We are now seven games into the new La Liga season…
The league that never fails to create new talent. Real Madrid, the league holders have only won one game at home this season after dropping points against Levante, Valencia and surprisingly losing against Real Betis. Along with the absence of key defenders like Dani Carvajal and Raphaël Varane, Zidane’s team could have a hot and cold season.
Valencia have perhaps been the most impressive team so far, as they currently stand unbeaten along with Atleti & FC Barcelona. Having already faced tough opposition like Atleti, Bilbao and Real Madrid – managing to come away with points, they certainly look like a team that will compete for top 4. But enough about the teams – let’s have a look at the players who have impressed so far in La Liga.
5. Gonçalo Guedes – Valencia
Marcelino has made pretty good signings this summer, however Guedrs looks like a fantastic player who didn’t have any issues settling in and he looks like Marcelino’s best buy at the moment. Early signs this season suggest that his more off a winger than as a an inside forward, wingers are very rare in today’s game, but if you have one who is young and is very good than you have an asset in your team. The last time Valencia had a complete winger we would have to go back to the days of Joaquin and Vicente. After that they have never managed to have complete wingers again – the closest only being inside forwards like Mata and David Silva ,but in Guedes they have that again and with Rodrigo and Simeone Zaza firing goals from all cylinders, Guedes’ assists aren’t going to waste.
4. Leo Messi – FC Barcelona
We are only in match day seven, but Messi has already scored 11 goals. Ernesto has been trying unorthodox, but effective tactics with Barcelona this season, like rotating the team, making double subs at halftime and shifting Messi back to a number 10 role. The last coach who used this system was the late Tito Vilanova and Tate Martino, however Luis Enrique changed the system and moved Messi wide to accommodate Luis Suarez. This system has benefited Messi but it has disadvantaged Luis Suarez who hasn’t quite looked as sharp this season. As it stands, it looks like Messi is yet again going to have another great season at the Catalan club.
3. Simeone Zaza – Valencia
The man who is nicknamed as the ‘Italian Suge Knight’ is another player who has been brilliant for Marcelino this season averaging a goal per game. He kicked Valencia’s La Liga campaign off by scoring the winner against Las Palmas and then he went on and scored his first ever hat-trick against Malaga. More recently he scored the winning goal against Real Sociedad in a thrilling match which Valencia narrowly won 3-2, and scored in Valencia’s 6 goal thrashing of Real Betis. Realistically speaking, Zaza is a 12 goal season forward, however under Marcelino he’s looking like a forward who will score 20+ goals this season. Expect red cards from Zaza this season because he’s a player who has a high intensity of aggression and a brilliant work ethic off the ball, which could eventually get the better of him this season.
2. Carlos Soler
The third Valencia player on this list, their young midfielder currently leads the assist charts with 5. At only 18 years old, Soler shows maturity beyond his years, and it is evident so far that his best position is as a box to box midfielder. Another great asset to his game is his versatility, which if required, he can also play as a winger. Before the season started many suggested that Asensio would be the best youngster in La Liga, however Soler is certainly a player who should be kept a close eye on.
1. Maxi Gomez – Celta Vigo
Over the last decade, Uruguay has given us some of the best forwards we’ve seen in the game, from Diego Forlan to Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. Perhaps more recently, there is a player who is showing incredible signs and is proving to be a prolific goal scorer. Celta Vigo has uncovered a real hidden gem in Maxi Gomez, who has hit the ground running immediately, Celta Vigo hasn’t started the season off perfectly but Maxi Gomez certainly has. Having scored 5 goals so far for Celta Vigo, it’s looking as though the goals won’t dry up for him anytime soon. With Uruguay qualifying for the World Cup, if he continues scoring like he is right now, there’s a genuine possibility he could emerge as an important player in Uruguay’s World Cup campaign.
Do you agree with my Top 5? Let me know who you’d place in your top 5 in the comments below!
Featured image source: Karim3adel
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Attribution: Josep Tomàs