Eight young La Liga stars to watch this season

Sport360 staff 08:00 19/08/2016
La Liga prospects, Fornals, Oyarzabal and Santi Mina.

From Marlos Moreno to Marco Asensio, the impending La Liga season promises to bestow yet another cracking two terms of action-packed Spanish football.

Here are eight young exciting prospects within the Iberian Peninsula, passionate fans must keep an eye on.

MARLOS MORENO, 19 (Deportivo La Coruna)

Manchester City held off plenty of competition to secure the services of this highly-regarded Colombian forward, who played four games in his national team’s Copa America campaign this summer. City immediately loaned Moreno to Deportivo for the season, but they regard him as a serious long-term prospect and his progress will be monitored closely by more than just the fans in north-west Spain.

MIKEL OYARZABAL, 19 (Real Sociedad)

One of the most eye-catching individual performances in La Liga last season was delivered by Real Sociedad’s teenage winger against Barcelona in April, when Oyarzabal rounded off a brilliant display – in only his 10th league start – with the winning goal. Oyarzabal joined La Real at the age of 14, finished the season with six goals and underlined his progress by earning a five-year contract at the Anoeta.

JORGE MERE, 19 (Sporting Gijon)

This imposing central defender has already earned the trust of Sporting boss Abelardo, being promoted to the starting XI during the final weeks of the season as a brilliant run of form – including wins over Atletico Madrid and Sevilla – avoided relegation. He will become an even more fundamental player this season and his long-term future probably lies in a much more high-profile environment.

PABLO FORNALS, 20 (Malaga)

The sharp rise of this richly gifted and audaciously-confident attacking midfielder was recognised in May, when he made his international debut for Spain in a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina. The fact he had only played once for the under 21s shows the speed of the progression made by Fornals, who will expect to become a regular in the starting XI this season.

ANTONIO SANABRIA, 20 (Real Betis)

The Paraguayan striker enjoyed a decent season with Sporting Gijon on loan from Roma last year and has now moved permanently to Betis. Will have plenty of opportunities as the Sevilla-based club look for a long-time successor to Ruben Castro, and if he can click with another highly-regarded youngster, Dani Ceballas, Betis could enjoy a strong season.

MARCO ASENSIO, 20 (Real Madrid)

Former Mallorca starlet Asensio is back with his parent club after sparkling on loan with Espanyol, and capped a fine pre-season by scoring a spectacular long-range strike in Los Blancos’ UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla. Another loan move is a possibility for a player Vicente Del Bosque claimed he nearly took to Euro 2016, but wherever he plays expect more fireworks from Spain’s brightest young prospect.

PIONE SISTO, 21 (Celta Vigo)

Celta’s pain over the departure of Nolito to Man City could be significantly softened by the arrival of Danish international winger Sisto from Midtjylland. His performances in the Danish top-flight attracted at-ention from plenty of big clubs but Celta pulled off a coup to secure his signature and he should benefit from the attractive style employed by coach Eduardo Berizzo.

SANTI MINA, 20 (Valencia)

Amid the doom and gloom of a worrying preseason at Mestalla, one cause for optimism is the presence of versatile young forward Mina. He endured a mixed first season after moving from Celta Vigo but the departure of Alvaro Negredo will provide more opportunities and Los Che desperately need the Spain under 21 international to step up and prove his credentials.

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