Let’s take a look at some of the best U23 players gracing the pitches of Spain this season.
Meet Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze, the 2018 Nigerian Young Player of the Year. Born in 1999, in Abia State, Nigeria, Chukwueze came to international attention with his excellent performances for the Nigerian Under-17 team, eventually taking home the competition’s Bronze Boot prize. This year, the Nigerian star was the youngest scorer in the 2019 AFCON tournament and if he can maintain form, we expect him to shine in the coming seasons. The 20-year-old Chukwueze already looks key to the Yellow Submarine’s chances for a strong 2019/2020 season.
João Félix Sequeira
One of the most exciting young talents in world football will be playing in LaLiga Santander this season. Benfica’s largest transfer and Atlético’s most expensive signing, Félix will wear the No.7 shirt next season at the Wanda Metropolitano. At 19 years old, Portuguese striker João Félix became the fourth-most valuable player in football history. Atlético Madrid paid Benfica a whopping €126 million for the youngster who some are calling “the new Cristiano Ronaldo”.
Vinícius José Paixão
Brazilian Vinícius José Paixão de Oliveira Júnior holds the honour of being the first player born in the 21st century to play in LaLiga for Real Madrid. Vinícius made a dream debut season in LaLiga after 31 appearances and four goals scored. The rising star first came to prominence when he took the prize as the top goal scorer in the 2015 South American U15 championship, where he led Brazil to victory. Today, he is a candidate for the Golden Boy Award 2019, which has been previously won by clubmate Isco (Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez) in 2012 and FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in 2005.
Former Borussia Dortmund striker and Swedish national player Alexander Isak has arrived at LaLiga on a five-year contract with Real Sociedad. This towering nineteen-year-old made his first-team debut for Sweden back in 2017 and has scored on the international stage twice to date. Nicknamed ‘The Giraffe’ by his fans, Isak has completed an unbelievably successful season on loan at Dutch side Willem II. Isak netted 14 goals in just 18 Eredivisie games yet a few European sides let this starlet slip for an undisclosed fee.
Óscar Rodríguez Arnaiz
This Real Madrid youngster is poised to have a breakout season in LaLiga in the 2019/20 season. While on loan at CD Leganes on the outskirts of Madrid, Óscar amassed over 2,500 minutes last season, contributing four goals and four assists. To the delight of his parent club, Óscar’s very first LaLiga goal proved to be the winner as Leganes picked up their first-ever victory over Barcelona last November. He went on to become a cornerstone in Pellegrino’s midfield and showed his versatility playing primarily in central midfield. Madrid has opted to renew the loan agreement with Leganes to allow Óscar to develop further this season.
Frenkie de Jong
The newly signed FC Barcelona player impressed on and off the pitch in the Catalans’ recent pre-season tour of Japan. The 22-year-old Dutchman displayed incredible passing efficiency against both Chelsea and Vissel Kobe – despite playing in different positions – proving himself to be a multitalented midfielder. In case you missed de Jong’s exploits with his former club Ajax or his national team, he recorded more passes (105), touches (128), tackles (5), and recoveries (13) than any other player during the Netherlands vs. England semi-final of the Nations League in June. The youngster’s ability to float around the midfield, ensuring that he’s available to give or receive the ball at any time is sure to serve The Blaugrana well this season.
There you have it! Our top picks of the young guns to watch out for during the 2019/20 LaLiga season. Stay tuned to LaLiga, where the rising stars of tomorrow are uncovered each season.
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