All English top flight sides want to unearth the next Steven Gerrard or Wayne Rooney, but most teams are looking to Europe or beyond to find their next superstar. This January Premier League scouts will have their work cut out to find new players that could bolster their employer’s squad, but a number will have their time to impress onlookers in the new year.
AZ Alkmaar vs Ajax
Football tickets for this crunch Dutch clash are still available for sale at TicketBis online if a trip to Holland is in your travel plans for the new year.
AZ have surprised the Dutch football community by storming to the top of the Eredivisie ahead of the Christmas break, and a number of their players are receiving accolades and acclaim from local and European football news agencies. The current league leaders take on champions Ajax at the AFAS Stadion on Sunday 22nd January in a game that will be watched closely by English coaches and scouts.
AZ’s attacking brand of football has delighted onlookers this season, with their main creative drive coming from 18-year-old Adam Maher. The youngster’s skill and vision is second-to-none and AZ will face a real struggle to hold onto their star prospect.
Ajax have produced the likes of Luis Suarez and Zlatan Ibrehimovic in the recent past, and the latest crop of first-teamers have the ability to play in Europe’s top leagues. Spurs are reportedly very keen to add captain Jan Vertonghen to the White Hart Lane squad in January, whilst Cristian Eriksen is one of the world’s brightest prospects – Manchester United and Chelsea will have to pay a high price to add the Denmark international to their ranks.
Hamburg vs Borussia Dortmund
The German champions are hot on the heels of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga, but face a tough test against Hamburg on Sunday 22nd January.
Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI is made up of predominantly young players, with a number already receiving international recognition and being linked with a move to Spain, Italy or England.
Mats Hummels is a mainstay in the Germany side after excellent defensive performances last season, and the centre half is on most of the top teams’ wishlists at the moment. The star of Signal Iduna Park however is Mario Gotze; the 19-year-old playmaker has all the attributes to be a world star and Arsenal are reportedly ready to break their club transfer record to bring him to North London.
Benfica vs Vitoria Setubal
The Portuguese Primeira Liga was dominated by Porto in 2010-11, with Andre Villas Boas leading the Estadio do Dragao side to the title, however this term Benfica have shown that they will be real contenders come May.
Jorge Jesus’ side have excelled at home and on the continent, with a number of young players catching the eye of Premier League coaches and talent-seekers.
Although Javi Garcia and Axel Witsel have impressed with solid midfield performances, the player attracting the most attention is Argentine playmaker Nicolas Gaitan. Manchester United are hot on the heels of the South American attacker, with a bid of at least Ł20 million needed to convince Benfica to sell.
Watch Football with TicketBis
If you’re a frequent travel and want to watch football matches where you go, check out TicketBis, an online tickets exchange that specialises in helping football fans buy and sell tickets online for just about any game in Europe.
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