The Top 10 Young Spaniards playing in La Liga

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Post by The Franchise Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:29 pm

Our resident youth and Spanish lower divisions guru, Billy Edwards (twitter: @billyedwards94) takes a look at the top 10 Young Spaniards plying their trade in Spain. Enjoy!

10 – Iñigo Martínez (Real Sociedad)

As you may have expected, this place was one of the most competitive, with talent such as José Campaña, Koke, Jordi Amat, Álvaro Morata, Marc Muniesa, Sergi Roberto and Isaac Cuenca all missing the cut-off point, but Real Sociedad’s 21 year-old centre-back Iñigo Martínez deserves the recognition for the excellent debut season in which he is currently enjoying. As well as earning a quite incredible reputation of scoring goals from his own half, the talented left-footer has established himself in La Real’s defence with a series of composed performances (ignoring last week’s horror show in Mallorca) in an otherwise uninspiring season. Now a regular in the Spain Under-21 side, the Basque centre-back is tipped for a bright future at both club and international level.

9 – Álvaro Vázquez (Espanyol)

Next up is Espanyol’s red-hot striker Álvaro, and what better time to mention the youngster than this, a week in which he has scored a clinical hat-trick to end Cordoba’s cup dreams, as well as halting neighbours Barcelona’s title aspirations with a late diving header in the Catalan derby. Bursting with potential, the 20 year-old was Spain’s top scorer in last summer’s Under-20 World Cup five goals, despite only starting one match in the tournament. An accomplished finisher when confident, Álvaro made a slow start to the season – mainly due to having to overcome to burden of replacing the outgoing Osvaldo – but has come into his own in recent weeks with a typical goalscoring run. Adept in the air and with either foot, he is one of the most complete forwards coming through in Spain at the moment, and growing by the game. Watch this space.

8 – Pablo Sarabia (Getafe)

A product of Real Madrid’s cantera, Sarabia joined Getafe on a €3m buy-back deal during the summer, and is already showing signs of his enormous potential against some of the world’s best teams. On the back of a fine season with Castilla in 2011, he went on to inspire Spain’s Under-19 team to a European Championships title in the summer, being the tournament’s stand-out player with a series of virtuoso attacking displays. Sarabia combines unpredictable technical ability, movement and link-up play with admirable endeavour and work-rate, and although Luis García is hesitant to overplay the teenager star, you would be surprised if Real do not exercise the option to bring him back to the Bernabéu in coming years.

7 – Martín Montoya (Barcelona)

With all due respect to Barcelona’s B team, it’s a mystery how a player with the talent of Montoya is still playing in the Spanish second tier. The young defender began making his name last year with a solid season under Luis Enrique, and went on to star in Spain’s Under-21 success, taking the starting birth in the team ahead of Cesar Azpilicueta. Dependable in defence, a marauding threat in attack and, as you would expect from any La Masia graduate, comfortable on the ball, Montoya opted to stay patient and wait for his chance at the Camp Nou despite interest from the likes of Valencia and Atlético in the summer. However, he has recently shown his pedigree in the first team with a debut Champions League goal against BATE, and you have to wonder just how long it will be until he makes the inevitable jump to the top division.

6 – Paco Alcácer (Valencia)

Goals, goals and more goals, is perhaps the most simple way to describe Paco. At just 18, the young striker possesses an instinct inside the penalty area strikingly similar to teammate Roberto Soldado, a skill that brought home the Under-19 European Championship title for Spain back in August. With La Rojita trailing in extra-time, Paco single-handedly turned the game on it’s head with two clinical finishes in the closing stages. Later on that month he scored his first goal in the Mestalla in a 3-0 friendly win over Roma, only to learn that his father had passed away moments after the game. However, he has shown the strength of character to come back and continue scoring on a regular basis for the B-team, and with an incredible 42 strikes already to his name in the lower divisions since 2009, it is surely only a matter of time before Unai Emery makes the decision to bring Paco into the squad on a long-term basis.

5 – Sergio Canales (Valencia, on loan from Real Madrid)

Canales’ burst onto the scene as an 18 year-old for Racing back in the 2009/10, quickly emerging as one of Europe’s most prestigious young talents and earning a big money move to Real Madrid. However, the youngster’s career has suffered a number of bows since then, leaving on a two year loan to Valencia after featuring sparingly in his debut season for los Blancos. He may currently be out with a serious knee problem sustained in November, but showed further signs of his unique talent in the early stages of the season, as well as in recent matches for Spain’s Under 20 and 21 sides. Fast, strong on the ball and blessed with a delightful passing range, Canales will finally be looking to get his career back on track in 2012, and could even find himself competing with Pablo Sarabia for a place in the Real Madrid team the following year.

4 – Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona)

Having only just turned 17, Gerard is the youngest player to feature on the list, and although he has a lot of work still to do, he could well be the one with the most potential. Already a regular in Spain’s Under-19 side, the blond haired winger debuted for Barcelona’s first team against Mallorca back in November, and has established himself for the second string in the Liga Adelante after making the step up from Juvenil A. Every skill needed to become a top attacking player, Gerard has in abundance, and although a little raw, he is at the best club to grind the talent out of him. Jet-heeled, full of tricks, and a gifted ability to beat defenders all day long, nobody would be surprised to see him grow into one of the world’s leading widemen if he continues progressing at the same rate.

3 – Isco Alarcón (Málaga)

One of the breakthrough stars of La Liga this term, Isco made a controversial move to hometown club Málaga in the summer after growing tired of not being called for Valencia’s first team. However, that had nothing to do with him, after all he had torn apart the Tercera division in the reserves the previous year and performed to a bewildering level for Spain’s Under 19’s. Since then he has slotted into Manuel Pellegrini’s first XI with ease, cementing himself as one of the team’s most important players with performances that must leave Unai Emery ruing his decision not to use him more often. In possession of the ball there are few better in Spain, a skill that has even seen him earn comparisons to Andrés Iniesta and David Silva. Despite all of Málaga’s multi-million euro signings in the last couple of seasons, the €6m capture of Isco may well prove to be the most shrewd.

2 – Iker Muniain (Athletic)

He may have only celebrated his 19th birthday last month, but Athletic Bilbao’s Iker Muniain is something of a La Liga veteran. Nicknamed ‘Bart Simpson’ for his fearless approach, he recently passed 100 first team appearances, and if the first century was good, just think what the next few could have in store. Similar to the likes of Wayne Rooney and Kun Agüero in both his ability and footballing background, Muniain has already taken apart opposition defences virtually by himself and embarrassed players ten year his senior. Over the summer he further enhanced his reputation with an excellent European Championships performance for the Under-21 side, and it’s now surely just a matter of time before his first senior call-up. Could his youthful exuberance come into Del Bosque’s plans for Poland and Ukraine?

1 – Thiago Alcântara (Barcelona)

Just about the most talented footballer in Europe of his age, Thiago Alcântara has in the last year made playing in the world’s best midfield look, almost literally, like a walk in the park. Similar to many others on this list, the Italian-born Brazilian-Spaniard played a central role in the nation’s under-21 success, most notably scoring a sensational free-kick in the final. His exhibition of dominant midfield performances also earned his first call-up to the senior side in the following months. This season the 20 year-old has gone on to force his way into Barcelona’s first team, and with Xavi now approaching his late thirties, his successor looks ready made. With a combination of his midfield partner’s exasperating passing range and the typically Brazilian flair last seen in the Camp Nou by Ronaldinho, the question is; just how good can Thiago become?


http://forzafutbol.com/2012/01/the-top-10-young-spaniards-playing-in-la-liga.html
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Post by Valkyrja Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:31 pm

Sarabia ? Where is Sarabia?
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:33 pm

zece wrote:Sarabia ? Where is Sarabia?

8 – Pablo Sarabia (Getafe)

A product of Real Madrid’s cantera, Sarabia joined Getafe on a €3m buy-back deal during the summer, and is already showing signs of his enormous potential against some of the world’s best teams. On the back of a fine season with Castilla in 2011, he went on to inspire Spain’s Under-19 team to a European Championships title in the summer, being the tournament’s stand-out player with a series of virtuoso attacking displays. Sarabia combines unpredictable technical ability, movement and link-up play with admirable endeavour and work-rate, and although Luis García is hesitant to overplay the teenager star, you would be surprised if Real do not exercise the option to bring him back to the Bernabéu in coming years.

I wish people would read :facepalm:
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Post by Swanhends Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:33 pm

zece wrote:Sarabia ? Where is Sarabia?

#8......
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Post by Le Samourai Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:40 pm

Cut off age because I see one glaring omission here.



Last edited by Le Samourai on Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by izzy Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:42 pm

zece wrote:Sarabia ? Where is Sarabia?

Wooooooooooooooooow

scratch
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Post by The Franchise Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:43 pm

I assume cut off is 1990.
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Post by che Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:43 pm

paco hasn't played a single la liga game lol... pretty sure neither has deulofeu

otherwise a pretty agreeable list...
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Post by The Franchise Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:45 pm

Indeed Che, but of a gamble putting guys who have not played in La Liga. But I guess their talent is that big the guy couldnt ignore it.
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Post by Le Samourai Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:46 pm

Ok......Ander is 1989.

Alex Fernandez deserves a shout....plays in the 3rd division but has done well internationally.

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Post by Valkyrja Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:03 am

I saw him, but 8 is too low for this guy.
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Post by JAY-Z Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:05 am

Thiago is the beast among those guys, bright future..
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Post by Mr Nick09 Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:21 am

Meanwhile, Rodrigo is turning into a beast in Portugal. he needs to come back to Spain if possible.
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Post by S Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:09 pm

These names seem much more familiar than the Top 10 foreign La Liga talents.

Maybe cuz a no.of them are from Barca.hehe
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:16 pm

' you would be surprised if Real do not exercise the option to bring him back to the Bernabéu in coming years'

Am i the only one that LOL'd at this?
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Post by VanDeezNuts Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:19 pm

sarabia- number 1 in my heart.

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Post by S32TABLANCA Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:11 pm

How is Thiago rated over Munain? :facepalm:

And unfortunately, both Sarabia and Canales are doing really badly right now.
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Post by EarlyPrototype Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:18 pm

Saetablanca wrote:How is Thiago rated over Munain? :facepalm:

And unfortunately, both Sarabia and Canales are doing really badly right now.

Canales was beasting until he got injured and he is still is injured.................
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Post by The Franchise Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:47 pm

Saetablanca wrote:How is Thiago rated over Munain? :facepalm:

And unfortunately, both Sarabia and Canales are doing really badly right now.

Because he is better?

I love the kid, but 1 goal in 10 games for Spain u21 needs to be improved on. Thiago on the other hand is knocking on the full squads door despite the vast array of midfield talent they already have.

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Post by guest7 Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Tbh Franchise Muniain strongest part of his game was his passing and not his finishing

Look at Bilbao's goals this year, Muniain is almost always included in them, I think Bielsa is also gonna have a big part on his devolopment which is gonna turn him into a beast of a winger, if he continues on this path
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Post by The Franchise Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:08 pm

Se7en wrote:Tbh Franchise Muniain strongest part of his game was his passing and not his finishing

Look at Bilbao's goals this year, Muniain is almost always included in them, I think Bielsa is also gonna have a big part on his devolopment which is gonna turn him into a beast of a winger, if he continues on this path

Thats nice, he does have that creativity, but 1 goal in 10 ha to be improve on is all im saying.

Its good he plays alot in Bilbao, he deserves it and is doing great every time I see him.

He however, isnt just a winger, he is too good not to add goals to his game. 2 goals and 2 assists arent good enough, he has to give more end product.

Thats doesnt mean he isnt a great talent, I am sold on him. Just saying, there is legit reasons Thiago is above him in this.
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Post by S32TABLANCA Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:44 pm

EarlyPrototype wrote:
Saetablanca wrote:How is Thiago rated over Munain? :facepalm:

And unfortunately, both Sarabia and Canales are doing really badly right now.

Canales was beasting until he got injured and he is still is injured.................

Exactly. He was just starting to heat up... poor kid is so unlucky with injuries.

The Franchise wrote:
Saetablanca wrote:How is Thiago rated over Munain? :facepalm:

And unfortunately, both Sarabia and Canales are doing really badly right now.

Because he is better?

I love the kid, but 1 goal in 10 games for Spain u21 needs to be improved on. Thiago on the other hand is knocking on the full squads door despite the vast array of midfield talent they already have.


Come on, you know that Thiago really doesnt deserve to be in the first team Spanish NT squad. Its just the clear bias to RM and Barca players, especially to the kids from La Masia.
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Post by Mr Nick09 Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:47 pm

I think Thiago is a rarer talent than anyone on that list, amd that's why he is justifiably ranked 1st. You can find similar talents to the rest but not so much for Thiago.
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Post by S32TABLANCA Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:49 pm

Mr Nick09 wrote:I think Thiago is a rarer talent than anyone on that list, amd that's why he is justifiably ranked 1st. You can find similar talents to the rest but not so much for Thiago.

Young talented midfielders are dime a dozen in Spain. Obviously, for now none of them are near Thiago's caliber, but just saying.
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Post by The Franchise Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:34 am

Of course Thiago deserves to be knocking on the door for the first team, what you talking about?

You can say its Barca bias for Montoya, but certaintly not Thiago.

He has outgrown the u21's with his performances and the next logical step is the first team. He isnt in the first team, he is on the fringes, how is that wrong?

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