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July 17 2019 3.47pm

Potential transfers from U21 Euro squads analysis

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Group A
Italy

Italy, the hosts, came with a squad consisting of many first national team members: center back Mancini from 4th league place Atalanta, midfielders Pellegrini and Zaniolo from AS Roma, Barella from Cagliari, forwards Chiesa from Fiorentina and Moise Kean from Juventus, pretty much all of them starters for the big national team, 19 years old Moise Kean with 7 goals in 650 minutes for Juventus this year and 2 goals in 3 matches for the national team!!

Also, Patrick Cutrone is a very good striker-winger from AC Milan, Riccardo Orsolini is a wonderful left footed winger who belonged t Juventus but was on loan to Bologna and has made the move permanent this summer for about 15 million.

Goalkeepers Audero and Meret are also pretty much starters for Sampdoria and Napoli. Highly rated.

So, a really strong squad at least from the midfield up. Pellegrini of Rome is an amazing player, Zaniolo may be a little overrated, but has potential. Neither of the ones talked about above could be brought for less than 20-25 million.

Usual 11: Audero-Adjapong, Calabresi, Mancini, Dimarco- Barrella, Mandragora, Pellegrini- Zaniolo (Orsolini), Moise Kean (Cutrone), Chiesa.

They really were the better team against Spain. Unlucky not to go further. It was a fluke they lost to Poland 1-0, they missed a lot of chances. Chiesa made a great tournament, but he's very expensive, 40+.

Spain
Spain came with Fabian Ruiz, Ceballos, Oyarzabal and Fornals. All of them cost in excess of 30 million, Fornals just bought by West Ham.

First 11: Unai Simon (Bilbao)- Aguirregabiria (Alaves), Jorge Mere (Koln), Vallejo (Real Madrid), Aaron Martin (Mainz)/ Firpo (Betis)- Fabian Ruiz (Napoli), Roca (Espanyol), Ceballos (Real Madrid)- Fornals (West Ham, 24 million transfer, but worth it!)/ Carlos Soler (Valencia), Borja Mayoral (Levante)/ Dani Olmo (D. Zagreb), Oyarzabal (Sociedad, worth more than 40 million!)

From the lesser known players, Alfonso Pedraza can play as left back and left midfield, has pretty much established himself at Villarreal and it was stated that Real Madrid is looking at him as a long-term Marcelo replacement. I talked about him last year when he had been on loan at Alaves and said he'd make a fine investment. Can't imagine him being cheaper than 10 million today. Manu Vallejo is a winger from the Spanish second division who has just been taken by Valencia in a 5 million deal. Not extremely good imo.

The player who stands out as someone affordable and with the possibility to make it in the PL is Rafa Mir. Honestly, he's a better striker than Borja Mayoral. A record of 7 goals last seasons in 30 Segunda Division matches doesn't seem like much, but he mostly played as right and left winger. When playing as center forward, he has 14 goals in 29 lower league Spanish matches. And 5 goals in 10 matches for Spain U21. He belongs to Wolverhampton, having been bought by them for 2 million 1 year ago. He is not in their plans and they supposedly want 8 million for him. A detailed analysis shows him having scored 20 goals in 2300 minutes in the last 2 years in the lower league or for the U21s. Something tells me that he can pull off a goal every 200 minutes in a top league for sure. At 22 years old, that's a real feat. Might just be worth 8 million.

Poland
Poland's first 11 is with: Grabara- Gumny,Wleteska, Bielik (Arsenal), Pestka- Jagiello (Serie A), Dzidzek, Zurkowski (Serie A)- Michalak, Kownacki (Sampdoria/Dusseldorf), Szymansky (Dinamo Moscow).

The 2 midfielders Jagiello and Zurkowski are pretty good ant supporting the attack in a 4-3-3 system and belong to Serie A clubs Genoa and Fiorentina, even though they were on loan in their home country. The left winger, Szymansky is one of the youngest. Has potential, but the Russians of Dynamo Moscow paid a tone of money for a 20 year old like him this summer.

The main man who got them here is David Kownacki, 15 goals in 20 matches for the U21s, top scorer in the Euro qualifiers, one of the best strikers at his age. Belongs to Sampdoria of Italy, but was loaned at Fortuna Dusseldorf. 4 goals in 10 matches for them in the Bundesliga, He was used a lot as left and right winger by Sampdoria, so he also has speed and stamina and works a lot defensively.

On a closer analysis, he scored 10 and assisted 4 in 1150 minutes as a center forward for Sampdoria and Dusseldorf in the Italian and German top leagues. And 8 more in 700 minutes as a winger. Plus, 15 goals and 3 assists in 1750 minutes for Poland U21 and 1 goal for the first national team. But the competition is very strong, with Lewandowski, Milik of Napoli and Piatek of Milan. But Kownacki is still one great prospect for Polish and international football. Fortuna Dusseldorf had an 8 million buy-out option, but German clubs are kind of cash-strapped. They supposedly want Sampdoria to agree to another loan before they pay. Whoever pays 8 million to Sampdoria or offers them better, like a loan with a 10 million option instead of 8, can get him. He is much, much better than Benteke even at his young age and maybe even better than 40-million Batshuayi. In 2-3 years, a club like Palace should be able to sell him for 50 million+ if he scores 20 goals in the PL, which I'm sure he can before the age of 25.

Backup striker Pawel Tomczyk is one to keep an eye on for the future and would be very cheap to get and loan out.

Belgium
Belgium didn't make a great tournament, but they narrowly lost the matches. Their best player is undoubtedly Dodi Lukebakio. The Watford loanee at Dusseldorf last year managed 14 goals and 5 assists last year, mostly from wing position, including a hat-trick against powerhouse Bayern, something most players don't achieve in an entire lifetime, never mind at 21 years old. But Watford supposedly wants more than 20 million for him.

Belgium first 11: Jackert- Cools, Faes, Cobbaut, de Norre- Heynen, Mangala- Lukebakio, Schrijvers (Brugge), Mbenza (Huddersfield)- Leya Iseka (Toulouse).

Schrijvers is good, but expensive, has moved 1 year ago from Genk to then champions Brugge, but Genk won the title this year! Him and Trossard (recent Brighton transfer for 20 million) grew up together and have pretty much the same value. Mbenza was good in France, but had a lousy year with Huddersfield. Amuzu of Anderlecht is promising, but too young, needs to play more.

I've talked about Leya Iseka before. He is Batshuayi's cousin!! He played well for Toulouse last year. They only paid for him 1,25 million, he's relatively unknown, so a fee of up to 5 million should land him. He's not as good as Kownacki, but 1 year younger and could grow. I don't know if he could be PL starter right now, but in 1-2 years definitely. 19 goals and 2 assists in the last 2 years I France, Belgium and the Belgium U21 team in 4100 minutes.

Group B
Germany

Germany came with a strong squad: Nubel- Klostermann, Tah, Baumgartl, Henrichs- Eggestein, Serdar/Neuhaus, Dahoud- Oztunali, Waldschmidt, Richter/ Amiri, pretty much all established starters in the Bundesliga. Central midfielders Maximilian Eggestein, Neuhaus and Dahoud are anything but purely “defensive” midfielders, they have contributed with a lot of goals and assists in the recently finished season. But they cost a lot of money if you try to buy them.

Oztunali has done great for the U21s, so-so at club level, meaning that his price could be low and this would be a good time to swoop in. One problem though: he only plays as right winger, never as inverted midfielder. Waldschmidt was taken by Freiburg for 5 million from Hamburg 1 year ago and has been their main scorer this term, keeping them up again in the Bundesliga. Richter was taken by Augsburg one year ago from the German 3.Liga after playing great there at just 20 years old. Their prices would however be pretty high considering their form this season.

From the back-ups, Amiri of Hoffenheim has just 1 more year of contract, but with interest from Arsenal and other big clubs, it's hard to think he'd leave for less than his 14 million release clause. He's kind of a Max Meyer, slightly better offensively. Backup striker Nmecha is of Manchester City and you can't get anything cheap there, Lowen has just switched from Nuremberg to Hertha for 5 million, central midfielder Serdar is Schalke's since last year and won't move cheap.

Center forward Cedric Teuchert, who was top goalscorer in the qualifiers didn't make the squad due to lack of playing tie for Schalke, but he has 8 goals and 1 assist in 600 minutes for the U21s and 10 goals and 5 assists in 1400 minutes in the German second division. Schalke took him for 1 million, but they don't seem to be giving him chances and he should be available for around the same sum. I'd take him and loan him out, he is one for the future.


Denmark
Denmark has a very good U21s squad in my opinion and they did a pretty good tournament.

Iversen- Kristensen (Ajax, very fit), Rasmussen, Nelsson, Maehle (normally right back)- Mathias Jensen (Celta), Biling (Huddersfield), Andersen/ Duelund (Kiev)- Skov (Copenhagen)/ Skov Olsen, Ingvartsen/ Wind, Bruun Larsen (Borussia Dortmund)/ Dreyer (Brighton)

It is the generation of the 2 “Skovs”, as I like to call it, arguably 2 of the best players Denmark's own league has produced in the last 20 years. Both left footed playing as inverted wingers. And both are supposedly available for around just 5-10 million.

The older Skov, Robert Skov, plays for Copenhagen and has set the Danish league on fire aged 22-23 with 32 goals and 10 assists in 3700 minutes this season!! Wow! One of the best returns in all of Europe and the footballing world. Sure, 7 of those were penalties, but removing those still leaves a great number for a winger. Look at the best U23 scoers and assisters: [Link]

How many are not center forwards?

The other Skov, Andreas Olsen Skov, is veeeery young, one of the youngest participants in the competition at just 19 and has provided 26 goals and 6 assists in 3650 minutes last year. Amazing for a player his age!! Those 2 will both be stars in the future, even surpassing Bruun Larssen of Dortmund in my opinion. The latter will have even a bigger a bigger impact than the former, though, for the moment, Robert Skov provides a little more, being older. They both scored in the tournament and are both on the radar of big teams such as Totenham and even FC Barcelona. But they would like to go somewhere where they can get into the first team faster. Danish fees are very modest compared to English fees of the Championship. If they were playing in the Championship, you couldn't get near them with less than 30 million.

As I said, Bruun Larssen, but also Anders Dreyer who was on loan in Scotland from Brighton, are very good players and will have a saying in the future of football. Brighton has really invested in youth. They also brought in Romanian Baluta, Slovenian Mlakar (good striker for the future), Ecuadorian Billy Arce is amazing at just 20 years of age and will be PL material in the future and Argentine McAllister and South African Percy Tau or Swede Gyokeres are also possibilities for the future of Brighton. All really good attacking players at their ages. We should invest in the future as well.
And, frankly, these Skovs are 2 of the best the future will bring. For just 5 million.....

As a striker, the Danes has either Ingvartsen, who used to be really good 2 years ago and their top scorer, but who became lost to injuries while in Genk and had a lousy last year, or Wind, a young FC Copenhagen center forward with good morale from a good season in Denmark. He has a long tem contract though, so his transfer would require funds that the club could spare.

Kristensen from Ajax is the captain and a terrific right back, but I doubt Ajax would sell this prospect cheap....

Austria
Good generation, especially with Red Bull Salzburg's Academy having become one of the best, if not THE BEST in Europe. Their Academy players won the Youth Champions League 2 years ago. 5-6 of their grown players were in this squad that managed to qualify, with Hannes Wolf, recent RB Leipzig transfer for 12 million, their star player.

Schlager- Friedl (Werder Bremen), Posch (Hoffenheim), Danso (Augsburg), Ullmann- Lienhart (Freiburg), Ljubic, Schlager (Salzburg)- Horvath, Honsak, Hannes Wolf (Salzburg).

But Hannes Wolf had an incredible nasty injury in the forst game, a 2-0 win against Serbia and is out with a fractured leg for a long time.

Another player who I really like is center forward Honsak, left footed, a very underappreciated player, worth just 0.7 million on sites, but actually much, much better than that. He belongs to RB Salzburg, but was on loan in the German 2.Bundesliga last year., at Holstein Kiel (4th place, kind of like Aston Villa). He is mostly a left or right winger, with great mobility, but can also play as a center forward because he is very tall at 1,88 (think Cristiano Ronaldo type). Honsak has 11 goals and 8 assists in the last 2 years in the Austrian league and the second German league in 3200 minutes, playing mostly as winger and 7 goals and 1 assist in 1100 minutes for Austria U21. If he could be bought for 1-2 million from Salzburg, he'd be a great investment for the future. Now....I don't know if the plan on using him in their squad next year, but at how many players they already have in their squad up front, they might sell.

Young winger Michael John Lema (19 years old) didn't make the squad, with the manager opting for 23 year old Balic and 22 year old Horvath. But Lema (Tanzanian heritage) is one for the future, with good performances for his age for Sturm Graz.

Center forward Sasa Kaladzic is one 2,00 metres giant. He looks very promising for the future. Austria mainly played with quick Honsak as lone striker, but when they sent in Kaladzic against Germany, he was incredibly dangerous at headers (normal given his height). He still has pretty good movement given his height, is well built and has a good future in my opinion. At just 21 (turning 22 in a few days) he managed 11 goals and 12 assists in 1900 minutes in the Austrian Bundesliga. He can also play as attacking midfielder, but his real position should be that of center forward at his height.

Sascha Horvath had a good tournament as right wing, very fast, but I'm not convinced yet. He turns 23 and hasn't quite rocked the German 2.Bundesliga. I need to watch him more.

Serbia
Serbia disappointed, but they still have good players. Their first 11: Radunovic (Atalanta's gk)- Gajic, Milenkovic (Fiorentina), Jovanovic (Bordeaux), Bogosavac- Pantic (Partizan, loaned from Chelsea), Masovic, Lukic (Torino)- Zivkovic (Benfica), Luka Jovic, Radonjic (Marseille).

Obviously, their star player was Jovic, Even with this disappointing tournament, he still is one of the best, 2 footed strikers, that's why Real Madrid got him after a great season with Eintracht Frankfurt. Pantic is decent, but not really PL material yet. Zivkovic from Benfica is a good left footed winger, they even want him out, he's not in their plans for next season and I had believed they'd sell for around 5 million, but recent media suggests PL clubs like West Ham are willing to pay even 20 million for a Benfica backup they want out!! So, no Zivkovic possibility for little money. Radonjic has just gone to Marseille but has been very disappointing in Ligue 1.

From the backups, I really like winger Lazar Randjelovic, who did a great season in Serbia, but is actually the player of Olympiakos Piraesu, the Greek powerhouse having bought him 1 year ago and loaned him before he made the step up to the first team. He's one to keep an eye on, but his current contract lasts until 2023 and he would be expensive. But in a couple of years, he might just become a very good PL type of player...

Red Star Belgrade 19 years old center forward Joveljic has been Jovic's backup, but he has already been snapped up by Eintracht, who hopes to have the same success with him as they had with Jovic. Attacking midfielder Luka Adzic has hardly played since coming to Anderlecht. Center forward Saponjic still plays for Benfica B and will do the pre-season with Benfica but hasn't yet confirmed in the Portuguese second league, Lutovac is a winger with a bad year and morale, while Igor Zlatanovic would make a very good investment, being at 21 years of age one of the best left wingers in Serbia, also able to play as center forward, belonging until 2021 to lowly Radnik.


Group C

England

Coach went with players who had already made their transfers to first division clubs, ignoring some really good ones from the Championship, like Jarrod Bowen or Che Adams.

Still, a good group of players up front, with wingers Harvey Barnes from Leicester, Sessegnon, Demarai Gray and Reiss Nelson, attacking midfielders Maddison and young Phil Foden and strikers Tammy Abraham and Everton's Calvert-Lewin. Solanke was also there, cause he scored many goals for the youth squads, even though he hasn't quite made it this year in the PL. Mount, a really good player in central midfield (even capped for the senior side very early), with Choudhoury or Kieran Dowell next to him, AWB as right back, Jay Dasilva as left back, Tomori and Clarke Salter center backs, Henderson, starter at newly promoted Sheffield, as goalkeeper.

First match was very well played actually. The team was clearly better than France, it was 1-0, lots of chances created, it was going well up until Choudhoury did a penalty and got himself sent off, leaving the team vulnerable and to resist the French atacks. Henderson saved a lot in the first match and people were already wondering if Man Utd's asking fee of just 7 million for Sheffield to keep him wasn't to small. But.....he proved in the next match that he isn;t mature enough yet, he saves some, but makes horrible mistakes, doesn;t give the team confidence, uses his legs to save rather than his hands in many awckward situations.

Well, they lost unjustly to France, dominated in the last 10 minutes with 1 man down and with AWB's last minute own goal. Then came the Romania match. England totally dominated from the 10th to the 85th minutes. Romania barely could hold the ball in center midfield. Mason was terrific with his movement, Maddison had some shots that went close, Gray did a good match, but Romania's goalkeeper Ionut Radu was imperial. He saved a lot. He is the reason Romania even qualified for the finals, saving a penalty in the 95th minute against Portugal, otherwise Portugal would have gone through instead of them.

Big difference from Henderson and England's defence. A very poor Romania's cross in England's box meant a penalty given away by Jonjoe Kenny. 2 more very poor shots who should have been saved 10 time out of 10 by a competent goalkeeper and a Tomori incredible blunder gave away 2 goals for Romania. Another undeserved loss.

Last match against Croatia didn't even matter, substitute players came on. It was a fun 3-3.

France
They always have good youth squads. Their Clairefontaine Academy and other youth development places provide non-stop influx of players.

First 11 looked like: Bernardoni- Dagba, Konate and Upamecano (both of 3rd place in Bundesliga Leipzig), Ballo Toure- Toussart and Aouar (both from Lyon and very highly rated)- Reine-Adelaide, Ikone and Bamba (those 2 starters for 2nd place in France Lille)- Moussa Dembele (Lyon, formerly of Celtic)/ Mateta (13 goals in a 21 year old's first season in the Bundesliga with Mainz, they want over 30 million for him).

They lost Bamba after the first match and Marcus Thuram took over as left winger. Son of former international Lilian Thuram, was one of few decent players for last place Guingamp last year, but looked really slow in this tournament. Ikone has just qualified with Lille to the Champions league, so they won't sell for cheap. Only affordable option would be Reine-Adelaide, who is a pretty good player, tall and fast, but he needs to have continuity in one position, as he has changed a lot between central midfielder and right midfielder in the last years. A transfer fee for him should be at around 10-15 million (but way too big in my opinion).

Backup winger Romain del Castillo is not extremely good and already 23 years old. Alain Saint Maximin of Nice would have been another option (Palace possible player), but he wasn't called up. And he's incredibly expensive still!

The striker who didn't make the team ahead of Dembele and Mateta is Augustin of RB Leipzig, who is also very expensive.

Romania
Decent generation, helped by the fact that in Romania there's a rule imposing that every team must field a below 21 years old player on the pitch at any time during a match. These players gained experience. There's also former iternational Gheorghe Hagi's Academy which provided the bulk of the players (though not really the best ones). Best players are the goalkeeper Ionut Radu (by far) of Inter Milan in Italy, sold to Genoa with buy-back option (good luck in getting him!), center forward Puscas (very hard working and a good scorer, but has a problem with possible weight increase in the next years because of how his body simply is), the central defenders, Nedelcearu and Pascanu, one playing in Russia, supposedly wanted after the tournament by Roma of Italy and the other for Leicester, who is very good and agile and I'd highly recommend, though I don;t know if they'd ever sell to a rival. He has only 1 more year left of contract and I don't know what they can offer him, cause he hasn't made their PL squad yet, even though he's their star player in the PL2 matches.

First 11: Radu (Genoa)- Manea (Hagi graduate), Nedelcearu (Russia), Pascanu (Leicester), Stefan- Baluta (Hagi graduate, Brighton), Cicaldau (Hagi graduate)- Dennis Man (FCSB), Hagi jr (Hagi graduate), Coman (FCSB)/ Ivan- Puscas (Palermo, Italy).

The wingers from FCSB are pretty good for their age in my opinion, I think they could adapt in a top league (both left footed Man and right footed Coman), but they certainly don't deserve the amount of 20 million+ their owner is asking.

[Link]

Looking at this goals+assists statistic from last season for players below 21 years old all over the world, we can find Florinel Coman (Romanian “Mbappe”, there is a sort of resemblance, though he doesn't have the same speed) in position 17 and you can also find Dennis Man on the second page. If we exclude the players outside Europe (Qatar, New Zeeland, Egypt) and players from very poor leagues of Europe (Estonia, Malta, Armenia, Northern Ireland, Macedonia), then the only ones ahead of them in that age interval are Mbappe, Jadon Sancho, Bergwijn (PSV), Joao Felix (80 million transfer to Atletico Madrid these days), Luka Jovic (Real Madrid), Skov-Olsen from Denmark (discussed above), Fedor Chalov (Russian striker from CSKA Moscow), Kai Havertz from Leverkusen (German full international at age 19), a few players from the Eredivisie where they score like crazy, an Argentine striker from Greece (Ezequiel Ponce, bought by Spartak Moscow the other days for 8 million, but not an immediate option for Palace), striker Edouard from Celtic, who they paid PSG 10 million for, a central midfielder from Scotland (David Turnbull), Borussia Dortmund's Aleksander Isak, who had a great year on loan in the Netherlands, Moussa Dembele of Lyon, Donny van den Beek and David Neres of UCL semi-finalist Ajax, Wesley of Brugge (bought by Aston Villa for huge money), Onyekuru of Turkish champions Galatasaray (wanted by Bayern, but belonging to Everton), Maxi Gomez of Spain's Celta Vigo (would require 40+ million), Mateta, Oyarzabal, Rashford.

Obviously, not all those players play at the same level, but for medium level leagues, the 2 wingers from FCSB have done pretty well internationally, given their ages.

You would also find Ianis Hagi there, on the second page, but most of his goals are penalties. And he takes every free kick and corner kick, that's why he has a few assists too. He has decent mobility, did some good things in the tournament, but also some bad things like a penalty against Germany and a bad pass which lead to another conceded goal. Main problem is that he drops a lot on the slightest of contacts, like most players from Hagi's Academy. They're used to getting free kicks and penalties. This would be very harmful for him if he came to England.

Fullbacks are Manea and Stefan. The first one is very solid defensively and I think he'll eventually turn into a central defender later on in his career. He offers nothing going forward though and can barely put in a good cross. Stefan , the left fulback, is much better in this regard. I;m not sure if PL material just yet, but he is tall and hard-working and has room to grow. His price is still around 0.8-1 million, so getting him and ensuring a certain development is an option. A right back better offensively than Manea is Mihai Butean, who didn't make the squad.

The starting center backs cost 6 million (Nedelcearu from Russia) and unknown in the case of Leicester's Pascanu. There are also 2 very good backup center backs, Adrian Rus (very fit player, 23 yo) and Virgil Ghita (also very fit, 21 yo). Both are very cheap (around 0.5 million) and could even play in the PL given some time to adapt.

The central midfielders, Baluta and Cicaldau, are very praised in Romania, but I find them rather slow. Baluta has come to the English league, being bought by Brighton and we'll see how he does, but I donlt think it's for him. He is 100% defensive. Cicaldau, on the other hand, is a small, more offensive type of central midfielder. Central midfielder who wasn't let to take part in the tournament is Ajax's new signing Razvan Marin, who is already an established first Romania national team international.

Romania had a pretty tough qualifying group, with Portugal, Bosnia, Switzerland and even Wales as competitor. They proved better than Bosnia (with some goood U21 players like Demirovic, Catakovic and players from Dinamo Zagreb), Switzerland (Basel strikers Ajeti and Oberlin), Wales (sometimes with Daniel James, David Brooks or Rabbi Matondo in the squad). Romania was not much better than Portugal, but more lucky, scoring in the qualifying group 19, opposed to Portugal's 33, but held a 2-1 victory in Portugal with 2 counter attack goals and a penalty saved in the 95th minute by goalkeeper Radu.

At the tournament, they were much better than Croatia, partly because Croatis's top goalscorer from the qualifiers, Martin Jakolis, had not scored at club level in the last year and had a very low morale, while Puscas was coming from 5 goals for Romania's first national team (though against modest opponents like Feroe Islands, Lithuania and Malta) and more for Palermo. Halilovic, Croatia's teen sensation, had not played at all for AC Milan this year and only a few minutes on loan at Standard Liege, so the Croatians weren't really in a good moment, except for Vlasic of CSKA Moscow and Breckalo of Wolfsburg. Romania won 4-1, with 1 goal from Puscas, one from defensive midfielder Baluta and 1 from backup center forward Adrian Petre.

Against England, I've talked above, midfield of Baluta-Cicaldau and Hagi collapsed, Romania was really lucky not to concede 7, but won 4-2, with some goals that should have never went in. At a draw, both Romania and France would have gone through and this is exactly what happened in the last match, neither team risked anything, it wasn't a match where you could say you could make a clear evaluation.

Against Germany in the semi-finals, they made a good first half, with good ball possession, even Hagi running a lot and closing spaces. They could have made 3-1 before the break and gone to the final, but it all came crushing down when they gave away a penalty early in the second half and Germany took control from there.

All in all, a good generation, but not Top 4 in Europe. Actually, I'd rank the U21 teams like this:
1. Spain, Italy and Germany (Italy were actually very, very unlucky not to go through, they completely dominated Spain and Belgium and even Poland, but somehow lost 1-0 to Poland and went out)
2. Belgium (even though they lost 3 matches, they did so narrowly, at 1 goal, and played against Italy and Spain, they have some very good footballers, like Lukebakio and Leya Iseka and Schrijvers), Poland (mainly defensively), England (was winning against France until Chodhoury got sent off), France (about the same level), Denmark (I think they were very good, unlucky not to go through), Austria (if star player Hannes Wolf had remained fit), Romania, and some teams that didn't make it to the finals: Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Turkey, pretty much on the same level.
3. Some disappointments like Serbia and Croatia, other teams that didn't qualify, like Norway, Switzerland, Bosnia, Greece, Belarus, Bulgaria etc.

Croatia
Like I said, they weren't in a good moment, main striker out of form, only Vlasic and Breckalo having had good seasons.
First 11: Posavc, Uremovic, Katic, Benkovic (Leicester), Sosa (Stuttgart)- Moro, Sunjic (both of Dinamo Zagreb, but Sunjic only defensive), Vlasic- Halilovic, Jakolis, Breckalo.

Conclusion
Recommended players:

Poland- Kownacki- striker, 8 million or loan with 10 million clause (definitely)

Maybe Pawel Tomczyk or just keep an eye on him

Spain- Rafael Mir- striker, 8 million (though the sum is big, maybe Wolves wants to sell for less, not better than Kownacki, but wuld be worth 5 mill.)

Belgium- Leya Iseka- striker, 5 million (but not better than Kownacki, probably better than Rafa Mir in the long term though)

Maybe Oztunali of Mainz- attacking midfielder, 5-10 million, but can only play on the right or in the center, has hardly played on the left, while Palace wingers often play as inverted wingers

Germany- Teuchert- striker, 1 million (for the future)

Denmark- Robert Skov (if possible, but not for more than 8 million)

Skov-Olsen- even for 10 million, but he plays in a low club like Nordjaelland and they only wanted 5 million before the Euros!! If you're Palace's President, just convince him to come to your club! (update: granted, with his good showing at the Euros, the evaluation and price for him may have gone up and Bologna is supposedly close to offering 10 million).

Maybe Mathias Jensen- central midfielder from Celta Vigo, around 2-3 million

Even Andreas Dreyer from Brighton, if they want to sell him, he's one for the future.

Austria- Martin Honsak- winger, 2-3 million
John Michael Lema- winger, 1 million (for the future)

Sascha Kaladzic- striker (2 metres tall), 2 million

Serbia- maybe Zlatanovic- winger, 2 million

Romania- central defender Pascanu (3 million?), left back Florin Stefan, right back Butean, central defenders Adrian Rus and Virgil Ghita (all 4 available for 0.5-0.8 million).

From the national teams that were close and missed:

Definitely Dean Kulusevski, Swedish central midfielder, just 19 years old, probably the best central midfielder in the Italian youth system. He captains and is the top assister for Atalanta U21 football team even if he always plays as central midfielder, not a forward. He will be one of the best central midfielders in world football in the next decade. I don't know how valued he is in Atalanta, he wasn't yet made a stater in the Serie A, though he appeared in 4 matches this season. Perhaps they will give him more time next year, but I don't think they realize just what a jewel they have. I think they'd sell for around 5 million, which is a small sum for what he will become.

Aleksander Isak from Sweden is one to keep an eye on. Borussia Dortmund paid around 15 million to get him 2 years ago, aged 17. He's 19 now and Real Sociedad of Spain managed a real cup to get him for just 6 million, though he had a wonderful season in the Netherlands, on loan at Willem Tilburg (13 goals and 7 assists at just 19). If Sociedad will want to sell for less than 15 million in 1-2 years, he could be a great option.

Ruben Vargas is the best attacking midfielder propect for the Swiss football. He had 10 goals and 9 assists for FC Luzern last year. Augsburg got him for just 2 million. One to keep an eye on. German teams don't ask enormous sums.

Bosnia national U21 football team has some center forwards who could develop very well: Demirovic of Alaves, Catakovic of Trencin and Benjaminn Hadzic of Hannover 2, but they'd all need to be loaned out and further improve for 1-2 years.

From the Netherlands, Oussama Idrissi, winger, recently Moroccan international. But he has done constantly good in the last seasons in the Eredivisie and for the Netherlands U21. Alkmaar paid for him just 1.5 million, so they wouldn't really ask for much more (probably around 4-5 million).

Bulgarian Despotov is also one in a generation player. Cagliari bought him for 3 million. I'm sure he can do well in the Serie A, but he needs to be given chances. So far, they've only given him a couple of minutes. He wants gametime and, if they want to sell for what they paid, he'd be a great addition to the Palace squad.


Edited by mattteo (03 Jul 2019 2.31am)

 

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View Ginger Pubic Wig's Profile Ginger Pubic Wig Flag Wickham de L'Ouest 03 Jul 19 6.48am Send a Private Message to Ginger Pubic Wig Add Ginger Pubic Wig as a friend

Sweet Jesus. The club should talk to you purely because you have sufficient passion to write all these words (I see you've done a couple of others).

 

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View JohnB's Profile JohnB Flag 04 Jul 19 3.50pm Send a Private Message to JohnB Add JohnB as a friend

They didn't qualify, but one player who is under 21 and at the price he just went for, should have been the kind of player we are all over was Alexander Isak. I suspect he would have stayed in the senior team even if Sweden had qualified, but to go for just £6.5m is crazy.

 

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View mattteo's Profile mattteo Flag 04 Jul 19 5.49pm Send a Private Message to mattteo Add mattteo as a friend

Originally posted by JohnB

They didn't qualify, but one player who is under 21 and at the price he just went for, should have been the kind of player we are all over was Alexander Isak. I suspect he would have stayed in the senior team even if Sweden had qualified, but to go for just £6.5m is crazy.


100% agreed

 

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View pssguy's Profile pssguy Flag 05 Jul 19 4.06am Send a Private Message to pssguy Add pssguy as a friend

Very interesting but I cannot help but think your valuations are significantly on the low side

AWB, a full-back, was awful in the first game, got dropped and still fetched 50 million

 

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View mattteo's Profile mattteo Flag 06 Jul 19 3.07pm Send a Private Message to mattteo Add mattteo as a friend

Originally posted by pssguy

Very interesting but I cannot help but think your valuations are significantly on the low side

AWB, a full-back, was awful in the first game, got dropped and still fetched 50 million

Hey!

Which valuations do you think are on the low side?

Take for example Kownacki, that's his buy-out clause, stipulated in his contract. I'm pretty aware of the prices of the Romanian players.

I've actually given a pretty high number for what Wolves wants for Rafa Mir.

Ok, I've raken into account some possible fee negotiations, but we're talking about pretty small fees for players whoncould be worth 20-50 million in a few years. Someone was asking on the Maupay-Watkins thread why we don't have scouts to get these kind of players for 1-2 million, like they did.

Well....the abive recommendations are the players who will be worth as much as Maupay and Watkins in a few years.

 

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View Straightbackup's Profile Straightbackup Flag Crystal Palace 08 Jul 19 1.45am Send a Private Message to Straightbackup Add Straightbackup as a friend

Matteo, not sure if you use football index, but it sounds like you should! Any hot tips on players who will break through in the Prem this year who are hardly known?
Cheers in advance

 


'Impulse' advert- Advertising campaign whose slogan is expected to change in the light of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination: 'If someone you don't know suddenly offers you flowers- run like f***!'

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View mattteo's Profile mattteo Flag 08 Jul 19 9.42pm Send a Private Message to mattteo Add mattteo as a friend

Originally posted by Straightbackup

Matteo, not sure if you use football index, but it sounds like you should! Any hot tips on players who will break through in the Prem this year who are hardly known?
Cheers in advance


Well, do we consider Maddison or Albert Brooks to have already had the breakthrough?

Then....from the lesser known young ones, I'd say Mason Mount, Tomori, Tammy Abraham, Phil Foden, Andre Green, Harry Wilson, Harvey Barnes, Emiliano Buendia, maybe even Josh Sims.

But please, don't spend money buying stocks on players based on what I say here. I have no inside info from managers of how much they actually intend tonuse those players and give them playing time.

Edited by mattteo (08 Jul 2019 9.44pm)

 

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View dreamwaverider's Profile dreamwaverider Flag Chelsea 09 Jul 19 4.59am Send a Private Message to dreamwaverider Add dreamwaverider as a friend

I’ve said it before. Matteo, you should be working for CPFC.

 

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View mattteo's Profile mattteo Flag 15 Jul 19 9.07pm Send a Private Message to mattteo Add mattteo as a friend

Originally posted by dreamwaverider

I’ve said it before. Matteo, you should be working for CPFC.

Well, thank you very much!

 

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