Best Young Players From La Liga To Watch In The 2020-2021 Season
La Liga is one of the best leagues in the world for watching young talents express themselves on the pitch. Here is our list of the best youngsters from La Liga to watch during the next season based on how they performed in the 2019-2020 season.
With a diminutive stature but a strong mentality, Puig dominates the midfield area and makes opposition chase him around. He isn’t the most physical player but is one of the hardest around to get the ball off.
In the 2019-20 season, Riqui Puig was one of the best players in the Barcelona-B team. His performance in the first team was also promising.
Talking about the season, let’s first talk about his time with the B-team. Although his goals and assists stats in the season were not convincing, the influence he had on the pitch in terms of key passes and creativity was remarkable. In the third tier of Spanish league football, Segunda B, he played 21 games. In those 21 games, he scored two goals and assisted three more.
After the end of the Segunda B season, Puig was called up by Quique Setien for the first-team. And he did not disappoint the manager; he made good impressions on the coach as well as the fans with each appearance.
He made 11 appearances with the first-team in La Liga and played 507 minutes in total. He showed energy, creativity, dynamism, and excitement in his performance.
In the minutes he spent on the pitch with the first-team, he recorded two assists with expected assists of 2.2. Add this figure to his promising passing stats (10 key passes, 44 passes into the final third, nine passes into the penalty box, and 21 progressive passes), then his scope in the first team looks promising all of a sudden.
Importantly, he brought vertical passing and directness into the midfield. This approach was lacking from the midfield throughout the season. Every time he was on the pitch, there was an expectation that he would bring something different than what the senior players were showing.
With club’s president Bartomeu saying that he will be a regular first-team player from the next season, it will be really interesting to see how the 20-year-old performs when given the chance to feature more regularly.
Once an FC Barcelona player, winger Takefusa Kubo’s move to Madrid, has done him good. After leaving FC Tokyo in 2019, he has got to showcase his talents in Spain, albeit not in a Real Madrid shirt.
As a Real Madrid player, Kubo spent the 2019-20 season on loan at RCD Mallorca. And right from the get-go, he became one of Mallorca’s key players. A left-footed winger, he was electric in the right-wing position and produced some brilliant moments for the mediocre team.
The Japanese started 23 of the 35 matches he played in the Segunda division. In the 2,308 minutes he played, he recorded four goals and the same number of assists. The stats landed him in the 5th spot on the highest goal scorers’ list and joint first on the highest assists providers’ list for the club.
Other than that, he recorded 2.9 expected assists, 34 key passes, 40 passes into the final third, 33 passes into the penalty area, and 91 progressive passes in the league. He was also involved in 89 shot-creating actions with a rate of 3.46 per match and had 72 successful dribbles from 120 attempts, with a success rate of 60 percent.
In the upcoming season, he is set to play for La Liga's Villareal. He officially joined the club on loan in August 2020.
Right-winger Ferran Torres just signed a contract with Manchester City in a five-year deal worth €23 million, and will now be playing under one of the most influential coaches in football, Pep Guardiola. He deservedly earned this transfer through his stellar performances at Valencia during the 2019-20 La Liga season.
In fact, he was one of the best players in the Valencia team the season. He scored four goals and assisted five in 34 matches (started 26). These contributions made him the 5th highest goalscorer and 3rd highest assist provider in the team.
In the creative department, he overperformed his expected assists stats; he made 4.2 assists, 27 key passes, 32 passes into the final third, 41 passes into the penalty box, 15 crosses into the penalty box, and 90 progressive passes.
Similarly, he had impressive stats in goal and shot creation facets. He was involved in 55 shot-creating actions with an average of 2.20 SCA per 90. He was also involved in eight goal-creating actions with 0.32 GCA per 90.
At Valencia, Torres achieved these stats playing in various positions across the field. Primarily a right-winger, he also played in left-wing, left midfield, right midfield, and as a center-forward. This demonstrated his versatility—something which Guardiola will surely appreciate in a player.
In the upcoming season, the 19-year-old now has to play under a far-more demanding coach in a far more demanding league, and it will be exciting to watch how he performs next season.
The second player from FC Barcelona to be on this list, Ansu Fati, has been a phenomenon at the Camp Nou this season. The left-winger made his Barcelona debut at the age of 16 years ( 16 years, nine months, and six days) on August 24, 2019, and has already been able to cement his place in the first-team alongside Riqui Puig.
A left-winger, Fati did not even play for the B-team before the first-team. Instead, he made the jump to the top-tier of the Spanish league straight from the Under-19 team. In his 24 appearances in La Liga (32 in all competitions), he could start 11 matches competing against offensive talents such as Griezmann, Suarez, and Messi.
In the minutes that he spent on the field, he scored seven goals and assisted one. And in the process of doing so, he broke a few records as well. He is now the youngest goalscorer for FC Barcelona in La Liga and the third-youngest La Liga scorer of all time. He also became the youngest player to provide both a goal and an assist in the same game in La Liga. He also became the youngest player to score in the Champions League after scoring against Inter Milan in this season’s group stage. These are just the major ones in a host of records he made this season.
When we talk about the league alone, he scored his seven goals while enjoying an expected-goals rate of 3.6. His expected goals were only 3.4. He took a total of 33 shots all season, and 12 of those ended up on target. Out of them, seven resulted in goals,.
Fati finished the La Liga season as the 5th highest goal-scorer for FC Barcelona. And with him being a registered first-team player from the next season, he is one of the most exciting players to watch for years to come.