OTP Bank Liga’s Top 5 Prospects

Written by Tomasz Mortimer

The Hungarian season came to an end on Sunday with Ferencvaros securing the last Europa League spot with a 2-0 win over Paks, a day after Debrecen won their seventh NBI title in ten seasons, despite losing 2-0 at home to Honved.

With the season finishing and a lot of young, able footballers sprouting up across the league, I’ll take you through the top five Under 21’s in NBI who have made an impact on the league this year.

Zsolt Kalmar, Gyor, 18 – The 18 year Gyor man is without doubt the biggest prospect Hungary posseses right now. Kalmar is like an old school trequartista, not the fastest, but is superb technically and likes to play behind the striker, but can operate on either wing or even in a deeper centre midfield position. The red haired playmaker plays with a great maturity which you rarely see in one so young, shields the ball excellently from bigger more robust opponents, and has a great eye for a pass. He recently made his debut for Hungary coming off the bench against Denmark and less than a week later captained the U19 team in a 4-2 victory over England C. A calm, measured personality off the pitch, Kalmar is surely destined for great things.

Muhamed Besic, Ferencvaros, 21 – Far and above the best footballer in Hungarian football right now. The 21 year old Bosnian has recently been called up to the national team for the upcoming World Cup and has been labelled by Safet Susic as the only Bosnian able to man mark Lionel Messi. Besic was voted man of the match for Bosnia in Friday’s game against Ivory Coast, and has been outstanding in NBI this season playing at centre back, right back and defensive midfield. He arrived in Hungary off the back of some disciplinary issues at HSV, but since arriving at Ferencvaros he’s matured massively. Excellent on the ball, great positionally and strong in the challenge, Besic will be at a top club next season for sure, and is set to take the World Cup by storm!

Andras Rado, Haladas, 20 – A real prospect, Rado turned down a loan move to Genk in January, but has been linked to a number of clubs across Europe including Nice, Dinamo Minsk, Heerenveen and Ferencvaros in Hungary. Rado possesses almost all the attributes you want from a top class striker – quick, good in the air, can finish and can also beat a man. Unfortunately for Rado, he’s quite small, and quite weak, but that physicality should develop with age as he’s only 20. Rado can either play as a lone striker or behind the front man, and can even operate on either wing if needed. Rado at times has carried Haladas this season, scoring 14 goals and assisting 11 in 29 league games, and definitely won’t be at the club next season.

Mario Nemeth, Haladas, 18 – Perhaps a contentious decision, Mario Nemeth is yet to play for Hungary U21’s but he’s a massive part of the Hungary U19’s side who are concentrating on developing a cohesive side for the upcoming Euro U19 tournament, which is being held in Hungary. The recently turned 19 year old has been excellent for Haladas this season in centre midfield, operating as a box to box midfielder. He’s the typical Haladas academy player – small but very good technically, and he also has a great shot on him. He’s only provided 2 goals and 1 assist in 25 games this season, but for an 18 year old bursting onto the scene, there is a lot of potential in this boy.

David Holman, Ferencvaros, 21 – Another very technical player, Holman is another old trequartista type player, who operates behind the striker. Holman is very good at linking play and creating chances, but this season he’s not kicked on as much as many would’ve expected grabbing just 3 assists and 3 goals in 22 league games, which some might see as a disappointment. It was however his first full season in NBI, so it would be harsh to dismiss the 21 year old’s great potential, especially as there is foreign interest from Lech Poznan and Genk. Probably needs to leave Hungary soon if he’s wants to develop into a future national team star.