Scouting for talent: a report from one of Untold’s intrepid reporters
There has been a lot of speculation here and elsewhere about who the Arsenal should sign this summer. Big names such as Vidal, Higuain, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger (let’s face it they don’t get much bigger than those two!) have been bandied about in the press and the mysteries of vapour transfers have been discussed in depth on this site. Sir Hardley’s column has enlightened us on possible targets and Tony regularly exposes the machinations of what used to be known as Fleet Street.
I am in the fortunate position of having worked as an independent football scout for the Indiana Red Hawks since I retired from the Royal Marines in 1998. The marines gave me the opportunity to travel all over the world and I’ve taken that experience with me to work with youngsters in Africa, Eastern Europe and closer to home. In that time I’ve identified a number of potential stars, some of whom I believe could add something special to this current Arsenal squad should M.Wenger and Ivan Gazidis see fit to follow my advice.
We can all speculate on what or who we need and in which positions, and recently we’ve added Petr Cech so perhaps negated the need for a reliable keeper (no disrespect to our incumbents implied though, Ooooooooosssssspina has been one of most effective guardians for many years). Most seem to think, despite the emergence of le Coq (something none of us expected*) that we need to add a defensive midfielder. Others will say we need a proven goalscorer or at least someone that can guarantee 25-30 goals a season.
But it isn’t easy to find these ‘missing links’, especially in the cutthroat world of oil rich mega clubs and greed driven agents. If Arsenal wants a high profile professional footballer you can bet your life savings that so do City, Utd, Chelsea, and the Spanish, Italian or German Giants.
So it pays to have embedded scouting networks and (as Arsenal have done) make use of new technologies that allow us to identify and monitor future stars; stars that our competitors have NOT noticed (well not yet anyway).
So here are some names for you to conjure with, some may be familiar others less so. But remember where you heard them first!
First up is Cistač Zamiatarka, just 19 but a real hot prospect in the French second division. Cistač was born in Turkey but his father moved to France in 2007 with his catering business. His son had already shown evidence of his ability and was being tracked by Fenebache and a number of other Turkish sides. Cistač is a strong tackling midfielder who could, at a pinch, play centre half. His future probably lies in a classic sweeper role. He has European citizenship so there’s no problem with work permits. I reckon Arsene could do worse than give him a trial as a potential understudy to Coquelin.
Next I’d like us to take a look at Onbekend Doelskieter. Onbé (as he prefers to be called) is muscular centre forward. He is a Namibian national but currently plays for FC Duisburg in the German second division. He is 18 so perhaps a bit early for this season but is being talked about as Drogba-esque. For him to still be relatively unknown until now is amazing but we’d have to act fast.
One player that I’ve had my eye on for a few years is Don Kri. He plays in Hungary for Vasas FC and suits the holding midfield position best. Already 20 and beginning to catch the eye of Italian scouts he is a raw talent than someone like M. Wenger could cultivate
Finally a bit of pace on the wing (just in case Theo does decided not to sign ‘da ting’). I saw this guy playing for the German side Nurnberg last year in a reserve match and boy is he quick. He’s Moroccan and has all the tricks – Al Alzata Rapida is his name.
So there you have it (or them) – four potential under-the-radar buys we could make. Not box office or marquee maybe but in a few years time I reckon one of two of these could be household names.
Scott P. Reid (an IUN affiliated coach)
* except Tony of course J
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