The 2022/23 La Liga season is almost upon us, and with that, comes a new era of wonderkids from different teams.
La Liga is becoming very well known for its young talents. Teenagers such as Gavi and Eduardo Camavinga are playing week in, week out, at the highest of levels.
There are many players ready to break out and made a name for themselves in this coming season so let’s dive in and take a look at 10 players aged under 23 who I think will catch the eye the most.
Bare in mind, the list is in no particular order and was made before the season began so it’s possible some players have since moved on from their clubs.
Samuel Costa (Samú) - Almeria - Defensive Midfielder - 21 Years Old
‘Samu’ joined Almeria last summer from Portuguese side Braga and really made a name for himself, playing 38 games and helping Almeria make a return to the top flight of Spanish football.
A tough tackling midfielder who fears no one is the perfect piece to any team. Now the Portuguese midfielder will get the chance to show his quality against the best of the best and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll rise to the challenge.
Gonzalo Plata - Real Valladolid - Right Winger - 21 Years Old
Another newly promoted player, this time with Real Valladolid, who is a great fit for La Liga. Despite being 21, he’s already got plenty of experience playing at the top levels in football. After a successful loan spell last year, he joined Valladolid permanently this summer from Sporting Lisbon where he played a fair few games including a couple Europa league appearances.
A tricky winger with an eye for goal, the Ecuadorean will want to get up and running early in the La Liga season in order to book his place on the plane to Qatar in November.
Alejandro (Álex) Balde - Barcelona - Left Back - 18 Years Old
The youngest player on this list. Spain U19 full back Álex Balde broke into the Barcelona first team last season and made a few appearances. This season however, Balde is the only registered left back outside of Jordi Alba and with Jordi now 33 years old, Álex’s time is due.
A full back who’s not afraid to go forward, fits into Xavi’s play style really well and I’m expecting much more involvement for the 18 year old this season.
Andri Guðjohnsen - Real Madrid - Striker - 20 Years Old
Despite being the son of former Barcelona player Eiður Guðjohnsen, Andri has now had 4 seasons with Real Madrid’s youth teams and has been improving every year. So much so, he even earned himself a call up to the Iceland national team in late 2021, scoring twice in nine games for the Nordic nation.
After an impressive season in the Spanish 3rd tier last season, and Real cashing out on strikers Luka Jovic and possibly Mariano, a spot opens up as a backup to Benzema. Even a loan to a lower end side is more than possible.
Giorgi Mamardashvili - Valencia - Goalkeeper - 21 Years Old
Since joining Valencia permanently in January 2022, Giorgi took over as the starting goalkeeper with some dominant performances. Now a nailed on number one for ‘Los Che’, the Georgian shot stopper will have the opportunity to become one of the league’s best over the coming years.
Nico Williams - Athletic Bilbao - Right Winger - 21 Years Old
Brother of Bilbao star, Iñaki Williams, Nico broke into the first team last season and made 34 appearances with a majority being off the bench. But now, with Ernesto Valverde back in charge, wingers will be utilised more in his 4231 formation, therefore giving Nico more of an opportunity to start.
If his career ends up anywhere near that of his older brother then he’s definitely one to watch. Although believe it or not, Nico has already missed more games through injury (five) in one season than Iñaki has in the previous seven years (zero, an absolutely ridiculous stat).
Víctor Chust - Cadiz - Centre Back - 22 Years Old
Arguably the most experienced player on this list, a Spain u21 starter and made 29 La Liga appearance’s last season, playing a crucial part in Cadiz’s late survival.
A product of La Fábrica, Víctor wasn’t given a chance at Madrid. After his impressive loan, Cadiz immediately made a move for Chust this summer and managed to get him for less than €1m. A big addition to the team who will help Cadiz fight for their survival for another season.
Koba Koindredi (Koba Leïn) - Valencia - Central Midfielder - 20 Years Old
Another part of Valencia’s new golden generation, Koba was brought into the main team last season but didn’t get a chance due to the loan deals of Ilaix Moriba and Bryan Gil.
But now with a depleted midfield, and Carlos Soler possibly on the way out, Leïn has a chance to shine. A creative midfielder with a wand of a left foot, the Djibouti born Frenchman will fit into Gattuso’s plans very nicely.
Matthew Hoppe - Mallorca - Striker - 21 Years Old
Despite being 21, Hoppe already has a stacked resume. A hat trick hero in the Bundesliga aged 19, a Gold Cup winner with the USMNT aged 20, but his first season at Mallorca didn’t quite work out, failing to score in five appearances.
However, now it’s looking increasingly likely that Mallorca’s star striker Vedat Muriqi won’t be returning after his very successful loan spell, Matthew could fit into the spot nicely.
Luiz Henrique - Real Betis - Right Winger - 21 Years Old
To finish off, arguably the guy with the highest potential on this list. A 21 year Brazilian winger who made an incredible 120 appearances in two years at Fluminense before joining Betis this summer for €8m.
La Liga and Brazilians go together like bread and butter, and a creative winger like Henrique will fit into the league perfectly. Betis are a totally revamped side under Manuel Pelligrini and Henrique will provide a different style going forward. A big addition to ‘Los Verdiblancos’ in hopes of improving even more after last seasons success.
La Liga now is closer than ever before, and every big breakthrough for each team will be massive. Any team could win the league, any team could qualify for Europe and any team could go down. It’ll be a brilliant season filled with some incredible talents.