Real Madrid: A young player to know on each La Liga team in 2020-21

Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /
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Elche, Lucas Boye
Elche, Lucas Boye (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /

FW Lucas Boye, Elche

Elche don’t actually have any notable players who are 23 or under, but versatile 24-year-old center-forward Lucas Boye is a promising player in La Liga to keep an eye on.

Real Madrid drew Elche 1-1 in their first meeting this season, and Boye was a big part of that effort. He was constantly taking the ball to Real’s back four and creating chances. Although he only has three goals and one assist this season for Elche, credits the Argentine attacker with 1.6 dribbles completed per game and 1.1 fouls drawn per game.

LB Ruben Duarte, Deportivo Alaves

Deportivo Alaves is a team filled with grizzled veterans like Joselu, so it’s not easy to find a true up-and-comer. But at 25, Ruben Duarte is still young for a left back, especially a defensive-minded fullback who is something of a throwback.

Duarte and Alaves surrendered four goals to Eden Hazard and Real Madrid on Matchday 20, but they upset Los Blancos back in November. The Spanish international is having another good year for his club with an average of 1.9 tackles per game and 2.5 interceptions per game.

CM Jon Moncayola, Osasuna

Jon Moncayola is a player I highlighted before the 2020-2021 season as a young La Liga midfielder to watch, and he has been one of the few bright spots for Osasuna this season.

Osasuna drew Real Madrid 0-0 in the snow in Pamplona not long ago, but a club that once had an outside shot at European football in 2019-2020 now barely hovers above the relegation zone. Moncayola’s work-rate has given the fans something to cheer about, though, and the 23-year-old is their only real pick as a future star. The stats don’t show it, but the effort on the pitch does. He can be a great defense-first midfielder in La Liga.

CB Joaquin Fernandez, Real Valladolid

Although Joaquin Fernandez has his moments where he struggles, the 24-year-old is the latest center back who holds a lot of potential for Real Valladolid. He’s taken a step back from last season, perhaps because Mohammed Salisu is no longer by his side, but he is averaging 1.9 interceptions per game and five clearances with just 0.2 dribbles allowed.

Fernandez is playing more minutes for Valladolid in 2020-2021 than last season, and it will be interesting to see if he can become the next tough mid-table defender for Real Madrid attackers to contend with.