10 La Liga youngsters you need to keep tabs on this season
1) Marco Asensio (Espanyol, on loan from Real Madrid, 19)
His goals, form and evident talent during the U19 European Championship with Spain have led to the Real Madrid-owned forward becoming one of the most highly anticipated top-flight debutants of this campaign. Racking up eight goals with La Rojita, Asensio is among good company in Spain's youth goalscoring charts, alongside the likes of Juan Mata, Alvaro Morata and Isco.
Even the striker he will bid to replace at current club Espanyol, Sergio Garcia, netted one fewer in his earlier years. Plenty is expected of the Palma-born youngster, who could be the star of a new generation.
2) Alen Halilovic (Sporting Gijon, on loan from Barcelona, 19)
Barcelona’s loan terms for their young gem tell you everything that you need to know about Halilovic’s potential. The league champions have demanded the young Croatian play a minimum of 60% of this campaign’s minutes for Gijon, with Los Guajes set to benefit. Diminutive and creative with the nous to play centrally or drifting inwards from out wide, boss Abelardo will be hoping the former Dinamo Zagreb youngster will add inspiration and creativity to Sporting’s armoury. After spending two seasons in Spain and picking up the language, as well as working with a coach who puts faith in young players, Halilovic should have a solid foundation to explode later down the line.
3) Nahuel (Villarreal, 18)
The Yellow Submarine suffered several key departures this summer, but Samu Castillejo and Samuel Garcia's arrivals from Malaga have swelled Marcelino’s wide options. Off the back of team-mates’ injuries and solid pre-season form, however, Nahuel was Villarreal’s offensive protagonist on the opening weekend of the season against Real Betis, and started again against Espanyol last weekend. With a useful change of pace, as well as the technical ability to make things happen when piecing together passages of play, the youngster is already building on his fleeting inclusions of the last campaign.
4) Oliver Torres (Atletico Madrid, 20)
Porto have long been known as a club with the potential to catapult players to stardom, but Torres was showing signs of true talent before spending a year on loan with former mentor Julen Lopetegui's first-team squad. Now the young Spaniard is ready to pull on the red and white of Atletico with conviction and belief that he is capable of shouldering the responsibility. For the coming campaign, Oliver is likely to be used in wider midfield areas, with his vision and technical ability compensating for his diminutive frame.