since he was 7, and already has played in 55 professional games for them before he was even 20. Quick, smart striker who often seems hesitated to shoot. Passes a lot and likes to be a playmaker, evidential in his statistics (2 goals and 5 assists last season). Is strong on all facets but needs to become more selfish.

Did you know Agustien was the youngest player to appear in all of the 34 Eredivisie games this past season?


50) Lee Nguyen (MF - PSV - USA - 86) 8.0D

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Lee is hard to rank. Like most American young sportsmen, Lee was tremendously hyped before coming to Holland. Due to this I'm having trouble ranking him. If he's as good as they say he is, Lee might move up a few spots, if not, 50 might be a little generous considering the talents I left out in favor of him. Lee Nguyen (pronounced 'win'), an American born with Vietnamese roots, is supposed to be the 2nd best talent coming out of the USA after Freddy Adu. Made his debute last season and not really sure whether he was popular before his debute, but he sure was after it. Played for 30 minutes coming in for fellow contryman Beasley, Nguyen impressed the crowd with some spectacular moves and sound dribbles. Considered a phenom and megatalent in the US, Nguyen will try and earn some minutes at midfield for PSV this season. He'll likely compete with Beasley, Afellay and Aissati. If he meets his potential, Lee might become the player PSV are urgently missing right now (connection guy between midfield and forward).

Did you know Lee was named National Freshman of the Year by Soccer America and Soccer Times and was a first team Freshman All-American according to Soccer America, Soccer Times and College Soccer News when he was just 17 years old? Led the U-18's with four goals at the Copa Chivas Tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico in January of 2005 and was ranked eighth-best player and third-best midfielder in the country by StudentSportsSoccer.com in 2005.



Just missing the boat:


--) Fred Benson (S - Vitesse - Holland - 84) 7.0B

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Another Ajax cast away, Benson is a strong player who relies alot on his physical strenght and perseverance. Despite being born in Ghana, Benson was invited to join Oranje for the U21 squad which won the title this past summer. Didn't play a lot. Might be looking at 10+ goals if all goes well next year. Love his spirit, enthousiasm and his shot. Good player (not great)..

Did you know Benson was the highest scoring substitute of the Eredivisie last season, with 7?


--) Collins John (S - Fullham - Holland - 85) 8.0C Hasselbaink

Picture & Clip

Moved to England at an early age. Finished last season as Fullham's leading goalscorer with 11. A real sucky striker when things aren't going for him, but can be a real tank and impossible to stop when he's on. Strong as an oak, shakes off defenders like they are kids and has a devastating shot. Master at scoring garbage goals as well. Needs to be used properly to be effective

Did you know Collins John already had 20 Premierleague goals on his name before he reached the age of 21?


--) Johan Vonlanthen (S - PSV/Red Bull Salzburg - Switserland - 86) 8.0E

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Vonlanthen is turning out to become an enternal talent if he isn't careful. It will only take a few minutes of your time to see that Vonlanthen has everything to become a star but for some odd reason doesn't seem to care about the team. Was runner up to Senderos in Swiss talent of the year in 2003, Vonlanthen was not able to break through with PSV, loaned out to Serie A's Brescia but didn't work out there, either and eventually was loaned out to NAC later that year. With NAC, Vonlanthen just had an unfortunate situation where team legend Pierre van Hooijdonk (who has everything to say there) wanted different players walking around up front. Despite this, Vonlanthen still managed to score 6 goals (enough to be named club goalscorer). PSV was unimpressed with the progression Vonlanthen showed during his 3 years and rich Red Bull Salzburg of Trappatoni and Matheaus quickly picked him up.

Did you know Vonlanthen is the youngest player to have ever scored at an EC?


--) Mark van den Boogaart (DM - Betis Sevilla - Holland - 85) 7.5C

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Left Feyenoord for the Primera Division earlier last year. Not sure how he's been doing, haven't heard or kept track of him to be honest. Scrappy player.


--) Edgar Barreto (LMF - NEC - Paraguay - 84) 7.5B

Picture, Clip I & Clip II

Paraguayan international, Barreto is a skillful midfielder with one of the better shots of the entire competition. Likes to demand the ball and dictate the game, great technique. Poor defensive comittment, inconsistent and needs to toughen up. Supposedly went to Feyenoord this year (and the previous year) but NEC's asking price of 8 million remains an obstable. Has quite some big teams chasing him, might be his last year in Holland. For some reason played LB during the WC, don't ask me why.

Did you know that Barreto's 3 goals last season were all game winners?


--) Wout Brama (MF - Twente - Holland - 86) 7.5C

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Just stepped in and played a full season right from the get go. Eventually working his way up in becoming a key member. Likes to concentrate on his opponent though he isn't a natural defensive midfielder. Mature, relax player on the field. Good passing work, good shot, good mentality. Just all-round good, but nothing great.

01) Arjen Robben (W - Chelsea - Holland - 84) 9.0A Cruijff

Picture & Clip

With van der Vaart, Huntelaar, van Persie, Luirink and Heitinga being graduated, Robben now is the cream of the crop in terms of Dutch products. Already on this list for 3 years, Robben can savely claim to be world's greatest winger. Robben is very lightfeeted, making it very hard for opponents to charge. His quick acceleration, his top speed, his technique and eye for the goal makes him a joy to watch. Sometimes viewed as selfish, Robben also has the famous diver tag. According to him, he had to just to avoid the nasty tackles coming his way. It has gotten him the diver tag, but it prevented him from getting injured.

Did you know Robben was actually scouted by PSV by accident? PSV scouted immensly touted Jordi Hoogstrate when they saw Robben and just 'took him along' as well. Little did they know.. Robben managed to become the best winger in the world while Hoogstrate always coped with injuries and mental problems.



Honorable mentions:

- Roy Beerens (F - PSV - Holland - 87) 8.0D made his debute last season. Very skillful
- Mohammed Faouzi (S - FC Utrecht - Holland - 87) 8.0D crowned best player of the A-junior Eredivisie, ahead of a lot of players on this list.
- Rudy Vormer (DM/RM - AZ - Holland - 88) 7.5D Of the superb 88/89 generation. Will make his debute this season.
- Stefano Goncalves (AM - Excelsior - Holland - 87) 7.5D Runner up to Faouzi as best 18 year old in the country.
- Michel Hemmen (S - FC Volendam - Holland - 87) 7.5D Top goalscorer of the A-jnioren Eredivisie
- Jelle de Bock (D - PSV - Holland - 88) 8.0D Cracked PSV's squad beating out Marcellis for the job.
- Joran Pot (S - FC Twente - Holland - 88) 8.0D Named best player of the B-junioren Eredivisie (16/17 years)
- Hanne Hagary (W/S - Feyenoord - Holland - 89) 8.0D major Feyenoord talent. Highly gifted
- Christian Supusepa (LB/CB - Ajax - Holland - 89) 8.0D Typical Ajax defender; gifted ballhandlings, fast and strong positionally.
- Ratko Vansimpsen (Willem II - Belgium- 89) finished 3rd in MVP voting in the B-junior Eredivisie.
- Michel Poldervaart (F - Feyenoord - Holland - 88) 8.0D Expected to get a call-up soon. A star in youth soccer.
- Manuel Da Costa (D - PSV - Portugal - 86) 7.5D Came over from Nancy where he played 10 games. Portugese U21 international as well.
- Ryan Donk (CB/SB - RKC - Holland - 86) 7.0C Decent defender. Hard nosed but sloppy at times. Aweome for Oranje during Toulon tournament.
- Otman Bakkal(W/S - PSV (loaned out to Eindhoven) - Holland - 85) 6.5B Has the perfect package but somehow can't get past the 'decent' tag.
- Derk Boerrigter (LW - Ajax - Holland - 86) 8.0D Ajax won the race for this talent last year, beating out some big teams.
- Murat Yilderim (MF - Ajax - Holland - 85) 8.5E Ajax talent of the year in 2005. Gifted DM can't seem to break through.
- Ferdi Sönmez (AM/S - Arsenal/Ado Den Haag - Holland - 89) 8.0D Appears to join Arsenal. Young, but great talent.
- Kevin Wattamaleo (AMF/S - Feyenoord - Holland - 88) 7.5D Slowly, but surely getting there. Will make Feyenoord debute soon.
- Leandro Resida (SS - Ajax - Holland - 89) 7.5D One of the greater 89 talents of Ajax
- Mounir el Hamdaoui (W/S - Tottenham - Holland - 84) 7.5D Extremely gifted. Lost track, not sure he's still Tottenham property. Poor team player
- Jeffrey Altheer (SB - Feyenoord - Holland - 87) 7.5D Lovely talent but not a standout. Debute should be near if he tries hard..
- Ayodele Adelaye (LB/CB - Sparta - Nigeria - 88) 7.0D youngest Eredivisie player this season. Also the youngest Nigerian of his U20 squad.
- Aykut Demir (DM - NAC - Turkey - 88) 8.0D Made debute last season. One of better talents of the Turkish U17/18/20 teams.
- Erik Pieters (CB - FC Utrecht - Holland - 88) One of the better CB's of his age group.
- Rihairo Meulens (S - Vitesse - Holland - 88) 8.0D Vitesse won the race for this talent. Cracked their first squad, will impress this year.
- Daley Blind (CB - Ajax - Holland - 90) 8.5D Major talent but very raw. Won best player award during tournament in Turkey this year.
- Chakib Tayeb (S - Ajax - Holland - 87) 7.0B Not very long with the club, posseses a great technique in crowded areas. Deathly finisher as well.
- Javier Martina (SMF - Ajax - Holland - 87) 8.0D Skillful player, has what it takes to make Ajax 1 someday. A real player..
- Karim El Ahmadi (MF - Twente - Holland - 85) 7.5C Talented midfielder who worked his way up to starter this year.
- Ömer Özcelik (AM - Feyenoord - Holland - 88) 8.5D Has Turkish roots obviously, but has been major contributor of some Oranje youth squads. Feyenoord got him from Utrecht. Very big talent


Last edited by Ajacied: 10-07-2006 at 10:12 AM.
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08-11-2006, 05:33 PM
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Evilo
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New top 40 L1 prospects + top 10 L2 prospects

In order to describe each player’s potential and chance of reaching it, I put up a mark similar to HF’s rankings :
From 1 to 10 ranks the potential of the player (10 being a Maradona or Pele)
From A to F the chance of reaching it (A being there already)
Next to the ranking, you’ll find the name of a pro or former pro, whose style is the closest to the style of the prospect.

Main graduates (83 born) :
Ribery, Fred, Toulalan, Kahlenberg, Makoun, etc...

Main transfered players :
Diaby (Arsenal), Meghni (Bologna), Gourcuff (Milan), R. Faty (Roma), Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham), Adebayor (Arsenal), etc...


1- Karim Benzema, Lyon, Striker, 87
Ranking : 9 B+ Ronaldo
The guy is a sure fire superstar. Very intelligent player, who knows he has to work hard to succeed, despite his great talents. Obviously, he’s always been in Ben Arfa’s shadow, but many people have claimed for a long time that he’ll be the better player, thanks to his superior mental game and maturity. The guy is a sniper, very similar to Trézéguet (shoot on target every time it seems), but with better all around skills (faster, good passing, good dribbling). Obviously, he’s not on Trezegol’s level yet as far as killer instinct and clutchness, but he has the tools to be there in a few years. His model is Ronaldo and I think he’ll see a lot of playing time this year (finally!). He’s been selected to the U21 team, which is rare since he’s so young.


2- Samir Nasri, Marseille, Offensive Midfielder, 87
Ranking : 9 B -> Pablo Aimar
Nasri has ups and downs and seems fragile physically (getting tired after a stretch of games). That’s for the negative. Because the rest of his game is just incredible. He’s fast, is a good passer, above-average shooter, but his main forte is his ability to make good choices when dribbling at full speed. The guy just has superior football sense and awareness. He’s IMO a pretty much lock for the national team in a few years. He too has been selected to the U21 team.


3- Hatem Ben Arfa, Lyon, Striker/Offensive Midfielder, 87
Ranking : 9.5 C+ -> Zinedine Zidane/Ronaldinho
He has the highest potential of any french prospect but his maturity level is not there yet and the few holes in his game (defensive game mainly). When Hatem reaches maturity (if he ever does in fact), he’ll be absolutely unstoppable IMO. He can dribble through anyone, can make blind passes look easy, and has a very good shot. His offensive sense is second to very few. He can shoot the free kick and is very poised on penalties. He’s not afraid of taking responsabilities, so in a sense he’s mature, but the big progress he has to make is making the right choices, and not being selfish. What will determine his year is if he stays in Lyon and if he gets playing time, especially at his favourite spot (behind the two strikers).


4- Jérémy Menez, Monaco, Striker/Offensive Midfielder, 87
Ranking : 9 C+ -> Cristiano Ronaldo
Now often played as offensive midfielder (even winger at times) instead of striker, Menez is still that incredibly talented offensive force that can turn a game around on one single play. Often pointed as a selfish player, he has to work on his consistency and mental game, but the talent is there and astounding. As a reminder, he was the youngest pro player to sign a pro contract, the youngest player to play in L1, the youngest player to score a goal, and the youngest player to score a hattrick (in 12 minutes against Bordeaux and Ramé). The guy has immense technical ability, with both feet. He’s also one of the best free kick shooters in L1.


5- Cristian “cebello” Rodriguez, PSG, Offensive Midfielder, 85, Uruguay
Ranking : 9 C -> Lionel Messi/ Diego Maradona
Some have already called him a Maradona clone (like Messi), and even though it’s obviously a stretch, his game is very similar to Diego. Fast-paced dribbling, effective shooting, precise passing. But more than anything, it’s the sudden accelerations that striker the similarity. At any given moment, he can take the ball, dribble through three defensemen and score a goal. He’s also a tough customer, as he played nearly a full game (from the 10th to the 80th minute) with a twisted ankle. He is a treat to watch. However, he lacks playing time and seems to play with too much tension when he does get some. He needs to play with more poise.


6- Rio Mavuba, Bordeaux, Defensive Midfielder, 84
Ranking : 8.5 B+ -> Patrick Vieira
He’s already Bordeaux’ best and most active player, and for the third year in a row. He seems never tired, runs for 90 minutes and plays a “no brainer” type of game : take the ball away, pass it to offensive player. He’s a classic defensive midfielder but has an offensive upside lately. I don’t think he’ll get much better, but the experience will help him, as any defensive midfielder.


7- Youness Kaboul, Auxerre, Central Defenseman, 86
Ranking : 8.5 B -> Laurent Blanc
The young tall defenseman still reminds me of Laurent Blanc. He has exceptionnal vision and is a true leader. Poise is like a second nature for him, and it took him two or three games to be Auxerre’s best defenseman last year. He’s been injured most of last season, but this season should be the one where he establishes himself as one of the best CBs of L1.


8- Sébastien Grax, Monaco, Striker, 84
Ranking : 8 B+ -> Eric Cantona
He could have higher potential, but I think an 8 is just right : a regular 15-20 goals scorer in any league. I don’t think he’ll ever be a Henry, Trézéguet or Anelka, but he could be a very good scoring machine. He has lots of tools and has a VERY nice shot. He’s a bit streaky, and he needs to work on the mental part, but he’s also a nice playmaker for his teammates.


9- Jimmy Briand, Rennes, Striker, 85
Ranking : 8 B -> Julio Baptista
He has very good potential, because he has a lot of qualities : speed, finishing touch, excellent awareness, good collective sense, etc...
His main problems is focus. He loses the ball stupidly at times because he thinks about his next step before even getting the ball.


10- Ronald Zubar, Marseille, Center Defenseman/Defensive Midfielder, 85
Ranking : 8.5 B -> William Gallas
Zubar is another Caen product that’s very similar to Gallas. He’s versatile, physical, very tough, and he has nice offensive upside thanks to some good heading abilities. He’s a threat on set plays.


11- Jérémy Berthod, Lyon, Left Back, 84
Ranking : 7.5 A- -> G. Neville
Berthod will never be a Zambrotta, but he’ll be a reliable solid defenseman that gets the job done and that is a lockerroom leader. He still beats out highly touted Clichy (who has higher potential) in most selections, so that says a lot about his character.


12- David N’Gog, PSG, Striker, 89
Ranking : 9 C -> Adriano
I think he’s the best striker prospect we’ve had since Benzema (at least). He has the combination of speed, size, skill and sniper ability. He still needs to bury his opportunities more, but you can just see how great he *could* become. PSG is not used to playing youngsters, and yet they’ve already signed him to a contract after Chelsea had inquired. If one single PSG formed youngster could succeed into becoming a superstar, it’s him. He’s the youngest of this top 50.


13- Claudiu Keseru, Nantes, Striker, 87, Roumania
Ranking : 8.5 C- -> Roy Makaay
Keseru has a very high potential because he seemingly can do it all in the box. He’s got natural finishing touch and has great positionning. And he can score from outside the box too, with a heavy shot. However, he’s very inconsistent, and isn’t keen on passing the ball to his teammates. That has hurt him as far as playing time goes.


14- Jacques Faty, Rennes, Central defenseman, 84
Ranking : 8.5 B- -> Marcel Desailly
Called by many the new « Desailly », the older Faty is a beast on defense, very physical. He’s also a natural born leader. However, he needs to find consistency to reachy another level.


15- Rudy Haddad, Valenciennes (on loan from PSG), Offensive midfielder/Striker, 85
Ranking : 8 C- -> Yoann Gourcuff
What’s frustrating about Haddad is that you KNOW he’ll be a good player, but he still gets no playing time. And when he does get a few minutes, he seems to being unable to seize the opportunity. Rudy has an extremely talented foot, and has a very soft touch. He’s a PSG fan, and wants to succeed there, but since he can’t get playing time, he’s been loaned to Valenciennes, where he is getting time.


16- David Gigliotti, Troyes (on loan from Monaco), Striker, 85
Ranking : 8 B- -> David Trezeguet
Compared to Trézéguet by some media because of his finishing touch, Gigliotti is deadly in the box. However, he needs to work on his positionning and focus IMO. Still he’s a good bet to develop into a very solid scorer in the future. He scored 2 goals in 4 L1 appearances last season.


17- Rémy Riou, Lorient (on loan from Lyon), Goalie, 87
Ranking : 8 C+ -> Gregory Coupet
Has less potential than Costil, but is probably more of a sure thing. Isn’t as spectacular but gets the job done. Has taken over the starting spot recently of the 87 generation


18- Taye Taiwo, Marseille, Left back, 85, Nigeria
Ranking : 8 B -> Taribo West
Taiwo is now famous for his heavy shot. His left foot can send some rockets. His physical presence is also a nice element of his game. However, his game is really not complete, especially on defense where he is often beaten by dribblers. His focus is also very weak. His potential is nice, but I don’t see him become more than a poor man Roberto Carlos.


19- Arnold Mvuemba, Rennes, Defensive midfielder, 85
Ranking : 8.5 B- -> Cesc Fabregas
Mvuemba is a very uncharacteristic player because he is known more for his offensive skills than his defensive, and yet he plays defensive midfielder. This guy has surreal technique for a DM, and he can dribble through plenty of players. He can play some very very nice one touch football, and his forte is passing. That said, he can do the dirty work. He needs to find some consistency defensively, especially since he’s on the small side (1.72m) and he’ll never be a physical presence. If he can develop some Makelele type of defensive science, this guy could be one day the center piece of the national team.


20- Marouane Chamakh, Bordeaux, Striker, 84, Marocco
Ranking : 8.5 B- -> David Trezeguet
Chamakh is big, fast enough, has a good first touch, can shoot the ball and is dominant in the air. What else could you ask for? A brain I’d say. He has a bery big potential but so far he’s walking outside of his shoes.


21- Olivier Veigneau, Monaco, Left back/Defensive midfielder, 85
Ranking : 8 B- -> Cafu
Veigneau is simply an intelligent player. He can play pretty much any defensive spot and succeed. He has very good positionning, and can contribute offensively, as his first L1 goal showed..


22- Kévin Hartock, Lyon, Goalie, 87
Ranking : 9 C- ->Bernard Lama
I still think he has the upside to be the best goalie of the 87 generation next to Costil. He’s had the bad luck to be overshadowed by two outstanding 87 goalies (Costil and Riou) on the national selections, and one of them (Riou) even plays for his own team Lyon.
He’s a Bernard Lama clone, very athletic, with incredible leaping ability. He’s Lyon’s third goalie right now, one notch above Riou.


23- Thomas Mangani, Monaco, Left Back, 87
Ranking : 8 C -> Willy Sagnol
Mangani is looking like the LB of the future for France. He’s very solid on both sides of the pitch and already has the best crosses in Monaco’s training camp.


24- Emerse Fae, Nantes, Defensive midfielder, 84, Ivory Coast
Ranking : 7.5 A -> Claude Makelele
I don’t think as much of him as others. I think he’ll be a useful player to have on your team, but will never turn into a dominant player. He’s very good defensively though not exceptionnal, and he can contribute nicely offensively.


25- Hugo Lloris, Nice, Goalie, 86
Ranking : 8 B+ -> GL Buffon
Lloris is a very calm goalie that can frustrate a striker through his nice positionning and quick reflexes on the line.


26- Simon Pouplin, Rennes, Goalie, 85
Ranking : 8 B -> Ramé
Pouplin is a reflex goalie. He needs ot work on focus, but he has a bright future.


27- Mathieu Debuchy, Lille, Offensive Midfielder/Defensive Midfielder, 85
Ranking : 8B -> Schweinsteiger
Debuchy is a warrior and has a big big shot. He’s probably not the most talented prospect, but his determination and audacity are very valuable.


28- Steven Thicot, Sedan (on loan from Nantes), Central Defenseman, 87
Ranking : 8 B- -> Thuram
Thicot will get his feet wet with L1 action this year, but he’s already pencilled by Nantes officials as their future leader. The guy is a natural leader, future captain. He’s very tough on the man, very physical. He’s also dominant in the air (his size bein 1.86m, it kind of helps).


29- Serge Gakpe, Monaco, Offensive Midfielder/Winger, 87
Ranking : 8 B- -> Serginho
Gakpe is a very fast player whose explosiveness can create havoc in a defense. He’s gifted, but hasn’t been very good tactically in the games I’ve seen (defensively mainly). Still, he has a high upside.


30- Sandy Paillot, Lyon, Central Defenseman, 87
Ranking : 8 B- -> Ayala
Paillot is also a natural leader, much like his teammate (with the NT) Thicot. He’s a fast defenseman with good skills on set plays. He’s a son of a coach, and as such, is highly smart tactically (another guy like this is Gourcuff).


31- Lucien Aubey, Toulouse, Central defenseman, 84
Ranking : 8 B- -> Gallas
Aubey is on many big teams shopping list as he has the potential to be a dominant CB. He’s similar to Faty in certain ways. However, his mental lapses this season have probably hurt his status.


32- Carl Medjani, Lorient (on loan from Liverpool), Central defenseman, 85
Ranking : 8 B- -> Terry
Medjani should climb up these rankings pretty soon, as he’s been very steady lately. He’s a leader, can score some goals and could be a very good CB down the road.


33- Alexandre Bonnet, Toulouse, Offensive Midfielder, 86
Ranking : 8 C -> Aimar
Bonnet is a very gifted small midfielder with a lot of speed and technique. He isn’t mature yet, but he could be a good one in a few years.


34- Stephen Drouin, Troyes (on loan from Nantes), Central Defenseman/Left back, 84
Ranking : 8 C -> Thuram
Drouin showed last year why he is highly considered by some with a few dominant performances. However, he wasn’t consistent enough to climb up the rankings and establish himself as an L1 starter.


35- Loic Perrin, St Etienne, Defensive midfielder, 85
Ranking : 7 B -> Lampard
Perrin is a very nice defensive midfielder who’s a good bet to be a key element to a contender. He has good passing ability and a good shot.


36- Nicolas Maurice-Belay, Sedan (on loan from Monaco), Striker/Winger, 85
Ranking : 8 C- -> Anelka
IMO, he’s overhyped. Some call him the new Henry, but I find it very exagerated to say the least. Sure he has speed and nice dribbling skills, but he doesn’t have the offensive awareness I’d like to see.


37- Kevin Monnet-Paquet, Lens, Striker, 88
Ranking : 8 C- -> Papin
M-P is a fast deadly striker. He is the leader of the 88 generation, and should see time with Lens this year at age 18.


38- Sidi Keita, Lens, Defensive Midfielder, 85, Mali
Ranking : 7.5 B+ -> M’Bami
Former Strasbourg player, he was wanted by Monaco and several other big teams, but will join Seydou Keita in Lens midfield to dominate many games. Sidi is an untiring midfielder that wins a lot of battles.


39- Yohan Cabaye, Lille, Defensive Midfielder, 86
Ranking : 7.5 B+ -> Dechamps
Cabaye is a born and raised Lille player and he’s the definition of smart football player. He’s smart in his decisions and he’s smart in his relation to football. He has a nice shot, and he has leadership written all over him.


40- Blaise Matuidi, Troyes, Offensive Midfielder/Defensive Midfielder, 87
Ranking : 7.5 B+ -> Dalmat
Matuidi had a very very nice season last year, especially for an 87 born. This season will show if it was a fluke or not.


Top 10 Ligue 2 players :

1- Benoît Costil, Caen, Goalie, 87
Ranking : 8.5 B -> Buffon
Benoît has the potential to be a dominating goalie, but he needs some playing time. Caen has several very good goalies, so it will be hard to crack the lineup. Still he has very very good tools.


2- Yoan Gouffran, Caen, Offensive Midfielder/Striker/Winger, 86
Ranking : 8.5 B -> Wiltord
Gouffran reminds me of a young Wiltord : energy all around, can play anywhere on the pitch, and can score from any angle. Very clutch as well. Chelsea and Auxerre offered him a contract this summer, but he turned both down, so he seems smart as well.


3- Steve Mandanda, Le Havre, Goalie, 85
Ranking : 8 B+ -> Kahn
Steve took another dimension last year because he had a great season with Le Havre, taking over the starting spot and being one of the best goalies in the U21 Euro. He’s very strong with good reflexes.


4- Habib Bellaid, Strasbourg, Central defenseman, 86
Ranking : 8 B- -> Blanc
Bellaid is very hyped in football circles but hasn’t had much of a chance of showing his skills yet. However, he was a starter against AS Roma in UEFA cup action, and he was incredible in the Olympic Stadium, scoring a goal after a long action where he looked like Laurent Blanc.


5- Djamel Abdoun, Ajaccio, Offensive Midfielder, 86
Ranking : 8 C -> Ribery
This guy gets on my nerves thanks to his “let’s dribble in our own defensive zone” risky mentality. But the talent is there, and he’s a playmaker in the true sense of the word. Excellent technique. We’ll see if Rudy Krool can help him.


6- Abdoulaye Balde, Amiens, Striker, 86
Ranking : 8 C -> Ibrahimovic
Balde is a tall, talented forward, close to Ibrahimovic in style. He doesn’t score enough, but when he does, it’s a highlight reel. He needs to simplify his game and be more effective.


7- Didier Digard, Le Havre, Defensive Midfielder, 86
Ranking : 7.5 B+ -> Deschamps
Digard is a Deschamps clone. Leadership, tactical intelligence. He’ll never steal the spotlight, but any coach would love him on his team.


8- Kévin Gameiro, Strasbourg, Striker, 87
Ranking : 7.5 B+ -> Bebeto
Gameiro was the leading scorer last season for the 87 generation. He’s a very small energy player that can score plenty of goals thanks to his very astute way of playing and his offensive awareness.


9- Rudy Carlier, Gueugnon, Striker, 86
Ranking : 7.5 B -> Saha
Carlier is a nice complement striker, who dribbles well and is well placed.

10- Elliott Grandin, Caen, Striker, 87
Ranking : 7.5 B- -> Torres
Grandin has a good upside, but he doesn’t get enough playing time to show it. Caen is very deep when it comes to strikers, but I hope I’ll see more film of him this year.


Last edited by Evilo: 08-12-2006 at 12:22 PM.
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10-12-2006, 02:44 PM
  #49
Juni
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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OK, my first proper list, this will be the list I update from whenever I get the time. I've discussed the list with some friends, there may be disagreements with positions or grades, that's what discussion is for

ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP PROSPECT LIST - PLAYERS BORN 1ST JAN 1984 AND LATER

1) Wayne Rooney - (FC, Manchester United, 24-10-85, England) 10A
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England’s brightest young talent for a generation is perhaps already at the top of his game. Everything seems to have happened so fast since he made his mark just about four years ago. Rooney is now an integral player for club and country, a leading striker who is asked to both score and create goals. A physical beast, Rooney’s pace isn’t elite but he is quick and combined with his physical stature is capable of beating players with sheer drive. His finishing off either foot is clinical and he strikes a ball extremely well. The question is, where can he go from here? As a 21 year old he’s already an experienced international and has a £30m transfer fee to his name. Whilst he can refine his game and become a fine rounded footballer and become a more disciplined performer (he has well publicised issues with temperament), can the best English prospect for many years go on and be a dominant footballer for the next decade and more? Everything points to yes.

2) Francesc Fabregas – (MC, Arsenal, 4-5-87, Spain) 9A
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A man of precocious talent, Fabregas is still a teenager until the end of this season but even at this age is one of the finest midfielders in Europe. After initially breaking into the Arsenal team due to a shortage of fit midfielders, ‘Cesc’ has simply become undroppable. From a 17 year old newcomer, he has progressed to Arsenal and Spain regular. The attributes Arsenal saw in him to entice him from Barcelona as a 15 year old are already coming to the fore in big fashion. Fabregas shows an assured touch and plays with a maturity belying his age. His passing off both feet over various distances is competent and he always wants the ball. Over the last 12 months he’s also added goals to his game, including a fine goal at home to Juventus. The sky really is the limit for him. Already one of the finest in his position in England and for a team who were the second best in Europe last season, Fabregas can continue under Wenger’s excellent tutelage and cement his place at the very top of the game.

3) Arjen Robben (AML, Chelsea, 23-1-84, Holland) 8.5A
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Manchester United’s ‘loss’ was Chelsea’s gain. Robben’s proposed move to Manchester United in the 2003/04 season fell through and Chelsea pounced, snapping up one of Europe’s hottest prospects. An electric performer in the Eredivisie since the age of 16, Robben’s progress at Chelsea has been fantastic, to the point he should now be considered amongst the finest wingers in the game. A winger who plays to the true definition of the position, Robben’s finest attributes are probably his lightning quick feet, which he uses to twist defenders inside out before taking off and beating them. He also shows a keen eye for goal and has added defensive qualities to his game under Mourinho. In a Chelsea team congested in midfield, Robben continues to earn selections through his highly consistent performances. Playing dominant football for one of the best teams in Europe has seen his name linked with Real Madrid more than once, but for now Robben is at Chelsea, where he’s well on his way to a continued starring role.

4) Cristiano Ronaldo (AMR, Manchester United, 5-2-85)9B
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When Manchester United replaced David Beckham with a teenage winger from Sporting for an 8 figure fee there were feelings of excitement and anticipation, but not many could’ve expected the impact Ronaldo has had in such a short time. From his exhilarating debut at home to Bolton, Ronaldo has tricked and turned his way to becoming one of the most dangerous young talents in Europe. Occasionally his end product has been questioned, both concerning his crossing and his finishing, but after a tumultuous 2006 summer where he was vilified by the English gutter press for his ‘involvement’ in Wayne Rooney’s red card and England’s subsequent World Cup elimination, Ronaldo’s start to the 2006/07 season has shown a maturity in both the person and the player, as he has become United’s go-to guy, providing goals and highly consistent performances. An established player for club and country, he should become one of football’s hardest players to face, and one of the most consistent threats.

5) Carlos Tevez (FC, West Ham United, 5-2-84, Argentina) 8.5D
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Another player labelled ‘the new Maradona’, Tevez has been one of Argentina’s hottest commodities for a few years. A surprising move to Corinthians suggested a move to one of Europe’s elite was on the cards, and dissention close to the transfer deadline indicated such a move was imminent. Well, the move was, but the location was as unexpected as they come. West Ham United ‘acquired’ Tevez and #6 ranked Javier Mascherano in mysterious circumstances amidst talk of a takeover by MSI. Tevez remains as one of football’s biggest potential talents, a fact further enhanced by impressive cameo appearances at the World Cup. Blessed with a deft touch, low centre of gravity and impressive strength for a player of his stature, Tevez is a goalscorer and an extremely hard worker. Quite what his move to West Ham will mean for his development isn’t clear yet, but the likelihood of him moving on to a bigger and better European team has never been higher, and if that happens, expect Tevez to take his game to the very top.

6) Javier Mascherano (DMC, West Ham United, 8-6-84, Argentina) 8C
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Like Tevez, Mascherano left Corinthians for the unexpected location of West Ham in August, and also like his Argentinian colleague, he represents the very best of the future of football. Composed, Mascherano likes to break up attacks with strong play and launch attacks with driving runs or expansive passing. A regular in the national side already, Mascherano is already one of the most dominant midfielders in the game and has few weaknesses. His future is uncertain in terms of location and development, as the West Ham situation is still to play out. What seems certain is that he’ll progress to one of the biggest clubs in the game, and strut his stuff on the highest level. Because he’s good enough to.

7) Aaron Lennon (AMR, Tottenham Hotspur, 16-4-87, England) 8C
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Everything has happened so quickly for Lennon, which is unsurprising for a player of ridiculous speed. Since making his debut for Leeds as a 16 year old, he’s joined Tottenham in a £1m transfer and has become an England international, even playing some time at the World Cup. He’s only 5’5”, very very small, but his diminutive size enables him to beat defenders and evade challenges. His elite speed combined with trickery allows him to be one of the most dangerous players on the pitch. Still only 18, the future is entirely ahead of him. A Spurs regular, he should look to securing the right wing spot on the England team as he develops his game. He’s not particularly strong (as he’s that short), but he enjoys a challenge and is constantly working on his game to devise new ways of using his abilities to maximum advantage.

8) Salomon Kalou (AM/FR, Chelsea, 5-8-85, Ivory Coast) 8C
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After a fantastic season with Feyenoord in 2005/06, Chelsea signed one of the brightest talents of the Eredivisie. Kalou has spectacular speed and a real eye for goal, whilst not shying from creativity, adding assists in double figures each of the last two seasons. His finishing is very good if not yet elite, and he is fairly versatile – he can play wide or up as a striker. He faces a battle to secure regular playing time at Chelsea but his development should continue and he has all the tools to become one of the most dangerous players on the team. An uncertain international future still sees the possibility of playing for either his natural Ivory Coast, or his naturalised Holland, who were prepared to select him for the World Cup. Whoever he plays for will get a valuable asset who can score and make goals, and burn opponents with his trickery and speed.

9) Giuseppe Rossi (FC, Manchester United (on loan at Newcastle United), 1-2-87, Italy) 8D Zola
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An Italian of American birth, Rossi is a small striker who initially appears to be the sort of Zola-type player you’d expect to link between midfield and the lead striker. However whilst he is capable of playing such a role, he truly thrives in being a goal threat, and his goalscoring record in youth and reserve teams at Parma and Man Utd suggests it’s his natural position. He is blessed with a fine left foot and terrific dribbling skills, whilst he shows an awareness of the play around him and brings others into the game. Impressive performances for United’s senior team has as yet failed to yield a more permanent breakthrough so he has been allowed out on loan to Newcastle, where his playing time should increase due to a lack of fit strikers (as yet it hasn’t, however). Rossi has international-level potential but there’s some way to go before he can realise it. He needs to get regular action at a top-level team, something that hasn’t been forthcoming. If he gets it, expect him to progress, but until then, it’s not a certainty.

10) Gael Clichy (DL, Arsenal, 26-7-85, France) 8C Ashley Cole
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The 2006/07 season should see Clichy make more progress than he ever has. With the sale of Ashley Cole to Chelsea and Arsenal’s intentions to use William Gallas as a centre back, Clichy should make the left back spot his own for years to come. In previous seasons during duty covering for an injured Cole, Clichy has performed at a level at least similar to Cole and occasionally better. A quick and strong player, Clichy is solid in the tackle and is capable at both ends of the pitch. He has the potential to be one of the best fullbacks in football, perhaps even challenging for a national team spot in future years. That said, he is ridiculously injury prone and needs to work on his fitness to become a player who can play 35+ games a season without getting injured. If that occurs he should progress well. If not, his potential may never be fully found.

11) Theo Walcott (AMR/FC, Arsenal, 16-3-89, England) 9D Henry
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A high value transfer to Arsenal after a very small number of first team appearances for Southampton and a surprising World Cup selection for Theo Walcott saw the English hype machine go into overdrive over the 2006 summer. Walcott didn’t end up playing a second at the Finals but the belief that he could’ve been a game-breaker for England was partially well founded. Walcott has speed which can’t be matched by many defenders, he’s faster than Thierry Henry over short distances. He combines it with fearless dribbling and fairly good finishing. He is still quite raw, and is barely 17 years old. A product of Southampton’s increasingly successful youth academy, Arsenal signed what they saw as fantastic potential. Early cameo appearances for them this season suggests he’s most useful now as a substitute who can take advantage of tired defenders with his electric speed, and as he works closely with Thierry Henry, the hope is that he develops into a similar player. If that’s the case, England have one hell of a prospect.

12) Mark Gonzalez (AML, Liverpool, 10-7-84, Chile) 8C
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Nicknamed ‘Speedy’ for more than the obvious Gonzalez link, the young Chilean winger has exciting potential for his all action, high-speed performances along the left flank, and propensity for spectacular goals. A problematic transfer to Liverpool was finally sealed in the 2006 summer after the player spent a season on loan at Real Sociedad in Spain. His performances further enhanced his reputation and despite a spat with his national FA, he’s started his Liverpool career very well. His dribbling and speed allow him to be a versatile performer on the left of the Liverpool team with Riise or Aurelio, and he’s already shown he’s a capable finisher. He should get enough first team appearances this season to continue developing, and confirm his status as one of Chile’s best prospects for many years.

13) Anton Ferdinand (DC, West Ham United, 18-2-85, England) 8C Rio Ferdinand
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The younger brother of Rio Ferdinand is following in his footsteps just as quickly as Rio introduced himself. Anton is a very similar player, from his appearance to his style. Very comfortable on the ball, Anton is tall and is a stereotypical ‘footballing centre-half’. He’s not afraid to put himself about, is decent in the air and is rarely beaten for pace. He has fine technique and has scored the occasional goal. He is still fairly inexperienced and slightly raw, issues which can be addressed with playing time at West Ham, where he is a regular, and then perhaps refined should he move on (he was linked with Liverpool this summer). As far as the England team goes, centre back is the most congested position with a number of world-class performers currently unable to muscle their way in. Anton is behind these currently, and may have to be very patient to even get in the squad, let alone the first team.

14) Vassiriki Abou Diaby (DMC, Arsenal, 11-5-86, France) 8D Vieira
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A product of Auxerre’s youth system, the tall and strong Diaby was another hot prospect identified by Arsene Wenger and signed in the 2005/06 winter transfer window. Touted as the natural successor to Patrick Vieira, Diaby shows many of his qualities – strength, tenacity, a confidence, and a bustling attitude to midfield play. Diaby is perhaps more attacking than Vieira but has the potential to be the same dominant force in the middle of the park for club and eventually country. Being at Arsenal should allow him to develop both a natural position and defined role, things he’s yet to truly do, and become another dominant and athletic destructive midfielder. A broken ankle from a horrific tackle has hampered his short term progress, hopefully it won’t hinder his long term potential.

15) Collins John (FC, Fulham, 17-10-85, Holland)7.5C
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The young Dutchman (of Liberian parentage) has a scoring record better than a lot of people realise. He averages better than a goal every other start for Fulham, a fairly impressive feat for a man who isn’t always a regular at a club who flirted with relegation the last two seasons. John has shown versatility in being able to play up front in a traditional striker’s role or wide in a three man forward attack, mainly due to his speed and physical strength. He possesses high qualities in these areas, which are increasingly desirable for managers, and combined with an innate ability to finish clinically he has a bright future. On occasion he has been accused of not working as hard as you might like, but if he can cut this out with maturity and maybe progress from Fulham to a team playing regular continental football he should play his way into consideration for national team selection, where he has already earned a cap. Mind, with Van Basten in charge, that could come any time.

16) Nigel Reo-Coker (MC, West Ham United, 14-5-84, England) 8A
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A driving box to box midfielder, Reo-Coker has won major plaudits for his all action style at West Ham, where he captains an improving side at a young age. Subject of transfer speculation surrounding a move to Manchester United or Liverpool, he’s strong and quick, and a natural leader. His passing is above adequate and he occasionally contributes with goals, although it’s not his forte. With an interesting time coming at West Ham he’ll have to maintain his very high (personal) standards to keep his development going and keep knocking on the England door – he’s close.

17) Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor (FC, Arsenal, 26-2-84, Togo) 8C Kanu
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Adebayor immediately strikes you as a clone of Kanu. Right down to his number 25 Arsenal shirt, his tall, gangly demeanour and general style are reminiscent of the Nigerian veteran. He also scores goals. He’s a beast of a man, quite a physical specimen, and is hard for opponents to play against due to his size and his unpredictability. He scored lots of goals in the French league and his first 9 months at Arsenal have yielded half a dozen goals, but his play has been generally good. His move to Arsenal should in theory develop the mental side of his game, which reportedly suffered at times in France. Wenger has the track record, Adebayor has the ability. If the partnership hits it off, ‘The Albatross’ can become as dangerous a performer as Kanu was at his peak.

18) Philippe Senderos (DC, Arsenal, 14-2-85, Switzerland) 7B
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Another Arsenal player, and another who was signed and used in the first team at an age certainly unexpected of a player at the top level. Senderos stepped up and played some solid football for Arsenal at the age of 17 and 18. From there he’s developed into a rock solid performer for club and country, and a player who scores the odd goal. He’s tall and strong, composed, and very good in the air. He should be expected to be a starting central defender for Arsenal or whoever for the next 10-15 years, having established himself before the age of 21 at one of Europe’s top teams. I’ve added ‘or whoever’, since Arsenal’s signing of Gallas brings Senderos’ future into question. Gallas and Toure comes to mind as the best pairing Wenger has at his disposal, and whilst Senderos can still expect to play in rotation/injury replacement, there may come a time he would look at moving on to get first team football, something his abilities deserve.

19) Darren Bent (FC, Charlton Athletic, 6-2-84, England) 7C
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Darren Bent is a product of Ipswich Town’s successful youth academy. A very quick and strong striker, he’s scored goals since breaking into the professional game and a 20 goal debut Premiership season signalled his arrival in the big time. An England callup followed, and whilst he didn’t go to the World Cup, many believed he should have, and in hindsight his selection would’ve helped alleviate injury problems. He can finish off either foot and with his head, and is at his best when he can use his pace to get away from defenders. As a result, his one on one finishing is generally clinical. He needs to prove his first season at the top level wasn’t a fluke, and to his credit he has started on the same path. He remains in England contention and there’s no better time than the present to make his impact as one of England’s top forwards.

20) John Obi Mikel (MC, Chelsea, 22-4-87, Nigeria) 8.5D
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Subject to one of the weirdest transfer dealings of the last few years, there was a time when Mikel was a Manchester United player. However, he decided it wasn’t for him and fought for a move to Chelsea. £16m later and he was introduced as a Chelsea player, and there’s clear reasons why there was a fight for him. For a teenager he has incredible size, and his physical attributes suggest he can dominate in midfield for some years to come. He has a silky shot and is comfortable passing, but needs to develop real technique in his play and define his true role – he’s currently quite versatile and can play around the midfield. Playing time at Chelsea is also a clear problem – he’ll get time when the established stars are resting, and it’s clear his time will come. He has the potential to be the best Nigerian footballer for the next decade, and Chelsea is a fine place to develop it, even if he may not realise it there.

21) Johan Djourou (DC/DMC, Arsenal, 18-1-87, Swizterland) 7.5D
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A young Swiss of Ivorian birth, Djourou’s versatility has enabled him to start his Arsenal career ahead of schedule, much like many of his team-mates. He has good size and strength, and is equally at home in defence as he is in his natural midfield. A tidy enough player, very capable in the air, he’s extremely athletic and assured in his role. He has the potential to be a long term starter some day but for now he’s generally excelling in his roles when asked to fill in for injury, for at times unspecified amounts of time. As with many youngsters at Arsenal, whether he finally fulfils his destiny at the club is a different matter, but he has everything going for him.

22) Tom Huddlestone (DMC, Tottenham Hotspur, 28-12-86, England) 8C
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Huddlestone is like Djourou in his versatility, he can play in central defence as well as his more defined role of defensive midfielder. When Tottenham signed him in 2005 from Derby, Frank Arnesen described him as one of the best in his age group in the country, and indicated his passing over short and long distances was incredible for a player of his age. His size and strength make him ideal for the defensive roles he fulfils. Huddlestone is an intelligent footballer making progress in his career at a club who have shown a real effort to develop the best young English talent. Some loan spells outside the Premiership has given him a grounding and good experience, and he has all the tools to become a regular in the Spurs team sooner rather than later.

23) Daniel Agger (DC, Liverpool, 12-12-84, Denmark) 8B
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One of the brightest Danish prospects in years (by their own admission), Agger moved to Liverpool in early 2006 and has already established himself as a key performer at the heart of their defence, no mean feat considering they held the league’s best defence from last season. He has all the hallmarks of a classy defender – composure, balance, aerial ability, and comfort off both feet, although his first goal for Liverpool (in the clip) shows his left foot is quite comfortably the most dominant. He has very few noticeable flaws, he doesn’t often get beaten for pace despite not being particularly quick, and is sharp and aware most of the time.

24) Nicklas Bendtner (FC, Arsenal (on loan at Birmingham City), 16-1-88, Denmark) 8.5D
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A tall Danish striker, Bendtner is an imposing figure. Without being particularly well built, he moves effortlessly and oozes class in his general style of play. Oh, and he scores goals too. Lots of them. He scored freely for Arsenal’s youth and reserve teams, and made early impacts when given opportunities for the first team. Loaned out to Birmingham for the 2006/07 season, he quickly became their top scorer, and one of the league’s top marksmen too. He has also made his Denmark debut, and has two goals for the national team already. Everything about him screams that he’ll be one hell of a talent for many years, and he’ll bring goals with him wherever he goes.

25) Micah Richards (DR/C, Manchester City, 24-6-88, England) 8D
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Richards is an absolute monster of a man. Well over 6ft tall, he’s as athletic as they come and uses his power effectively. Has only recently broken into the Man City first team on a full time basis but already he’s being talked about as a potential England right back of the future and has been linked heavily with Chelsea. His physical stature alone makes him hard to play against for opponents, and he’s shown his value offensively with a couple of very late and very dramatic goals for his team. Could still be considered a little raw, something which he’ll need to work on as he develops.

26) Daniel Sturridge (FC, Manchester City, 1-9-89, England) 7.5D
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Nephew of journeyman striker Dean Sturridge, there are very high hopes for Daniel. A striker blessed with pace and natural finishing ability, he has progressed rapidly through the youth ranks for club and country, scoring goal after goal along the way. Only just 17, he is expected to make his first team debut this season, and continue in his development for England’s youth teams. At a club who have shown a willingness to give youth a bow early in their careers, he could taste the big time soon, and many believe he’s ready for it.

27) Charles N’Zogbia (ML, Newcastle United, 28-5-86, France) 7.5B
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A product of the renowned Le Havre football academy, N’Zogbia joined Newcastle in a protracted transfer where the English club were accused of underhand tactics. They got their man, and they’ll be glad they got him. A versatile player who can play anywhere on the left, he is most at home going forward where he is allowed to use his majestic left foot to full creative allowance. Is very much a part of Newcastle’s first team squad, to get a regular place in the team he needs to show his talent consistently as he has done for their reserve team, and perhaps needs to become more physically capable. He has top end talent.

28) Giorgios Samaras (FC, Manchester City, 21-2-85, Greece) 7.5C
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When Manchester City spend a considerable fee (a potential £6m) on the Greek striker they were making a statement. Samaras had been linked with Arsenal amongst others, but in signing a player who averaged better than a goal every three games in the Eredivisie, Man City were placing their future in the hands of the precocious Greek talent. Tall and fairly well built, Samaras has settled well in English football, scoring freely at the end of the 2005/06 season and opening his account this season with a fine volley. He has great technique and can score with either foot or his head. He works hard and leads the line well – capable of playing a lone role if needed. English fans of all teams have been impressed with his play and the general style he carries it out with. He has the potential to be one of the leading lights of the Premiership and should be a regular for his country too.

29) Manuel Fernandes (DMC, Portsmouth, 5-2-86, Portugal) 8C Makelele
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Likened to Claude Makelele by many sourcesbecause of his position, smallish size and physical resemblance to the Frenchman, Fernandes is a creative influence as well. A fluent passer with fine positional awareness and a toughness complimenting his defensive role, Fernandes on paper has everything needed for the modern midfielder. His resume also includes some fine long range goals. He has represented Portugal at every level from u15, and has had no shortage of suitors. So a move to Portsmouth shows a perceived lack of ambition. Sure, a large fee will be paid, and Fernandes will be rewarded, and will most likely be the star player in the team, but the move did surprise many people. Once he gets over a troublesome injury, Fernandes should show his true class to a whole new audience in England.

30) Ricardo Vaz Te (AML/FC, Bolton Wanderers, 1-10-86, Portugal) 7C
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A young Portuguese forward on Bolton’s books for some years, Vaz Te has broken through impressively in the last twelve months. Always fairly highly thought of, Vaz Te is beginning to justify those opinions. He has a good left foot and a keen eye for goal, and when a chance falls to him he can put it away clinically. His pace and physical play makes him useful in Bolton’s 4-5-1 formation as a left sided forward, but he’s just as capable as a main striker. Bolton expect him to make a real progression this season and their projection is a player who can contribute with 10-15 goals a season as a leading striker in the league.

31)Gerard Pique (DC, Manchester United (on loan to Real Zaragoza), 2-2-87, Spain) 8D
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A tall and rangy Spanish central defender, Gerard Pique has had a lot expected of him since his signing from Barcelona. He is a stereotypical Spanish footballer in many ways – his playing style is fairly relaxed and composed, and he never looks particularly rushed. His height allows him to be influential in the air and he’s a capable tackler. Opportunities at Man Utd proved rare, so he was loaned out to Zaragoza to continue his development in native climbs. He’s doing well there, but in all honesty, few expect to see him back in Manchester. Pique has the talent to eventually become a Spanish international, but his development over the last couple of years has stuttered a lot, and approaching the age of 20, he needs to get firmly back on track.

32) b]Gabriel Agbonlahor[/b] (FC, Aston Villa, 13-10-86, England) 8D
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Agbonlahor has only recently broken through to first team football after some prolific years for Aston Villa’s youth teams, and his impact on the senior team has been marked. He has blistering pace, arguably the quickest player in this list, and is a capable finisher, racking up 40+ goals in a season of reserve football. His early forays into Premiership football have been as a right sided winger in a 4-3-3 and his pace has allowed him to terrorise opponents, in particular Chelsea’s Ashley Cole. He works incredibly hard off the ball and has great stamina. Can fade out of games at times and needs to work on refining his game for the step up to the top level, but he has a future at this level.

33) Stewart Downing (ML, Middlesbrough, 22-7-84, England) 6.5B
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In his fourth season of football at Middlesbrough, Downing has made the progress many expected of him, only ahead of schedule. A semi-regular in the England squad, Downing has started all of England’s 2008 qualifiers to date (Oct 2006), although only because Joe Cole is injured and his former club manager is now his national manager. Downing is a rare breed in English football in that he is a left-winger with the pace and skills to beat a man wide, and then cross with his left foot. The left side of midfield has been a problem for generations of England teams and not even Joe Cole is certain there for the team right now. Downing has an opportunity to step up, his club form is consistent for the most part, although he does go through patchy spells, but it can’t be denied that his talented left foot gives him opportunities he can take full advantage of.

34) Luke Moore (FC, Aston Villa, 13-2-86, England) 7C
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The younger brother of Stefan Moore, the pair came through the Aston Villa youth academy with much expected of them. Whilst Stefan has ended up at Port Vale, Luke is shining in the Premiership. Already with a top level hat-trick to his name, he is currently lining up on the left of a front three for an improving Villa side, where he can take advantage of his pace, which is a lot quicker than people realise, and that says something, as people realise he’s speedy. He’s very much a goalscorer and has 15+ a season potential at the top level. He may miss the rest of this season after damaging a shoulder he’s previously damaged, an injury which could be problematic throughout his career unfortunately.

35) Mohamed Sissoko (DMC, Liverpool, 22-1-85, Mali) 7B
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A young defensive midfielder developing well at Liverpool, Sissoko performs an important role at Liverpool, in a midfield where Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard have desires to get forward. Sissoko is the typical modern day defensive midfielder. Strong as an ox, with the stamina to get around all day, he breaks up attacks often and drives forward with the ball. He does pick up a lot of cards which brings about the possibility of regular suspensions, but in the main his high tempo game compliments Liverpool’s midfield well. He may be close to his potential already, he should concentrate on being dominant for long stretches against the very best. He has time on his side.

36) Niko Kranjčar (AMC, Portsmouth, 13-8-84, Croatia) 8E
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A talent who has been mass hyped for the last five years, Kranjčar may yet prove otherwise, but for now there’s an argument to be made that he’s stagnated in his footballing progress. A player of undeniable technical ability, he showed in patches at the World Cup the strengths that saw Portsmouth finally sign him, when in previous years he may have been expected to join a better team. He has fantastic skill and vision but inadequate pace and strength, and has often been accused of ‘static’, slow play. He has the opportunity to resurrect his full potential at Portsmouth, but don’t count on it.

37) Darren Fletcher (MC/R, Manchester United, 1-2-84, Scotland) 7B
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A tall midfielder with astute passing and the ability to gauge the tempo of a game, Fletcher is starting to fulfil his potential. He can play both centrally and on the right, although isn’t yet a master of either role. He runs tirelessly and shows up with some important goals – when given a chance he usually takes it. His performances for an improving Scotland team have at times been better than his Man Utd games, suggesting he may thrive in an environment he has some responsibilty, but he’s starting to become more consistent and as such a more useful performer.

38) Steven Davis (MC, Aston Villa, 1-1-85, Northern Ireland) 7B
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Davis is a talented and very hard worker in the centre of Aston Villa’s midfield. Already with international honours, his box to box displays have earned plaudits far and wide, and he’s one of the brightest Northern Irish prospects for some time. A little on the short side, he’s combative and has the assured temperament needed for his position. Finishes chances well when he gets them.

39) Benoit Assou-Ekotto (DL, Tottenham Hotspur, 24-3-84, France) 7C
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One of the finest left backs in France the last couple of years, and one of the quickest developers, Tottenham continued their drive to acquire some of the best young talent in football when they signed Assou-Ekotto over the 2006 summer. A steady player with very few weaknesses, he filled an immediate problem for the team at left back and looks assured enough to spend many years in the role at the team.

40) Lassana Diarra (DMC, Chelsea, 10-3-85, France) 7.5D [I]Makelele[I]
Picture

Lassana strikes you as a complete clone of Claude Makelele. Near enough identical build, facial features, position, and style, it’s not hard to see why Chelsea signed the young Le Havre product. Diarra has been touted as the defensive midfielder of the future at Chelsea, and whilst he played very well when given the opportunity last season, his appearances this season are expected to be sparse, and as such his development will slow. He is still working with the Chelsea first team squad on a daily basis and is capable of coming in at any time and doing a solid job, and whilst he won’t ever be a superstar, he’ll do a fine defensive job for any team.

41) Michael Mancienne (DC, Chelsea, 8-1-88, England) 7D Rio Ferdinand
Picture

I was tempted to place him higher as I’m REALLY high on him as a Chelsea prospect, but in short there’s no telling what his future holds. He’s been at Chelsea since he was 12, he’s a member of the first team squad now after progressing through youth and reserves very quickly, and the club has held high hopes for him for some time. He’s not particularly tall but is very athletic and brings the ball out of defence well. He’s not a full blooded, hard as nails defender like you’d maybe consider John Terry, but he plays much more like Rio Ferdinand, as his appearance immediately lends itself to suggesting. He has the potential to be an England international some time, and with the depth at centre back at Chelsea currently quite thin, he may get his chance to shine this season. Whether he becomes another John Terry or another Robert Huth (in terms of use at Chelsea) is really unknown right now though.

42) Robert Huth (DC, Middlesbrough, 18-8-84, Germany) 6.5B
Picture and Clip

Speaking of Huth, it surprised me he was still eligible for this list. A tall, aggressive, and uncompromising central defender, Huth’s progress at Chelsea from a 16 year old raw defender into an international stopper was quite impressive, and he showed his capabilities in some runs at Chelsea. However, he left to get regular football at Middlesbrough, but has struggled with some injuries recently. His height gives him an advantage over most strikers, and he’s very very strong and broad. He’s cut out some nuances in his game, and has matured in his play. After not playing at the World Cup he should aim to be establishing himself for club and country, as he’s close to his potential now I think.

43) Arturo Lupoli (FC, Arsenal (on loan to Derby County, 24-6-87, Italy) 6D
Picture and Clip

Lupoli left Italy for England at the same time as former team-mate Giuseppe Rossi, but it’s the Arsenal striker’s stock that appears to be dropping the most. Whilst he may end up a Premiership striker it’s no certain thing right now, especially as other Arsenal strikers out on loan are impressing far more than the small Italian. He has finishing ability in spades and shows it at Derby, which is about the level he’s at right now. He doesn’t always work hard and fades from games often, and despite a prolific youth run at Arsenal last season, you do at times question whether he has the potential to be a top level goalscorer. I doubt he’ll ever play for the Italian national team, his potential isn’t that great, he’s not been called into a single u21 squad yet either.

44) Liam Rosenior (D/MR, Fulham, 9-7-84, England) 7D
Picture and Clip

Rosenior has proven a delight for Fulham staff and fans the last 18 months. Breaking into the team in versatile left and right sided roles, he’s settled as the first choice right back and has turned in considerable impressive performances. He’s fairly strong and quick, and doesn’t get beaten easily. He’s committed and hard worker, and his aforementioned versatility includes a drive to get forward and cause problems at the other end of the pitch. His manager has touted a possible England future, and whilst it might currently be ambitious, it could be somewhere on the horizon, although some years away yet.

45) David Bentley (AML, Blackburn Rovers, 27-8-84, England) 8E
Picture and Clip

An Arsenal product, Bentley struggled to make it there, often accused of a lackadaisical style and a low work ethic, despite having good technical ability and a weapon of a left foot. A loan spell at Blackburn became permanent and it is under Mark Hughes’ reign Bentley has become a more complete player who is performing consistently. The potential he once had – considered a definite England starter of the future – has gone, when he believed his own hype, but he’s turned into a very useful tool for Blackburn, and seems to be enjoying his football.

46) James Milner (AMR, Newcastle United, 4-1-86, England) 7.5C
Picture and Clip

When James Milner first made an impact in football he stole some of Wayne Rooney’s thunder. With his first career goal coming at Sunderland in December 2002, he broke Rooney’s record for youngest goal by a Premiership footballer which was only set two months before. Progress with Leeds saw them relegated, but Newcastle signed the talented winger and loaned him to Aston Villa. He shined there, showing dribbling and crossing skills, with some goals added. He’s not particularly quick or tricky but works hard and does what’s expected of him very well and to a professional standard. He was apparently gutted his return loan to Aston Villa this season fell through, but has buckled down at Newcastle and is set to be an important player for a team who will need him this season.

47) Luis Antonio Valencia (AMR, Wigan Athletic (on loan from Villarreal), 4-8-85, Ecuador) 8D
Picture and Clip

Valencia was one of the brightest young emerging talents at the 2006 World Cup, winning the Young Player of the Tournament award for his dynamic displays for the ever improving Ecuador side. Moving to ‘unfashionable’ Wigan on loan may have been seen as a dangerous move for him, as the previous two Ecuadorian internationals to play in England (Agustin Delago, Klebler Chala), flopped as quickly as they arrived. However, Valencia has settled well and his pace and trickery along the wing is serving Wigan well. A permanent transfer probably won’t occur but he is performing better than a lot expected of him already, and his contributions to Wigan all season as a team player will be valuable.

48) Jonathan Evans (DC, Manchester United (on loan to Royal Antwerp), 3-1-88, Northern Ireland) 8C
Picture and Clip

A tall central defender progressing through the Man Utd youth team, he was loaned to Belgian feeder club Royal Antwerp this season to continue his development with the air of making the first team squad next season. Since the loan he has made his debut for Northern Ireland in a defensive midfield position, where he has impressed for a team who are turning heads after some very poor years. He’s composed and good in the air, as you’d expect from him at his fairly good height. Needs to have a good year in Belgium to continue developing at an impressive level.

49) Lee Martin (AML, Manchester United (on loan to Glasgow Rangers), 9-2-87, England) 7.5D Cristiano Ronaldo
Picture and Clip

A tricky left winger signed from MK Dons by Manchester United, after a loan spell in Belgium he’s been given time at Rangers to develop at a top club. His early performances have earned the rave reviews his potential suggests. He can dribble and beat people with a high level of skill, and has a very impressive left foot. Needs to work on all areas of his game to play at the next level.

50) Phillip Bardsley (DR, Manchester United (on loan to Glasgow Rangers), 28-6-85, England) 7D Gary Neville
Picture and Clip

A promising young right back who broke into the Man Utd first team on occasion last year with injury problems at his position, he played impressively enough to warrant a full season on loan at Rangers to continue his play and hopefully develop the potential that one day replaces Gary Neville and puts another home-grown right back into the United team for years to come. Solid and defensively sound, he has the occasional moment of glory, as shown by the free kick in the clip. Has been rumoured to have let the success go to his head a little but it seems to be an isolated incident so we’ll let him off until it becomes a problem, which it shouldn’t.

51) Lee Cattermole (MC, Middlesbrough, 21-3-88, England) 6B
Picture and Clip

A very young lad local to Middlesbrough, Cattermole has immediately earned the hearts of his fans with bustling displays in the middle of the park at such a young age. Already trusted with the captain’s armband in some small situations, Cattermole’s box to box style and endless drive should make him a local hero for years to come, because he won’t want to leave.

(Cattermole write-up stays, Reo-Coker added)

List breakdown:

By Club:
Arsenal – 9
Manchester United – 8
Chelsea – 5
West Ham – 4
Aston Villa – 3
Liverpool – 3
Manchester City – 3
Tottenham Hotspur – 3
Fulham – 2
Middlesbrough – 2
Newcastle United – 2
Portsmouth - 2
Blackburn Rovers - 1
Bolton Wanderers – 1
Charlton Athletic – 1
Wigan Athletic – 1

By Country:
England – 18
France – 5
Portugal – 3
Argentina – 2
Denmark - 2
Holland – 2
Italy – 2
Northern Ireland - 2
Spain – 2
Switzerland - 2
Chile – 1
Croatia – 1
Ecuador - 1
Germany - 1
Greece - 1
Ivory Coast – 1
Mali - 1
Nigeria – 1
Scotland - 1
Togo – 1



On the fringe:

Scott Sinclair (FC, Chelsea, 26-4-89, England) – Very hot prospect but has barely a full season of youth under his belt. Should go far and might make the next update of this list.
Leighton Baines (DL, Wigan Athletic, 11-12-84, England) – Assured left back with a fine shot, potential England international.
Nedum Onuoha (DR, Manchester City, 30-11-86, England) – lightning quick right back, can be exposed at times.
John Ruddy (GK, Everton, 24-10-86, Everton) – nice goalkeeping prospect, still young and developing in a team with a lot of goalie prospects.
Scott Carson (GK, Liverpool, on loan at Charlton, 3-9-85, England) – occasional number 3 England goalkeeper, saves penalties well, is suspect in other situations.
Glen Johnson (DR, Chelsea, on loan at Portsmouth, England, 23-8-84) – was once a very high prospect, then had two years of awful play. Is getting back on track this season.
Iain Turner (GK, Everton, 26-1-84, Scotland) – Another fine young goalkeeper at Everton, Scottish, high hopes for him.
Tim Krul (GK, Newcastle, 3-4-88, Holland) – Dutch goalkeeper considered very well, has no opportunities at Newcastle right now to prove his development.
Ishmael Miller (FC, Manchester City, 5-3-87, England) – rapid striker with strength and stamina, early showings on left wing hint at versatility.
Darren Ambrose (MC, Charlton Athletic, 29-2-84, England) – At his third club already, an attacking goalscoring midfielder who struggles for consistency.
Mathieu Flamini (MC, Arsenal, 7-3-84, France) – useful and versatile French midfielder who can’t get in the team because he’s not great at any one role, just very useful in many.
Paul Anderson (AMC, Liverpool, 23-7-88, England) – attacking winger with very high hopes.


Last edited by Juni: 10-12-2006 at 04:43 PM.
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12-22-2006, 02:26 PM
  #50
Jungle Boy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jungle Boy View Post
1- Robinho - Santos - Fw
He can do better in Real. love him when playing for Brazil

2- Carlito Tevez - Boca Juniors (but he is coming to Corinthians) - Fw
had a great 2005 season with corinthians. moving to West Ham didn´t help him. would be a nice fit in AC Milan

3- Dagoberto - Atletico Paranaense - Fw 22/03/1983
injuries slowed down his development. This season he´s is going to play for São Paulo. this will help him a lot.

4a- Jo - Corinthians - Striker
bust. I think he is playing in Russia but we expected way more than he´s shown so far
4b- Diego Tardeli - São Paulo - Striker 10/05/85
big bust. went to sevilla, didn´t fit there. this guy is an @$$hole. will play in marginal clubs here in Brazil
6 - Chiquinho - Internacional - left winger
spent almost 2 years recovering from injuries... starting to look good again
7- Marcelo Matos - São Caetano - def midfielder 10/02/84
This guy should be playing for Brazil. the best defmid playing in our league. Europe ready. Once Juventus come back to Serie A He and Mascherano would be a GREAT duo of defmid
8- JUSSIÊ - 19/09/1983 - Cruzeiro - fwd
good player, but won´t be a star. playing in france right now
9- Rosinei - Corinthians - defensive midfilder
Another really good player. attacks and defends well. will suceed in Europe. he reminds Elano but plays more in the central part of the field.

10- Renan - São Paulo - def midfielder 29/03/1985
bust. really strong. that´s all


11- Ibson - Flamengo - atacking midfielder

I think that he is playing in Ukraine... don´t know much of him

12 - André Bahia - Flamengo - defender

????
13 - Jadson 05/10/1983 - Atletico Paranaense- Atacking mid fielder
see #11
14 - Fernandinho 04/05/19 - Atletico Paranaense - right winger
see #11 and #13

15- Marcelinho 09/01/87 - Grêmio- fwd
bust (talking about an european carreer). too small and can´t finish. but it´s really hard to take the ball away from him.

16 - Fred 3/10/1983 - Cruzeiro - Striker
I wasn´t fair with Fred, he shouldn´t be in this position 2 years ago. but he had some attitude problems and he came from a farm system that the last player worth to talk about was brought up in the 60´s. but he did great playing for Cruzeiro and is doing more than ok in Lyon.

17 - Wagner 29/01/1985 - Cruzeiro - Atacking mid fielder
After two bad years, Wagner had a great season this year. Even being called for the Brazilian Nat´l team

18 - Diego Souza - midfielder - Palmeiras 22/03/84
Bust. victim of a Palmeiras system and their managers

19 - Alceu - defensive midfielder - Palmeiras - 07/05/84
see # 18. But there is hope that he can get back on track.

20- Betão - defender - Corinthians -
doing very well. great leader
those are my coments

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