Scouting Spotlight: Santi Mina, Moise Kean, James Maddison

Scouting Spotlight looks at Santi Mina, who is on Manchester City and Barcelona's radar, as well as Juventus' rising star Moise Kean and Norwich's James Maddison.

Santi Mina -- Valencia

The latest Valencia attacker to be assessed in Scouting Spotlight, following Goncalo Guedes and Rodrigo, Mina is a star in the making at Mestalla. Given his form this season, it won't be long until the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid come calling.

Playing style

Despite only turning 22 in December, Mina has already amassed over 100 appearances in La Liga for Celta Vigo and Valencia, with that experience beginning to show in his most impressive campaign to date. A tenacious attacker who can play across the forward line, Mina has developed his tactical understanding under Marcelino to play an important role in Valencia's rise to third.

Although occasionally positioned on the left flank, from where he can cut inside on his favoured right foot, the Spain under-21 international is primarily deployed as a centre-forward or false nine. He possesses excellent technical ability, the speed and intelligence to drag defenders out of position, and the persistence to make the most of even the slightest hesitation at the back.

Mina also has a knack of stealing in between defenders to get on the end of crosses, helping himself to eight goals in La Liga, or one every 107 minutes he has been on the pitch.


Mina couldn't save Valencia from a 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday, although he briefly halved the deficit by heading in Daniel Parejo's corner early in the second half. It was a typical poacher's finish from a player who has claimed 11 goals and one assist in all competitions, including three strikes in his last three appearances.

The youngster's goal in Valencia's Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Alaves last week highlighted his rapid acceleration as he burst forward from well inside his own half to collect Simone Zaza's pass and tidily slot home. He demonstrated his composure in the box with a brace against Real Zaragoza in the same competition earlier in the season.

Where would he fit in?

Barcelona are keeping a close eye on Mina's performances while Manchester City have also been credited with an interest. If the 22-year-old leaves in the summer, Valencia stand to make a significant profit on the €10 million they paid Celta Vigo when they signed the forward on a six-year contract in 2015.

Moise Kean -- Hellas Verona (on loan from Juventus)

Juventus' record-breaking teenager became the first player born in the 2000s to appear in one of Europe's four major leagues when he made his debut as a 16-year-old in November 2016. Kean set the same record in the Champions League three days later, but is spending the current campaign on loan to Hellas Verona to maintain his development.

Playing style

A pacy forward with quick feet to match his speed off the ball, Kean can play as a central striker or on the wing. His finishing ability caught the eye as he notched 24 goals in 26 games for Juventus U17s in 2016, which fast-tracked him into the first team picture under Massimiliano Allegri.

The 17-year-old has been forced to work on other aspects of his game with Verona as he finds goalscoring opportunities harder to come by at the Serie A relegation strugglers. Kean has the strength and determination to hold off defenders with his back to goal and is a threat in the air with his impressive leap.


After struggling to hold down a regular starting spot this season, Kean demonstrated his potential at the weekend by helping Verona claim a shock 4-1 win away to Fiorentina with two smart finishes either side of half time. It marked the teenager's third and fourth goals of the campaign after he also found the net with a well-placed shot in a 3-0 win over AC Milan and a close range finish in a 2-2 draw away to Torino.

With five yellow cards in 17 appearances, Kean has more cautions than goals at this stage and will want to avoid any further disciplinary issues.

Where would he fit in?

Following friction between the forward's father, Biorou, and Juventus last summer, owing to a bizarre dispute over a fleet of tractors the club had supposedly promised, there has been talk of Kean leaving the Serie A giants on a permanent basis when his loan at Verona expires.

Manchester City and Arsenal are thought to be admirers, while PSV Eindhoven were reported to have had a €7m offer rejected last year. Although Biorou previously denied that Mino Raiola represented his son, Moise has spoken of the agent's role in his career and how he introduced him to his idol Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

James Maddison -- Norwich City

A Premier League target in the January transfer window, talented attacking midfielder Maddison is certain to make the step up from the Championship before long.

Playing style

A playmaker adept at finding pockets of space, one of Maddison's greatest assets is the way he receives the ball in the final third. Similar to Harry Winks, whom Michael Cox wrote about here, the 21-year-old is keenly aware of his options before taking a pass and opening up his body to glide away from defenders.

The speed at which he can exploit the slightest opportunity was evidenced by his stunning winner against Brentford at the weekend, when he turned, rolled the ball around his opponent, and then lashed it in the far corner.

Maddison is confident carrying the ball forward, can hold it under pressure, and has the vision to create chances from open play and set-pieces, laying on five goals for his teammates in the Championship.


Considering this is Maddison's first full season at Championship level -- having previously made only three appearances following his move from Coventry in 2016 -- he has adapted seamlessly. Saturday's spectacular strike was his fifth matchwinner of the campaign and third in the last four matches as Norwich desperately fend off bids for their talisman in the winter transfer window.

With eight strikes and five assists, Maddison has played a direct role in nearly half of the Canaries' 29 league goals as they look to make a late push for the play-offs.

Where would he fit in?

West Ham had a £12m bid rejected earlier this month, with Norwich demanding significantly more to sell halfway through the season. The Hammers could miss out if they wait until the summer though, as both Liverpool and Tottenham monitor his progress.