On the RADAR
Bruno FERNANDES (Sporting)
Sporting fans rightly questioned the credentials of the 23-year-old when he was signed from Sampdoria this summer for € 8.5million.
The former Boavista trainee was raised in Italian football with Novara and Udinese, before impressing last season at Samp. But any doubts about the midfielder were wiped out as he scored five goals in his first six league games in Sporting’s unbeaten start to the season.
Called into the Portugal squad for the first time in August, he has been compared to ex-Sporting playmaker Joao Mario, who is now at Internazionale, and his impressive start at the Estadio Jose Alvalade has meant Adrien Silva – the subject of a botched transfer to Leicester City – has not been missed.
Pietro PELLEGRI & Eddy SALCEDO
(Genoa) These two highly promising teenagers have made their debuts for Genoa this season, with 16-year-old, 6ft 4in forward Pellegri scoring three goals in his first four games, and 15-year-old attacking midfielder Salcedo already being courted by Juventus, Internazionale and Milan.
(Uruguay) The 19-year-old scored on his international debut to end Uruguay’s six-match winless streak as they stunned hosts Paraguay 2-1 in World Cup qualifying.
(Valencia) The Italian striker, who was a goalless flop in the Premier League last season, scored five goals in the first six Liga games this term.
(Nantes) The former Leicester City manager saw his French side enjoy an unbeaten five-game run, taking 13 points from 15 games as they climbed up the Ligue 1 table.
(USA) A member of the USA squad for the Under-17 World Cup in India, the striker will join Bundesliga side Werder Bremen when he turns 18 in February.
(Germany) His two goals against Norway meant he has scored six in his first eight games for Germany – equalling the achievement of Pierre Littbarski, who also scored a brace against Norway, in 1982.
(Marseille) The Cameroon forward scored five Ligue 1 goals for Marseille in the space of 208 minutes – at an average of one every 42 minutes – which is more than he managed in all of last season.