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La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31882037 Star watching Star+watching La Liga

With a summer filled with player and coach movements, some might say that La Liga is once again a two-horse race. While that might be true, that doesn't mean that competition will be lacking elsewhere in the league.


With players like Inigo Martinez, Kevin Gameiro and Benat Etxebarria playing outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona, and players like Isco and Neymar joining the traditional powers, a high level of talent will be on display each week. FOX Soccer presents the top ten La Liga players to keep your eyes on:

Gonzalo Arroyo;David Ramos - Getty Images
La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31883236 Neymar, Barcelona Neymar%2C+Barcelona La Liga

When this $75 million deal was agreed before June’s Confederations Cup, there were those who wondered whether Barcelona had paid over the top for the promising - but then largely unproven - Brazilian starlet. Neymar’s goals and performances all the way through to Brazil’s 3-0 final win over Spain silenced such concerns.


It will now be fascinating to watch how new blaugrana coach Gerardo Martino dovetails the new man with current Barca talisman Leo Messi up front, but goals, tricks and fireworks are all but certain.

Sakchai Lalit -
La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31881272 David Villa, Atletico Madrid David+Villa%2C+Atletico+Madrid La Liga

Villa’s signing at a bargain looking price was a huge boost for Atletico fans still smarting from the exit of last season’s hero Radamel Falcao. Spain’s record international goalscorer has been troubled by injury for the last 18 months, but a superb strike on his debut in preseason suggests the Asturian still remembers exactly where the goal is.

La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31881271 Isco, Real Madrid Isco%2C+Real+Madrid La Liga

At just 21, Isco is the fresh face of the post-Jose Mourinho era Madrid. He already looks totally at home in new coach Carlo Ancelotti’s more "associative" midfield shape, starring throughout his new side's victory in the International Champions Trophy in the US. Likely to start out on the wing, and drift towards the center to play short passes with the team’s other creators Mesut Ozil, Luka Modric and Xabi Alonso, the youngster will ensure Madrid are a different, but no less exciting, proposition this season.

Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports
La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31883240 Helder Postiga, Valencia Helder+Postiga%2C+Valencia La Liga

It's near impossible to replace a player the caliber of Roberto Soldado, but Valencia fans will be expecting that from Portuguese forward, Heider Postiga. Scoring 14 goals for relegated Zaragoza, Postiga knows how to score goals in dire circumstances. Whether he can keep Valencia at the same level as they were last season is an entirely different question, as the club continues to aspire for Champions League football despite a shrinking bank account.

La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31883235 Beñat Etxebarria, Athletic Bilbao Be%26ntilde%3Bat+Etxebarria%2C+Athletic+Bilbao La Liga

The pint-sized Spanish international was linked with foreign giants Manchester City and Bayern Munich, but ended up back at his home town side, where he will add some extra poise and penetrative passing from deep midfield. With incoming coach Ernesto Valverde likely a calming influence after the turbulence of Marcelo Bielsa’s spell in charge, Athletic could be set for a Champions League qualification place.

DANI POZO/AFP - Getty Images
La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31883238 Daniel Carvajal, Real Madrid Daniel+Carvajal%2C+Real+Madrid La Liga

With a team like Real Madrid, it can be difficult to break through the ranks as a youngster, as was the case with Daniel Carvajal. A product of Real Madrid's youth system, everyone in Madrid recognized that Carvajal was talented, but with a team centered around stars, where would he play?


Carvajal left for the greener pastures of Bayer Leverkusen, where he was voted in the team of the season after just one year, but has returned after convincing his former employers of his skill. Look for Carvajal to challenge the sometimes unreliable Arvelo Arbeloa for a starting role in defense.

John Sibley - Action Images/Reuters
La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31881273 Inigo Martinez, Real Sociedad Inigo+Martinez%2C+Real+Sociedad La Liga

While the departure of Asier Illarramendi to Real Madrid in the summer certainly hurts, Real Sociedad should fans should be heartened by the fact that Inigo Martinez seems on the verge of grabbing the world's attention. Just 22, Martinez is already a rock at the heart of central defense. So talented is Martinez that he recently received a call-up to the Spanish national team. If that doesn't tell you to keep an eye on the talented youngster, we don't know what else would.

Ian Walton - Getty Images
La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31883241 Kevin Gameiro, Sevilla Kevin+Gameiro%2C+Sevilla La Liga

After the departue of both Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas to Manchester City, Sevilla will be looking to Gameiro to play a starring role with his new team. A talented, technically gifted forward, Gameiro blitzed through Ligue 1 during his time with Lorient, scoring 50 goals in 108 appearances, but found limited opportunities after moving to Paris Saint-Germain. Gameiro will need to return to form if Sevilla is to battle for a top four spot in La Liga.

La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31883237 Fernando Tissone, Malaga Fernando+Tissone%2C+Malaga La Liga

Given a ban from continental competitions for monetary reasons, previously deep-pocketed Malaga had a bit of a fire-sale this summer, seeing the departures of Isco, Javier Saviola, Martin Demichelis, and Jeremy Toulalan. Fernando Tissone, a new signing from Sampdoria, will be expected to govern the middle. Without much in the way of help, it'll be up to Tissone to prevent from collapsing altogether.

Jorge Guerrero/AFP - Getty Images
La Liga 2818 43 La Liga 2013-14: Players to Watch 31883239 Giovani dos Santos, Villarreal Giovani+dos+Santos%2C+Villarreal La Liga

Dos Santos put in some of his best ever club performances last term at Real Mallorca, persuading newly promoted Villarreal to outbid their regional rivals Valencia to secure the Mexican international’s signature. Coach Marcelino Garcia Toral knew what he was getting, as the pair had already worked together at Racing Santander. The Yellow Submarine have invested wisely this summer and should resurface back in the Primera Division’s top half.

Denis Doyle - Getty Images
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