With the search for the next big thing hotting up ahead of the January transfer window, it’s perhaps a surprise that Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal has so far slipped under the radar. But don’t expect that to last much longer.
The 19-year-old midfielder has been cutting defences wide open this season, and already boasts five assists from nine games in La Liga.
Following youth spells with Eibar and Sociedad, Oyarzabal burst onto the first-team scene last season, and hasn’t looked back.
Firing in six goals and two assists in just 22 appearances, the Spaniard was a crucial part of the side which rose from the relegation zone into mid-table following the departure of David Moyes.
The highlight was arguably a stunning Ronaldo-esque header against Barcelona, no less. The goal proved to be the winner too, and the Anoeta faithful heralded a new hero.
Such were the Eibar-native’s performances, an international debut for Spain came calling in May after less than one full season of senior football.
Regarded in many ways to be very similar to Atletico Madrid talisman Antoine Griezmann, Sociedad moved fast to tie their talented star to a long-term deal, lasting until 2021.
Possessing a fine left peg, the teenager is also a renowned passer with fine vision, and as the goal versus Barcelona showed, is pretty mighty in the air too.
What’s more, Oyarzabal offers great versatility. Though his preferred role is on the left flank, the teenager is more than capable of playing centrally, as well as on the right, or even up front.
Athletic Bilbao have already been linked with a move, and it’s only a matter of time before more of Europe’s – and the Premier League’s – top sides increase their interest.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing