Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Potential Young Stars, Revised

A few days ago I made a post with players that have the potential to have huge breakout years this upcoming season. To expand on that post I came up with a data sheet with all their past data from pass completion percentage to average match rating. I also added a few names onto the list that weren't in the post. To see the original post go here:

Player Name Pass Success Shots on goal Clean Sheets Avg Match Rtg Tackles Won Dribbles Completed World Class Potential
Thiago Alcantara 91.9 0.8 N/A 7.25 1.5 1.6 Yes
Paul Pogba 82.5 1.8 N/A 7.21 2.4 1.5 Yes
David Alaba 88.8 1.2 N/A 7.3 1.9 0.7 Yes
Isco 85.6 1.9 N/A 7.17 1.2 2.2 Yes
Thibaut Courtois 47.3 N/A 20 6.82 N/A N/A Yes
David De Gea 60.3 N/A 11 6.83 N/A N/A Yes
Julian Draxler 81.7 2.1 N/A 7.39 1.4 2.7 Yes
Stephan El Shaarawy 84.2 2.6 N/A 7.16 1 1.1 Maybe
Kevin De Bruyne 76.8 2.7 N/A 7.58 1.5 3 Maybe
M'baye Niang 76.5 1.2 N/A 6.6 1.3 1.2 No
Raheem Sterling 84.1 1.2 N/A 6.77 1.5 1.5 No
Marc-Andre ter Stegen 63 N/A 9 6.86 N/A N/A No

I made this list of players that are some of the hottest young commodities I could think of and looked up some key stats that pertain to players and used those stats along with the "eye test" of how well they play when you watch them to determine if they can be considered world class one day.

Players that got a "Yes" in the World Class Potential category did so because they have shown that they can be great players on the biggest stages, and are at a young stage in their careers at which they are still improving. Not only did the players with a "Yes" have pretty good statistics this past season, but during the eye test it was clear these players had what it takes to become truly great.

Players that got a "Maybe" still have some question marks about them. The standout of the two will probably be El Shaarawy. Now I absolutely love El Shaarawy but he fell into the "Maybe" category for reasons mostly due to becoming second fiddle to Mario Balotelli, which raised question marks for me if AC Milan saw something we didn't in that maybe he isn't a viable number 1 option. But instead of dropping him in the "No" category I had to give him a "Maybe" because last summer I saw him play in person against Chelsea in Miami and the kid had a flair and confidence about him that looked like no other on the field.

Lastly we have the players that got a "No" and that doesn't necessarily mean I don't think they will be world class level, but it means at the moment from what I have seen I can't give them a "Maybe" or a "Yes" because their body of work just isn't enough to make that judgement.

So what do you think? Should we weigh the potential of players on stats and the eye test alone? One more than the other? And what do you think of the list? Let me know!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Potential 2013/2014 Season Breakout Stars

Great young talent is the key to the development of our sport. While established names are fun to watch and discuss, the young talent of the world can be just as fun to talk about. Everyone knows about the young stars of today that have already made a name for themselves such as Neymar, Mario Gotze, Eden Hazard, and Oscar, but there is a plethora of young talent that you probably wouldn't pay attention to unless they were playing at a big club or on big stages. Here we will highlight a few.

Julian Draxler – Julian Draxler could be the next great German attacking midfielder. This season at Schalke he put up astounding numbers, in 36 appearances for the German club he netted 11 goals and assisted on 3. Now this may not seem like much, but given the fact he is only 19 years old and thrusted himself into the starting line-up for Schalke, he shows lots of promise going forward. Draxler is more than capable of using both feet, is creative on the ball, a great passer (he completed roughly 82% of his passes this season), and is as lethal a finisher as midfielders go. Draxler is one to watch for this upcoming season, and I don't expect him to stay at Schalke for long if he keeps improving his performances.

Raheem Sterling – Outside of England you may not find many people that rate Raheem Sterling very high. Sterling found himself in the Premier League spotlight after he made a move to Liverpool from the QPR youth team at the tender age of 17. Sterling shows lots of promise, a speedy, crafty winger with great agility. The downside to Sterling is that we haven't seen enough of him in the first team for Liverpool, as he usually comes on as a substitute. In 31 matches for Liverpool this season, he only had 2 goals and 2 assists. That isn't that impressive for a player of his potential and its hard to give other stats for him because of his lack of playing time, but what is impressive is how much he improves each and every game. I see Sterling breaking into the starting line-up consistently next season and seeing his output improve in turn.

Deulofeu – His name may be hard to pronounce, but his quality isn't hard to recognize. Deulofeu looks like he could become another one of Barcelona's, La Masia, prodigies. Speed, ball control, vision, great passing. Deulofeu possess all of these qualities, qualities that a winger needs to have to be effective at the top level. His chance to get permanently promoted to Barcelona from Barcelona B seems to have dwindled a bit with the addition of Neymar, but a player with his potential won't be playing in a second tier league for long.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen – A lot of us like to talk about field players as they are usually more exciting to talk about, but we can't forget about the men between the sticks. Ter Stegen is one of the most, if not the most, promising young goal keeper out there today and some in Germany don't think it will be too long before he can find his way to more first team appearances for the National Team. At the age of 21 years old it seems like ter Stegen already has amazing skills that many veteran keepers took years to develop.