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Blog - The Scout's Notebook

Fabian Schar: Basel defender the answer to Arsenal's problems?

Fabian Schar is making a name for himself in the Swiss league.

Arsenal have suffered from a lack of defensive options so far this season. While the decision to sell centre-back Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona was a correct one given his inability to recover from injury, the failure to sign sufficient cover in such a vital area of the pitch has undoubtedly cost them points. It should therefore come as no surprise they've recently been linked with Basel's ball-playing defender, Fabian Schar.

Born and raised in the quaint city of Wil in northeastern Switzerland,...

Marco Asensio: Mallorca talent joins Real Madrid and set for bright future

Marco Asensio will need to improve his defensive duties, but is an attacking threat.

Just a few days after sealing his move to Real Madrid, Marco Asensio was Mallorca's most impressive player in their 1-0 defeat away to Real Betis on Monday evening. Loaned back to the club he was already at, the midfielder was involved in all of their best play and came close to scoring with a well-struck low effort off the outside of the post. He caused danger whenever he turned and ran at the home defence.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a rapid ascension to his current status as the most talked about...

Emiliano Martinez: Could Arsenal's rookie goalkeeper become their No. 1?

Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has staked a claim to become Arsenal's No.1 following some assured performances.

Emiliano Martinez began the season as Arsenal's third-choice goalkeeper but recent injuries to David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny have provided him with a chance to stake his claim for a regular role as No. 1.

He has conceded just twice in four appearances and will be hoping to keep his third consecutive clean sheet in Wednesday's match at home to Southampton.

Martinez's path to the Premier League began in the Argentinian seaside resort of Mar del Plata, where he was born and raised. He turned out...

Scouting Report: Palermo's Dybala to become better than Lionel Messi?

Palermo striker Paulo Dybala has been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, but the Serie A side are adamant he will stay at the club.

Paulo Dybala increased his burgeoning profile with a superbly taken goal in Palermo's 1-1 draw away to Genoa on Monday. The young Argentinian picked up the ball on the right, skipped inside a challenge and curled a beautiful effort into the far corner of the net. It was his fifth goal of the Serie A campaign, and the third consecutive match in which he scored. Three years after arriving in Italy, he is beginning to make his mark.

PAULO DYBALA


D.o.B: November 15, 1993
Born: Argentina
Club: Palermo
Contract until: June 2016
Position: Striker
Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Manchester United, Real Madrid

Dybala was born in Laguna Larga in the salubrious hills of Córdoba...

 By Alex Labidou

Scouting America: Rubio Rubin can be a versatile weapon for the U.S.

ESPN FC's Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman wrap up a tremendous year for the United States and wonder if 2015 will be a letdown.

After teenage forward Rubio Rubin made his United States debut in the recent friendly against Colombia, ESPN FC asked a scout who currently works for a Champions League club in one of Europe's top leagues (England, Spain, Italy or Germany) to assess the potential of the 18-year-old.

Here is his scouting report:

Strengths

"Rubin is technically gifted, smart, and physically capable of holding his own and put in a steady and mature performance against one of the world's best sides in Colombia. He showed...

 By Chris Atkins

Bayern youngster Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ready to fill Philipp Lahm void

As a 19-year-old at one of the biggest clubs on earth, decisions can be difficult to make. On the one hand, players are normally understandably confident of their own ability to eventually make first-team level -- self-belief being a prerequisite to reach the very top level. Yet, for many, there is also a stark understanding of the realities of the challenge they face.

For Bayern Munich's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, that time has come. Once of Brondby, the Denmark international midfielder is now in his...