Category: Featured

Watch: Top 10 Premier League Goalkeeping Howlers

We’ve waxed lyrical of late with just how good some of the goalkeepers in the Premier League are. Specifically Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm. But that also got us thinking about some of the worst we had seen in the Premiership era…and as a result, we have come up with this list of what surely must rate as the worst of the worst. The ones that you almost need to hide behind the couch to watch…or at least close your eyes. One can only imagine the response to watching this live, especially if it involves a team you support. So, without further ado…here it is, our ultimate list of the worst ten Premier League goalkeeping errors (or at least those for which we could find some footage).

#10. Fabien Barthez (Manchester United) v Arsenal, 2001
It was always going to be difficult coming in as Peter Schmeichel’s successor, yet Fabien Barthez had shown during the 1998 World Cup that he was the real deal between the posts. His time in Manchester was full of massive highs and lows. Capable of an incredible save, and on his day one of the best in the world, yet also equally capable of some truly bizarre behaviour.

The Frenchman showcased the latter on this occasion, gifting none other than countryman Thierry Henry a simple tap-in thanks to a shocking pass. Perhaps he thought they were teammates on international duty and Henry had tracked a (very, very) long way back? Well, as seen on the video below…he backed it up with a poor attempt later in the same match to gift Henry a second. So yep, either confused about which team was in red….or starstruck…or helping out the national team. Not his best work.

#9. Brad Friedel (Blackburn) v Arsenal, 2003
It cannot simply be a coincidence that Henry features twice in this definitive registry of the all-time worst Premier League goalkeeping stinkers (too far?). Perhaps Henry’s mere presence struck so much fear into the minds of goalkeepers that they simply lost it…the plot, their marbles, their ability. Everything.  That seems like the only plausible explanation to this attempted kick-in from Brad Friedel…either that or he forgot to take the blinkers off.

This particular incident would have been significantly higher up the list but for the fact the goal was actually disallowed. A travesty, if only because it makes it slightly less amusing. Regardless, Friedel somehow recovered and went on to have a more than decent career in England with Henry’s arch rivals Tottenham, amongst others. But the American must surely still be counting his lucky stars after this episode.

#8. Shay Given (Newcastle United) v Coventry (2007)
The “young Irishman” as referred to by the commentary in this video, simply looked a little too chuffed with himself. And on this occasion, it’s done him in. A diving save well away from goal, followed by some “how good was I just now” posturing, and all of a sudden he forgot his whereabouts. Dion Dublin appeared from nowhere (well, no doubt that’s what Given thought) for the simple steal and to roll one in for his side.

It’s rather amazing to think that Given is still plying his trade in the Premier League for Stoke City, some twenty years since this disaster could have ended his stay at the top level. Before it had barely begun. But as is the case with most ‘keepers, one momentus horribilus does not a career make. Well done Shay, good to come back from this.

#7. Jerzy Dudek (Liverpool) v Manchester United (2002)
Our mate from earlier, Fabien Barthez got one back of his own here as his long clearance out of defence aided teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to place Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher in a difficult position. Any chance of just heading it across the line for a corner (or better yet a throw in), Jamie?

Carrigher clearly didn’t help Jerzy Dudek’s cause. But the Polish ‘keeper was amidst a poor run of form and with confidence lacking, it was only natural that he be unable to lay glove on a ball that fell straight to him, rather diving over it, “laying an egg” and setting up an easy tap-in for Diego Forlan. Oh dear.

#6. Claudio Bravo (Manchester City) v Barcelona (2016)
Okay, we’re cheating here…but given it was the inspiration for this post, perhaps let us get away with it? Not sure what Claudio Bravo thought he was going to get away with here though. Hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory since his arrival on the blue side of Manchester to replace England’s own howler king Joe Hart. It’s just a shame Hart’s howlers have all been in internationals, or else they’d appear here too.

Anyway, we digress…if anyone can work out what Bravo was thinking here, then more power to you. It always seems harsh to judge a truly great goalkeeper on one mistake alone, so that’s why we’re more than happy to judge Bravo for this event. Words cannot quite do this justice, which for a blog is a real cop out…but where to start? Where is the peripheral or forward vision? Where is the understanding of one’s own limitations and skill set? Oh Claudio, Claudio, why art thou so far from goal, Claudio? And in what league did you play that allowed defensive midfielders to use their hands? Hold on, you are a midfielder right? Okay, I guess we started.

#5. Massimo Taibi (Manchester United) v Southampton (1999)
Matt Le Tissier is 30 yards out…let him have a shot, he can’t do too much damage from there. Especially when struck with such a lack of power…alright, get back up the field from the goal kick to come. Oh…hang on…what? How did that…? What was he…?

Perhaps not the finest Italian footballer ever to appear in the Premier League, Massimo Taibi is (unfortunately for him but fortunately for us) remembered for one specific moment in his epic, 4-game Manchester United career. And this is it. It’s not too dissimilar to the Jerzy Dudek stinker, but for him being under less pressure. Try zero pressure. So in that sense, it’s much worse as a result.

Taibi spent his entire career as a professional in Italy but for his brief cameo at Man U. Fair to say those few weeks didn’t go entirely to plan. Best part of this video is post-goal when Taibi starts picking at his boots, as if claiming he slipped…or wanted to dig a hole…or wasn’t sure just how to hide such a terminal error.

#4. Peter Enckelman (Aston Villa) v Birmingham City, 2002
Another infamous goalkeeping blunder, it’s rare they go unnoticed during a derby (see examples above). An elementary throw in that should have been collected and cleared, with not an opponent in sight. It should be received and dealt with. Surely. But no. Did it take an unfortunate bobble or twist? Regardless, it’s a horrible look for poor old Peter Enckelman.

#3. Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham) v Various, 2010-2012
Such were the breadth and depth of Heurelho Gomes’ blunders through his final two years as Tottenham’s first (or second) choice, that it is simply too difficult to crucify the Portuguese for just one blunder in particular. In isolation, they may not each be the worst of all time…but as the clip below will attest, his worst was the worst one had to offer.

After such a promising start to his Spurs career, Gomes would go on to etch his name in history as the man who was just didn’t stand out at all. He became poor through a series of very ordinary shot-stopping failures. Not poor enough to be remembered for one particular error, but far too poor to be remembered as anything other than a terrible ‘keeper at Tottenham. These errors add up. Yet Gomez has gone on to be far from poor in his time at Watford. Really good in fact. Like his early days at Spurs. Bizarre.

#2. Joe Hart (Manchester City)  v Southampton (2013)
It’s a little harsh to single poor Joe Hart out for this particular error. But given how much stick he has copped after the Euros, we felt it only fair. And to be even fairer, he’s been pretty bloody good since then for both England and Torino (apart from his debut).

So Joe, here’s just a subtle reminder from the Premier League as to what can happen when you don’t close your legs, or arms, or both, or something. Or spend too long shouting rather than stopping ball from entering back of net. You’ve just got to be saving this. Okay the latter two points are irrelevant in this example, but it still burns.

#1. Andy Marriott (Birmingham City) v Tottenham Hotspur (2003)
It’s like Christmas in the Keane family home as Andy Marriott gift wraps a goal on a silver platter to Spurs’ Irish striker. Okay, terrible analogy but the point remains. It’s not too dissimilar to Brad Friedel’s effort. So in that sense, at least all of these goalkeepers can attest to someone else at some stage or another doing something just as stupid.

But this is pretty bad. Thank you, Mr. Marriott. You win first prize. On debut for the club, and you deliver this delicacy.

It’s all subjective of course, and the order could easily be flipped on its’ head. Anyway, here it is…we’ve trawled through the archives and this is our top ten goal keeping howler list (thus far). We’re happy to be proven wrong…and/or if you’d like to help this list grow, simply shoot us an email or facebook message and let us know which howler is missing. We’ll gladly add it to the list and give you full credit for your creepy fascination with goalkeeping blunders from the Premier League era!

How Victor Wanyama Transformed Tottenham

Victor Wanyama has been nothing short of a revelation at Tottenham in the first 7 Premier League matches of 2016/17.

At the time of his purchase, the general consensus was the Nigerian enforcer would be a useful back-up and rotation option to give Eric Dier a break. And that his quality was perhaps not up to Champions League standard. Or that whilst strong and hulking in a defensive midfield role, he was limited in his ball movement and could potentially even disrupt the transition and flow from defence to attack.

Nothing could be further from the truth, well at least not in terms of the negatives. For Wanyama has completely changed the Tottenham dynamic in midfield. At just 11 million pounds, in the current market Wanyama was nothing short of a steal. He has started each of Spurs’ league games, only withdrawn in the 4-0 belting of Stoke (in perhaps his only indifferent performance). Apart from the last half hour in that clash, he has played every minute of the league campaign thus far.

He has started one of two Champions League matches. That he missed Spurs’ only loss of the season, the 2-1 Wembley defeat to Monaco, can surely not be brushed off as coincidental. Wanyama has quickly become critical to the structure of Mauricio Pochettino’s side and in doing so has opened up several new, previously unseen dynamics. So well and fluently does he fit the Pochettino system that it’s as if their partnership continued from the time at Southampton and was never broken.

Son Heung-Min and Wanyama have without doubt opened up the options to Tottenham. Pochettino has spoken openly about a desire to see his team progress to the point that only one holding midfielder is required, and they have already shown this at various stages throughout the last several weeks.

Previously Spurs relied so heavily on Dier and Mousa Dembele as the defensive midfielders that the thought of either missing any football was almost unthinkable. Or would at least have resulted in the chance of a victory being greatly diminished. That Dembele has been absent for much of the first portion of the season through his held-over suspension and now a foot injury would have caused havoc just 12 months ago. So good has Wanyama been that he has not only covered Dembele in a lot of ways (no one can ever completely cover his dribbling ability), but potentially he has also relegated an England international in Dier to the bench in a full-strength side.

There can be no doubt that Wanyama is a first-choice starter for Pochettino. Pochettino needs players he trusts and believes in, and in Wanyama he clearly has both aspects in spades. It is displayed openly. Through the strength of his performances, both physically and on merit, Wanyama has opened up possibilities and given the freedom to his manager to explore a new system.

So powerful and influential is the Nigerian in the heart of midfield that he seems to simply force the ball forward through the strength of not only his body, but also sheer will. He intimidates opponents into mistakes; the thought of Big Vic staring you down must set the heart racing of all but (and even some of) the most experienced and statuesque players in the Premier League.

This intimidatory power surely remains the key to his advantage. He gives himself more time on the ball than most in his position for he can simply brush off the majority of opponents. He can run at them and force a passage through, gifting him the required time to find a teammate. Opponents cannot compare to his physical prowess, and he knows how to use this to advantage. It seems an area that Wanyama has developed this season, or perhaps one that he was not given as much of a chance or license to explore in a squad at Southampton with more limitations.

Wanyama has proven equally adept at dropping back to become the third central defender as required, or pushing forward to send his teammates into attack. It is this aspect that means Pochettino can pursue a fluent, four-pronged attacking midfield region. Where Dier last season amazed all with his ability to transition from central defender and occasional right back to defensive midfielder, Wanyama has shown what a true and experienced defensive midfielder can do to a Pochettino philosophy.

That is not to denigrate Dier at all, just to say that Wanyama is simply the player Pochettino wanted and needed to allow his plan develop. He covers somewhere between 1.5 and 2 positions, it’s almost as if Spurs have 11.5 players on the pitch with him in the side. Against stronger opposition, especially away from home, there will still be a need to include both Dier and Wanyama as defensive midfielders. But Dier can now decide to either develop further as an understudy to Wanyama, someone he could potentially overtake as a defensive midfielder, and/or as next in line behind the equally impressive Belgian centre-half duo.

It really is a luxury. It is hardly surprising that Spurs have the meanest defence in the Premier League with such options at their disposal. And with the added influence and presence of Wanyama, this should also result in greater productivity going forward. Simply since his midfield teammates can move forward without fear of reprisal. A luxury that Spurs will be all too happy to take advantage of.

Top 7 Things To Do Over International Break

If you’re anything like us, international break is the dreaded weekend that arrives to disrupt the flow of Premier League and European domestic football viewing habits. We just want to watch our form team continue their demolition of the opposition on the way to the title, or curse and swear as we seep further towards seemingly inevitable relegation. Or somewhere in between. So with that in mind, we consider the top 7 alternatives to watching your favourite football team play this weekend.

7. Talk To Friends And Family
Highly controversial and most often ill-advised, use the weekend to forego your regular dedication and passion to club football. Instead, spend some time to stop and smell the roses, surprise your wife or husband or sister or someone with a bouquet of roses, or eat a box of Cadbury Roses with your dearly beloved whilst watching the latest chick flick or a re-run of War Of The Roses. Failing that, you can always read up on the literal Wars Of The Roses so as to later regale your loved ones with an enriching knowledge of medieval England.

6. Watch International Football
Okay, we know this is a stretch…BUT, it is World Cup qualifying time so it should hold more interest than a run of the mill friendly. For a start, there is much to look forward to in the England v Malta game alone. Such as, can England put double figures past Malta or will they prove too hard to break down? Can Gareth Southgate go the 1st week of his 4 games in charge without accepting a bung or slagging off his players (at least on camera)? Will Wayne Rooney manage to connect his once billion-dollar foot to the ball when closer than 40 yards from goal? And that’s just to start.

5. Watch The Football League
Can Newcastle continue their resurgence under Rafa Benitez? Can the un-fancied Huddersfield Town hold on to top spot for another week? Are Aston Villa doomed or can they avoid the double drop? Well tune in this weekend as The Football League Championship takes centre stage, with fixtures between…oh hang on, they’ve gone on break too. That’s awkward. Perhaps not then. Any particular reason for this?

4. Reminisce Over The Last Time You Won The League…Or A Game
Yep, that SKY IQ button was created exactly for moments like this. You saved and never watched those old bad boys for a reason. Dust off your favourite memories of games from the season before last and witness them come from 2-0 down to be 1-0 up at the half and hold on for a 0-0 draw. Or something like that. You could even pretend it’s a live encounter, play it smart and your girlfriend may not notice the difference. We never should have let that number 8 go on a free though…

3. Pick Your Best XI So Far This Season
This will eat up a bit of your time at least. Okay, here is our Premier League best so far this season. Quite succinctly, in name only. We are controversially going with only three defenders as we don’t think this team will be seeing much action at the back. We’re cheating a little as Blind and Alderweireld can also play left and right back respectively. Method to the madness. And Capoue can drop deeper if required. Apologies to the 11 or 50-odd alternatives we couldn’t squeeze in.

Goal Keeper: Jordan Pickford
Defenders: Daley Blind, Laurent Koscielny, Toby Alderweireld.
Midfield: Kevin DeBruyne, Etienne Capoue, Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling
Forwards: Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa

2. Play FIFA 17
It’s received mixed reviews, but the juggernaut that is the FIFA franchise rolls on. EA could release the same game as last year but with the title “FIFA 17” attached to it, and the masses would still flock. So why don’t you join the flock, and see what all the fuss is about. You know you want to.

1. Go Outdoors
Yes, apparently there is a world waiting to be discovered. You could begin by rediscovering the remaining few hours of British sunshine for another year before it disappears again, or get your old boots on and play a 5-a-side game against some childhood friends. But beware, bad things happen outdoors. So make sure you don’t spend too long out there…is it match day next weekend yet?

FIFA 17 to Real World: Top 25 Young Players Reviewed

All over the world, kids (and those who are kids at heart…) are getting their hands on the newly released EA Sports FIFA 17. And thus, Daily Football Blog takes an epic, real-life look at the top 25 under-21 footballers in the world as rated on potential by the in-game career mode!

      1. Anthony Martial (Manchester United), FIFA 17 Rating: 82, Potential: 90
        French winger Martial is the first of four “wonderkids” with a potential rating of 90. A shining light in his first season for United with 11 goals from 36 league games. Hasn’t had the best start to the new season, but is still only 20 and has time on his side. Will no doubt look to recapture the form that saw teammate Michael Carrick declare:
        “The amount of ability he’s got is huge,” Carrick told “The potential is certainly there. It’s easy to forget the age he is and how little football he’s actually played as well. To have such an impact at this stage, with the expectations based on him and the way he’s dealt with it, has been superb.

      2. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), FIFA 17 Rating: 80, Potential: 90
        Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial you rock, you’ve heard of Tottenham’s attacking midfielder by now. The young Englishman was described earlier this year as, the future of English football, by ex-Spur David Ginola, capable “of doing things that others can only dream of.” Plucked by Spurs from League One side MK Dons from under the nose of Liverpool, and took the Premier League by storm in his first season. A revelation with 10 goals in the league in 2015/16, and it’s not hard to see why he is so highly rated with highlights like these:
      3. Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich), FIFA 17 Rating: 78, Potential: 90
        Spanish Legend and now Sanches’ team mate at Bayern Munich, Xabi Alonso recently summed up the abilities of young Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches:
        “He’s 18, 19, he’s such a promising player. So far he’s European champions with Portugal. He has so much power, so much energy.“He’s hungry to win things, to improve and I’m looking forward to working with him and to be able to share the midfield and to play together.”
        Source: ESPNFC
        Was head-hunted by Manchester United before settling on a move to Bayern from boyhood club Benfica. The star of Euro 16 looks capable of shining brightly for many years to come.
      4. Ousmane Dembélé (Bayern Munich), FIFA 17 Rating: 77, FIFA 17 Potential: 90
        The second young Frenchman with the top potential rating, Dembélé started his first Bundesliga season with an early goal and a debut call up to the national team. Ligue 1 Young Player Of The Year in 15/16, he showed off some insane dribbling skills in particular during his new club’s pre-season:

      5. Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), FIFA 17 Rating: 82, Potential: 89
        The versatile Asensio made the move from Espanyol to Real Madrid over summer, and has already begun to make an impact with the Spanish giants. Predominantly appearing as an attacking midfielder, he is capable on either the left or central. Made a real impact immediately during Madrid’s pre-season and has carried that form into La Liga. Despite the incredible strength of competition for spots, looks assured of a bright future in Madrid. Not convinced? Then take a look at this wonder strike from the UEFA Super Cup:
      6. Alen Halilovic (Hamburger SV), FIFA 17 Rating: 79, Potential: 89
        At just 20 years of age, Croatian Halilovic is already something of a journeyman having plied his trade in each of Spain, Portugal (on loan at Sporting Dijon) and now Germany. Both the youngest player and goalscorer ever for his national team, hopes are still high for Halilovic with previous team Barcelona believed to hold a buy-back clause should he prosper at his new club.Upon his signing, HSV chairman Dietmar Beiersorfer was full of praise:
        “He plays with feeling. He feels situations, he feels the game. Alen trusts and likes to go on his gut feeling. His exceptional talent make him a really exciting player, who the fans will really like watching and will strengthen our team.”

        Halilovic (l.) opened his HSV account with a stunning goal against Zwickau in the DFB Cup.

        SOURCE: BUNDESLIGA.COM > Ten Things About Alen

      7. Kurt Zouma (Chelsea), FIFA 17 Rating: 80, Potential: 89
        The first defender to appear in the list, and Chelsea will be hoping Zouma can develop to the point that he can take over the defensive mantle from John Terry in years to come. Made 23 appearances in the Premier League last time out amidst a chaotic season for the Blues, before suffering a severe knee injury in February.Will no doubt take some time to get back to his best upon returning, but has the character traits to do just that and more. Here’s just one tackle that highlights his breakneck speed and incredible timing in the challenge:
      8. Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht), FIFA 17 Rating: 77, Potential: 89
        The young Belgian midfielder is in his 4th season with Anderlecht, already amassing over 100 league appearances at 19. Has attracted significant interest from some of the biggest bigger clubs in Europe, but for the time being seems happy to bide his time at home.Teammate Fabrice N’Kasala offered high praise indeed:
        “Thielemans is a no. 8 who can dictate the flow of the game and who has a shot that allows him to score some great goals. He has everything a modern midfielder should have. He’s complete.”

          SOURCE: EIFSOCCER > Youri Tielemans


      9. Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), FIFA 17 Rating: 83, Potential: 88
        Already an integral part of his native Uruguay’s national set-up, having appeared in the 2014 World Cup. Centre back Gimenez also became a regular starter for Atletico in 2015. It hasn’t taken long for the likes of rivals Real Madrid and Arsenal to come knocking for the 21-year-old, but Atleti have kept them at bay thus far. Strongly built and feisty of character, he does not hold back and has already taken on and beaten some of the world’s finest forwards:
      10. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), FIFA 17 Rating: 82, Potential: 88
        It’s easy to forget that Sterling is still only 21, given the massive highs and lows he has already experienced in both his career and through the media. Lost form badly towards the end of 2015/16, but has bounced back with a vengeance after the Euro 16 disaster. There is more than just pace to his game, but this aspect is a sight to behold when racing down the wing. And here are the best bits from his start to the new season:
      11. Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), FIFA 17 Rating: 81, Potential: 88
        In the second half of a two-year loan from Juventus, the winger managed 4 goals from 26 appearances for the Bundesliga champions last term. Now also into double figures with the French national team, and is equally adept on either wing. His incredible speed and impressive showings thus far mean it is expected Bayern will make Coman a permanent member of their squad come season’s end. He has set his sights high too, claiming that he wants to become the best player in the world.
      12. Mauricio Lemos (Las Palmas), FIFA 17 Rating: 80, Potential: 88
        Along with the above-mentioned Jose Gimenez, Lemos could potentially be a key figure at the heart of Uruguay’s defence for the next decade. We are yet to see too much of him at senior level for his club (and not at all yet with country), but is highly rated by those in the know. So much so that Barcelona have already moved for him, yet Lemos turned them down:
        “I think that the best option was to stay in Las Palmas,” he added.“In football anything can happen, you do not know how much time will have to improve everything. Now I’m only thinking of Las Palmas and playing the season as well as possible.”
      13. Luke Shaw (Manchester United), FIFA Rating: 80, Potential: 88
        Like Raheem Sterling, Shaw too seems to have been around for years. Has been blighted by shocking injuries thus far in his fledgling career, and just needs a good run at consistent football to prove his worth to United and England. Has returned to action under Jose Mourinho, and will only continue to improve as he finds his touch and positional awareness. By way of a reminder, here’s a look at the key stats and abilities that made Shaw such hot property at Southampton before his big move just two season ago:
      14. Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), FIFA Rating: 80, Potential: 88
        Another youngster who has caught the eye of many a big club in Europe, defensive midfielder Niguez has very much established a place in Atletico’s best side over the last 18 months. Recently extended his contract until 2021, having not long prior scored this incredible goal in the Champions League Semi Final:
      15. Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), FIFA 17 Rating: 79, Potential: 88
        Has long been identified as a prodigious talent, even as far back as 2013 when Leverkusen beat out Chelsea for his signature. The winger has now taken the step of making his international debut for Germany following a prolific 2015/16 season, where he scored 18 Bundesliga goals at the impressive rate of 1 every 90 minutes. Brandt is blessed with plenty of tricks and possesses a deadly finish, as evidenced by this clip:
      16. Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), FIFA 17 Rating: 79, Potential: 88
        Despite a tragic upbringing and the shocking diagnosis of a heart tumour, Angel Correa has defied the odds. Now firmly established in both the Atelico and Argentina squads following his recovery and subsequent to return to action. It is perhaps not surprising to find what is described as the one of the forward’s major strengths :
        However, his key attribute that sometimes goes under the radar is his mental strength. The difficult issues Correa has faced throughout his life have turned him into someone who never gives up. His work rate and unceasing tenacity are clear.


      17. Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia M’gladbach), FIFA 17 Rating: 79, Potential: 88
        Apparently targeted by Liverpool in the summer, Dahoud is a diminutive midfielder who appeared 31 times last time out for Gladbach, chipping in with 5 goals. The first footballer of Syrian origin to appear in the Bundesliga, he is described in glowing terms by Lothar Matthaus, the former German national Captain:
        “He has shown here what kind of potential he has. We all know that Gladbach brings through talents who could go on to be world stars.”
      18. Leroy Sane (Manchester City), FIFA 17 Rating: 79, Potential: 88
        Yet another in the proliferation of young Germans amongst this list, the ex-Schalke youth prodigy is a recent arrival at City. Whilst he may struggle to see too much game time as his new club take all before them in 2016/17, Sane is comfortable anywhere across the attacking midfield band of three. Pep Guardiola has long been an admirer, as shown by his comment following this Bundesliga goal last December:


      19. Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen), FIFA 17 Rating: 79, Potential: 88
        Towering centre-back Tah is (you guessed it!) a German international described by The Independent as, “the future of defending” following his selection in his nation’s Euro 2016 squad.
        “He marries that technical skill and awareness with a size and athleticism that is almost unrivalled at the top of the European game. If Germany thought that Jérôme Boateng was the prototype of modern centre-backs, then Tah seems to be the next iteration along.”
      20. Antonio Sanabria (Real Betis), FIFA 17 Rating: 78, Potential: 88
        A recent acquisition by Betis, Sanabria managed 11 goals from 30 appearances on loan at Sporting Gijon in 2015/16. His time in Italy never reached great heights, managing only a handful of appearances at both Sassuolo and Roma. But the striker looks set to blossom back in Spain, where the Paraguayan spent his youth career with Barcelona. Sanabria made two appearances in the summer at Copa Centenario, and surely more will follow. According to AETFOOTBALL, his” ability to find space in the box and be able to receive the ball is excellent…he’s an old-fashioned target man looking to play 1-2’s with the players around him.
      21. Charly Musonda (Real Betis), FIFA 17 Rating: 77, Potential: 88
        On loan from Chelsea, Musonda appeared 16 times in La Liga during 2015/16, and is comfortably on track to best that figure this time around. The 19-year-old Belgian has drawn comparisons with the likes of Denilson and Neymar. His own take on the matter? “For me, Neymar is the best player in the world at this time. I like how he expresses himself on the field, but I’m not Neymar and Neymar is not Musonda. We’re different. I have my own style,” TRIBAL FOOTBALL reported.
      22. Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), FIFA 17 Rating: 76, Potential: 88
        The sole young goalkeeper in the list of the top 25 wonderkids, incredibly at just 17 years old Donnarumma has already appeared for the Italian national team. The legendary ‘keeper Dino Zoff noted to FOOTBALL ITALIA that,
        “Donnarumma has great qualities which allow him to play in Serie A at 16-years-old. He seems pre-destined to become a great goalkeeper, and it all depends completely on him.” The heir-apparent to Gianluigi Buffon, here’s just one of no doubt many penalty saves that Donnarumma will pull off in his career:
      23. Marcus Rashford (Man United), FIFA 17 Rating: 76, Potential: 88
        The next great hope for both United and England. Rashford is blessed with all the technical and physical qualities needed to become a truly world-class striker. Even teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic has labelled Rashford as, “the future of England.” No pressure, Marcus. We know you’ve probably seen a fair bit of him lately, (and if not – shame on you).But we thought this recent goal highlighted a bit of X factor as well as his pace, game awareness and determination:
      24. Breel Embolo (Schalke), FIFA 17 Rating: 76, Potential: 88
        Cameroon-born Swiss striker Embolo moved from his youth team of Basel to the Bundesliga in the close season. Speaking to FourFourTwo, commentator David Lemos outlined the depth and range of Embolo’s abilities:
        “He has got pace and power with the ball, but also without it. His ability to recycle possession is amazing and in that respect, he reminds me of N’Golo Kante. He can dictate the tempo of the game and it’s a shame to only use him up front. If he starts focusing all his energy on scoring goals, he will be truly unstoppable. With his intelligence and calmness, he has everything to become an amazing player.”

      25. Kelechi Iheanacho (Man City), FIFA 17 Rating: 74, Potential: 88
        Iheanacho has already proven himself a more than capable understudy to Sergio Aguero at City. Managed 8 league goals in 2015/16, mostly from substitute appearances, and has also started the new season strongly. The Nigerian forward is described by OUTSIDE OF THE BOOT as exhibiting, “creative flair and bursts of energy…a great dribbling ability, which assists to create attacking chances. Playing on either flank, behind the striker, or leading the line himself, the forward has already proved how talented – and versatile – he really is.”

So there it is…our epic analysis of the top 25 wunderkids according to FIFA 17. Hopefully we’ve given you some deeper insight into the best players of tomorrow!


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