An astonishing piece of business was done to bring Valencia starlet Fede Cartabia to the newly promoted club during the close season. The 21-year-old Argentine was tipped to have a better season for Los Che in 2014/15 after fans expected more from the youngster in his debut campaign. However, the bewildering decision to let the youngster continue his development in a team widely tipped to struggle this season should only benefit Cordoba on their return to La Liga.
The attack minded winger will start counter attacks effectively, and hopefully add more goals to his game which were lacking last season. What the club have to make sure of is that Fede shines during his time there, and doesn’t feel under pressure to take the game on by himself. There must be an element of pressure on his shoulders, but if he has his mind set on playing football he will show La Liga his true ability.
Deportivo La Coruna
Deportivo too have signed two promising players during the summer, one on loan and one on a permanent deal. The latter is former La Masia midfielder Isaac Cuenca who made a handful of appearances for Barca during an injury hit period with the club. He spent last season at Ajax but again suffered frustration as injuries hit him once again.
With his injury history the main reason for his stunted development at the Nou Camp, it was arguably a risk for Depor to take Cuenca on, having shown little development since his early days in the academy. However, if (that is a big if) he stays fit, Cuenca could show the reasons why he was in La Masia in the first place. Now in a team that will readily give him first team opportunities, there’s a sense that people in Spain really want Cuenca to make something of his career, and will be attracting plenty of attention every time he completes 90 minutes.
Who knows how many loanees from Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao will play for La Liga’s newest, and surely smallest ever member. The club made headlines last season for their astonishing success in reaching the Primera Division with limited resources, and will continue their fairytale by playing against some of the world’s top teams. However, similar to Arles Avignon of France, clubs small in stature rarely fare well in the top flight and seasons can quickly turn into nightmares.
The man responsible for preventing teams whitewashing Eibar will be Xabier “Xabi” Iruretagoiena, the star of Eibar’s promotion last season between the sticks. Xabi was instrumental as he won the Zamora trophy, conceding just 26 times in 39 games for the Basques, and will be looked upon to continue that form when the bigger clubs come to Ipurua. Like David Marshall of Cardiff last season, Xabi will be heavily involved and could once again be the man to save Eibar in tough situations.
After starring at the World Cup for Colombia, Carlos Sanchez’s move to Aston Villa looks set to be completed imminently, which is a real sucker punch for Elche. His departure won’t set the alarm bells ringing, but will make matters a lot tougher for Fran Escriba’s side.
From a British perspective, Charlie I’Anson won’t be representing England in La Liga this season after moving on loan to Murcia, but Mario Pasalic from Chelsea could be a source of interest to Blues fans. Pasalic signed from Hajduk Split this summer for £3m but has been immediately shipped out on loan, like many Chelsea youngsters. The Croatian has an eye for goal, having scored crucial strikes during his season with Hajduk, and looks set to become a big player for his country in the coming years.
Former Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo makes his return to La Liga with Espanyol this season after a couple of years in Russia and the UAE. The Ecuadorian forward was a revelation during his last stint in Spain, scoring plenty of goals whilst on loan at Levante in 2010/11.
Whether Caicedo can replicate his goalscoring ability with his new club makes him one to keep your eye on, because if he gets going he could become one of La Liga’s most revered and powerful strikers. Still only 25, Caicedo has not seen his career progress in the way he wanted since his departure from City, but a permanent spell in one of Europe’s top divisions could see him reach his full potential.
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