Kevin Quevedo for Alianza Lima (Photo: Peru.com)
The Peruvian Waltz Top 50

The Top 50 Peruvian U-23 Players: 30-21

The Peruvian Waltz’s Top 50 Peruvian U-23 players series continues, with Part 3 of the series featuring No. 30 to No. 21.

If you missed the first two installments, you can check out 50-41 and 40-31.

30. Alexis Arias

Who is Alexis Arias?

Alexis Arias was born in Callao in 1995. He’s been at FBC Melgar since 2014 and is a central midfielder. At 21 years old, he was a key player for Juan Reynoso in 2015, the year where Melgar won their second title in their centenary season.

Arias can also play right midfield and debuted professionally in a match between Melgar and San Martin. The ‘Dominó’ won 2-0.

He was first formed at Esther Grande de Bentín and was close to joining Renato Tapia at FC Twente of the Netherlands. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury that kept him off the pitch for several months and the opportunity to make the leap abroad went away.

Alexis received his first call to the national team in 2016 but did not debut and hasn’t been called up in recent matches. However, he has played at youth level.

Style and Strengths

Arias plays in central midfield. His main attribute is his dribbling ability and also to go further up the pitch and assist his fellow teammates in attack.

Potential

At 21 years of age, Alexis must consolidate himself at Melgar and take advantage of playing internationally (Copa Libertadores) to improve and be able to emigrate to another league at a higher standard.

Karol Suclla (@KarolSuclla)

29. Rudy Palomino

Who is Rudy Palomino?

Rudy Palomino is a Cusco-born player at 18 years of age. Actually, there’s more – he was born in Machu Pichu and his first club was also based there. He currently plays for Cienciano and is an undisputed starter for them in the Segunda Division.

He got named in the Segunda team of the year in 2016 and also participated in the U-20 Sudamericano in Ecuador earlier this year, where he also got several minutes. He plays as a defensive midfielder.

Style and Strengths

He is a ball-winning midfielder, and a very good one at that. His ability to win the ball back is great. His timing of the tackle and closing down are his main strengths, similar to Pedro Aquino although with a few more limitations than the Lobos man.

Potential

He is more than likely going to move to Real Garcilaso next year. He’s technically a Cusqueño despite being born in Machu Pichu and will probably stick around in his home region for a bit, although at a higher level.

Cienciano are not going to get promoted this season and his best bet to get attention in the Primera is to go to Real Garcilaso who are probably going to be the main candidate to make a move for Rudy should he continue to impress in the Segunda.

He is likely going to make the jump to Liga MX in the future, but will stay in Peru for a while.

Brian Bertie (@b_bertie98)

28. Horacio Benincasa

Who is Horacio Benincasa?

Benincasa is a 23-year-old defender who currently plays for Universitario. He was born in Buenos Aires and began his career at Racing Club before moving to Lima as a teenager. Eventually, the centre-back made his professional debut in 2013 with Ayacucho.

Additionally, Benincasa had trials with the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Monchengladbach, Freiburg and Tottenham Hotspur. He was a member of Peru’s U-17 squad in 2011 and was called up for friendlies back in 2014, but has yet to earn a cap.

Strengths and weaknesses

Benincasa has the ability to play at left-back, but is much more comfortable as a central defender. He has improved immensely with his positioning and awareness since Pedro Troglio took over as coach.

While he is solid at the back, Benincasa is not as capable on the ball compared to other young defenders in the Descentralizado.

Potential

Benincasa’s room for growth is limited at 23, but he is already one of the more well-rounded defenders in Peru. He could be a serviceable backup for the national team if he continues to thrive in Troglio’s system.Horacio Benincasa

Peter Galindo (@GalindoPW)

27. Kevin Quevedo

Who is Kevin Quevedo?

The 20-year-old forward was a regular starter for Alianza Lima, en route to their triumph in the Apertura. He turned heads after bagging four goals against Juan Aurich on March 12, but failed to score after that breakout performance.

Quevedo was actually a member of Universitario for a brief spell before joining their crosstown rivals. He was also in Peru’s U-20 squad for the Sudamericano this past winter. However, he logged just 34 minutes.

Strengths and weaknesses

Quevedo has devastating speed, especially on the ball. When he gets going, very few defenders can stop him. Sometimes pacey players can be erratic with their control and composure, but that is not the case with one of Alianza’s prized possessions.

The only real knock against Quevedo is his lack of scoring opportunities. He finished several games without a single shot. However, it’s worth noting that he was able to unlock opposing defences with his dribbling and pace.

Potential

If Quevedo keeps playing regularly for Alianza, where Pablo Bengoechea has utilized the club’s wealth of riches from the academy, then he can turn into one of the league’s best forwards.

Should Quevedo become a proper goal-scorer, then he could find himself moving abroad to Liga MX or Brazil within a couple of years.

Peter Galindo (@GalindoPW)

26. Roberto Siucho

Who is Roberto Siucho

Roberto Siucho is a pure Universitario man. He didn’t start at Academia Chumpitaz – like Flores. He also didn’t start at Virgen de Chapi – like Trauco. He started at the actual club and remains there at 20 years of age.

He’s participated at many youth levels internationally. Siucho began with the under-17s in 2013 and he participated in the U-20 Sudamericano in 2015 and 2017. He particularly impressed in 2017.

Style and Strengths

Roberto Siucho has one big strength and one big weakness. He’s a left winger and a quick one at that. His dribbling is excellent and he possesses the ability to bomb past his man.

His weakness is his end product. It’s not terrible because he’s composed, but his power is lacking. Accuracy and crossing are also not his strong suits.

Potential

Siucho is not a player who is highly rated by Universitario fans, and for a reason. He has been rotating within the side since 2013 and has not shown any sign of improvement.

However, this could be blamed on the poor management at Universitario. Since 2013, most of the managers at La U weren’t serious. With the exception of Luis Fernando Suarez, they were all inexperienced and friends with the club. Roberto Chale, while a small exception, wasn’t the best at developing players and the same could be said about Jose Carranza.

Since Pedro Troglio stepped in, he’s been slowly showing signs of improvement and development, and he’s only 20. He’s got a few flaws to cut but once he does he can become a very good player. The demand of La U fans is big and he’s not doing too badly to cope with the pressure.

Brian Bertie (@b_bertie98)

25. Nilson Loyola

Who is Nilson Loyola?

Nilson Loyola was born in Lima in 1994 in the district of San Martin de Porres but he is from Rimac. He plays as a left-back for FBC Melgar although can also play as a left midfielder and a forward, his original position. He is 23 years old and is a key player in Juan Reynoso’s team. It should be noted he is the son of former footballer Cesar Loyola.

He debuted with Melgar in 2016 in a Copa Libertadores game against Independiente del Valle with La Rojinegra He scored his first goal against Deportivo Municipal, giving the victory to his team.

He started at Sporting Cristal at the age of seven, and he stuck around in La Florida until he was 18. When he signed for Melgar, he played in his original position at forward in 2014 but in a match against Universitario in the Torneo de Reservas, he played on the left and excelled, so he took over in that role and never looked back.

He was first called up to the national team last November and debuted in the 4-1 win over Paraguay, but made his first start in the 2-0 loss at home to Brazil due to Miguel Trauco’s suspension.

After some words with Nilson, he would like to move abroad as soon as possible, and he’s thrilled by the prospect of playing in the Descentralizado, but he knows that to achieve that goal, he must work hard.

Style and Strengths

Loyola is solid at joining the attack and tracking back to fulfill his defensive duties. He’s also quick on the timing of his tackles and has good anticipation.

Potential

If Loyola continues to work hard, he will likely go abroad. To his advantage, he should perform well in an international competition for Melgar or for the national team in order to impress scouts from abroad.

Karol Suclla (@KarolSuclla)

24. Pier Larrauri

Who is Pier Larrauri?

An Italian-born midfielder who represented Leicester City and Pachuca as a teenager, Larrauri is now with Deportivo Municipal. He’s also played for Alianza Lima, Cienciano and Sporting Cristal.

The 23-year-old is an attack-minded midfielder who has become an integral player for Municipal in 2017 after earning occasional starts at Alianza in 2016.

Strengths and weaknesses

Larrauri loves to shoot from distance, but is not an accomplished scorer as of yet. He is a tricky player who likes to dribble past defenders and create chances.

Being a creative midfielder means that Larrauri can give away possession in dangerous areas. But he is still one of Municipal’s most consistent attacking players.

Potential

Like every other 23-year-old in the top 50, Larrauri’s potential is more limited, especially as an attacker. However, his Apertura performances showed that he can make an impact with a bigger club, which is where his future probably lies.

Peter Galindo (@GalindoPW)

23. Enmanuel Paucar

Who is Enmanuel Paucar

Enmanuel Paucar, 21, currently plays for Universitario, although he was formed at EGB along with other players on this list.

He plays as a central or holding midfielder. He’s played for the national team at U-15, U-17 and U-20 level but has yet to debut for the senior side.

Style and Strengths

His debut in the Primera Division was in 2015, where he played a little over 15 games in his first season. He’s shown great technique when he has to fulfill defensive duties, winning the ball back and anticipating the movement of the opposition.

He’s also a quick player when he has the ball and can be a surprisingly dangerous presence in the box. While he’s more of a ball-winning midfielder, he could also be a roaming playmaker – similar to Yaya Toure.

Since he was incorporated into the Universitario first team, he’s shown many signs of development year-by-year, mostly in his physique and his mentality.

Potential

This being his third season in the Primera with La U, he’s been an undisputed starter ever since Pedro Troglio took over. Troglio not only admires Paucar, but he also sees a great future for the midfielder.

He’s taken a huge leap in standard this season and if he keeps this consistency, it won’t be long before he receives international recognition. He likely won’t earn a call-up to the national team at this time due to La Blanquirroja fighting for a World Cup spot, but he might receive a chance in the March friendlies.

Diego Peralta (@diegoperalta025)

22. Cristian Benavente

Who is Cristian Benavente?

Benavente is currently playing at Charleroi in Belgium. He was born in Spain, but is eligible for Peru through his mother.

Born in 1994 in Alcala de Henares, the 23-year-old impressed at a very young age for Real Madrid Castilla, and it was almost certain that he had a bright future.

He debuted for the national team against Argentina in 2013 after Peru were already eliminated. He was part of the U-20 side in 2013 that barely missed out on qualification to the World Cup, and got his chance in that match in Buenos Aires. He took it well and impressed the entire nation.

However, after Sergio Markarian departed as coach, current manager Ricardo Gareca told Benavente to find a new team or he would be left off the squad. His playing time at Castilla became limited and Gareca saw that his development was going nowhere. Eventually, Benavente moved to MK Dons before finally settling at Charleroi.

Benavente is getting some playing time today, but after finally returning to the national team in 2016, he did not impress. He is no longer a fixture in the squad, but he still has time to change that.

Style and Strengths

Benavente is a typical attacking midfielder. His best ability is creating link-up play through short passes and his off-the-ball movement to generate space for the team.

Just like in the middle, Benavente can also play on the wings. His dribbling and quick reactions are two of his best qualities and allow him to thrive out wide.

Potential

He had some trouble in leaving Real Madrid Castilla but now that he’s at Charleroi, Benavente has perhaps found the team where he can show what he’s worth.

At 23, his potential is more limited than others as has been mentioned with other 23-year-olds on this list. However, Benavente has the talent to become one of the most important creative players for Peru, and 2017 can be the year where he rekindles his form.

Diego Peralta (@diegoperalta025)

21. Johan Madrid

Who is Johan Madrid?

Johan Madrid is 21 years old and plays for Sport Rosario de Huaraz, on loan from Sporting Cristal. He is a right-back who hails from Callao.

He has n0t participated in any youth international tournaments unlike some of the other players on this list.

Style and Strengths

Madrid is a tactical and balanced full-back. He’s been a solid defender in the pragmatic system Sport Rosario have used this season, but has stood out offensively when overlapping and transitioning into attack.

Potential

Madrid is arguably the best right-back in the league, and has plenty of time to reach his full potential.

It should be mentioned that Madrid was one of the candidates to be called up as the national team’s third right-back this September. He was eventually beaten out by Rodrigo Cuba after participating in training with Peru.

There is still no doubting that Madrid is the right-back of the future for the national team once Luis Advincila begins aging.

Brian Bertie (@b_bertie98)

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