La Liga teams haven’t just managed to dominate international competitions over the past decades by using established stars. Each success has been associated with a host of talented young players destined for the big time. Things aren’t much different in 2023.
When it comes to the Spanish first tier, we are spoiled for choices. Still, here are some of the best young players in La Liga in 2023.
These are players that are occasionally flying under the radar for now but that you should certainly keep tabs on. If you’re a fantasy football manager, particularly, they could just about save your season.
Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad)
Takefusa Kubo’s 2022/23 season has been more impressive than most other players of his age. He’s become a starting player for Real Sociedad, scoring three goals and providing two assists in the process.
However, Kubo will need to learn from the likes of Eduardo Camavinga and Gavi, who have been at the top of their game for many seasons, if he wants to move up a bracket.
There is no denying Kubo’s talent. In the second half of the 2019/20 season, he was a star for Mallorca. His stock dropped a little due to a failed loan to Villarreal. Thankfully, the Japanese youngster is now thriving in La Liga under manager Imanol Alguacil.
It was in the Basque Derby, against Athletic Bilbao, that Kubo really showed his skill. The attacking midfielder is a great dribbler and has the potential to become a top playmaker.
Arnau Martinez (Girona)
Most important clubs are on the scout for a skilled, modern fullback. They’ll likely be scouting Arnau Martinez soon enough. The youngster is already a starting player for Girona and developing into one of their best players.
Girona has a number of talented young talents. But Arnau Martinez is perhaps the most intriguing. The defender is just 19 years old. He has scored twice in la Liga this season. And he makes tackles and delivers long passes like a seasoned pro.
Add to all of this his speed, and you have a potentially fantastic right-back. Girona should be expecting some calls soon enough. Reportedly teams from the Premier League are interested.
Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao)
Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams is already very highly rated, having even represented Spain at last year’s World Cup. The winger, who was developed at Bilbao’s youth academy, started in 34 La Liga matches last season. He’s on track to be just as consistent this time around.
Williams’ dribbling skills are impressive, and some pundits view him as Athletic Bilbao’s most important on-the-field asset. Although he is still only 20, Nico Williams’ speed and skill have already made him acknowledged as one of Spain’s best young players.
Yeremy Pino (Villarreal)
Last season, there would have been many reporters willing to call Yeremy Pin the most exciting football prospect in Spain. While the Villareal winger has certainly proven his potential, most would at present agree that there is still much more to come from the player.
For the moment, the Spaniard has become a regular in a very competitive Villareal team, one vying for a top five finish against the likes of Athletic Bilbao, Rayo Vallecano, or Real Betis. This season he has scored twice, being involved in most La Liga games for his club. During the previous season, he scored six times.
Pino is also touted as a future important player for the Spanish national team. He has already earned seven caps and scored once. Consistency seems to have allured the player so far but with time, the winger may be able to resolve this issue as well.
Alejandro Balde (Barcelona)
A young player representing Barcelona or Real Madrid is, naturally, bound to attract more interest than players signed for other clubs. If that player has also earned a place in the starting line-up on most occasions, the interest is only going to grow.
Left-back Alejandro Balde, aged 18, is one of Barcelona’s brightest stars. Balde is a product of Barcelona’s famous youth academy and is happily favored by manager Xavi Hernandez’s policy of lending his support to talented youngsters.
The 19-year-old is enjoying his breakout season so far. He has made 18 appearances and deputized excellently for Jordi Alba and Jules Kounde.
Mohamed-Ali Cho (Real Sociedad)
Real Sociedad is quietly growing its reputation as one of the teams capable best capable in developing youngsters with world-class potential.
Cho is a highly promising forward who got his Ligue 1 debut at the age of 16. Top clubs have been aware of the player for some time, but it has been Real Sociedad that has fully embraced the Frenchman’s potential.
He has yet to score his first La Liga goal, but he is without a doubt one of the players worth keeping an eye on.
Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid)
A transfer to Real Madrid as a promising youngster was always going to get Eduardo Camavinga plenty of press. To his credit, he has tried under the spotlight both at the club level and with the French national team.
Camavinga, regardless of his age, is undoubtedly a world-class player when it comes to winning and maintaining possession. While only a teenager when representing Rennes, the midfielder was already earning comparisons to players like N’Golo Kante and Claude Makelele.
The player has had to adapt his style, even occasionally being moved to a left full-back position. The 20-year-old, however, is learning and he is doing so from some of football’s best players.
Camavinga’s potential is unstoppable, and he should be high up on this list. He is as talented as any La Liga player, including his teammate Vini Jr. or Barcelona’s incredible midfield talent Pedri.
Together with players like Vinicious Junior, Rodrygo, and Aurelian Tchouameni, Camavinga exemplifies Real Madrid’s vision for its future.
Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid)
Real Madrid was so happy with its transfer of Camavinga that they quickly returned to Ligue 1 for another of the competition’s most talented youngsters.
That player is Aurelien Tchouameni. Like Camavinga, the midfielder has shown ability and maturity beyond his age doing well when representing both Real Madrid and the French national team.
Real Madrid signed Tchouameni because he can add a lot to the squad’s possession and defensive coverage. For Real, he has often between the midfield link between the legendary Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
A recent muscle injury has sidelined him for the start of the year. Once back to full fitness, Tchouameni should get the chance to showcase his unique skillset which includes amazing tackling and brilliant control on the ball.
Comparisons to Xavi and Andres Iniesta could be enough to frighten most young players. However, Pedri and his teammate Gavi are not like most teams’ players.
The duo is already living up to the immense hype surrounding them as they’ve propelled FC Barcelona back to the top of La Liga and in the Champions League as well.
Pedri is a tremendously technically gifted player. While only 20 years old, the midfielder’s vision already recommends him as one of the very best in the world.
This season, the Spanish international star has scored five goals. More importantly, perhaps, he has fully integrated himself within Xavi’s tactical plans.
Pedri is a world-class player, and there are few who would bet against him becoming a favorite for the Ballon d’Or in only a few years’ time.
Meanwhile, Pedri and Gavi aren’t the only Barcelona youngsters making waves. Ansu Fati, Alejandro Balde and Ronald Araujo can easily be added to this list of wonderkids.
Gavi, like Pedri, is an archetypical FC Barcelona player formed by the club’s academy and molded into the club’s unique vision.
If Pedri is the midfielder with the sharp vision, Gavi is the one tasked with doing the dirty work. While a skilled player, Gavi is not afraid of launching into tackles or picking a fight with the opposition.
But that’s not all. His direct passes and dribbling skills can be devastating.
At 18 years old, Gavi is still learning the game. But he is doing it quickly, already becoming a mainstay of Xavi’s plans and being touted as one of the best players in the world in the upcoming years.