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Blog - The Scout's Notebook

 By Lee Roden

Martin Odegaard: All about Real Madrid's Norwegian wonderkid

Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to play in a Euro qualifier.
Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to play in a Euro qualifier.

To fully grasp Martin Odegaard's age, consider the fact that he wasn't alive the last time Norway featured in a World Cup. Born little more than 16 years ago in Drammen, a small city southwest of Oslo, he was five months too late to be alive for his nation's run to the last 16 of France 98, though father Hans Erik certainly was. A midfielder for Stromsgodset between 1993 and 2003, Hans Erik is now better known as the man who took young Martin on a very public road show of Europe's top clubs throughout...

Brozovic dubbed 'Croatian Xavi,' but is he up to scratch for Arsenal?

Marcelo Brozovic has been likened to Barcelona star Xavi.

Arsenal's ongoing -- seemingly perpetual -- injury crisis has seen them linked to a number of players during the January transfer window. One of the strongest links, albeit one largely propagated by the player and his agent, has been to Dinamo Zagreb's Croatian international midfielder Marcelo Brozovic.

The 22-year-old began his career in his native Zagreb at Hrvatski Dragovoljac. He worked his way up through the youth ranks before debuting in 2010 at the age of 17 and impressed sufficiently...

The Scout's Notebook: Man City and Juventus target Bozhidar Kraev

Bozhidar Kraev
Attacking midfielder Bozhidar Kraev has been linked to a whole host of European clubs, including Manchester City and Juventus.

Just six months after making his professional debut for Levski Sofia, Bozhidar Kraev is already attracting the attention of major European clubs. With the Bulgarian season currently on a winter break, the 17-year-old has taken the opportunity to go on trial at a couple of Champions League sides. Juventus were the first to host the young attacking midfielder and last week it was Manchester City's turn.

Very few details regarding the outcome of the trial have emerged in the English press, but Kraev...

Scout's Notebook: Lazio's speedster Felipe Anderson has lit up Serie A

Lazio's Felipe Anderson has been directly involved in eight of their last 10 goals, helping the Serie A giants to third in the table.

Felipe Anderson produced a stunning and decisive performance in Lazio's 3-0 win over Sampdoria on Monday. "He looked like Cristiano Ronaldo tonight," the away coach Sinisa Mihajlovic noted after watching the Brazilian decimate his defence with a goal and two assists.

Lazio boss Stefano Pioli was similarly complimentary and will now hope that his young charge can continue his recent fine form into Sunday's derby against Roma.

Anderson's journey to Italy began in the town of Santa Maria in central...

Five players to watch at the Asian Cup

The Australian football team has begun its quest for a second successive Asian Cup final in Melbourne.

Less than 20 years ago, just five of the 352 players selected to take part in the 1996 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates plied their trade outside Asia. In the 2015 edition, which kicks off this Friday in Melbourne, Australia, there are 53 players who play their football away from their home continent - a reflection of the rapid globalisation of the game in the intervening period.

While many of the Middle Eastern countries have still chosen entirely Asian-based squads, the selections of Australia,...

The Scout's Notebook: A look at the top 21 players under 21 in 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, here is the Scout's Notebook breakdown of the top 21 players in world football aged 20 or younger as of Jan. 1, 2015.

Most of these players enjoyed a strong 2014 and will be hopeful of continuing their upward trend into the new year.

Aymeric Laporte - Centre-Back - Athletic Bilbao - 20 - France

Aymeric Laporte is one of the top young defenders around.

Tall, aerially commanding, strong in the tackle and an excellent distributor of the ball over various distances, Laporte is undoubtedly one of the best young centre-backs in world...