La Liga is well renowned for producing top talents every season. The league which gave us the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Iker Casillas, continues to churn out top talent.
With talent more evenly distributed these days, it isn’t just Barcelona or Real Madrid who own some of the best young players in the league.
Here, we look at the top 10 best young players in La Liga this season.
#10 ANSU FATI (BARCELONA)
Ansu Fati has been one of Barcelona’s few shining lights in a dismal season. The Catalan club are in disarray. Four points behind league leaders Real Madrid, recent reports have suggested that talisman Lionel Messi might end up leaving the club.
The 17-year old Fati made his debut against Real Betis, becoming the second-youngest player to debut for the club. The Spain U21 international scored his first goal against Osasuna, becoming Barcelona’s youngest goalscorer.
The winger has made nine starts in La Liga for the Catalans, scoring five goals and providing one assist. He was recently linked with a £135 million move to Manchester United but looks set to stay with his boyhood club.
#9 FEDERICO VALVERDE (REAL MADRID)
Few expected Federico Valverde to feature as much as he has for Real Madrid. The Uruguayan joined the club from Penarol in 2017, and was immediately loaned out to Deportivo de la Coruna.
The central midfielder returned to Los Blancos and has been a crucial part of coach Zinedine Zidane’s midfield plans. Valverde’s crunching tackle on Alvaro Morata during a Supercopa match (which resulted in him getting sent off), stopped an inevitable goal and was widely praised. His defensive nous has seen the 21-year old being hailed as the heir to Casemiro’s throne.
He has made 18 starts in La Liga for Real Madrid, scoring two goals and providing five assists.
#8 MOHAMMED SALISU (REAL VALLADOLID)
Mohammed Salisu has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid, and it is clear to see why. A towering centre-back, Salisu has been one of the best young defenders in Spain, helping Valladolid to the 14th position in La Liga.
He tops the Valladolid squad for clearances per game, with five. He gets dribbled past just 0.4 times per game, with his intelligence and strength a nightmare for opposition attackers.
The 21-year old Ghanian, who has made 30 starts for the club in the league this season has also attracted interest from Ligue 1 side Rennes.
#7 PERVIS ESTUPINAN (OSASUNA)
Pervis Estupinan has been a Watford player since 2016 but is yet to make an appearance for the club. The left-back has been sent out on loan four times and has had a breakthrough season this season.
The left-back has been a vital player for Osasuna this season, producing good defensive as well as offensive numbers. Estupinan, who has signed a two-year loan deal with the La Liga club, has been linked with moves to Manchester United, Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur over recent months.
The 22-year old Ecuadorian has made 30 league appearances this season, scoring a goal and providing three assists.
#6 UNAI SIMON (ATHLETIC BILBAO)
Athletic Bilbao sold Kepa Arrizabalaga for £71.6 million to Chelsea in 2018, a world-record fee for a goalkeeper. They have managed to replace him without spending a single penny.
Unai Simon is an Athletic Bilbao academy graduate. The 23-year old has established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper for the Basque club this season. Only Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have conceded fewer goals than Athletic Bilbao this season.
Simon has played a huge role, keeping 14 clean sheets in 31 league appearances so far.The Spaniard is yet to make his international debut, but one assumes that the call-up is not far away.
#5 EMERSON (REAL BETIS)
Emerson joined Barcelona from Atletico Mineiro in 2019 and has been on loan at Real Betis ever since. Regarded by many as a future Barcelona right-back, Emerson has produced some stellar performances for Betis.
The Brazilian has been everpresent for the Big Greens this season. The right-back has made 29 appearances in La Liga this season, scoring three goals and providing five assists.
He tops the Betis squad for tackles per game and is sixth in the squad for key passes per game. A talented player, the 21-year old’s future does not seem to be in Barcelona. The club are reportedly happy to sell him, with Borussia Dortmund cited as a possibility.
#4 MARC CUCURELLA (GETAFE)
Marc Cucurella is another former Barcelona player shining at another club. The La Masia graduate joined Getafe on loan last summer, with an option to buy for €6 million. Due to impressive performances, Getafe have decided to activate that option.
The left-back has been an integral part of Jose Bordalas’ side. Cucurella has made 33 appearances in La Liga this season, scoring one goal and providing five assists.
The 21-year old is one of the top tacklers in his squad, while also leading the squad for key passes per game. A return to Barcelona has been touted, although Arsenal have been linked as well.
#3 FERRAN TORRES (VALENCIA)
Ferran Torres has been one of Valencia’s best players this season. The club are enduring a torrid time this season, but the winger has been a top performer. Torres has always been touted as a player with potential, and this season he is starting to show that.
The Spaniard has made 24 starts in La Liga this season, scoring four goals and providing four assists. The 20-year old has been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Juventus this summer, with the Italian giants said to be close to a deal.
#2 RODRYGO GOES (REAL MADRID)
Rodrygo joined Real Madrid from Santos for an eye-watering fee of €45 million last summer. The 19-year old has been immediately integrated into the senior team, where he has shone brightly.
The forward scored his first goal for the club on his debut against Osasuna. He then went on to score a perfect hat-trick against Galatasaray in the Champions League. The Brazilian has scored two goals in 16 appearances for Los Blancos in the league, with his creative passing a bonus.
#1 MARTIN ODEGAARD (REAL SOCIEDAD)
Martin Odegaard is the best young player in La Liga this season. Odegaard is one name which many will remember. Much was made about his prodigious talent, and he made his debut for the Norway national team aged just 15.
The midfielder decided to join Real Madrid in 2015, after visiting multiple top European clubs and training with their first teams. However, there was rumoured to be some tension between him and then Real Madrid Castilla manager Zinedine Zidane.
The Norwegian was shipped out on loan to the Netherlands, first at Heerenveen and then at Vitesse. He joined Real Sociedad last summer and has been their best player.
The 21-year old attacking midfielder has made 26 appearances in the league, scoring four goals and providing five assists. He leads the squad for key passes per game as well as for dribbles per game. He also manages the most crosses per game.
Odegaard looks like the complete attacking midfielder, and he has been touted to replace Luka Modric at Real Madrid next season.