He’s been the name on everybody’s lips ever since making the move to LaLiga Santander, and Vinicius Jr. (12-07-2000) has really broken out at Real Madrid this season. Despite starting in the B-team, the 18 year-old soon became a regular at the Bernabeu and has often been a reference point in Los Blancos’ attack.
Villarreal CF’s Nigerian international winger Samuel Chukwueze (22-05-1999) is another exciting frontman, and like the Brazilian he was his club’s shining light for much of 2018/19. A talented dribbler, he possesses real maturity for his age and also has an eye for goal.
The top scoring player under the age of 21 this season however was Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal (21-04-1997). Having just completed his fourth season in the Txuri-Urdin first team, this year he’s really established himself as a leader, scoring 13 goals including in home and away victories over rivals Athletic Club.
Another player amongst the goals this season has been Youssef En-Nesyri (01-06-1997) of CD Leganes. Prolific in the air, he oozes potential and has lead the line by example for Mauricio Pellegrino’s men, who achieved their best ever finish in LaLiga Santander.
It was also a memorable campaign for SD Eibar and Marc Cucurella (22-07-1998), an attack minded left-back who came through FC Barcelona’s La Masia academy. He scored his first goal in the top flight against his former side on the final day of the season, and particularly shone in Los Armeros’ 3-0 win over Real Madrid back in November.
He’s not the only full-back to have broken through this season. Pedro Porro (13-09-1999) made the step up from the third tier but has looked like a seasoned professional for Girona FC. Despite his team’s relegation, Porro performed consistently throughout 2018/19 and looks to be equally adept both in defence and attack.
Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo (22-08-1996) has struggled with injuries, but when he plays he takes his team’s attacking play to another level. Fast, comfortable on the ball and an expert in deliveries from the flank, his boundless energy going forward makes him a nightmare to defend against.
Not disimilar to Ousmane Dembele (15-05-1997) and Goncalo Guedes (29-11-1996). Two of the most dangerous wingers in the division, both have made a big impact on their team’s seasons – when fit. Dembele was Barça’s third top scorer in LaLiga Santander, whereas an explosive end to the season for Guedes helped lead Valencia to a fourth place finish.
Meanwhile, playmaker Oscar Melendo (23-08-1997) played a big part in an historic season for RCD Espanyol. On the club’s books since the age of six, the fleet-footed youngster brings the magic to Los Pericos’ midfield, much like Brais Mendez (07-01-1997) at RC Celta. Now a full international, Brais has a wand of a left-foot and chipped in with 6 goals and 5 assists across the campaign.
Also now a regular in the Spanish squad is Atletico Madrid’s Rodrigo Hernandez (22-06-1996). Of all of LaLiga Santander’s upcoming stars, Rodrigo is perhaps the closest to the finished article and will only improve under the stewardship of Diego Simeone. A huge physical presence, he never wastes a pass and reads the game seamlessly – qualities that have earned comparisons with Sergio Busquets.
Which young player impressed you the most in LaLiga Santander 2018/19?© LaLiga - Year 2019