Every season in a league there are a number of breakthrough talents, and arguably the league that produces the most talent is La Liga. In this era of Spanish dominance in international football, the conveyor belt of young stars seems endless. Last season there were plenty of young players making a name for themselves.
The likes of Isco, Griezmann and Tello all made their breakthrough last season and this season the number of young stars coming through is no different.
Here is a lowdown on the best rising talents in La Liga -
The ex-Lens defender has been nothing short of a revelation this season. He was recommended to Real Madrid by Zidane and the money they paid for him was hefty for a teenager, but boy has it paid off.
Jose Mourinho put his faith in him by playing him in both legs of the Copa Del Rey against Barcelona and he proved Mourinho right by putting in fantastic performances in both legs, as well as scoring in both matches.
It’s hard to believe Varane is still only 19 when you see him shutting out likes of Messi, Drogba and Van Persie. It really is scary how good this Frenchman could become.
In what has been such a successful season for his club, Atletico Madrid, Koke has been magnificent. The Spanish midfielder has largely been utilised at right midfield for Atletico and is not only a threat going forward, but works very hard and helps out his full-back constantly which shows his maturity.
The main strength in his game is his creativity and this is proved by the fact that he has the most La Liga assists in the Atletico squad. He isn’t blessed with amazing pace like the most conventional winger but he makes up for this with clever passing and intelligent play.
Under Diego Simeone’s guidance, Koke will only get better and who knows, maybe a Spain call up could be on the way if he can keep up these performances.
In his first season for Rayo Vallecano’s senior team, Leo has stepped up for Rayo after the loss of Michu. There are rumours that his representative has already agreed a deal with Atletico Madrid to replace Falcao in the summer. Those are big boots to fill but Baptistao’s performances this season have been very good for a 20-year-old.
His goal tally of 7 this season isn’t anything to shout about but the fact he has 6 assists shows he is a well-rounded player. He can drop deep, get involved in the play and create chances for his team mates as well as hold the ball up and run in behind the opposition defence.
If the rumours are true, I’m sure it will prove to be a superb move for him to continue his development and play in the Champions League as well, as a clever acquisition for Atletico.
In what has been a tough season for Sevilla, Kondogbia has been a shining light. His tackling rate of 2.6 per game is impressive for a 20-year-old but he also reads the game well and has made 1.4 interceptions per game this season.
Furthermore, his height and strength allow him to drive through midfield and boss a match unlike most players at his age.
To be such a complete player at 20 is great and no wonder Man City and Arsenal are interested in signing him this summer. Due to Sevilla having financial trouble and with Kondogbia’s performances being consistently superb, a move to a bigger club is certainly on the cards.
Written by Charlie Smith
Follow Charlie on Twitter @cjs_afc
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