La Liga is one of the best leagues in the world, with some of the best players in the world plying their trade in Spain.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid house some of the world's most valuable players, especially in midfield. La Liga boasts some incredible talent in the middle of the park, with both youngsters and stars in their prime.
While Toni Kroos and Luka Modric continue to be regarded as two of the best in the business, some young stars have made their names in recent seasons.
On that note, we look at La Liga players who excel in the middle of the park.
Five most valuable midfielders to play in La Liga in 2021
#5 Casemiro (Real Madrid) | £63 million
Arguably the greatest defensive midfielder in world football right now, Casemiro's importance to Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid cannot be understated.
The Brazilian joined Real Madrid from Sao Paulo in 2013 for a fee of £5.4 million. Limited game time saw him join Porto on loan in 2014. Impressive performances for the Portuguese giants led to him becoming an important first-team member when he returned to Real Madrid.
An aggressive and strong midfielder, Casemiro's midfield partnership with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric has provided the base for Real Madrid's incredible recent success. The 29-year-old has made 280 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid and, without doubt, is crucial to Los Blancos' balance on the field.
#4 Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) | £63 million
Federico Valverde's growing importance to Real Madrid is visible, and the midfielder has what it takes to become one of the best in his position.
Valverde's rise has been sudden, with manager Zinedine Zidane placing a lot of trust in the youngster. Acquired from Penarol in 2016 for £4.5 million, the 22-year-old spent time with Real Madrid Castilla and Deportivo La Coruna. Zidane's arrival saw Valverde become a part of the first team.
The Uruguay international has not disappointed. A spirited player with robust technical qualities, Valverde made his name when he committed a professional foul to stop Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata from being one-on-one with the goalkeeper in the Supercopa final. He was sent off, but Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone praised the action. He has made 97 appearances in all competitions so far for Los Blancos.
#3 Pedri (Barcelona) | £63 million
Barcelona have quietly been one of the best sides in La Liga this year, and Pedri has been a critical reason for that.
Amidst all the chaos at Barcelona in the summer, the reaction to Pedri's arrival from Las Palmas for £9 million was largely subdued. The youngster was seen as a player for the future, but his impact on the club this season has been phenomenal.
The 18-year-old is a regular starter for Ronald Koeman's Barcelona. Pedri has made 32 appearances in La Liga this season, scoring two goals and providing three assists. A good passer who is technically gifted and does not shy away from his defensive duties, the Spain international looks set to enjoy a bright future at the highest level.
#2 Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid) | £63 million
Marcos Llorente is a man transformed for Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid. The coach must be given credit for trusting a defensive midfielder with attacking duties.
Llorente joined Atletico Madrid from city-rivals Real Madrid in 2019 for a fee of £27 million. A defensive midfielder, Simeone started utilizing the 26-year-old as a second striker, with stunning results. Llorente scored twice against Liverpool inthe UEFA Champions League last year and has furthered his development in advanced roles this season.
The Spaniard has been used in various positions this season and has been in sensational form. Llorente has made 32 appearances in La Liga this year, scoring 11 goals and providing ten assists.
#1 Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona) | £72 million
Barcelona's transfer business in recent windows may have been haphazard to say the least, but their acquisition of Frenkie de Jong will stand them in good stead for some time.
One of the best midfielders in the world during his final season with Ajax, de Jong was a man in demand. Manchester City, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain were all heavily linked with the Netherlands international. He ultimately signed for Barcelona in 2019 for a fee of £77 million, and the Camp Nou outfit will be glad he made that decision.
The 23-year old is excellent technically, intelligent on the ball, a good dribbler and tactically versatile. Capable of playing as a centre-back and in midfield, de Jong has made 88 appearances for Barcelona so far and will be key to their future.