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LaLiga has a long-standing reputation for producing and promoting world-class talent.
With the closure of the transfer window, here are 10 of the top prospects to keep an eye out for this season. These 10 players all qualify for Under-21 status; some are already playing for the first team whilst others are on the verge of breaking through.
Watch out for these wonder-kids who are set to take the world by storm this season:
Age: 18 Team: Barcelona Position: Central Midfielder
LaLiga is famous for creating technical players who are excellent on the ball and work best in fluid systems. Pedri, who broke into Barcelona’s first team last season, was the driving force of their midfield and provides a unique creative spark.
The young midfielder came through at Las Palmas before moving to Barcelona and has quickly nailed down a starting position for Spain too, being awarded young player of the tournament at Euro 2020. He is energetic, keen to move the ball forward and always finding pockets of space. He shook the football world last season and will be an impactful player for many years to come.
Age: 21 Team: Real Sociedad Position: Striker
Alexander Isak turned heads with his great performances towards the end of last season and impressed massively at the European Championships. He is Real Sociedad’s talisman up top, and La Real often turn to him to produce magic when they need a goal.
He is tall and strong, but also exceptional when on the ball. He is a complete striker in the modern game, able to hold up play as well as make runs in behind. He has made a stellar start to his career and will look to solidify himself as Real Sociedad’s main man this season.
Age: 18 Team: Barcelona Position: Winger
Another youngster who instantly impressed at Barcelona, becoming the club’s youngest ever LaLiga goalscorer, Ansu Fati was recently given the highly respected No.10 shirt, which has been worn by legends such as Johan Cruyff, Ronaldinho and, of course, Lionel Messi.
Fati is a pacey winger who looks happiest with the ball at feet, keen to take players on, and always looking to create opportunities. He holds an incredible football IQ for such a young player and fits the Barca system perfectly.
Age: 18 Team: Valencia Position: Winger
Formerly signed to Arsenal’s academy in England, Musah was snapped up by Valencia B as he felt it was a more direct route to first team football. He has made a handful of appearances since breaking into the team, and already looks comfortable on the wing, despite only being 18.
His key attribute is his ability to drive on the ball at speed, which causes problems for opposing defences. He plays with flair and confidence and is likely to become a driving force for Valencia if he continues with his progression.
Age: 18 Team: Real Madrid Position: Central Midfielder
One of the marquee signings of the summer, Camavinga brings an aura of expectation with him to Real Madrid. Camavinga made his debut for the French national side at only 17 years, nine months and 29 days, making him their youngest debutant in over a century.
Powerful, dynamic and ready to become the focal point of Real Madrid for years to come. His energy and engine are already world class, showing production both defensively and in attack whilst at Rennes last season.
Camavinga thrives in high pressure situations and plays well beyond his age. He has an abundance of potential and should thrive under Carlo Ancelotti, who has a strong record in converting midfielders with top grade potential into world class players.
Age: 18 Teams: Villarreal Position: Winger
Villarreal have been producing top youth talent for years, and Yeremi Pino has emerged as one of the most promising prospects.
Pino became the youngest player to win the Europa League as he started in the final against Manchester United. He also impressed when starting against Chelsea in the Super Cup.
He brings pace and plays without fear, and is often direct, trying his best to advance the team up the pitch. He is still raw, at only 18, but under Unai Emery and the top-level facilities at Villarreal, he could soon turn into one of LaLiga’s brightest stars.
Age: 20 Team: Mallorca (on loan from Real Madrid) Position: Winger
Takefusa Kubo is returning for his second spell at Mallorca and will look to kick on where he left off. He became a cult hero with Mallorca on his first spell with the club, where at 18 he contributed with four goals and five assists as the team battle bravely against relegation.
He was a star performer that season and has developed his game greatly since then, and impressed in the second half of last season with Getafe. He may not have any goal contributions but his dynamic runs and positive impact on the tempo of the team has not gone unnoticed so far this season.
Others to watch out for
Age: 19 Team: Alaves Position: winger
On loan from Manchester United, Alaves have high expectations for the Uruguayan, who showed great promise at Penarol in his home country.
Age: 22 Team: Atletico Madrid Position: striker
Joining the champions for £22 million in the summer, Cunha will likely spend the best part of this season learning under Luis Suarez before cementing the starting striker position as his own. With blistering pace and a natural finisher, Cunha is the ideal striker for Diego Simeone’s patient approach when attacking.
Age: 20 Team: Mallorca Position: attacking midfielder
Winning the player of the tournament at the U-20 World Cup in 2019, and touted as a future Valencia superstar, the world was shocked when Lee signed for Mallorca on a free transfer. He is very exciting to watch, constantly attempting to dissect defences with probing passes and flair-driven style.
Watch LaLiga action this weekend at your local broadcasters.