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Young Colombian player is a prototype of a perfect defender and a pillar of defence in River Plate, Argentinian champion.
South America is a gold mine for young talents and the main sources are traditionally Brazil and Argentina. But in last few years Colombia has produced some great talents as well. Mostly these talents play in more offensive positions, but we can find few defensive gems as well, Eder Alvarez Balanta is one of them gems, probably the shiniest one.
River Plate's central defender played 29 games last season for the Argentinian giant and also managed to win the league with them. He took role in taking Colombia to FIFA World Cup in Brazil this year, playing for his national side in four games in qualifications and one game against Japan at the main tournament.
Because of his undisputable talent and great technique, few large clubs were mentioned when it comes to his footballing future, probably the biggest name that has been mention is Barcelona.
He started his career playing as a attacking midfielder in Colombia, and was later on moved to position of a defensive midfielder in River's youth team and also played as left fullback. He had to wait for his chance to play as a central defender, but once the position opened up back in 2012. at River's youth team, he never switched it again. He also managed to win U20 Copa Libertadores that year, which ultimately earned him position in the first team.
In 2013. he made his debut for the River's first team against Racing. It didn't took him long to score his first goals at the senior level, managing to score not once but twice in his first month of playing at the highest level.
Eder has a tendency to run with the ball forward and join the attack once he sees opportunity for it, and quite frankly he's really good at it, and can often surprise opposing defenders with dribbles in the process. It is this style of play that has attracted Barcelona, as Catalonians need a defender who participates in the creation of the attack and is secure in possession of the ball.
Although interest for Balanta's services is high, Barcelona, Valencia, West Ham and Inter are just some of the clubs interested, River is in no hurry to sell their greatest talent. He has a minimum fee release that binds him to the Argentinian club and is worth 25.000.000 euros.
His voyages on the pitch have ended and Balanta now plays in a position he was born for - central defender. Incredibly strong in duels, highly aggressive when attacking opposition players and always making pressure on player who has the ball. Even with this aggressive style of play you won't see him giving out many fouls for the opposition.
He lacks height for a classic central defender, he's 'only' 181 cm tall, but is nevertheless great in aerial challenges, especially when it comes to offensive free kicks for his team. As if that's not enough, Balanta possesses great pace and marking abilities, which make him a perfect young defender, who will undoubtedly play for some of the greatest football clubs in the world.
We already know for Balanta's talent from Football Manager 2014, and while we're at it, he was one of only 3 players in the game that had potential ability of -10, other two were Pogba and Marquinhos. So we have no doubt that Balanta will be one of the best wonderkids in Football Manager 2015.