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Transfer Rater: Van Dijk to Arsenal

Blog - Transfer Talk
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 By Nick Miller

Aymeric Laporte tops the list of the Europe's best young defenders

Aymeric Laporte epitomises the modern defender: equally comfortable on defence as he is in leading an attack.

With so much emphasis placed on young attacking talent, it's easy to forget there are plenty of impressive defenders out there too. Here are 10 of Europe's best defenders under the age of 25.

10. John Stones, 23, Manchester City

The English are often very harsh on their own. Quite why is unclear, but for evidence you only have to look at Stones' career. Presumably because of his colossal £47.5 million transfer fee, you will usually find more people commenting on the negatives of Stones' game...

Christian Pulisic scores, Dortmund run clean sheet streak to five at Hamburg

Borussia Dortmund moved top of the Bundesliga and remain unbeaten to start the season with a win over Hamburg.
Christian Pulisic glides past the Hamburg defense to slam home his second Bundesliga goal of the season.
After a standout showing vs. Hamburg, the FC panel dig into Christian Pulisic's ever expanding impact for Borussia Dortmund.
Christian Pulisic feels Dortmund executed their game plan versus Hamburg to perfection.

Borussia Dortmund remain on top of the Bundesliga after Matchday five, dismantling Hamburg 3-0 at the Volksparkstadion on Wednesday night. Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic put their names on the scoresheet but the real star of Dortmund's domestic season so far is their defence, picking up a fifth consecutive clean sheet.

Hamburg SVHamburg SV
Borussia DortmundBorussia Dortmund
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Positives

The match on the muddy pitch in Hamburg wasn't always easy on the eyes. Both teams applied their pressing well to make it a scrappy...

 By Mark Lovell

Bayern Munich look vulnerable with Sven Ulreich back-up to Manuel Neuer

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti has played down reports of a rift between Carlo Ancelotti and his players.

Bayern Munich have three players they cannot afford to be without for a long time -- Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer. The German champions will be rocked by the news their captain and goalkeeper Neuer will miss the rest of the year after surgery on his foot.

Bayern's captain suffered a recurrence of his metatarsal misery and went under the knife on the same day as the German champions, seeking their sixth Bundesliga in succession, moved back to the top of the table with a...

 By Mark Lovell

James Rodriguez's dazzling full debut helps Bayern Munich past Schalke

James Rodriguez was impressive in his debut for new club Bayern.

Chasing a sixth Bundesliga title in succession, Bayern Munich moved serenely to the top of the table with a comfortable 3-0 Bundesliga win over Schalke courtesy of goals from Robert Lewandowski, James Rodriguez and substitute Arturo Vidal.

Positives

Without two of their best players in the injured Manuel Neuer and under-the-weather Arjen Robben -- and following a particularly timid setback in Hoffenheim on Sept. 9 -- Bayern returned to winning ways on the road with Colombia international Rodriguez...

Borussia Dormund targeting the title after strong Bundesliga opening

Peter Bosz revels in Borussia Dortmund's 5-0 thumping of Cologne following their UCL defeat to Tottenham.

Confidence is running high again in Dortmund after they bounced back from a scoreless draw in Freiburg and a hurtful 3-1 away loss in the Champions League to Tottenham by defeating last-place Cologne in a 5-0 drubbing on Sunday.

BVB remain top of the Bundesliga with 10 points to their name after four matches. Being top of the table, of course, has to be taken with an asterisk, as Cologne announced they want to protest the result after referee Patrick Ittrich wrongfully allowed a goal to be reviewed...

Pulisic's maturity and play for Borussia Dortmund belie his tender age

The FC crew mark Christian Pulisic's 19th birthday by evaluating his progress and his ceiling for both club and country.
On Christian Pulisic's 19th birthday, Brian McBride says the teenager is on the path to becoming the best U.S. player ever.

In footballing terms, the distance must have felt like light-years, even if Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Dortmund are only a few hours apart by plane. It soon became apparent, however, that Christian Pulisic, a shy, slight boy aged 16, was ready to make the leap -- and more quickly than anyone could have anticipated. Within his first 12 months in Germany, he helped the Black and Yellows win Under-17 and Under-19 championships and broke into Borussia's first XI under coach Thomas Tuchel.

His progress...