Football

La Liga: 10 top starlets to watch

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With the end of another breakneck season in La Liga approaching, it is time to turn our attention to the future.

Here are 10 players set for a breakthrough in La Liga.

1) Munir El Haddadi - Barcelona:

El Haddadi caused waves in this years UEFA Youth League, with the coup de grace a goal from the halfway line in the final as Barcelona's youth team easily dispatched Benfica 3-0.

The 18-year-old striker has exceptional technique and a one-track mind for goal that separates him from others. Already playing for the Barcelona B team, he is likely to follow the path led by Sergio Busquets and Pedro to the senior squad. He will have a decision to make at international level, with eligibility for Spain and Morocco.   

2) Oliver Torres - Atlético Madrid 

After progressing through the Atlético academy, Spanish midfielder Torres is currently on-loan to high-flying Villarreal. Although not seeing as much game time as he would like, there is no doubting that Torres is a fine player.

After he scored inside 12 seconds on his first start for Atlético, the hype surrounding the youngster increased. Diego Simeone knows he will have to be patient, but the midfielder is undoubtedly special. Composed with a fantastic range of passing and the ability to dribble out of a tight situation, next season could be a big one for Torres.

3) Kim Young-Gyu - Almería

South Korea have a knack of providing talented wingers and Kim could be the next off the conveyor belt. Almería have a fight on their hands to retain La Liga status, but either way Kim will have a big part to play next season.

Kim started his youth career at Real Madrid, but after failing to make the grade there he moved to Almería, via Palencia. Adept at playing anywhere on the left side of the pitch, Kim made his debut at the start of the season against Villarreal. If the diminutive 19-year-old continues to impress in the B team, it is not long before he will become a regular at senior level.

4) Pol Ballesté López - Málaga

Having already made the decision to leave Barcelona to join Málaga, it is clear that the 17-year-old goalkeeper is not willing to wait for senior football. With incredible reflexes and agility, Balesté has been compared to David de Gea and is believed to be one of the top goalkeepers in his age-group. With drive to match his talent, Balesté will be a regular in La Liga in the coming seasons.

5) José Rodríguez Martínez - Real Madrid

Those that witnessed a dull mid-season friendly between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain would have been struck by the confidence with which Rodríguez ran the game.

Although he only played the first-half, he left a lasting impression. Under Carlo Ancelotti, youth have been given a chance and Rodríguez will be confident of breaking into the first-team squad. At 19-years-old, the Spanish Under-20 international can't wait too long for his opportunity, so next season will be pivotal in his development. 

6) Elohor Godswill - Barcelona 

A powerful modern full-back, 18-year-old Godswill left Nigeria for Spain as a toddler. When Dani Alves moves on, the goal-scoring right-back is first in line to take his place, especially if Marin Montoya decides to leave Barcelona this summer. He has decided to represent Nigeria at international level and a breakthrough for the Super Eagles is inevitable.

7) Sergi Samper - Barcelona

Samper has already been the centre of a transfer tug-of-war between Arsenal and Barcelona. The 19-year-old decided to stay at the Camp Nou and those that have seen him play for the Barcelona B team will know that he is destined to make it to the top.

An archetypal La Masia graduate, Samper is comfortable in possession whilst his tactical awareness is excellent. This makes him perfect for a Barcelona defensive midfielder. 

8) José María Giminéz - Atlético

 Giminéz, a €1million signing from Danubio, has made more senior appearances for Uruguay than Atlético. However, the imposing centre-back could still crown Champions League and La Liga glory with a trip to Brazil with Uruguay's World Cup squad in the summer - not bad for a 19-year-old.

Diego Godin and Miranda have been excellent this season, leaving Giminéz with little time on the pitch but he will be a better player for the experience. Diego Simeone will be preparing Giminéz for the future and currently there aren't many better environments than Atlético to grow as a footballer.

9) Jean Marie Dongou - Barcelona

It is somewhat of a surprise that Dongou hasn't played a more substantial role in the first-team this season, given Barcelona's need for a striker that offers something different. The 19-year-old is small in stature but strong and pacy with excellent technique. He has already scored for the senior side, netting against FC Cartagena in the Copa Del Rey.

Although comparisons with Samuel Eto'o are premature, big things are expected of the Cameroon Under-20 international, both at domestic and international level.

10) Javier Manquillo - Atlético 

Manquillo impressed earlier in the season, covering for Atlético's injured full-backs. An unfortunate injury gained in a horrifying collision with Crisitano Ronaldo put the breaks on his progress, but the Spanish Under 20 international will be keen to challenge Juanfran for the right-back berth next season. Contracted with Atlético until 2018, the one-time Real Madrid youngster will be hoping to show Real what they missed out on.  

  

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Topics:
Barcelona
La Liga
Football
Real Madrid

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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