Aside from the usual suspects, here are five new players to keep an eye on during the new Spanish league campaign, which gets underway tonight.
Kevin-Prince Boateng (Las Palmas) — One of the most talked about transfers this summer, Las Palmas managed to lure the midfielder who has played for some of Europe’s biggest clubs. If Boateng can finally unite his ability with a good attitude then this move could represent quite the coup for Los Amarillos. The Ghanian will be hoping playing away from the spotlight can reinvigorate his career, ultimately helping his new club build on their incredible 11th placed finish in their first campaign in the top flight since 2001-02.
Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo) — The winger, who came into the spotlight after scoring twice against Manchester United in the Europa League for FC Midtjylland of Denmark, doesn’t even need to kick a ball to know he has a massive task on his hands at new club Celta Vigo. Nolito, whose performances earned him a Spain call-up for Euro 2016, has left for Manchester City and Sisto has arrived as his replacement. At just 21-years-old, the Galicians will be hoping the former Danish Footballer of the Year can be the perfect successor to their star of last season.
Nani (Valencia) — The former Manchester United winger signed from Fenerbahce after starring in Portugal’s triumph in France. He clearly has the talent, yet the key to unlocking it is behind his ability to produce regularly, which has continuously seemed tough going. The story of the 29-year-old’s career, he needs to finally trigger the consistency required to up his game — this time at Valencia, who were awfully inconsistent last year. It will be interesting to see how Nani fares in his third spell away from England.
Ganso (Sevilla) — It seems this move has been in the offing forever. The Brazilian has been linked with big European clubs ever since he first debuted for Santos at 17-years-old. Now 26, Ganso’s rise is no more, which would explain the low fee. Though new manager Jorge Sampaoli wouldn’t have made the playmaker one of his nine signings if he didn’t think it could work. The unfulfilled prodigy has seeked new life for the first time, looking to finally make the kind of impact we expected to see long ago.
Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona) — Fresh from a full 120 minutes in the Euro 2016 final, the French defender has already helped his new club to silverware — Umtiti impressed as Barcelona were crowned Spanish Super Cup winners on Wednesday night.
The new signing will play a big part in masking Barca’s poor defensive depth with his versatility allowing him to play centre half and on the left. The pacy and strong calm presence should fit the Nou Camp side’s style of play fine. In the 22-year-old arriving, Barcelona have secured a player who has the potential to anchor their defence for the next decade. Umtiti will be pushing Javier Mascherano for a starting spot alongside Gerard Pique, though with the Argentine out injured he’ll have a head start going into the opener against Real Betis on Saturday.