Joao Felix transfer: Who are the most expensive teenagers in history?

12 Jul

Joao Felix, extraordinarily, became the fifth most expensive player in history when his transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid was completed.

The attacker was signed for £113million with just Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele moving for more cash.

Felix completed a huge transfer to Atletico Madrid earlier this month
getty

To add to this, the 19-year-old is the second most expensive teenager behind Mbappe following his multi-million pound move from Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain.

But which other teenagers have transferred for huge fees? talkSPORT.com has identified the six biggest fees paid for players who haven’t even reached the age of 20.


Lucas Moura – £38m, Sao Paulo to Paris Saint-Germain, 2012

Just a year after the takeover of the club from Qatari investment, Paris Saint-Germain pipped Manchester United and Inter Milan to land Moura’s signature.

The Ligue 1 side announced the the highly-rated teen would link up with the side in January 2013 after securing a deal in August 2012.

The deal made Moura the most expensive teenager in history and he also became the most expensive player of all time at the club.

However, the winger would have a slow start to life in Europe and ultimately never truly found his feet in the French capital.

Lucas Moura open to leaving Paris Saint-Germain
Moura never really found his feet at PSG

He ended up spending five seasons with PSG, winning four Ligue 1 titles, but never became a key member of the side and struggled for game time before he was shipped out to Tottenham.

Since moving to the Premier League Moura has shown flashes of brilliance, including the stunning semi-final hat-trick which sent Spurs to a first Champions League final in 2019.

At 26-years-old, he will be hoping to build on last season’s promising, yet sometimes uninspiring campaign with Spurs.

Vinicius Junior – £40m, Flamengo to Real Madrid, 2018

Vinicius’ incredible form for Flamengo sparked a scramble for his signature and Real Madrid joined the front of the queue.

He scored 17 goals in 19 appearances for the Brazil Under-17s team and the Spanish giants eventually signed the forward for £40m.

Vinicius Junior is one of the most highly-rated teenagers in football

Real chiefs made sure a pre-contract agreement was made in 2017 as to fend off any potential hijack of the deal and the player then joined up with the squad once he turned 18 the following year.

And he performed well in his first season at the Bernabeu. He was introduced slowly but eventually scored four goals in 31 appearances in all competitions, showing flashes of brilliance along the way.

Rodrygo Goes – £40m, Santos to Real Madrid – 2019

A year after Vinicius Junior joined Los Blancos, another talented Brazil ace has arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Whether Rodrygo goes out on loan once he joins Real Madrid is yet to be decided
Getty Images

Also a left-sided attacker, the deal to land him was put in place last summer but has now become official with the player travelling to Spain to be part of Zinedine Zidane’s squad.

How much of a role he has this season is yet to be seen but his early career in Brazil. His 41 league games have so far yielded nine goals and five assists and he only turned 18 in January.

Anthony Martial – £59m, Monaco to Manchester United – 2015

There were many eyebrows raised when Louis van Gaal decided to splash out on the relatively unknown Martial.

He had been a regular at Monaco for just one full season before his move to the Premier League.

A brilliant solo goal against bitter rivals Liverpool automatically made him a fan favourite among the Old Trafford faithful and he followed it up with a double on his first start for the club.

Aston Villa resigned to losing Liverpool-bound Benteke as club target replacement striker
United signed Martial for a big fee when he was relatively unknown

He finished the season having won the FA Cup and having scored 17 goals in all competitions.

However, that season remains his best season as a Red Devil, with questions raised over his attitude and temperament in recent seasons.

Joao Felix – £113m, Benfica to Atletico Madrid – 2019

Atletico smashed their record sum for a transfer after signing Felix from Benfica.

The decision to sign the youngster, who has only proved himself in the Primeira Liga, surprised many due to the LaLiga club’s traditional transfer policy.

Wonderkid Felix took the Primeira Liga by storm last year
Getty Images

Unlike their city rivals, Atletico Madrid are not known for shelling out big sums to sign players.

However, with Antoine Griezmann seemingly on his way to Barcelona the clouds have aligned for Felix to step into the Frenchman’s shoes and become the talisman for the club.

Kylian Mbappe – £160m, Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain – 2018

Mbappe has enjoyed a stunning rise to the top of European football.

The forward burst onto the scene as part of a hugely talented young Monaco side which reached the Champions League semi-finals and pipped PSG to the Ligue 1 title.

The French champions won the race for the talented forward, signing him on a season-long loan before paying a fee of £160m to secure his services.

Mbappe is a phenomenal talent
getty

Since then, he has continued to go from strength to strength, winning two league titles and being named as the division’s Player of the Year in 2018/19.

He also set the the World Cup in Russia alight with some monstrous performances as France were crowned champions of the world.

Most valuable wonderkids in the world, including Ajax, Barcelona, and Liverpool stars

30 Apr

Ajax roll into London today bringing with them their latest batch of wonderkids as they attempt to knock Tottenham Hotspur out of the Champions League.

The semi-finalists boast Frenkie de Jong, who has already signed an agreement to join Barcelona in the summer, Matthijs de Ligt, David Neres, and Donny van de Beek, who are all wanted by top European clubs.

De Jong looked fantastic up against Luka Modric in the Champions League

Wonderkids are worth a lot of money these days with clubs willing to pay over the odds to claim a starlet with potential.

De Jong will cost Spanish giants Barca £65million thanks to his impressive talents in midfield, while many believe De Ligt could go for even more, despite the pair being 21 and 19, respectively.

But who are the most valuable players 21 and under in the world today? We took a look at Transfermarkt.co.uk to find out.

25= Joe Gomez (Liverpool) – Age 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

19= Cengiz Under (Roma) – Age 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

19= Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

19= Declan Rice (West Ham) – Age: 20

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

Declan Rice has impressed for West Ham this season

19= Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

19= Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) – Age: 18

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

Ryan Sessegnon has bags of potential

19= Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

19= Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

19= Joao Felix (Benfica) – Age: 19

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

Felix is one of the hottest properties in Europe

16= Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma) – Age: 19

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £36million

16= Houssem Aouar (Lyon) – Age: 20

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £36million

16= Rodrygo (Santos) – Age: 18

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £36million

15. Richarlison (Everton) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £40.5million

Richarlison has been Everton’s talisman this season

11= Trent Alexander-Arnold (Juventus) – Age: 20

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £45million

11= Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan) – Age: 20

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £45million

11= Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £45million

11= Eder Militao (Porto) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £45million

Militao has risen to the top quickly at Porto.

10. Luka Jovic (Eintracht Frankfurt) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £49.5million

9. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea, on loan at Borussia Dortmund) – Age: 20

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £31.5million

Christian Pulisic will be joining Chelsea in the summer

8. Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen) – Age: 19

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £58.5million

6= Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax) – Age: 19

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £63million

Matthijs de Ligt is a leader for Ajax

6= Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) – Age: 18

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £63million

5. Frenkie de Jong (Ajax) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £67.5million

Frenkie De Jong will be joining Barcelona in the summer

3= Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £72million

3= Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – Age: 19

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £72million

Sancho has been electric for Dortmund this season

2. Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona) – Age: 21

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £108million

1. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – Age: 20

Market Value, according to Transfermarkt – £180million

Kylian Mbappe kisses the World Cup

Liverpool tell Real Madrid they WILL sanction Sadio Mane transfer but only if Vincius Junior comes to Anfield – reports

16 Apr

Liverpool have told Real Madrid they will sell Sadio Mane on the sole condition that wonderkid Vinicius Junior moves to Anfield, according to reports.

The Senegal striker is enjoying a tremendous season, scoring 22 goals in all competitions and is leading the Reds’ title charge.

Vinicius Junior is a reported target for Liverpool

His improvement under Jurgen Klopp has not gone unnoticed and Los Blancos are reportedly still keen.

Last season, a deal was reportedly in place for Mane to move to the Bernabeu. But this collapsed once Zinedine Zidane stunned the world by quitting.

However, with the Frenchman back in charge for a second stint, a deal is once again a serious possibility and Madrid have reportedly already made enquiries.

But, according to Eduardo Inda of El Chringuito TV, the Spanish side baulked once they realised what the Reds wanted in return.

Sadio Mane is in fine form for Liverpool – which has turned the heads of Real Madrid

SADIO MANE STATS (ALL COMPETITIONS)

The Liverpool striker is enjoying a fantastic season

  • Appearances – 50
  • Goals – 22
  • Assists – 1
  • Dribbles – 135
  • Key Passes – 54

Reports suggest Klopp wanted Vinicius Junior involved in a potential swap deal to sanction Mane’s Anfield exit.

The 18-year-old moved to the Spanish capital for €45million in 2018 and has been a rare bright spark in what has been an otherwise poor season.

His pace and dynamic style are not too dissimilar to Mane, but the Brazilian will need to work on his decision-making and final pass to fulfil his undoubted potential.

Football Manager 2019: 50 wonderkids you must sign

18 Mar

Football Manager 2019 has been out for a while but the winter update is now available so you can get all the latest information on your game including the current wonderkids in world football.

The managerial changes which have taken place are included, along with all the January transfers, promotions and relegations are in it too.

Football Manager 2019 is out now.

But who are the top 50 starlets you can sign in the game under the age of 20 on July 1, 2018 in the game?

Thankfully the folks over at the excellent FMScout.com have figured out the best wonderkids around, although you might have to be in charge of a hefty budget to afford their transfer fees.

So which starlets should you be signing? Find out below.

*Some players may not be available on every game to due to differing database sizes

Josh Tymon (Hull City) – Age 19 – Value = £750k

Position – Full-back

Top attributes – Crossing, Marking, Passing, Tackling, Bravery, Determination, and Work Rate

Marquinhos Cipriano (Shakhtar Donetsk) – Age 19 – Value = £3.5m

Position – Right winger (Inside Forward)

Top attributes – Crossing, Dribbling, Finishing, Technique, Composure, Flair, Off The Ball, Agility, and Natural Fitness

Paulinho (Bayer Leverkusen) – Age 17 – Value = £8.75m

Position – Left winger (Inside Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Long Shots, Technique, Bravery, Flair, Off The Ball, Balance, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Ferran Torres (Valencia) – Age 18 – Value = £1.3m

Position – Right winger

Top attributes – Crossing, Dribbling, First Touch, Technique, Determination, Flair, Acceleration, Agility, and Pace

Pablo Maffeo (Stuttgart) – Age 20 – Value = £6.75m

Position – Full-back and Wing-back

Top attributes – Dribbling, Marking, Tackling, Aggression, Bravery, Determination, Teamwork, Work Rate, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Natural Fitness, Pace, and Stamina

Manchester City FC transfer news: Defender Pablo Maffeo to leave for Stuttgart
Maffeo impressed in a loan spell with Girona before joining Stuttgart

Arne Maier (Hertha Berlin) – Age 19 – Value = £8.5m

Position – Central midfield (Deep Lying Playmaker)

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Anticipation, Composure, Teamwork, Vision, Acceleration, Natural Fitness, and Stamina

Carles Alena (Barcelona) – Age 20 – Value = £2.1m

Position Central midfield and Attacking Midfield

Top attributes – Corners, Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Composure, Determination, Flair, and Natural Fitness

Angel Gomes (Manchester United) – Age 17 – Value = £850k

Position – Attacking Midfield (Trequartista)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Technique,  Flair, Acceleration, and Pace

Angel Gomes in action against Huddersfield.

Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan) – Age 20 – Value = £11.25m

Position – Striker (Pressing Forward and Poacher)

Top attributes – Finishing, Heading, Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Determination, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Work Rate, Agility, Balance, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Cengiz Under (Roma) – Age 20 – Value = £19.75m

Position – Right winger (Inside Forward)

Top attributes – Crossing, Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Long Shots, Technique, Anticipation, Composure, Flair, Off The Ball, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Under’s rise to stardom has been rapid, and Arsenal are big fans

Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich) – Age 20 – Value = £13.25m

Position – Central Midfield (Mezzala and Box-To-Box Midfielder)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Long Shots, Technique, Aggression, Bravery, Determination, Work Rate, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Natural Fitness, Stamina, and Strength

Diogo Dalot (Manchester United) – Age 19 – Value = £13.75m

Position – Full-back

Top attributes – Dribbling, Technique, Aggression, Anticipation, Decisions, Determination, Flair, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Work Rate

Exequiel Palacios (River Plate) – Age 19 – Value = £5.5m

Position – Central Midfield (Advanced Playmaker and Deep Lying Playmaker)

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Decisions, Determination, Flair, Teamwork, and Vision

Willem Geubbels (Monaco) – Age 16 – Value = £675k

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Technique, Bravery, Composure, Determination, Flair, Off The Ball, Work Rate, Acceleration, Jumping Reach, Natural Fitness, and Pace

 

Elias Abouchabaka (Greuther Furth, on loan from RB Leipzig) – Age 18 – Value = £450k

Position – Attacking Midfield (Advanced Playmaker)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Composure, Flair, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision, and Agility

Mickael Cuisance (Borussia Monchengladbach) – Age 18 – Value = £4.3m

Position – Central Midfield (Advanced Playmaker and Deep Lying Playmaker)

Top attributes – Crossing, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Composure, Flair, Vision, Agility, and Natural Fitness

Gedson Fernandes (Benfica) – Age 19 – Value = £8m

Position – Central Midfield (Box-To-Box Midfielder)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Tackling, Technique, Aggression, Bravery, Composure, Determination, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Work Rate, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Natural Fitness, Pace, and Stamina.

Alban Lafont (Fiorentina) – Age 19 – Value = £5m

Position – Goalkeeper (Sweeper Keeper)

Top attributes – Aerial Reach, One On Ones, Reflexes, Rushing Out, Composure, Concentration, Determination, Agility, Balance, Jumping Reach, Natural Fitness, Stamina, and Strength

Lafont was wanted by Arsenal at one point.

Moise Kean (Juventus) – Age 18 – Value = £2.5m

Position – Left winger (Inside Forward) and Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, Heading, Aggression, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Natural Fitness, and Pace.

Amadou Diawara (Napoli) – Age 20 – Value = £17.5m

Position – Central Midfield (Central Midfielder)

Top attributes – First Touch, Marking, Passing, Tackling, Aggression, Bravery, Decisions, Determination, Teamwork, Work Rate, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Natural Fitness, Pace, and Stamina

Ben Woodburn (Liverpool) – Age 18 – Value = £9.25m

Position – Left winger (Inside Forward) and Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Composure, Determination, Flair, Off The Ball, Vision, and Acceleration

Woodburn has played seven times for Wales

Lee Kangin (Valencia) – Age 17 – Value = £145k

Position – MC, AMC

Top attributes – First Touch, Technique, Decisions, Determination, Flair, Vision, Acceleration, Agility, and Pace

Sandro Tonali (Brescia) – Age 18 – Value = £1.2m

Position – Defensive Midfield (Deep Lying Playmaker)

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Composure, Concentration, Determination, Teamwork, and Work Rate

Italian wonderkid Tonali has already had a senior call-up for Italy

Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – Age 18 – Value = £14m

Position – Left Midfield (Inverted winger) and Left Winger (Inside Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Technique, Composure, Flair, Vision, Acceleration, and Agility

Houssem Aouar (Lyon) – Age 19 – Value = £8.25m

Position – Central Midfield (Advanced Playmaker and Deep Lying Playmaker) and Attacking Midfield (Advanced Playmaker)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Composure, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision, Agility, Natural Fitness, Pace, and Stamina

Aouar has been compared to Barca and former Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho

Johannes Eggestein (Werder Bremen) – Age 20 – Value = £2.2m

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward and Deep Lying Forward)

Top attributes – Finishing, First Touch, Technique, Anticipation, Teamwork, Work Rate, Balance, and Natural Fitness

Pelayo Morilla  (Sporting Gijon) – Age 16 – Value = £225k

Position – Attacking Midfield (Trequartista)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Vision, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Juan Hernandez (Watford) – Age 19 – Value = £8.5m

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Finishing, First Touch, Long Shots, Technique, Bravery, Composure, Concentration, Determination, Flair, Off The Ball, Vision, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Natural Fitness, Pace, and Stamina

Filip Benkovic (Celtic, on loan from Leicester City) – Age 20 – Value = £8.25m

Position – Central Defender

Top attributes – Heading, Marking, Passing, Tackling, Aggression, Anticipation, Bravery, Determination, Teamwork, Jumping Reach, Natural Fitness, Stamina, and Strength.

Filip Benkovic is starring in Scotland

Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax) – Age 16 – Value = £250k

Position – Central Midfield (Advanced Playmaker)

Top attributes – Crossing, Dribbling, First Touch, Technique, Decisions, Determination, Flair, and Agility

Brenner (Sao Paulo) – Age 18 – Value = £230k

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Technique, Determination, Flair, Off The Ball, Acceleration, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan) – Age 19 – Value = £18.75m

Position – Goalkeeper (Sweeper Keeper)

Top attributes – Aerial Reach, Command Of Area, Handling, One On Ones, Reflexes, Tendency To Punch, Bravery, Composure, Determination, Teamwork, Agility, Balance, Jumping Reach, Natural Fitness, and Strength

Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina) – Age 20 – Value = £25m

Position – Right Winger (Winger)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Determination, Off The Ball, Work Rate, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Chiesa is the son of Italy hero Enrico.

Luka Jovic (Eintracht Frankfurt, on loan from Benfica) – Age 20 – Value = £8.5m

Position – Striker (Poacher)

Top attributes – Finishing, First Touch, Heading, Anticipation, Bravery, Off The Ball, Agility, and Balance

Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax) – Age 18 – Value = £7.25m

Position – Centre-back (Ball Playing Defender)

Top attributes – Heading, Passing, Tackling, Bravery, Determination, Work Rate, Agility, Balance, and Jumping Reach

Matthijs de Ligt became the first defender to win the Golden Boy award last year

Abel Ruiz (Barcelona) – Age 18 – Value = £625k

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Heading, Decisions, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) – Age 19 – Value = £35m

Position – Wing-back

Top attributes – Crossing, Dribbling, First Touch, Tackling, Technique, Determination, Teamwork, Work Rate, Acceleration and Pace

Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan) – Age 20 – Value = £9.25m

Position – Central Midfield (Advanced Playmaker)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Bravery, Determination, Flair, Vision, and Agility.

Phil Foden (Manchester City) – Age 18 – Value = £30.5m

Position – Attacking Midfield (Advanced Playmaker)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Flair, Vision, Acceleration, and Agility

Pep Guardiola rates Foden highly

Sergio Gomez (Borussia Dortmund) – Age 17 – Value = £2.1m

Position – Central Midfield (Advanced Playmaker)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Composure, Flair, Vision, and Agility

Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) – Age 17 – Value = £4.5m

Position – Left Winger (Inside Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Technique, Anticipation, Determination, Flair, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Vinicius Junior has impressed this season for Madrid

Amine Gouiri (Lyon) – Age 18 – Value = £800k

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Technique, Composure, Determination, Off The Ball, Agility, Balance, and Natural Fitness

Fiete Arp (Hamburg) – Age 18 – Value = £2.9m

Position – Striker (Deep Lying Forward)

Top attributes – Finishing, First Touch, Long Shots, Technique, Anticipation, Bravery, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Arp has already earned comparisons with Harry Kane since breaking onto the scene with Hamburg

Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan) – Age 20 – Value = £18.5m

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Finishing, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Anticipation, Bravery, Determination, Flair, Off The Ball, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, Stamina, and Strength

Fabio Silva (Porto) – Age 15 – Value = £9,000

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Technique, Composure, Determination, Flair, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen) – Age 19 – Value = £18.75m

Position – Attacking Midfield (Advanced Playmaker)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Composure, Flair, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision, Natural Fitness, and Pace

Havertz has caught Arsenal’s eye

Pietro Pellegri (Monaco) – Age 17 – Value = £1.3m

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward)

Top attributes – Finishing, First Touch, Bravery, Determination, Off The Ball, Work Rate, Jumping Reach, and Strength

Joao Felix (Benfica) – Age 18 – Value = £3.1m

Position – Attacking Midfield (Advanced Playmaker)

Top attributes – Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Composure, Decisions, Determination, Flair, Vision, Agility, Balance, and Pace

Scouts have watched a number of Joao Felix’s games

Rodrygo (Santos, signing for Real Madrid) – Age 17 – Value = £1.8m

Position – Left Winger (Inside Forward)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Flair, Off The Ball, Acceleration, and Agility

Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – Age 19 – Value = £71m

Position – Striker (Advanced Forward) and Right Winger (Winger)

Top attributes – Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Technique, Composure, Flair, Off The Ball, Acceleration, and Pace

Kylian Mbappe is one of the world’s best young talents

Vinicius Junior: Real Madrid forward tears ankle ligaments in latest blow to Los Blancos

6 Mar

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines having torn ligaments in his right ankle during Tuesday evening’s Champions League defeat by Ajax.

Los Blancos were dumped out the European Cup in the first knockout round after a 4-1 defeat at the Bernabeu, ending their run of three successive successes in the competition.

Vinicius has enjoyed a promising season despite Real’s woeful campaign

Vinicius, who has been a rare bright spark for Real in an otherwise tumultuous season, hobbled off the pitch throughout the match after picking up a knock.

And tests have been run by the Madrid club which reveal the 18-year-old attacker tore his ankle ligaments.

A club statement read: “After tests today by the medical team at Real Madrid, our player Vinicius Junior has been diagnosed with a torn ligament of the tibiofibular joint in the right leg.

There has been no confirmation apropos the length of Vinicius’ lay-off, though reports have suggested a two month recovery period.

LIVE on talkSPORT

We bring you eight more live football commentaries across the talkSPORT network throughout the remainder of the week

  • Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United (Wednesday) – talkSPORT
  • Porto vs Roma (Wednesday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Rennes vs Arsenal (Thursday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sheffield United vs Rotherham (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Crystal Palace vs Brighton (Saturda) – talkSPORT
  • Manchester City vs Watford (Saturday) – talkSPORT
  • Liverpool vs Burnley (Sunday) – talkSPORT
  • Birmingham vs Aston Villa (Sunday) – talkSPORT 2

Tuesday’s defeat by Ajax was Real’s fourth successive loss at home, with Los Blancos knocked out both the Champions League and Copa del Rey in the space of a week.

They also lost the home LaLiga El Clasico last weekend, with the defeat at Barcelona’s hands leaving Real third in the table, 12 points behind their bitter rivals.

Eden Hazard: Why Real Madrid should pass on signing Chelsea ace and stick with Vinicius Junior

8 Feb

Rumours continue to circulate that Real Madrid will try and sign Eden Hazard from Chelsea in the summer.

The Belgium international will only have a year left on his contract by the next transfer window and he is believed to be keen on a move to the Spanish capital.

Hazard also revealed that he has made a decision about his future but did not elaborate on whether that would be to stay at Stamford Bridge or leave.

Eden Hazard is rumoured to be on his way to Real Madrid

The 28-year-old would clearly be an asset to the LaLiga club but there is certainly a case for not signing him.

Money would not be an issue for Real Madrid, it is thought that a bid in excess of £100million would be needed to prise him away.

What if the Spanish giants already have someone at the club who can fill the void left by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Enter Vinicius Junior – the 18-year-old who has become a regular starter under current manager Santiago Solari and has put in impressive performances in some important games.

Vinicius Junior has impressed this season for Madrid

Here is the case for and against signing Hazard in the summer.

For

You will get a world-class player at the peak of his game. He is a player who can provide you goals and assists from the left.

Hazard is on course for his best Premier League season ever and has 12 goals already in 27 appearances. His best return was in the 2016/17 season with 16 goals.

Ronaldo’s absence, since leaving for Juventus, has definitely been felt and the fact they are eight points behind Barcelona in the table will hurt.

The Portuguese man was never replaced by Madrid in the summer and those high up, and the fans, will expect a big marquee signing as a signal of their intent.

Hazard could be the Galactico they crave and it will be a big statement to bring another of the Premier League’s best talents to Spain.

The prospect of an attacking trio of Hazard, Benzema and Bale is mouth-watering.

Cristiano Ronaldo left Madrid last summer

Against

Hazard is 28 and you may get another four seasons of him being at his peak, five if you are lucky.

Vinicius Junior is just 18 and if he is as good as people believe he can be then you may get a decade, or more, of brilliance from him.

Such was Madrid’s confidence in the potential of the Brazilian, they paid £38.7million for him when he was 16 and had only played 17 minutes of senior football.

He has four goals this season since making his debut in September and has developed a good understanding with Karim Benzema.

He is clearly a work in progress but he has the potential to be an elite level player having come on leaps and bounds this campaign.

talkSPORT’s Spanish football reporter, Lee Roden, has been impressed with what he has seen from the young winger.

He said: “End product is clearly the area that needs the most work… If he can add better finishing to his game – and graft on the training ground will help with that – then the teenager will possess all of the tools necessary to be an elite level winger.

“Importantly, Vinicius appears to already have the mental side down. Decision making, maturity, restraint – arguably the toughest traits to acquire – they’re all there.”

He also showed his potential with a superb display in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final with Barcelona.

Verdict

Madrid risk losing Vinicius Junior if they decide to sign Eden Hazard in the summer.

With the development the 18-year-old has shown this season then they should be confident of giving him the time to develop.

Players like Hazard do not come onto the transfer market very often and with the £100million Ronaldo money burning a hole in their pocket they may look to make a marquee signing.

Junior has the potential to be their star for the next decade to come.

Real Madrid teenager Vinicius Junior is showing maturity beyond his years

20 Jan

Whether it be dropping Spanish darling Isco, benching club legend Marcelo, or throwing his weight behind goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois over Champions League hero Keylor Navas; Santiago Solari has made a number of big calls in his three months in charge of Real Madrid.

Yet the most significant of them, in the long run, could be his handling of 18-year-old Vinicius Junior, with the manager quickly deciding the winger is not only a talent for the future, but also one for the present.

Prior to Solari’s arrival in October, Vinicius hadn’t started a single game for Real Madrid’s seniors, previous coach Julen Lopetegui opting for a little-by-little approach with the summer signing and forcing him to spend most of his time with Castilla, only picking up the odd first team minute here or there.

Vinicius Junior is flourishing at the Bernabeu

The change of coach meant a complete change in approach. Solari started the attacker in his first game in charge, a Copa del Rey game against UD Melilla, and the signs were already promising that evening. Doing well against lower level opposition is one thing though, and doing it against Spain’s elite is another. On Saturday, the youngster stepped up and did just that, playing 90 solid minutes at the Santiago Bernabéu against Sevilla, his toughest opponent yet.

Transforming Vinicius from cameo-maker to a consistent La Liga starter in under three months reflects excellently on Solari, but it also says much about the 18-year-old. The amount of pressure on his shoulders should not be under stated. In a season that has ranged from dismal to passable, in which Madrid fans have been desperately searching for someone to get excited about post-Cristiano Ronaldo, Vinicius quickly and unfairly became the cross-bearer expected to give the European Champions the jolt they needed to awaken from their Lopetegui-era slumber. The forward will be aware of those expectations – he has to be. A quick glance at Marca or AS, ubiquitously sprawled across newsstands all over the Spanish capital, is all it would take.

Thankfully for Madrid, Vinicius appears to possess maturity beyond his years, demonstrable for all to see in his performance against Sevilla. For a player who is such an exceptional dribbler, he is notably resistant to showboating, invariably making the right decision that improves the move for his team instead of risking a loss of possession in the pursuit of individual plaudits. When he got the better of Mudo Vazquez with half an hour gone on Saturday for example, the temptation to try and beat another man must surely have been there. Instead, Vinicius quickly looked up and picked out Karim Benzema who was in a better position to take a shot.

Or when he did pull off a dribble such as on the hour mark, instead of forcing a risky shot through the slightest of openings, he smoothly laid the ball off to Dani Ceballos then kept running to drag a marker. That opened up room for the midfielder to strike, almost resulting in the opening goal, were it not for the crossbar.

Dribbling when suitable, not dribbling when it wasn’t, being generous in his passing either forward or backward if necessary, and showing a determination to resolve tricky situations in tight spaces to help his team: the Brazilian may not have scored or picked up an assist, and as a result won’t show up in the highlights packages, but this was an excellent all-round performance that bodes very well.

It isn’t a one off either. Also promising is his run of three league starts in a row, completing 90 minutes in all of them (the consecutive starts totalling five if the Copa del Rey is included). If handled carefully Vinicius could already be an important player as the crunch stage of the season draws close.


Why Vinicius Junior was the key to Santiago Solari getting Real Madrid job 


That isn’t to say he can’t improve. End product is clearly the area that needs the most work: the Brazilian had a number of shooting opportunities against Sevilla but either lacked the conviction or accuracy to make them count. If he can add better finishing to his game – and graft on the training ground will help with that – then the teenager will possess all of the tools necessary to be an elite level winger.

Importantly, Vinicius appears to already have the mental side down. Decision making, maturity, restraint – arguably the toughest traits to acquire – they’re all there. Important too is that Solari has managed to strike the right balance between nurturing and challenging his unpolished gem, giving him game time but also reminding everyone in public that he should be “looked after because he’s still an 18-year-old”. Real Madrid may yet look for a new coach in the summer, but if the Argentinian can complete his ongoing work with Vinicius, he will leave behind a gift that should provide benefits both now and for years to come.