Rodri, Maxi Gomez, Dani Ceballos, Junior Firpo, Vinicius Junior, Carles Alena, and Carles Soler were just some of the youngsters tipped for greatness in La Liga in the past couple of years.
While some players managed to get close to the high ceiling that has been predicted for them, others have failed to reach the heights that their potential promised.
Who are the ones to look out for in this campaign? Here are five potential breakout stars …
1. Diego Lainez (Real Betis)
He may only be 19 years of age, but Diego Lainez is already a superstar in Mexico. After making his debut for Club América at 16, he regularly contributed for his side and never seemed fazed to be playing at a stadium as grand as the Azteca in Mexico City. Signed by Real Betis in January, his story in European football is only just beginning. There have been glimpses of his skill and sheer ability during his first few months in Spain and supporters at the club are already getting hyped about the winger.
2. Bryan Gil (Sevilla)
Bryan Gil became the first player born in the 21st century to score a goal in La Liga when he found the back of the net against Rayo Vallecano for Sevilla back in April. The 18-year-old was making an appearance off the bench, something that became more and more of a regular occurrence towards the end of the season. While he’s still raw, it’s clear that he can do magical things with a football and his special left foot will surely be responsible for many more goals over the coming years.
3. Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)
Villarreal came up big at the business end of last season to avoid relegation, thanks in no small part to Samuel Chukwueze. The 19-year-old Nigerian winger made his debut for the Yellow Submarine during their Europa League campaign and quickly gained the trust of the coaching staff, establishing himself as a regular starter in La Liga. Chukwueze repaid that trust scoring crucial goals against relegation rivals Rayo Vallecano and Girona, as well as netting against Barcelona in the thrilling 4-4 draw in April. Chukwueze has shown that he is talented and, luckily for us, that he is a lot of fun to watch. Keep it coming, Samuel!
4. Waldo Rubio (Real Valladolid)
Real Valladolid were able to save themselves from relegation thanks to a strong finish to the 2018/19 season and a major factor during their winning run-in was Waldo Rubio. The 23-year-old winger was only promoted from the club’s B team in March, but he hit the ground running in the top division and scored a memorable and crucial winner against Athletic Club with just a couple of games remaining. Having recently signed a contract extension until 2022, he is just one reason for fans at the José Zorrilla to get excited for this coming season.
5. Adrià Pedrosa (Espanyol)
Last season was one to remember for Adrià Pedrosa. He has long been one of the top prospects in the Espanyol academy and, after performing well with their B team during the first half of last season, was promoted to the senior squad and quickly displaced veteran Didac Vila as the side’s starting left-back. Pedrosa looked at ease playing in La Liga and, in addition to his solid defensive work, showed that he can get forward, scoring a stunning goal against Alaves and setting up another with an 80-metre run against Atletico Madrid. Keep an eye on Pedrosa as Espanyol launch their European campaign this season!
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