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5 La Liga players floating under the radar this season

| 29.07.2014

The Spanish league has been on quite a recruitment drive this summer, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and their local rivals Atletico all adding some star names to their squad.

From Barca’s £75m punt on Luis Suarez, to Los Blancos’ Toni Kroos capture and Atleti’s signing of Mario Mandzukic, it’s clear the La Liga title race will be another three-horse scamper.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be some pleasing performances from lesser names in the division, and we’ve picked out five under-the-radar men who can shine this term:

Yacine Brahimi – Granada

Predominantly a left winger, but able to play all the way across the attacking-midfield line, Brahimi enjoyed a promising World Cup with Algeria where he scored once and laid on an assist in his three appearances.

That followed a three-goal, four-assist haul for Granada last term as the side survived relegation by two points. More will be expected this term.

Rafinha Alcantara – Barcelona

Thiago’s younger brother spent last term on loan at Celta Vigo and performed superbly in central-midfield.

A push to make the Barcelona first team should be on the cards for the 21-year-old Brazilian, but another chance to shine on loan somewhere is equally as possible for Rafinha.

Mateo Musacchio – Villarreal

A vital cog in Villarreal’s Europa League qualification last season, young centre-back Musacchio has the perfect opportunity to further enhance his reputation this term.

Expect links with a big move to emerge if he does.

Aymeric Laporte – Athletic Bilbao

Like Musacchio, French defender Laporte will gain exposure to European competition this season, having qualified for the Champions League with Bilbao last term.

A fixture of Los Leones’ backline for 33 La Liga games, the 20-year-old is only the second Frenchman to play for the Basque club, after Bixente Lizarazu.

Nolito – Celta Vigo

Formerly on the books of Barcelona and Benfica, Nolito fired 14 La Liga goals last season as Celta Vigo registered a top-half finish.

Without Rafinha this term, expect the 27-year-old to shoulder much of the attacking responsibility this season.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.