Gianluca Busio: Hottest prospect in the MLS

When scouting for young, exciting talent, the top European teams rarely bat an eyelid at the MLS. It is the so called ‘retirement home’ for legends of the game to kick back and live the American dream. But in the future, it could be viewed as the perfect league to nurture and develop young talent. The likes of Zack Steffen and Alphonso Davies are MLS exports helping grow the league’s reputation abroad. Gianluca Busio could be the next one to join them.

The 17 year old is one of America’s most exciting prospects. He became the second youngest player, at 15 years and 89 days, to sign with the MLS. Criticise the league all you want, that’s an incredible achievement. At such a young age, he’s already featuring consistently for Sporting Kansas City. Not only featuring, the attacker is performing well with 3 goals and 1 assist in 2019.

Source: Getty Images

Busio is already attracting interest from Europe despite his age. Tuttomercato are reporting both Inter Milan and Manchester United are keeping tabs on the American. The Kansas prospect hasn’t ‘taken the league by storm’ as of yet. As a result, the price is unlikely to be too off putting for either side.

However, he is a young prospect, in fact a highly rated one by the MLS. The stats on paper don’t tell the full story. So we’ll explain why the American is on the radars of the Red Devils and Nerazzurri:

Gianluca Busio – Style of Play

As you can see, a United fan has already got ahead of himself with the title and thumbnail. But thanks for the video! It makes my job a lot easier.

The 5ft 7 winger looks to be a tidy player that looks sharp. Multiple times in the video, he is seen making an effective run, either to draw the defender in and give his teammate space, or to provide an option for a pass. Intelligent movement is an underrated quality of wingers, which the Kansas City forward looks like he has. Bear in mind, my judgement is being made on a 4 minute compilation.

Moreover, the movement of Busio enables him to be in good positions. In the video on several occasions, we see him score tap ins or simple goals. But to get those chances, you have to be in the right place, which the U17 international seems to do. He’s quick to close down defenders, forcing them into mistakes before punishing them.

Convincing?

On paper, the attacking stats don’t blow you away. 1.2 shots and 0.6 key passes per game are average at best. But for some players, statistics don’t tell the full story. Only time will tell if Gianluca Busio will become the top player he is tipped to be. Flicks and tricks are one thing, but the end product will have to improve if he wants to cut it in the top leagues.

Source: Getty Images

Perhaps it is early for a move to Europe. But then again, you want to be early before the price sky rockets. Low risk, potentially high reward. Worth a punt for United or Inter in my eyes…

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Lucas Torreira: Arsenal star being mismanaged by Emery

Lucas Torreira arrived at Arsenal with a bang. He was exactly what they needed (still is).

A tough tackling tenacious midfielder that works tirelessly for the badge. A player with the quality, potential and mentality that the Gunners had been lacking for so long. That goal in the North London derby along with several important performances were at the heart of Unai Emery’s 22 game unbeaten streak in 2018/19.

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But fast forward a year, he’s a shadow of himself. It’s not even the Uruguayan’s fault. Rather, it’s his foolish coach’s mismanagement of a talented defensive midfielder. The Spaniard is playing the 23 year old in a more advanced role for some strange reason. Not in his preferred defensive midfield position. This has left the whole Arsenal fan base scratching their heads. Not for the first time with the under-fire coach.

Initially, this was while keeping Mesut Ozil out of the team. Now of course, Emery has accepted defeat in his freezing out of the German playmaker. But even NOW, Emery is persisting with the former Sampdoria midfielder in that advanced role off the bench. It seems like has no clue what he is doing. I’m sure many Arsenal fans will agree with me on that.

Lucas Torreira – 2017/18

The video above is a glimpse of what Torreira is capable of. In that season, he was averaging 2.8 tackles and 2 interceptions per game. An absolute machine that let nothing pass him. He began showing that last season before Emery began tinkering with the side. Since then, he is being played out of position and is being wasted. So unfortunate.

Despite the public backing from the board, I don’t think Unai Emery will last much longer at Arsenal. If he is failing to use the talent of Lucas Torreira correctly, there are clearly issues with his tactics. The results on the pitch are showing too. It’s therefore no surprise that the Uruguay international is being linked with a return to Serie A.

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Callum Hudson-Odoi: Time to step up for Chelsea talent

When Bayern Munich are bidding £35 million for you at 18 years having hardly kicked a ball, you know you’re special. Callum Hudson-Odoi is one of Chelsea’s most exciting prospects. That says a lot considering the plethora of talent being churned out at Stamford Bridge. He’s started 2019/20 well, but it’s time to step it up and fill Eden Hazard’s boots.

The 19 year old, as aforementioned, is a huge talent at the disposal of The Blues. Frank Lampard’s side is arguably the most exciting young side in Europe. Hot take perhaps, but they’re definitely up there. Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have been sensational. Tomori, Reece James and more recently Christian Pulisic have been excellent. Yet surprisingly, Hudson-Odoi has been one of the more quiet ones in their youthful side.

High cost, high expectations

Don’t take me the wrong way, the 19 year old HASN’T been bad. 3 assists in 6 Premier League games, most of which have been substitute appearances, is quite impressive. But the youngster is capable of so much more. Lampard knows it, he knows it, the whole Chelsea fan base knows it.

You could argue Hudson-Odoi deserves more time to adapt and is still incredibly young. I don’t deny that. But we have to look at it financially too. He’s on £120,000, a wage that seems ridiculous for such a young age. With that comes expectation. At the moment, is he justifying that contract? No, absolutely not. However, it’s meant Chelsea have tied him down for the long term and he has to start showing his worth soon. Otherwise, fans may start asking questions of one of their hottest prospects.

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Callum Hudson-Odoi – In front of goal

He’s still struggling to dislodge a 31 year old declining Willian from the first team. Though the Brazilian has performed decently in terms of figures this season, Hudson-Odoi has to be starting. The only way he’s going to be able to do that is take his chances off the bench.

He needs to work on his finishing. The England international moves very well and positions himself perfectly for the chance in on goal. But he is not clinical as of yet. If he wants to truly replace Hazard and justify his wage, he needs to start taking these chances. High expectations, but that comes with his talent and ability.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: The next chapter for legendary striker

Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs no introduction. A serial winner with 31 trophies, with goals in Holland, Italy, Spain, France, England and America, he is a modern day footballing legend. The epitome of a journeyman, the Swede has now ended his time in the US. 53 goals and 14 assists in 58 games for LA Galaxy, Zlatan defies logic. The phrase ‘like a fine wine’ could not be more appropriate.

Now 38 years old and still playing like he’s 27, the story is not over yet for the striker. Far from it in fact. There has been large speculation over the former PSG forward’s next club. Manchester United have ruled out resigning the Malmo youth product, according to the Daily Mail. Borussia Dortmund have been linked to his signature (BILD via News.am) . But the most likely destination for Ibrahimovic looks to be a return to Italy.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Source: Getty Images

Calciomercato are reporting former club AC Milan want to re-sign the Swedish international. Ibra, who scored 56 goals in 85 appearances for the Rossoneri, has also been linked to Bologna. Corriere dello Sport have gone as far to say they are favourites to sign the former Manchester United forward. With Ibra’s wages, I find this hard to believe. If anyone can afford to sign him, it would be Milan.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Hunger

Yet Zlatan has proven he’s not in it for money. Why leave the MLS if he wanted to make the most money? Or even, why not move to China? The man has the elite mentality that comes with being a serial winner. If he’s going to bow out of football, he wants to do it in style. I have no doubt he’ll try and finish his career in one of Europe’s top five leagues.

Furthermore, it’s not like the club who will sign him, are signing him BECAUSE it’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It’s because the former Juventus attacker is still a goal scorer. He arrived in arguably the toughest league in the world in 2016 as a 35 year old. Everyone wrote him off. But Ibrahimovic did what he does best: score goals. 28 in 46 appearances to be precise.

Source: Getty Images

He’s a divisive character with his brash persona, boundless arrogance and massive ego. But Zlatan Ibrahimovic delivers on the pitch. The Italian capital looks like his most likely destination. I personally would like to see him in the Bundesliga with Die Borussen. New league, new team. He could galvanise them on and off the pitch, to help a talented side achieve more. We’ll wait and see which team Zlatan picks…

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Caglar Soyuncu: Leicester’s gem or Manchester City’s next star?

With Manchester City considering a move for Caglar Soyuncu (SkySports), we look at what he can offer and whether he should go…

Emre Mor, Cengiz Ünder, Enes Ünal. The future of the Turkish national team looks bright. That’s without mentioning Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu.

The young defender was solid for SC Freiburg in 2017/18 and his fine form in the Bundesliga captured the attention of some of  Europe’s elite teams. The likes of Manchester City, Roma and Arsenal were all rumoured to be interested in the Turkish talent; yet it was Leicester City that managed to get him to put pen to paper just before the end of the Premier League transfer window.

Caglar Soyuncu spent his youth career in his native Turkey with lesser known teams. After spending five years at Menemen Belediyespor, he joined Bucaspor and eventually Gümüşorduspor. At this point, no scouts were considering or even monitoring the boy from Izmir. To now think how highly coveted he is. Remarkable.

Caglar Soyuncu – Style Of Play

The 28 time capped Turkish international stands at 6ft 2 inches tall and certainly has a strong physical presence. However, he is also a quick defender that is confident with the ball at his feet; essential in the modern game. This is shown by Soyuncu’s excellent statistics. On average, he completes 70 passes per game for Leicester, also showing his willingness to dribble out of the back with the ball (WhoScored).

Leicester City's Caglar Soyuncu during the Pre-Season match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester.

Defensively he is superb. Already, Soyuncu has made an impressive 1.5 interceptions per game and 2.3 tackles per game. Fair to say he has adapted to the Premier League.

Caglar Soyuncu really has no weaknesses. Thanks to WhoScored.

Regardless, the 23 year-old has plenty of time to develop and improve into a formidable defender at the King Power. He has huge potential alongside his physical attributes and is the ideal replacement for Robert Huth in the Leicester defence. The fact Manchester City are linked to him already is a testament to the abundance of talent he has.

Whether City is the right move now is debatable. The lure of Pep Guardiola is something hard to turn down, but in a progressive, promising side under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers, does Soyuncu want to make that move? Of course, he will be playing Champions League football, but at what cost to his first team opportunities? Guardiola has already shown that he will start midfielders in defence over actual defenders.

Leicester themselves could gain Champions League football if Soyuncu remains in the heart of their side. At the end of the day, it’s down to what it always is: money. Should he stay at Leicester or go to Manchester City? Let us know what you think!

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