Five Spanish football stars we want to see in the Premier League
La Liga has always had and produced a galaxy of stars. While there are international icons like Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, some native Spaniards have been sensational.
You only have to look at the way La Roja’s national side dominated the world under Vicente del Bosque for compelling evidence of that. Some of those heroes, like Cesc Fabregas, David Silva and Fernando Torres have plied their trade in England before.
As Christmas is a time for reflection, Coral’s football experts got thinking about which Spanish stars we would now like to see grace the Premier League.
We’ve factored an eye on the future into our selections, because it’s unrealistic to expect tiki-taka pass-masters like Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta to leave the Catalan comfort of Barcelona.
Who have we picked? Read on to discover our fabulous five.
Valencia striker Alcacer is the future up front for Spain. On five caps already, all three of his international goals have helped La Roja to get back on track following a humbling experience at the World Cup in Brazil this past summer.
Paco packs a real punch for Los Che. He’s just 21 years old and is one off matching his La Liga tally from last term already. Who wouldn’t relish a little and large strike partnership with Brazilian-born Diego Costa? If 7/1 Champions League chances Chelsea were to capture Alcacer, then that arrangement could be made for both club and country!
Another Mestalla youth product makes our list. Swashbuckling left back Bernat, now at Bundesliga big boys Bayern Munich, is an all-out attacking defender in the Roberto Carlos tradition.
Perhaps a better comparison would be Valencia predecessor Jordi Alba (at Barcelona), who ironically blocks Bernat’s path to starts for Spain. Pep Guardiola saw something in this promising player, also 21, and brought him to the Allianz this past summer. Manchester United would benefit from Bernat’s wing back capabilities.
Being billed as ‘the next Xabi Alonso’ is one tough act to follow, but Real Madrid anchorman Illarramendi needs a move to kick-start a career which has sadly stalled at the Bernabeu. He was magnificent for Real Sociedad and carried that fine form over into Spain’s Under-21 European Championship triumph in 2013.
Arsenal are crying out for a holding player with the silky skills to match their style, and Arsene Wenger need look no further than Illarramendi. Mikel Arteta is a declining force and Mathieu Flmaini a blunt instrument, so the Basque Country-born 24-year-old should seek a switch to the Gunners.
Like Illarramendi, creative force Isco only gets in Carlo Ancelotti’s XI when there are injuries. Now that both Gareth Bale and Jese Rodriguez have returned from lay-offs, this guileful player will be back on the bench.
Isco, 22, has too much talent to be wasted on the fringes, and you cannot help but wonder if he made the right move from Malaga. Premier League champions Manchester City (9/4 to retain the title), managed by the player’s old mentor Manuel Pellegrini, need to replace David Silva eventually, so we may still see this Spanish star at the Etihad yet.
It’s a mystery to us how Athletic Bilbao winger Muniain has not been snapped up by one of Europe’s elite. The Basque boys demand absolute loyalty from their players, but this tricky winger would fetch a pretty price in the market.
While that is not what Bilbao are about (you have to be a Basque Country native or have heritage from the region to play for them), magnificent Muniain would add an X-factor to any Premier League side. One lacking in that the most at the moment is Liverpool (6/1 for a top four finish).