10 La Liga bargains who should interest Premier League clubs this January – and who they’d suit
Junior Firpo (Real Betis)
Junior's rise to prominence was extremely fast. Very few fans knew about the Dominican-born defender just a year ago, but Betis coach Quique Setien didn’t hesitate to promote him from the reserves – and the results have been excellent.
Junior produced a magnificent performance on the flank against Real Madrid in only his second La Liga game, despite Betis eventually losing 5-3 in a thrilling affair. It’s been impossible for Setien not to pick him since, and he is now rightfully considered one of the best attacking left-backs in Spain. His ability to play as a winger and even a centre-back is very useful too.
It’s hardly surprising that Real Madrid have reportedly made the 22-year-old one of their top targets to replace the ageing Marcelo, and could be ready to pay his €50 million release clause. However, a move to the Premier League is also a possibility – namely Manchester City, given that Benjamin Mendy is injured so frequently.
Would suit: Manchester City
Maxi Gomez (Celta Vigo)
Gomez is an obvious choice for this list – a potential superstar who is seemingly destined to supersede Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani as Uruguay’s top striker in the coming years.
The physical centre-forward is outstanding in the air, has a handy habit of being in the right places at the right times, but also possesses good technical skills for such a big man.
Gomez exceeded all expectations in his first season in Spain last term, scoring 17 goals. This season he’s faring even better with eight in 15 matches so far. Tottenham were linked with the 22-year-old last summer, which makes sense given their need for a good backup to Harry Kane.
Would suit: Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea
Fernando Calero (Valladolid)
Rumours about a possible move to Arsenal have been fuelled after the centre-back spent his Christmas break in London, and it’s easy to see why the Gunners might be interested.
Ronaldo-owned Valladolid boast a strong defensive record since returning to the top flight this season, and the 23-year-old is at the very heart of this effort. Elegant and good on the ball, he is good at anticipating play and his leadership skills are exceptional for such a young player.
You could compare him to a younger Laurent Koscielny, who joined Arsenal from unfashionable Lorient in 2010.
Would suit: Arsenal