Wunderkind Concepts

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INTERVIEW: State of (dis)Union

How do we judge the health of soccer in the USA?   Major League Soccer just kicked off its 21st season. It has grown to 22 teams from its original 12 with further expansion imminent. It has lots of big-reputation, high-wage foreign players, some shiny new stadia, a fat TV deal and big plans for…


Cruyff’s lessons are immortal – just ask Pep Guardiola

  Anyone with even the slightest interest in football should read Johan Cruyff’s My Turn, the parting words of arguably the most influential the sport has ever seen. We don’t need to write about what a legendary player, coach and thinker he was – others have described his legacy far more beautifully than we ever…


Tony Pulis is a surprising sugar daddy

Tony Pulis has suddenly become the Premier League’s sugar daddy. Five months after making Jonathan Leko the first 1999 born player he selected Kane Wilson, date of birth March 11, 2000, on the bench against Crystal Palace on the first day of the new season. If this continues his reputation for not trusting youth will…


Bournemouth go 100% wonderkid

Eddie Howe is in wonderkid mode.   Bournemouth have signed five players this transfer window with an average age of just 20. All five meet our wonderkid criteria. Jordon Ibe, Nathan Ake, Lewis Cook, Emerson Hyndman and Lys Mousset have strong or burgeoning reputations and their recruitment represents a significant statement of intent for Bournemouth…


The Soccerex 20 Under 21

Anthony Martial is the world’s most valuable footballer under the age of 21 according to new research. The 2016 Soccerex 20 Under 21 index released by Prime Time Sport (PTS) places Manchester United’s France forward ahead of some very prominent young players. Wunderkinder Leroy Sane, Renato Sanches, Dele Alli and Kingsley Coman complete the top…

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Coman is King of the wonderkid transfer market

What is Kingsley Coman’s secret? His ability is well known. The France forward is the best 19-year-old playing in the world right now. He has played for Paris Saint Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich before his twentieth birthday. But it is hardly unusual for a 21st century wonderkids to have done the rounds of Europe’s…

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Youth at the heart of van Gaal’s United legacy

Goodbye then Louis van Gaal, ex-Manchester United manager. Your passing will be celebrated more than it is mourned. The fans hated your suffocating, defensive football. While the players were an irate email away from mutiny. An FA Cup and a fifth place finish after spending £250 million is not nearly enough. But when the Dutchman’s…

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