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Jack Grealish: Will he make it at Top Level?

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On the afternoon where Gareth Southgate has announced his latest England squad, a certain ‘youngster’ from Aston Villa comes to mind. Jack Grealish. However, at 23 years old, he really isn’t a youngster at all.

Having missed out on another England call up, we need to take a further look at Grealish.

Is he missing out on an England call up due to playing in the Championship? If this is the case, it may not be a problem for much longer, as Aston Villa have managed to get to the Play Off Final. IF they beat Derby County, they will be a Premier League club next season.

If Aston Villa lose the play off final, it’s highly likely that Jack Grealish will leave the club. They aren’t in the greatest financial position, having spent all of their money in the last 2 seasons trying to win a promotion. They lost in last seasons play off, so they will be hoping lightning doesn’t strike twice.

One club that comes to mind for me would be Tottenham Hotspur. With Daniel Levy always hunting for a bargain, Villa could be forced to sell Grealish off. If Villa don’t get promoted, the asking price would probably be around £15 million.

Playing Style

Jack started off as a winger, playing on the left. His favoured move was to sprint down the wing, before cutting in and shooting with his right foot. This is very comparable to Philippe Coutinho’s trait. After continued development, he has moved into a central role and sits a little deeper now, where he can get involved in the build up play more, before exploding forward. He is the man at Villa with the licence to attack, in a Free Roam method.

His best attribute his certainly his physicality, you can visually see the lean muscle that Grealish carries in his thighs and calves, which help him storm past the opposition & as they are strong, he can ride most challenges without giving up the ball.

Jack’s work rate is very good, as he often tracks back to help his defence. He seems to be a good team player, not afraid to put his body on the line for his team. His fitness levels are also very good, as he’s often completing 90 minutes with ease.

Where’s his head at?

It was 4 years ago where Jack Grealish was making headlines, for all of the wrong reasons. He was pictured flat-out drunk on the pavement, which caused national uproar.

Doesn’t he know how lucky he is? He has the opportunity of a lifetime, playing football for a living, but decides to ruin his career before it’s started!

The above was echoed through most pubs, offices & dinner tables, it was a pretty big story.

Tim Sherwood was the manager at the time, and he criticised his lack of professionalism, warning him that he was going to be dropped.

Jack was just 19 back then, an age where your mental attributes aren’t fully matured. He’s a young lad, that has 1 in a million job and earns thousands per week. You can see how this can happen to players.

More recently, Grealish has matured and has set his sights on developing to the best of his ability. When Villa failed to get promoted last season, he had the opportunity to put in a Transfer Request and join a club like Spurs, who were showing real interest.

However, his maturity made him realise that for his own development, it would probably be better to stay at Villa, where he can (more or less) guarantee game time. At Spurs, he could well be an impact player on the bench.

His determination has helped Aston Villa get to the play off final in the 2018-19 campaign.

Will he make it?

Jack Grealish isn’t yet the finished article. Although he’s 23 years old, many people would expect him to be playing his best football now. However, there are plenty of examples of players who peak at a later age. Teji Savanier & Jesse Lingard are two players which immediately come to mind.

Although Grealish isn’t playing his best game just yet, he’s showing very promising signs. He has physically developed beyond his age, he is also becoming a fantastic playmaker. Admittedly, he prefers to play on the wing, but he has a great eye for a pass.

He’s not mastered finishing just yet, he needs to be a little more clinical. His assist output though is pretty good, which speaks wonders about his teamwork and selflessness.

In my opinion, he won’t play for an elite club like Real Madrid etc, but I can definitely see him playing for Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea. With Eden Hazard leaving, could Chelsea gamble on him?

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Scout Reports

Viktor Tsygankov Scout Report: Who is the Ukranian Talent?

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Viktor Tsygankov Scout Report

Viktor Tsygankov was officially born in Israel, but received his call up to the Ukranian national team for the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, where he played against Turkey & Kosovo. His first step onto the scene was in the 83rd minute against Finland.

His Stats for a developing player are nothing short of ridiculous. Since 2016, he has played in 96 games in the Ukranian Premier League, scoring 41 goals in the process.

The issue for Dinamo Kyiv in recent years is that they are unable to offer a true challenge for the title. Shakhtar Donestk have proven too powerful in the last 4 years, leaving Dimano behind them in 2nd.

The 2019 campaign ended poorly also, with a Chelsea 8-0 aggregate thrashing. Shakhtar once more won the league, this time by 11 points.

One of the shining lights of the campaign would prove to be a local boy, Viktor Tsygankov, who started to show the Ukranian Premier League just how much potential he has. The left footed winger has already become a fan favourite, although his performances have naturally led to a lot of interest in the winger.

Although Tsygankov hasn’t managed to lead Dinamo towards a league title yet, he has some personal honours. This includes multiple Players of the Month awards, but was also achieved the 2018 Player of the Year Award (for the Ukranian Premier League). That’s right, he adds his name to the Hall of Fame which includes Andriy Shevchenko.

In addition to becoming Player of the Year, Tsygankov finished 2nd in the Race for the Golden Boot, one goal behind the Top Goalscorer. He also provided 16 assists, which is brilliant output.

It won’t be long until the big clubs are circling Tsygankov. The Left-Footed, Right Winger offers a similar style of play to Mohamed Salah. He’s going to be a great .

Football Scouted, August 2019

Although he’s only 22 currently, he’s no stranger to responsibility. Viktor has captained Ukraine on many occassions, making over 100 appearances.

Viktor Tsygankov – Finishing Ability

He’s a winger which was a single goal away from winning the golden boot. That’s proves just how clinical he is. It’s not just his ability that’s great, he’s also very accurate.

Natural Movement – He’s hard to mark

He’s such an intelligent player, who likes to roam inside when possible. This is clever movement, which makes him much harder to mark. Is it the Left backs job, or the Centre back? This sort of movement causes confusion which can create gaps in defence.

I would compare Tsygankov to a Mohamed Salah play-style, where he starts on the Right Wing, but he’s more than capable of cutting in, sitting behind the Striker or just to the side. Reading the game very well, he often manages to gain a few yards on the defenders as he’s fast off the blocks.

There are already rumours that Tottenham Hotspur & Liverpool have monitored Tsygankov. I could see him being a real hit at Spurs, but maybe not under Jose Mourinho.

It’s going to be hard to tell exactly what his potential is, due to him playing in Ukraine. The most recent example of this is Manchester United midfielder Fred, who started off dreadfully in Manchester. He has since settled and is showing glimpses of why he was signed for £50 million.

One thing for sure, he won’t be a cheap acquisition. Yarmolenko sold 3 years ago for just over £20 million & he wasn’t posting figures anywhere near Viktors. He’s also a Youth Player, which increases the price significantly.

He’s a great prospect and one that we believe will soon be playing in the Premier League.

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Scout Reports

Fabio Silva Scout Report: Porto’s Pure Talent

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Fabio Silva – Scout Report

Dreams propell humans. It is as simple as that.

A desire, an ambition, a drive thrusts you on a path to an inevitable goal at the end of your long journey. You follow this path, because it is your dream.

The Greek Philosopher Aristotle alluded to this concept when he described man as a ‘political animal.’

This simply implies that man by his very nature will always aspire to be the ultimate version of himself.

For most persons, the concept of dreams has a long term overtone. A dream is usually a hypothetical event or set of events far removed from the present.

It is thrust into the future and usually follows some kind of road map or bucket list. However there are many people who achieve their dreams in their youth – a rare occurrence no doubt. This phenomenon is often seen in the world of sports.

Mike Tyson has etched his name in the pages of history by becoming the youngest world heavyweight champion in history. Usain Bolt has cemented his legacy by forcefully grabbing and dominantly holding the 100 meter world record. These athletes are considered prodigies.

They were seemingly born with the attributes necessary to dominate their respective sports. The world of football (or soccer depending on where you are in the world) is ripe with prodigies. Generation after generation athletes rise up to stand on the apex of the sport and thrust their legacies into the hearts of spectators and fans.

Moving beyond this, their names transition into mainstream media and they become household names. Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and many others have etched their names in the prominence of football history.

There is another prodigy who seems destined to take his place at this apex. Football halls of fame are poised to welcome 17 year old Fabio Silva.

A Star, Shining Among Stars

 As a country, Portugal is in no way, shape or form lacking in football talent. The name Christiano Ronaldo alone has cemented the country into the minds of anyone thinking about great football nations. Yet just as CR7 is on the cusp of scoring his 100th goal for the proud country Fabio Silva is getting ready to fulfil his potential.

Similarly, yet on a smaller note the Silva family is no stranger to football prominence. Fabio’s father Jorge Silva was a defensive midfielder for Boavista F.C. where his rock-like defensive prowess helped his club to win the league in 2001. Jorge Silva has also capped the Portugal  national team two times. Fabio’s brother, also named Jorge has followed in his father’s footsteps, also playing as a defensive midfielder for league club S.S. Lazio. Fabio Silva while of this family of midfielders is seemingly cut from a different cloth.

Fabio Silva is a striker.

Born on July 19, 2002 in Gondomar, Portugal Fabio Daniel Soares Silva began his professional career at F.C. Porto. In 2015, he transferred to their rivals S.L. Beifica. Silva however returned to F.C. Porto two years later. At this venture, Fabio was able to score twenty goals in twenty six games. Naturally, his striking prowess caught the eye of manager Sergio Conceicao and he was called to train with the first team.

Silva made his Primeira Liga debut for F.C. Porto on August 10th, 2019 where he played for the closing eleven minutes of their game against Gil Vicente.

Breaking Records, Cementing a Legacy

People are talking about 17 year old Fabio Silva in the same way that they spoke about his fellow countryman Christiano Ronaldo when he made his professional debut. Such is the nature of Silva’s prowess as a striker.

Speaking of Silva’s talents, Porto seems to have every confidence in the young prodigy as in a stunning turn of events, the team raised Fabio Silvas buy out clause from €25 million to €125 million. This move has not only served to make this the highest buyout clause in Portugeese football history, but has also served to scare away (for now anyway) the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Juventus, all of whom had eyes on him.This level of confidence in the young striker is certainly warranted. After all, he has made history on his own accord.

As it stands now, the 17 year old prodigy has netted thirty three times out of thirty six matches. He has shattered a record previously held by Bruno Gama and is the youngest league player in F.C. Porto’s history. Beyond that Silva became the youngest goal scorer in the history of the club when he found the net on October 19, 2019 against S.C. Coimbroes. Yet he did not stop there. Eight days later he became the youngest league goal scorer when he contributed to F.C. Porto’s 3-0 home victory against F.C. Famalicao. Truly Silva has justified his history making buy out clause.

F.C. Porto’s manager Sergio Conceicao has certainly taken a shine to the young striker. It is no secret that he normally favors the older players in the club. This stance has often earned him much criticism as people argue that he does not push the younger players to their potential. He is certainly pushing Silva.

The young striker is also no stranger to international football. He made his debut in this aspect playing for Portugal’s under 15 team in 2017. Silva was also a part of the under 17 team that reached the quarter finals of the 2019 UEFA European Championship. There, he scored in a 4-2 group win over Iceland. The striker impressed fans by scoring a hat trick on October 11, 2019 for the under 19 team. This propelled them to a 4-1 victory over Italy in an international friendly.

Pound for Pound, Fabio Silva vs. Christiano Ronaldo

In the world of sports, it is not uncommon for people to make comparisons. The football industry is no exception. When discussing the young prodigy Fabio Silva many people almost always draw comparisons to his fellow countryman Christiano Ronaldo.

While people may talk about Muhamid Ali and Smokin’ Joe Frazer, football is not necessarily discussed in such brutal fashion. Those two boxing legends stood in a ring and actually fought. The conversations of the football fans are different. They take on a more team based approach with the concept of building a fantasy team in most cases being the ultimate goal. That is not to say that there are no club rivalries.

It is quite possible that one day both strikers may stand opposite each other in club football. Football is a fickle sport where loyalty changes often and clubs are always looking to acquire players.

A rivalry and even possible mentorship may just arise at the international level. Portugal’s senior team typically uses a 4-4-2 formation and having Christiano Ronaldo and Fabio Silva leading the charge could be a deadly secret weapon. If the two strikers can be funneled passes from a supportive midfield, then Portugal will definitely stand to make a major impact in international football. 

People who speak of Fabio Silva in comparison to Christiano Ronaldo say that he is doing the same things that Ronaldo was doing at 17 years old – only better. Fabio has etched his name in the history books with his youthful exuberance and skill. If he continues to work hard he will definitely cement a legacy, much like Ronaldo arguably has. His attitude and commitment definitely speak of someone who is indeed willing to work hard. Fabio Silva is certainly no Christiano Ronaldo knock off. He is aware of his skills, yet humble.

One thing is for certain, we in this world are suckers for a good prodigy story. Fabio Silva seemingly has all the requisite attributes to sate this appetite. He stands on the cusp of greatness ready to jump into a future where he stands toe to toe with other hall of famers thrusting his earned magnificence into the history books. The 17 year old has already started to break records. 

Football has already given us many talking points in terms of great athletes. We comb through them with trivia every time we watch a thrilling game. We discuss the powerful free kicks of Roberto Carlos. We talk about the amazing dribbling skills of Pele. We compare players to Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and many others.

We develop team, club and brand loyalties based on the prowess of these players. As we look at these stars, these phenomenal athletes who have danced with greatness, one more is aiming to join their ranks.

Fabio Silva has all the makings of a great footballer who will hold his country’s name proudly on the highest international stages.

It is definitely a rare sight to see a 17 year old bursting into F.C. Porto’s first team squad.

Clearly he is special.

Clearly, Fabio Silva is destined for greatness.

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Scout Reports

Lorenzo Pellegrini: Hard Working Midfielder at Roma

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There’s some great talent emerging from Rome, with the likes of Luca Pellegrini, Nicolo Zanolio & Cengiz Under all preparing for first team action at Roma. Lorenzo Pellegrini is another fine example, but it’s worth noting now that he has no relation at all with his team-mate, Luca.

Lorenzo, 22, helped with 7 assists last season and also scored 4 goals, which isn’t bad output for a developing player in a new side. His consistent performances in the heart of the Roma midfield have attracted interest from various clubs, with AC Milan & Tottenham Hotspur reportedly interested in snapping him up.

Roma used to be a club where an Italian would stay for life, thinking back to the likes of Daniele De Rossi & Francesco Totti, but Pellegrini could be leaving the club if a high enough bid is made. Lorenzo hasn’t been at Roma for too long, signing from Sassuolo in 2017, but he has a low release clause of just £27 Million. In football terms, this is no money at all & I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team snap him up this summer.

The transfer rumours started when Pellegrini’s agent visited London, next came a statement that Lorenzo wants Champions League football. Football agents can be very clever doing things like this, as if these sorts of actions work and the player transfers, his pockets will be very heavy & player happy that his wages increase. Also, when they don’t work, he could spin the article, stating that Lorenzo would do all that he can, to achieve Champions League football with Roma. 

Roma have already lost Luca Pellegrini to Juventus & El Shaarawy has moved to the Chinese Super League. However, their biggest loss will be Kostas Manolas. The centre back was a complete rock for Roma, and I would be very surprised to see further losses from this team. It’s on the verge of being emancipated!

It’s not all doom and gloom for Roma, who have added Bryan Cristante, Leonardo Spinazzola & Amadou Diawara to their ranks.

It’s also rumoured that they are interested in Leon Bailey, from Bayer Leverkusen.

Lorenzo Pellegrini Scout Report
76.5 Reviewer
0 Users (0 votes)
Pros
Set Pieces, Defensive Work Rate, Key Passes in Final Third
Cons
Passing Accuracy
Summary
Lorenzo Pellegrini is a hard working midfielder, but also a very exciting one. He likes to get involved and has totalled 4 goals & 4 assists in the 2018/19 campaign.
Current Ability70
Goal Scoring Threat70
Passing Range79.5
Future Potential86.5
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