The Spanish league has been on quite a recruitment drive this summer, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and their local rivals Atletico all adding some star names to their squad.
From Barca’s £75m punt on Luis Suarez, to Los Blancos’ Toni Kroos capture and Atleti’s signing of Mario Mandzukic, it’s clear the La Liga title race will be another three-horse scamper.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be some pleasing performances from lesser names in the division, and we’ve picked out five under-the-radar men who can shine this term:
Yacine Brahimi – Granada
Predominantly a left winger, but able to play all the way across the attacking-midfield line, Brahimi enjoyed a promising World Cup with Algeria where he scored once and laid on an assist in his three appearances.
That followed a three-goal, four-assist haul for Granada last term as the side survived relegation by two points. More will be expected this term.
Rafinha Alcantara – Barcelona
Thiago’s younger brother spent last term on loan at Celta Vigo and performed superbly in central-midfield.
A push to make the Barcelona first team should be on the cards for the 21-year-old Brazilian, but another chance to shine on loan somewhere is equally as possible for Rafinha.
Mateo Musacchio – Villarreal
A vital cog in Villarreal’s Europa League qualification last season, young centre-back Musacchio has the perfect opportunity to further enhance his reputation this term.
Expect links with a big move to emerge if he does.
Aymeric Laporte – Athletic Bilbao
Like Musacchio, French defender Laporte will gain exposure to European competition this season, having qualified for the Champions League with Bilbao last term.
A fixture of Los Leones’ backline for 33 La Liga games, the 20-year-old is only the second Frenchman to play for the Basque club, after Bixente Lizarazu.
Nolito – Celta Vigo
Formerly on the books of Barcelona and Benfica, Nolito fired 14 La Liga goals last season as Celta Vigo registered a top-half finish.
Without Rafinha this term, expect the 27-year-old to shoulder much of the attacking responsibility this season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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