In recent years, La Liga has been home to some of the best young players in the world. The likes of Gavi, Pedri and Vinicius Jr are playing at a high level well beyond their years, and all three has been blessings to Spanish football.
More could be joining in the summer, especially if Jude Bellingham does make the move to Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund. The 19-year-old is one of the most sought after players in world football, with several Premier League clubs also very keen of signing him.
Bellingham and Pedri are undoubtedly two of the best talents in world football, but they are being outshone by another exciting young midfielder who has gone under the radar in La Liga for much of the season.
Celta Vigo’s Gabri Veiga is having a seriously impressive breakthrough season in senior football. The 20-year-old has made appearances in the last two seasons for Los Celestes, but not anywhere near as many as this campaign, having appeared in 19 of Celta Vigo’s 20 La Liga matches so far.
In those 19 appearances, Veiga has amassed six goals, beating Pedri (five) and Bellingham (four). Furthermore, he has added two assists, taking his goal contributions to eight. In a team that has scored just 22 goals, those are impressive numbers, especially for someone who is still considered to a newbie in senior top level football.
Veiga’s statistics are mightily impressive. He ranks in the 99th percentile for non-penalty goals, non-penalty xG and total shots. He is also ranked highly for assists and shot-creating actions. In a team that has struggled for much of this season, these numbers are exceptionally good, and it’s little wonder that Fichajes are reporting that both Real Madrid and Barcelona are keeping tabs on him.
Veiga’s passing and dribbing stats are just as impressive as his shooting data. His successful take-ons are among the best in midfielders across Europe, while his progressive passes and progressive carries also rank very highly. His offensive qualities are unquestionable, and he has proven himself to be among the best young attacking midfielders in European football.
Celta know that they have a star on their hands, which is why they tied the youngster down to a new long-term contract last summer. With Luis de la Fuente at the helm of the Spanish national team, and with his experience of using youth players, it’s expected that Veiga will be involved with La Roja over the next couple of years, and with good reason.
Veiga has a bright future in the game, but his immediate focus will be on helping Celta Vigo avoid relegation to the second tier of Spanish football. With him in the team, it is more likely that they will be playing La Liga football next season.