As the end of the season beckons across Europe, in some form, it is time for us at Outside of the Boot to recognize the accomplishments of tomorrow’s stars with the U-22 Team of the Season across each individual top leagues, a feature we’ve run since 2014 . This feature looks at the best of La Liga.
[Eligibility: As of 1st June 2019 – 21 years old and below for outfield players; 22 years old and below for goalkeepers]
Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon (23) who kept 13 clean sheets in his 34 games for the club in the league season takes his spot between the post. Brazilian Emerson (21) who is jointly owned by Real Betis and Barcelona, is at right-back, having been one of the rare bright sparks in an otherwise disappointing campaign for his side. Real Valladolid’s Mohammed Salisu (21) who impressed in his side’s second season back in the top flight is at centre-back, partnered by Jules Kounde (21) who has become a revelation after a successful first campaign outside of his native France, with Sevilla. Ecuadorian Pervis Estupinan (22) completes the back-line following his fourth different loan out from parent club Watford, this time with an Osasuna side that enjoyed a top half finish.
Federico Valverde (22) was a crucial part of Real Madrid’s title winning side, having made the most first-team appearances of his career with thirty-three. Another midfielder who enjoyed a similar feat (in all competitions), Yangel Herrera (22), partners Valverde in midfield following arguably the most successful campaign of his career with Granada, on loan from Manchester City. With nine goals and two assists for relegated Leganes, Oscar Rodrigues (22) completes the midfield – remains to be seen if parent club Real Madrid have him in their plans for the future.
Another Real Madrid loanee, Martin Odegaard (21) is on the right side of the attack following a successful season with Real Sociedad that saw the side confirm European qualification. His team-mate at the club, Alexsander Isak (20) who may have finally found his break-through in Europe’s bigger leagues, heads the attack, flanked on the left by Barcelona’s latest teenage sensation, Ansu Fati (17) who many have dubbed as the future of the Blaugrana.
Read all our Young Players features here.