Squawka: Six Spanish wonderkids you need to sign on FIFA 17

The past decade has been a golden era of success for the Spanish national team as they finally shed their tag as perennial underachievers to become two-time European Champions and World Cup winners.

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During La Roja’s three successive tournament successes, Luis Aragones and then Vicente Del Bosque were able to call upon a spine of incredibly talented players, many of whom had come through their respective youth academies at the same time.

All good things must come to an end, though, and Spain’s last two major tournaments have ended prematurely, with their golden generation of stars finally coming unstuck on the international stage.

Thankfully for Spanish supporters, the country’s up-and-coming talents are showing enough promise to suggest that another era of success could well be forthcoming for Spain.

Across not only La Liga but other major European leagues, you will find plenty of Spanish players under the age of 21 who are making their mark on a consistent basis.

With that in mind, here are six of the very best Spanish wonderkids to sign on FIFA 17.

Jesus Vallejo

Current ability: 76

Potential ability: 85

If you’re an avid follower of either the Bundesliga or La Liga, you’ll know of the genuine potential this guy possesses. Currently on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, Jesus Vallejo is impressing and playing 90 minutes regularly.

Contracted by Real Madrid, the Spanish centre back is seen as the natural replacement for Los Blanco’s unfaltering Sergio Ramos.

Rated at 76 already, Vallejo can rise to 85 and he has all the attributes of a ready-made Madrid star: passing, composure, speed and seamlessly develops into an outstanding defender.

Mikel Merino

Current ability: 76

Potential ability: 86

Given Borussia Dortmund’s absurdly talented squad, Merino may well have gone under the radar.

The Osasuna youth product gained his big move to Tuchel’s Dortmund this summer but has failed to establish himself in the first team, playing two full games before the league’s winter break.

That said, the Spanish defensive midfielder is at a club renowned for developing players. Able to play in CM, CDM and even at CB, Merino is a versatile defensive option particularly competent in passing and ball control. How quintessentially Spanish.

Borja Mayoral

Current ability: 72

Potential ability: 86

The striker is well ahead of his development, having already featured for Spain u21s with the company of Saul Niguez, Marco Asensio, Denis Suarez and Oliver Torres.

Another Real Madrid loanee, Mayoral is also currently getting minutes in the Bundesliga at Wolfsburg, albeit predominantly from the bench with Mario Gomez instead Die Wölfe’s principal goal-getter.

He is rated modestly on FIFA 17 but develops into a fine finisher worthy of leading the line for any elite side in Europe.

Note: his 37 curve makes him weirdly unable to finesse the ball. Mayoral is more the ‘heads down, laces through the ball’ type finisher.

Mikel Oyarzabal

Current ability: 77

Potential ability: 85

image: http://www.squawka.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/GettyImages-627843388.jpgThe 19-year-old winger broke into Real Sociedad’s first team last October and by May had earned his first Spain cap off the bench.

Just over a year on, Oyarzabal is still an exciting prospect getting regular minutes in Spain’s top tier. Not quite on song this season, Oyarzabal’s 77 rating is a product of over-excitement at his breakthrough last year.

If you prefer raw pace, the Sociedad winger is not your man. He is particularly intricate and possesses the ability to play as a striker, where his positioning and respectable finishing attributes come to the fore.

At just 19 and already in the upper 70s, Oyarzabal does not come cheap. You’re probably looking well over 10m, but given time he should prove to be well worth the outlay.

Aitor Bunuel

Current ability: 69

Potential ability: 8

A truly concealed jewel with potential growth of up to 15. Presently at La Liga’s bottom club CA Osasuna, Bunuel is struggling for games after breaking into the first team last season. Having featured both for Osasuna and Osasuna II, Bunuel’s next couple of years will be solely about development.

At just 18 years old, he is a specialist RWB on FIFA 17 – an exciting prospect for 3-5-2 users. With useful pace and a reputable level of stamina for one so young, depending on your training regime, Bunuel can develop into either an astute defender or a dazzling, attacking wing back.

We don’t want to build him up too much but there hasn’t been as much excitement about an Osasuna full-back since Cesar Azpilicueta broke into the side nearly a decade ago.

Carles Alena

Current ability: 69

Potential ability: 84

What would a list of exciting, Spanish youngsters be without a Barcelona youth product? That man is central midfielder Carles Alena. Recently linked with Manchester United, Alena scored his first goal for Barcelona’s first team in the Copa Del Rey against Hercules in November.

Principally part of Barcelona B, Alena has represented Spain from u16 upwards and exceptionally well-regarded in his home country.

As is typical of a Barcelona midfielder, Alena is a good passer, dribbler and ball controller with the potential to develop into a neat, balanced and agile central midfielder.

Oddly, he can play in both CAM and CDM, but his attributes would suggest you don’t opt for the latter. Incidentally, Alena is a gem of a player on Football Manager 2017 too.

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