Archive for the ‘ Talent Watch ’ Category

Talent Watch: Bernd Leno

Bernd Leno


Bernd Leno is a German footballer who plays for Bayer Leverkusen, as a goalkeeper. Germany have a rich history of producing goalkeepers over the past decade and at the moment there is something of a golden generation of up and coming talent with Ron-Robert Zieler, Thomas Kraft, Marc-André ter Stegen and now Bern Leno all waiting in the wings. Starting life out at VfB Stuttgart, Leno extended his contract in May 2011 until June 2014 and just a few months later was sent out on loan to Bayer Leverkusen in order to gain some first team football. Instantly establishing himself as a first-team regular, Leno became the youngest German goalkeeper ever to play in the Champions League in September 2011 when he featured against Chelsea. After a series of impressive displays many have earmarked Leno as a future international and his short stay was enough to convince Leverkusen to take him permanently which was confirmed in November 2011 in a deal which keeps him at the club until 2017.


Talent Watch: Denis Suárez

Denis Suarez


Denis Suárez  is a Spanish footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Manchester City.

Denis Suárez signed for Manchester City in May 2011 after City beat off interest from Barcelona, Chelsea and rivals Manchester United signing him for an initial fee of £850,000 that could rise by £2.75 million depending on appearances and performances. Capped up to Under-18 level by Spain, he joined City for an initial fee of £850,000 which could rise to £2.75m depending on appearances and performance related clauses in the deal. The winger who has drawn comparisons to David Silva was a regular at Under-17 level where he scored two goals in eight appearances, after scoring against Moldova and Northern Ireland. The attacking midfielder who possesses and excellent range of passing, has good dribbling abilities and has an eye for goal. He made his debut for Manchester City in the League Cup when he replaced Samir Nasri in the second half during a 5-2 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Talent Watch: David Henen

David Henen


The youngest talent watch  on my list but arguably one of the best. The 15 year-old Belgian currently plays for Anderlecht’s youth side after transferring from Standard Liege a year ago. Spending three years at Liege he scored 32 goals in his debut season and 58 goals in his second year. In his third and final season he scored 13 goals for the U16 side and 4 goals in 10 appearances for the U17’s, helping Standard to three national titles. Henen who has attracted interest from Ajax, Manchester United and Arsenal has been capped  by Belgium at Under-15 and Under-16 level, scoring 7 goals in 11 matches. Able to play on the right-wing or as a second striker, Henen has excellent pace and acceleration but will need to work on the physical side of his game which should come with experience. With European scouts monitoring the Belgian leagues in search of the next Courtois, Lukaku or De Bruyne, Henen is a name which will feature on many clubs watch lists.

Talent Watch: Weverson “Leandro” Oliveira Moura



Weverson Leandro Oliveira Moura , more commonly known simply as Leandro, is a Brazilian footballer who currently plays as a striker for Brazilian club Palmeiras, on loan from Grêmio.

Not since the departure of Ronaldinho have Grêmio fans been so excited about a talent coming through their academy system than 18 year-old striker Weverson Leandro Oliveira Moura, simply known as Leandro, who can also operate as a winger. With explosive pace, excellent dribbling skills and an eye for goal, many are tipping the young Brazilian for a big future.

Having started out in the youth team of Gama he helped to eliminate current club Grêmio from the Copa Santiago in 2010. Having impressed club officials at the Porto Alegre outfit, he joined Grêmio on loan where he continued to develop in the youth team and played in the Copa São Paulo De Juniores where he continued to impress and put a number of eye catching performances in which helped him to remain at the club. He made his first team debut against Ypiranga Erechim when he replaced former Brazil international Fábio Rochemback and within 11 minutes of coming on made an instant impact scoring the final goal in Grêmio’s 5-1 victory.

Leandro scored 7 goals in 12 games for Grêmio in the 2011 Gaucho 1 campaign, while creating a number of assists. While the Tricolour’s will be hoping to nurture his talent and gradually introduce him to the first team, such is the hype and expectation of the 18 year-old that he may be thrust straight into action. Although he may be a relatively unknown quantity in terms of world football, in Brazil Leandro is a player of high promise and a number of major European clubs are already keeping tabs on the starlet.

Talent Watch: Tomas Kalas

Tomas Kalas


Tomáš Kalas  is a Czech footballer who plays for Eredivisie club Vitesse as a defender on loan from Chelsea. He is a right-sided centre-half who can also play at right-back. On 7 July 2010, he signed for English Premier League champions Chelsea for a reported figure of around £5.2 million, though agreed that he would stay at Sigma Olomouc for the remainder of the 2010–11 season. Kalas arrived at Chelsea for the second half of the 2010–11 season and the defender made his Chelsea reserve team debut in a 2–2 away draw to Aston Villa on 21 February.

Kalas rejoined Vitesse on a new loan deal until the end of the 2012–13 season. He also extended his contract with Chelsea until the summer of 2017. Kalas scored his first Eredivisie goal for Vitesse in a 3–0 defeat of FC Groningen on 16 September 2012.

Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas is considered one of the Czech Republic’s most promising players. At the age of 18 years-old, the centre-back who can also play at right-back is currently on loan at Dutch club Vitesse where he has established himself as a first team regular and gaining the necessary experience. Starting life at his hometown club of  Sigma Olomouc and he made one appearance in the first team after starting in a 2–0 victory over Slovan Liberec on 5 May 2010 before signing for Chelsea in July 2010 for a figure of £5.2 million. He immediately joined is former club on a years loan. With Olomouc producing a wealth of talent over the years such as Tomáš Ujfaluši, David Rozehnal and Radoslav Kováč, Kalas is considered the next big thing. When Chelsa signed Kalas, academy boss Neil Bath hailed his speed and technique, “”Tomas has signed but will spend the first year on  loan at  his club, Sigma Olomouc in the Czech Republic,” said Bath. ”

Talent Watch: Atila Turan

Atila Turan


Atila Turan is a Turkish-French footballer who plays for Turkish Süper Lig club Orduspor and the Turkish national under-21 team. He plays mainly as a left midfielder, but is also capable of playing as a left back.

19 year-old left back Atila Turan who is of Turkish decent played for his local team before securing a move to Grenoble in July 2008. After three years with the club’s youth academy the defender signed is first professional contract in February 2010 and made his debut in July 2010. Despite Grenoble’s performances during the 2010/11 season, Turan earned individual praise for his performances and was subsequently scouted by several clubs abroad, most notably Barcelona and Fiorentina . The young defender who has been ever present at international youth level, has been capped up to Under-19 level. Compared to Fabio Coentrao in terms of playing style, Turan is technically excellent. With good offensive runs up and down the flanks, Turan has an excellent free-kick. In the summer transfer window of 2011, Turan confirmed he had signed a five year deal with Portuguese powerhouse Sporting Lisbon, making the comparison Coentrao obvious and inevitable.

Talent Watch: Joel Campbell

Joel Campbell


JoelCampbell  is a Costa Rican footballer who plays for La Liga side Real Betis on loan from Premier League club Arsenal and the Costa Rica national football team. Joel plays as a striker but can also be deployed on the wings. On 6 August, Costa Rica media reported that Campbell was set to sign a five-year deal with Arsenal after rejecting Sevilla and Fiorentina.

On 19 August 2011, Arsenal confirmed that they had signed Campbell. It was revealed on 27 August 2011 that he had failed to obtain a work permit to enable him to play in England. Campbell joined La Liga side Real Betis on a season-long loan. He made his debut on 25 August, coming on as a second-half substitute in Betis’ 2–1 defeat to Rayo Vallecano. Campbell Scored his first goal in a 3–2 win against Deportivo La Coruña. Campbell scored his second goal in a 2–0 victory against Levante.

He officially debuted in the senior Costa Rica national football team on 5 June 2011 in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring one goal in a 5–0 win over Cuba. On 7 July 2011 he scored his second international goal, against Bolivia in the 2011 Copa América. He scored his third international goal in an amazing match against Spain that finished 2–2. He also scored against Wales in the Gary Speed memorial match which turned out to be the only goal in the match.

A regular at international youth level, Campbell made 22 appearances for Costa Rica at Under-17  and Under-20 level, scoring 18 goals in the process. With excellent natural raw pace, good movement and an eye for goal, Campbell has all the qualities to fit in with Arsenal’s intelligent and high tempo game. After a season at Lorient he is fully expected to gain a work permit and be part of Arsenal’s squad for the 2012/13 Premier League campaign.