5 – Mason Greenwood, 17-years-old:
The highly hyped teenager is only 17 years old, the same age Mbappé was in his breakout season. Solskjær is willing to put faith in the youth and Greenwood has impressed in his minutes. Mason made an appearance in the first game of the season v Chelsea but with a thin frontline at Old Trafford, Greenwood will play a lot of minutes. He is predominantly a right winger which is one of United’s main issues, but he can also play centrally.
In preseason, Mason impressed. Against Inter he scored the winner before he nearly scored again just minutes later showing his ability to get good chances. However, the Bradford-born forward has also performed in the league. During 2018/19 he clocked up 116 premier league minutes. In the limited minutes Greenwood took 2.3 shots with only 0.3 coming from outside the box which is caveated with 1 key pass and 1 dribble. These stats although are very promising and show good all-round play for a forward, they’re not the most accurate. These stats aren’t that accurate due to the small data pool but they’re similar to his stats at youth level which could suggest he can maintain and improve upon them.
4 – Alexander Isak, 19-years-old:
During 2018/19, the Swede enjoyed a successful season on loan in the Netherlands. On loan at Willem II Alexander scored 13 and assisted 6 in just 1370 minutes. If the young superstar was given more game time, he only started 15 matches and made a further appearance from the bench, Isak could have got more direct goal involvements and earn him more chances at Dortmund. Instead, Alexander has moved to Real Sociedad where he could start in a front three with Januzaj and Ødegaard. That front three is a very fun and interesting attack that could fire Erreala back into the Europa League.
In his 1370 minutes, Isak’s stats were very impressive. He averaged a huge 3.4 shots with only 0.5 coming from outside the box. The large volume of shots from inside the box is very impressive especially for a teenager in a top league. He matches his finishing predatory with creativity. Alexander creates 1.5 chances whilst completing 2 dribbles. However, the former AIK striker isn’t the finished article. Whilst completing 2 dribbles, he attempts 4.1 giving him a low success rate that sits at 48.8%. The 6’3” forward also doesn’t work hard off the ball as he only completes 0.8 defensive actions per 90. Despite the evident flaws, Isak can finish chances whilst also creating them out of nothing for himself or his team mates. If Sociedad flank Ødegaard and Januzaj either side of Isak, he is bound to be an instant success.
3 – Ademola Lookman, 21-years-old:
Everton haven’t followed one of the only rules in football, if Leipzig want one of your players you give them a new contract. Once again, RB Leipzig have got a promising young player for a cheap price. During 2018/19, Lookman only played 602 league minutes for Everton. These minutes came from 3 starts and 18 appearances off the bench. Since joining Everton in 2016, Lookman hasn’t played 1000 minutes in the league.
In 2017/18, the Englishmen spent half a season on loan at Leipzig in which he impressed. During his half year in Germany, he started seven and came off the bench four times, this shows his importance to the German side. In 576 minutes Ademola scored five and assisted three. Lookman was taking 1.2 shots with only 0.2 coming from outside the box whilst also creating 1.5 chances for his team mates. Although these numbers aren’t elite, Ademola is only 21 years old and under Nagelsmann who turned average attackers into some of the best in the league, these are sure to improve.
2 – Moussa Diaby, 20-years-old:
A player with a huge potential, Moussa is sure to be making headlines. During 2018/19, Diaby started 10 matches and made a further 15 appearances off the bench. This trust by Tuchel totalled in 1131 minutes. In these minutes he scored two and assisted six showing his talent. However, his xG was 2.48 and his xA was 4.24, 1.76 lower than his six assists which shows the finishing prowess of his team mates. His xG + xA per 90 sat at 0.54, he is only 20 years old.
His underlying numbers would suggest he isn’t setting the world on fire. He took 1.8 shots with 0.6 from outside the box which does leave room for improvement. As suggested by his previous stats, Diaby is more of a creator than a goal scorer which could be down to playing along-side elite forwards. Diaby created 1.6 chances whilst completing 1.6 dribbles showing his creativity and selflessness. At Leverkusen Diaby might become more important which would see all his stats super charged especially in Bosz’s incredibly attacking system.
1 – Martin Ødegaard, 20-years-old:
The forgotten wonderkid is back making headlines. After making the switch to Real Madrid Castilla in 2014 at just 15 years old, Ødegaard had a lot of pressure to become an instant superstar by the media. Martin is back at his best. The Norwegian scored nine and assisted 12 as he carried an uninspiring Vitesse attack. With his 21 direct goal involvements, he was directly involved in 30% of Vitesse’s goals which is worrying for the Dutch side as he was only on loan, yet he was so pivotal to their attack and getting the ball forward.
The former Heerenveen loanee clocked up 2975 minutes for Leonid Slutsky’s side as they finished fifth and got into the Europa League qualifiers. Due to Vitesse’s lacklustre attack, Martin did everything from progressing the ball forward to creating chances to scoring them. This shows he is ready for an elite club. Ødegaard took 2.4 shots, 1.5 from outside the box which would improve but at Vitesse he was the main man so Slutsky didn’t coach it out of him, like Coutinho at Liverpool. However, despite the poor shot location, Ødegaard completed 2.9 dribbles out of 4.6 attempted whilst creating a huge 3.5 chances showing glimpses of the finished article. The Norwegian youngster will spend the 2019/20 season on loan at Sociedad where he will have the chance to play with Januzaj and the aforementioned Isak, watch this space.
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