El Centrocampista

Liverpool and Man City duo look for more Spanish success

Liverpool and Manchester City have both benefitted from the influence of Spanish players in recent years, and while the two sides may have had contrasting fortunes last season, it is clear the impact of these players has proven to be hugely successful.

Anfield has seen the greatest influx of talent from the country of course, with Rafa Benetiz bringing the likes of Luis Garcia, Xabi Alonso and Pepe Reina to Liverpool – not to mention the most successful of them all Fernando Torres, however in David Silva, Manchester City now possess arguably the best Spanish import the Premier League has seen.

Silva was named Player of the Season at the Etihad Stadium last month and was also a key performer in Spain’s recent Euro 2012 triumph in Poland and Ukraine.

Having just secured an unprecedented third consecutive international success, Vicente Del Bosque’s side are now quite rightly viewed as one of the greatest football sides in history and have already turned their focus to their next objective – retaining the Fifa World Cup in two years time.

As the country recovers from their celebration hangovers however, the Spanish under 19 side are currently looking to secure some more European glory in Estonia  – and two of its most promising starlets play their domestic football in the north west of England.

Denis Suarez and Suso are currently owned by Premier League sides Manchester City and Liverpool respectively and have been selected by Julen Lopetegui as they look to retain the U-19 title they won in Romania last summer. However for those that aren’t familiar with either player, what can you expect to see from them in this tournament?

Aged just 17, Denis Suarez was featuring for Celta Vigo’s ‘B’ side and earning rave reviews as an attacking midfielder. His composure and poise on the ball for someone so young was an attractive quality and it sparked interest from teams in Spain and also around the world. He decided to join Manchester City in 2011, turning down interest from Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United in the process. City paid about £850,000 for his services, though with certain clauses the deal could earn Celta around £2.75m.

Since moving to England, Suarez has been featuring for Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad. Roberto Mancini used him in the per-season games last summer, including their game against LA Galaxy as Suarez scored in the penalty shoot out. If Suarez features prominently during this tournament, expect to see him compared to another Spaniard at the Etihad Stadium.

His vision, passing and close control have already seen him compared to David Silva. With so much attacking talent present in the squad though, Suarez may have to bide his time and look to continue his development at Manchester City before being a key part of Lopetegui’s team.

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Suso is looking to make his mark having not really met his potential to date. Since moving from Cadiz in 2010, much has been expected of the midfielder but he hasn’t been given much chance to feature at Anfield so far. In fact, this tournament may well be a chance for Suso to put himself in the shop window.

With first team chances limited and his contract expiring next summer, he may try to impress scouts in this tournament and prove himself away from Merseyside.

It’s no great shock that Suso is Spanish when you see his skillset – he’s small but technically gifted with great touch and control, whilst his passing range is just as good as Suarez’s. It’s likely that Suso will feature heavily under Lopetegui in the midfield and be a key part of the team as they look to retain the title.

Both players have great potential and could well be latest players to emerge from the seemingly never ending conveyor belt of Spanish midfield talent.

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