Tarun Sukumar pens his thoughts on five players to keep your eye on this season, the youngsters he expects to make the leap to first-team regulars! Tarun will be joining the team to cover La Liga with our two other regulars, William and Daniel!
5. Ruben Duarte (20, Espanyol): Left Back
The 20-year-old left back played 21 times for Espanyol last season but had a miserable start to the new season against Sevilla when Espanyol conceded 6 goals, but with bags of potential this youngster has the ability to bounce back. Having represented Spain’s national team at almost every level and invited to train with the full national squad at such a tender age, his international debut is surely just a short while away.
4. Sergio Rico (23, Sevilla): Goalkeeper
The two-time winner of the Europa league had a disappointing end to last season after being displaced by David Soria but a change in management has meant he has reclaimed his starting berth. His summer at the Euros with Del Bosque and Spain will surely have given him confidence to perform again for his club. With Iker Casillas’ Spain career in doubt, can Rico capitalise?
3. Saúl Ñíguez (21, Atlético Madrid): Central Midfielder
Saúl has had a cracking first season with Atlético Madrid. A fortuitous injury to Tiago Mendes resulted in him getting an extended run in midfield and the 21-year-old hasn’t looked back. His combative style and versatility, developed from his time at centre back on loan at Rayo Vallecano, helped cement his place in Los Colchoneros’ engine room. His impressive overhead kick against Barcelona has also highlighted his potential which offers real promise with regards to his continued growth this season.
2. Marco Asensio (20, Real Madrid): Winger
Asensio’s season has begun in stunning fashion as he scored with a 25 metre effort against Sevilla on his competitive debut for Real Madrid. Having already scored twice this season, he has claimed Jese’s vacant spot ahead of the impressive Lucas Vázquez. This could be a very important season for the 20-year-old: has he got the ability to take advantage of any injuries to Bale and Ronaldo or could he be left far behind Vázquez and Morata? Can he maintain the expectations of Los Merengues?
1. Pione Sisto (21, Celta de Vigo): Striker
Celta de Vigo’s new €5 million signing has already got 2 goals in his first 4 starts and most notably one against Barcelona in an exhilarating 4-3 win. The 21-year-old Danish is a strong dribbler and long shot specialist making him the perfect replacement for the departed Nolito. He is still settling into the rigorous life of Spanish football but the talent is there for all to see. Can he take Celta to new heights?
Agree with Tarun? Want to add any others to the list? Get in touch at @FreshGegenpress!