La Liga Talents: Real Sociedad’s Mikel OyarzabalApril 27, 2018
Full name: Mikel Oyarzabal Ugarte
Born: 21st April 1997
Place of birth: Eibar, Gipuzkoa
Position: Left Winger
Club: Real Sociedad
Who is he?
Oyarzabal is a 21-year-old left winger who has been with Real Sociedad since the age of 14. The Spanish attacker made his senior debut for the reserves in 2014, coming on as a substitute in a 3-2 away victory against SD Amorebieta.
On 20 September 2015, Oyarzabal scored his first goals for the B team, netting a brace in a 5-0 away hammering of CD Mensajero. Five days later, he made his senior debut, replacing the Mexican forward Carlos Vela in the final few minutes of a 4-0 La Liga win at Levante.
In February the following year, the winger opened his scoring account for the first-team in another 5-0 demolition, this time against RCD Espanyol.
On the international stage, Oyarzabal has represented Spain at under-18 and under-19 level. He received his first senior call-up in May 2016, aged just 19, for a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, making his bow for La Roja by replacing Nolito for the last 30 minutes.
Style of Play
His preferred position is playing on the left wing, but Oyarzabal doesn’t play like a natural winger. The 21-year-old is not blessed with pace as most wingers do in La Liga, instead uses quick interplay with his fellow team-mates to expose the opposition’s defensive line.
This type of movement of turning inside from the wing with quick footwork to beat oncoming defenders is a trait similar to world-class individuals in today’s game, reminiscent of former Barcelona stars Pedro and Alexis Sanchez.
Mikel Oyarzabal has the potential to become one of the Spain’s most influential players, with his vision and eye for goal, so it won’t be long before Europe’s elite come chasing the 21-year-old winger as he continues his development at Sociedad.
Tottenham are set to enter the race to sign the player after speculation during the course of last summer where reports that the North London club sent scouts to watch the youngster.
Spurs were eyeing a potential January swoop for the Spanish international, but instead signed out-of-favour PSG attacker Lucas Moura.
Napoli had a bid rejected for the Spaniard in January, but will face competition from Premier League sides Arsenal and Liverpool, while Barcelona and Real Madrid offer a move closer to home.