Name: William Carvalho
Club: Sporting CP
Position: Defensive Midfield
Each year, the top European football clubs scout hundreds of players worldwide in the hope of ensuring success in the transfer market. Speculation and reports that a certain club has scouted a particular player circulate on almost a daily basis. For the most part, they will come to nothing, however truthful the original story may have been.
When similar reports emerge week after week over a considerable period of time, though, you can start to believe that interest in that particular player is real. Continue Reading...
Name: William Carvalho
When Santos parted with a young left-back for a reported fee of 9.6 million euros in the summer of 2011, the move raised barely a whimper in the wider football world. Despite moving to a prestigious club, in FC Porto, then 20-year-old Alex Sandro’s move was somewhat overshadowed by Santos’ capture of the Copa Libertadores, the rise of a global superstar in Neymar and the concurrent 13 million euros move of right-back Danilo to the same club. Having played a largely backup role to 35-year-old Leo, Alex Sandro's signing was seen by many as the lesser of the two full-back captures and, indeed, a substantial risk at the quoted price. Continue Reading...
Name: Patrick Bamford
Club: Chelsea (on loan at Derby)
Position: Inside Forward/Striker
In truth, Monday night's clash between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers was far from the most free-flowing of football matches. However, what it did offer was the chance to view two Premier League promotion prospects in direct competition, as well as several talented young players.
The Championship has become somewhat of a proving ground for young English talent, and there was plenty on show in this clash. Continue Reading...
Zaha the game-changer for Cardiff
Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have gone a little over the top in his postmatch analysis that young winger Wilfried Zaha can be the next Cristiano Ronaldo, but the 21-year-old's first-half introduction in Cardiff's 2-1 victory over Norwich on Saturday proved to be a major turning point.
For the opening 30 minutes, Cardiff had been comfortably second-best, and Norwich were well-deserving of their early lead. Solskjaer, though, was bold and rearranged his midfield to introduce Zaha after just 38 minutes, and the England international did not disappoint. Continue Reading...
Name: Ignacio Scocco
Sunderland's victory over Stoke on Wednesday night saw the Black Cats move out of the Premier League drop zone for the first time since August, with manager Gus Poyet bringing a sense of direction and stability at a club that was in dire straits early in the campaign. Poyet has united the group he inherited and set about extracting the best out of those who were clearly underperforming, with his side also reaching an unlikely League Cup final in the process. Continue Reading...
It only took a brief 20-minute cameo for promising teen star Gedion Zelalem to catapult himself into a household name for football fans.
The lanky 6-foot-1 playmaker impressed during his professional debut for Arsenal, coming on as a late substitute against Coventry and displaying a confidence and poise on the ball that belies his age -- he's only 16. Despite Zelalem's minor role in the Gunners' 4-0 win, speculation has already begun over his future.
German-born Zelalem is eligible to play for three nations -- Germany, United States and Ethiopia -- and all three nations have been closely following his progress. Continue Reading...
England hasn't been kind to Jozy Altidore.
In his second stint in the Premier League, the U.S. international has exactly one goal in 18 appearances for Sunderland. This comes after a season where Altidore dominated in Holland, scoring 31 goals in all competitions for AZ Alkmaar. It was thought that Altidore made huge strides since his initial stint in the Prem, where he scored only one goal in 28 games for Hull, but so far the results suggest otherwise.
If Altidore doesn't improve his tally in 2014, he may have to search for his eighth team in eight years. Continue Reading...
Another week of action across the major European leagues has passed and, as per usual, we have a number of outstanding youth performances to choose from for the Scout's Notebook's weekly review.
Serie A is the main focus of our column, after an explosive showing from Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi brought to an end the reign of Maximiliano Allegri at AC Milan. The 19-year-old, though, was not alone among his peers in standing out from the crowd and as ever we bring you updates on the best of those showings. Continue Reading...
The winter transfer window greatly divides opinion. "The players we would like to bring in are probably not available in January," was the view of David Moyes this weekend, while it is only too common to hear that "there is no value in the market" at the current time of the year. However, to others, it is a lifeline at the midpoint of the season. While the Manchester United coach's intended additions may not be available, plenty of players will be and, as has been proved on multiple occasions, value is simply a matter of perspective. Continue Reading...
The New Year is upon us and, in footballing terms, Jan. 1 means only one thing: the opening of the midseason transfer window. The next month is set to bring about a frenzy of transfer activity, or at least speculation, as clubs seek to find the additional quality that will see them meet their aims for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.
• On the Move: Transfer blog
The Scout's Notebook spends the year reporting on the best of youth talent from across the globe, but on this occasion we are switching attention to look at those players whose talents are not being maximised at present. Continue Reading...
Name: Lucas Piazon
Club: Chelsea (on loan at Vitesse)
Position: Inside Forward/Second Striker
Whether or not to switch to European football is a dilemma that presents itself to many South American youngsters. Indeed, there are multiple schools of thought as to the best age for players to make the leap into the unknown. The truth is, there is no exact formula as to the best method to develop youth talent, with the outcome of any move dependent upon an extraordinary number of factors and the initial plan is far from exact science. Continue Reading...
Name: Thiago Rodrigues da Silva (Mosquito)
Club: Atletico Paranaense
He is a headline writer's dream, but there is proving to be much more to Mosquito than just a quirky name. He was the top-scorer at the 2011 South American Under-15 Championship, but had seen contractual disputes hinder his progression over the following two years. Four goals and some excellent performances at the 2013 Under-17 World Cup, though, and the vultures are flocking around the young striker, with his 18th birthday in January potentially opening the doors to an international transfer. Continue Reading...