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Season of Summerville: DIGEST, November 1
It's been a fortnight of introductions and comebacks.
Here’s Issue 3 of SCOUTED Digest, our weekly free-to-read newsletter on all things youth football. This is our little primer on the stuff we’ve had our eye on over the past week or so.
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Crysencio Summerville’s standout season (so far)
Leeds United have a really good core of young players. Prime among them is Crysencio Summerville. His numbers speak for themselves so far this season in the Championship.
He contributed to all four of Leeds’ goals against Huddersfield on Saturday, making it 10 goals and assists in 806 leagues minutes thus far this campaign.
Green Bar Scouting isn’t advised. There are so many factors to consider, and you neeeeeed the context of actually watching the actual football, but there are some exceptions. Summerville is one of them.
If Leeds can keep him fit, they have a great chance at bouncing straight back up to the Premier League. He should be in the Premier League, and so should Ethan Ampadu, Wilfried Gnonto, Georginio Rutter, Pascal Struijk, and maybe even 17-year-old Archie Gray. But Ipswich need to fizzle out first…
Is speed an underappreciated trait in midfielders?
That was the question we posed on our Twitter account the other day.
What prompted it? Watching Brighton’s Carlos Baleba fly between both boxes, driving away from hopeless opponents, leaving bodies in his wake.
Having a midfielder - particularly deeper ones - that can run really fast is a significant advantage, yet we rarely see it high up on the list of criteria for them. The emphasis is always placed elsewhere. Maybe it’s packaged differently, perhaps under the catch-all term that is “mobility”. Maybe not.
We’d say the same of heading - having a midfielder who can boom the ball back off long goal kicks is a big bonus, yet we rarely see it emphasised in development or recruitment criteria that the fanalysts set out.
Obviously, there are a lot of factors at play here, as there are with everything on the football pitch. Regardless, what do you think? Leave a comment.
Welcome back, A-League!
Australian football is back! The A-League (both men’s and women’s) has returned for another season following the remarkable title triumph of youth-oriented Central Coast Mariners.
Who better to kick it off than Nestory Irankunda, the sensational 17-year-old with one of the most explosive skillsets you’ll see. Making only his second league start - the first being the week before - he planted a 30-yard free-kick into the top corner, and duly celebrated with his Obafemi Martins flips.
We have him in SCOUTED50 for a reason. He burst onto the scene last season with countless impactful cameos; now he’s set to steal the limelight as a starter. Turn on his Sofascore notifications and watch your phone pop off.
Life goes on at Royale Union Saint-Gilloise
Here’s a stat for you. Royale Union Saint-Gilloise are top of the table in Belgium’s Pro League almost a third into the season with nine wins, two losses, and a draw. They’re four points ahead of second-placed Anderlecht.
That’s despite losing twelve players over the summer that accounted for 57.1% of their minutes last season, as well as their head coach Karol Geraerts, when they were moments away from winning their first title in generations.
That’s remarkable, and it points to good process. It’s worth reading Joe Donnohue’s excellent interview with Chris O’Loughlin, their directeur sportif, to gain an insight into the way the grand old Brussels club operates.
Dean Huijsen’s Juventus debut
Juventus have invested a lot in young talent in recent years, establishing their Next Gen team which compete in Serie C. They’ve picked up talent from all across Europe, and one of them is Dutch-born, Málaga-bred Dean Huijsen.
He’s one of the best in their system: a lanky yet elegant centre-back that has outstanding quality on the ball and talent in both feet. He is a cornerstone of the Netherlands’ 2005 age group, yet reports have linked him with a switch to Spain, the country where he grew up and spent his formative development.
Anyway, he made his senior debut for Juventus a couple of weeks ago in their 1-0 victory away at AC Milan, coming for the last 20-odd minutes to see out the game.
It’s another milestone (and validation) for a ‘project’ that’s creating a bit of excitement in a club that continues to be bogged down by mismanagement. Another of its assets, Matías Soulé, has been ripping it up on loan at Frosinone recently, and Kenan Yıldız is on the fringe of the first team too.
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Welcome to the Premier League, Alex Scott
Anyone that’s followed us for long enough will know that we’re big fans of Alex Scott. Seeing him get a deserved move to the Premier League this summer was exciting, but we had to wait a while to watch him play owing to a knee injury suffered in pre-season that was picked up in his medical.
He’s now started back-to-back league games and, by all accounts, impressed in the most recent, a crucial 2-1 win against Burnley. Knowing they have a hype machine on their hands, Bournemouth have very sensibly tweeted out a compilation of his best touches.
We can’t wait to watch him - but please, Bournemouth, look after him.
We love a bit of FM. Everyone loves a bit of FM. We’ve been playing FM.
The Early Access version of the new edition dropped recently ahead of its official release next Monday. Unsurprisingly, Valentín Barco is a must-buy on the new edition. He’s really good, really versatile, and really cheap. The €9.25 million release clause represents a proper bargain.
Just look at those attributes. He has everything the elite-level teams are looking for in a full-back, from technique to tenacity and versatility, as well as some game-defining traits. Get on him if you haven’t already.
And João Neves. Just look at João Neves. Benfica will demand a massive fee for him, rightly so, but he looks like one of the premier emering talents in the new game. If you’re managing a top team, get him on your shortlists.
We might make this little Football Manager section a regular thing…
Alternatives to Digest…
Inside the Blackburn Rovers talent factory that helped Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Ella Toone become Lionesses, by the great Ameé Ruszkai, is well worth a read. Up the Blackburn Rovers.
The restoration of Reims: The real story of Will Still and the Ligue 1 side, by Liam Tharme, long-time Friend of SCOUTED, for The Athletic. Reims are an example of a self-sustaining, youth-developing, well-run club.
What do Arsenal do on their attacking transitions? Get the ball to Saka and Martinelli, by Ahmed Walid. Well worth a read if you’re into the tactical elements of the game.
Mind Games, by Billy Carpenter. This is a masterpiece. Billy takes us on a journey through philosophy and football in search of clearer thinking and better scouting. Seriously, it’s amazing.
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