Already with the dream of Qatar 2022 frustrated, it’s time to get down to work on the future of the Peruvian team. The Under-20 is the category closest to taking the baton of the ‘Blanquirroja’ in a few years, so now the greatest attention and hope has been placed on this generation of young footballers, currently directed by Gustavo Roverano and which has some important figures who they militate abroad.
For some time now, the catchment area of the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) has been in constant search and contact with Peruvian talents around the world. That is why the U-20 has been able to add interesting prospects from abroad, especially from US soccer.
With these special reinforcements, Gustavo Roverano’s team is preparing for the South American of the category, which will take place in Colombia in 2023where quotas for the World Cup and also for the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile will be at stake.
To do this, the national U-20 has already held four microcycles so far this year, where some players who play abroad have already had the opportunity to show their talent to Roverano in the foreground. For this purpose, in this note we make a brief review of seven soccer players from abroad, in this category, to take into account in the coming months.
1. Kluiverth Aguilar
He is, without a doubt, the best known Peruvian who militates abroad. Kluiverth Aguilar, who made his professional debut at Alianza Lima when he was just 16 years old, left the blue and white institution in mid-2021 to continue his career at Lommel SK of the Belgian Second Divisiona club that belongs to the City Football Group Limited (CFG), a business group that acquired the services of the Peruvian for 2.5 million dollars.
With the Belgian team, Aguilar was only able to play five games in the 2021/22 season and then arrived in Peru to train at Videna. He was part of Gustavo Roverano’s last microcycle, and even acted as a sparring partner for the senior team days before the playoffs.
Today, he is the owner of the right wing of the U-20s and, due to his great experience at a young age and his indisputable talent, it will be quite difficult for someone to take the title from him in that position.
“He is a player with good physical display. He is very fast in tight spaces, he has very good panorama or vision in the field. His excellent technique makes it possible for him to make accurate passes. He has personality, he has a lot of character. In recent years he has been playing as a winger, although I particularly like him more as a central midfielder. In the Regatas he performed very well in that position (…) As he has had a greater vocation in attack, at the moment being a winger gives him a greater predisposition and ease of going on the attack. I think that’s the strongest side of him.”specifies Gonzalo Santiago Landacay, owner of the portal VSN – Fútbol de Menores, who has closely followed the evolution of Kluiverth.
2. Quembol Guadeloupe
Quembol Guadalupe, nephew of the renowned Luis ‘Cuto’ Guadalupe and cousin of Jefferson Farfán, is a great option for the Peruvian U-20 defense, although he is also a great option for the United States in the same category. Although the young back has played before in the Under-15s and has been part of the sparring team for the senior team, this year he has not been able to be taken into account in the category’s microcycles, so not long ago he decided to accept the call from the North American team.
The 19-year-old center-back was trained in the Sporting Cristal quarry, but in the midst of the pandemic the doors of the Orlando City Academy, where he currently militates. He has already done preseason with the first team and this year he is playing in the MLS Next Pro, where he has played three games.
There is quite a bit of competition in your area. Quembol has to compete for the position with players like Arón Sánchez, Leonardo Díaz and Matías Lazo in the U-20. Therefore, he is waiting for a new call to show what he is made of and try to establish himself behind the team.
“Apart from his physique, which has a good size with an athletic bearing, he knows how to play low down very well. He has a good start, he has good long strides. He is very good in the air and has a goal. He is a centre-back who adds to the attack, which (Alexander) Callens does a lot of today in MLS. It reminds me a lot of him”reports journalist Alonso Contreras, who covers Peruvians in US soccer.
One of the best discoveries of the FPF in minors was that of John Cortez. The 18-year-old winger has earned his high regard in Peru’s Under-20s. He is the true owner of the left wing in the category.
Currently, Cortez, 1.85 meters tall and with great projection, plays in the New York Red Bulls affiliate team and this year he has played four games in the USL Championship, the second division of US soccer.
“He is a very technical player. He projects well. He has a good foot, he knows how to go out playing calmly, he does not despair, and he has a very good record, something that has surprised the Federation. He is a very complete boy ”Alonso Contreras stands out on the left-hand side.
4. David Mejia
David Mejía has established himself as one of the best cards of the U-20 of Peru. The 18-year-old offensive midfielder was born in Lima – a Peruvian father and an American mother – and had a three-year training (2014-2017) at the San Martín University.
Currently, Mejía belongs to the Atalanta United 2, a club with which he signed his first professional contract in December of last year, and with which he plays the USL Championship. So far this season, he has appeared in 13 tournament matches, earning an assist for his personal record.
Not a minor fact is that the young attacking midfielder, who frequently rises to the winger position, was part of the U-13 national team and, lately, he has also been a sparring partner for the senior team.
“It’s an ’11′ that goes up and down. It helps the brand a lot. He has a good vision of the game, creating opportunities in assists and has a goal. What I like a lot about him is that the coach gives him the freedom to play on the right or on the left and he responds very well in the middle of the game. Many times he is the one who initiates a counterattack or the one who assists a goal. He is very fast too”describes Alonso Contreras.
5. Diego Otoya
The current ‘9’ holder of the U-20 of Peru is Diego Otoya. The young attacker has already shown his great goalscoring ability at Videna, managing to impose his preference over other important names in his position such as Sebastien Pineau and Marlon Perea.
At just 17 years old, Otoya plays in the MLS Next Pro with the San Jose Earthquakes Academy, having scored two goals in nine games played so far in that competition. Without a doubt, he is a good prospect as a centre-forward.
“It’s a ‘9’ goal. He really likes to open up the wingers when he receives the ball, something like Paolo Guerrero, who holds the ball and opens it to the sides. The truth is that Otoya always has the bow in his eyes. Left, right, heel, whatever, he always scores goals. He is a ‘9 ′ that must be taken care of, because at the time he has also been a scorer in other national categories, in the United States. You never know”emphasizes Alonso Conrreras.
6. Catriel Hair
One of the last foreigners to join the U-20 of Peru has been Catriel Cabellos, who in a short time has earned an important space in the national squad. In fact, the young man born in Argentina was the author of the only goal of the ‘Blanquirroja’ in a friendly against Uruguay that ended 1-1 during an international tour in May.
Catriel Cabellos, 17, is a highly skilled mixed midfielder who currently plays in the reserve for Racing Club of Argentinawhere he has established himself as a starter and has already had the opportunity to celebrate a goal.
It is important to mention that the young midfielder has previously worn the shirt of the Peruvian team in the U-15, having played the 2019 South American of the category. Now, he has a great chance to shine with the U-20s and he is taking advantage of it.
“He is a player with projection in Racing. Currently, he has been playing in the Reserves. He has established himself in his category and has even been captain. He was present at the South American U-15 that was played in Paraguay, where he was a starter in several games that the team had ”details Gonzalo Santiago Landacay.
7. Alexander Robertson
The efforts to have Alexander Robertson in the ‘Blanquirroja’ continue. Although the player born in Scotland, of a Peruvian mother, already rejected Peru a few years ago to play in the U-17, now the story can take a very important turn -similar to that of Gianluca Lapadula with the senior team-, after that in the internal of the FPF they are convinced lately that now the ‘jewel’ of the Manchester City is interested in representing our country.
Already at the beginning of this month, Gustavo Roverano had confirmed that the documents are being streamlined to have Robertson in the U-20. And finally, Pablo Bossi, Head of the Technical Unit for Minors of the FPF, has endorsed that statement, making it clear that the young Scot is willing to play for the national team, but he still has some problems with his paperwork, so he does not has been able to be summoned in the microcycles.
Alexander Robertson militates in the Manchester United U23, a team with which he has played eight games in the last season, having registered one assist. It is important to mention that the ‘citizens’ youth squad has previously represented the England Under-17s and, in addition to Peru, he can also play for Australia, the birthplace of his father Mark Robertson (ex-soccer player) and Scotland, where he was born .
“The boy is a great player. He has a top formation, he is a great midfielder who has very good projection. He is in our radius”Roverano said about Robertson at the beginning of June in an interview with ‘Charla Técnica’.
“He can play all over the front of the midfield, as a central midfielder, a little more forward inside or a little more on the wings. It is what has been seen in his matches at Manchester City. He is a very versatile, intelligent and tactically organized player”adds Gonzalo Santiago Landacay.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.