While the La Liga title race hots up, with Real Madrid making a record-breaking run at the top and Barcelona trying to close the gap, there's a group of special young players also making headlines in Spain. La Liga has always been a breeding ground for some of Europe’s most gifted and skilful kids, from Sergio Ramos bursting through at Sevilla, Lionel Messi blasting goals as a top Barca teen and a young David Villa making his way at Sporting Gijon. Here are five more talented youngsters who could have big futures in Spain.
Enzo Zidane, Real Madrid
Does the name look familiar? Yes, Enzo is the son of current Real Madrid Coach, and club legend, Zinedine Zidane. The 21-year-old made his Blancos debut in a Copa del Rey match in November, scoring with his first shot after just 18 minutes. He’s had to be patient to get his chance, but if he turns out to have even half the midfield talent of his father, Enzo will be in the first team for a while to come. Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaarrd, 17, is also another name that could soon become familiar to Madrid fans.
Lucas Hernandez, Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madridd boss Diego Simeone thinks very highly of the 20-year-old French defender, who can play at left-back and centre-back. Lucas is having to bide his time at the club, watching and learning from quality defenders like Diego Godin and Filipe Luis, but he never lets the team down when he steps in. The youngster played in the 2016 Champions League final and in a few years he could be judged one of the best defenders on the planet. Atleti have a top, top player in the making.
Denis Suarez, Barcelona
The Spanish midfielder may only be 22, but he’s already journeyed around Europe with Manchester City, Sevilla and Villarreal. He’s finally settled at Barcelona and the man described as being Xavi Hernandez’s heir apparent is getting plenty of game time for the La Liga champions. Suarez has also featured in the Champions League and his ability to turn defence into attack is his key strength. Denis already wears Xavi’s vacated No 6 shirt, which is yet another sign that big things are expected from him as Barca look to overhaul 888sports title favourites Real Madrid.
Mikel Oyarzabal, Real Sociedad
Although the 19-year-old winger has been quieter this season, he burst into the La Liga spotlight in 2015-16 with some eye-catching displays and big goals. The biggest of those was his headed winner in La Real shock win over Barcelona, which sparked a summer of transfer talk, with Athletic Bilbao leading the chase. Fortunately for the Basques, he stayed and they are able to make the most of his clever skills, neat footwork and attacking vision as the team makes a real effort to finish in the top four this season.
Diogo Jota, Atletico Madrid
Okay, so Jota is not currently in La Liga. But he is owned by La Liga giants Atletico Madrid, who sent him to Porto this season for regular first-team action after snapping up the 20-year-old attacking midfielder for just a few million from Pacos Ferreira. At Porto he’s a first-team regular, scoring goals in the League and Champions League – such as his second-half strike against Leicester City in December. Atleti could have a diamond in Diogo, and you can expect to see him shining in Spain next season.