Summer Scout - Asier Illarramendi
The Summer Scout eyes Spanish starlet Asier Illarramendi, spotted at the European Under-21s.
Last Updated: 21/05/14 12:01pm
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The latest player to be spotlighted is Spain's Asier Illarramendi.
The scout reports...
Whilst Isco rightly took most of the plaudits for Spain's success at the European Under-21 Championship it was clearly not a one-man show.
And the one man who really caught our eye was Asier Illarramendi, Spain's holding midfielder - their water-carrier, whatever you may call them - but to think of him as a simple anchor for their midfield would be doing him a huge injustice.
Illarramendi is a thoroughly modern footballer, an all-round athlete with an engine of a long distance runner.
Illarramendi hails from the Basque country, and has been playing football since a very young age. He actually joined his local side, Sociedad, aged just seven, and has been making progress through their ranks ever since.
Indeed it was not long before he was spotted by Spain, winning a call up to the Under-17 squad in 2006, and was part of the squad which finished runner-up at the FIFA U-17 World Cup the following year.
In 2008 he was promoted to the senior set-up which meant starting his football education with Real Sociedad B - and he flourished.
By 2010, as the senior side celebrated promotion, he was handed his first-team debut.
The rest of that year saw him continue his progress in the B side before in January 2011 he was given his first taste of La Liga action, playing against Villarreal. The following month he was making his first start, and he has not looked back since. His progress was rewarded late last year with a new six-year contract - a deal no other player at the club has ever had.
He played a starring role in Sociedad's unexpected charge to a Champions League place last season and he is now considered one of the best prospects in Spanish football.
Illarramendi is a very good passer of the ball, can tackle and as said has a great engine - but it is his reading of the game which makes him such a natural footballer.
Unsurprisingly Illarramendi is now attracting interest and both Real Madrid and Arsenal have been strongly linked.
The scout says...
A big decision beckons for Illarramendi and Sociedad, but with their top-four finish, surely another season in his Basque homeland beckons.
Whilst such a top talent, he clearly still has some things to learn and a season playing regular football - including in the Champions League - will do him the world of good.
The Scout rating...
Shooting: 6 out of 10
Passing: 9 out of 10
Tackling: 8 out of 10
Heading: 7 out of 10
Pace: 7 out of 10
Vision: 9 out of 10
Current ability: 8 out of 10
Potential ability: 10 out of 10
OVERALL SCOUT RATING:64/80
Current value: £20million
Potential value: £80million
You have read our opinion of Illarramendi - now we want your views. Have you seen Illarramendi in action? Do you agree with our assessment? Do you think he will make it?
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