Former Real Sociedad player Alberto Lopez believes Mikel Oyarzabal is destined to join Premier League after impressing for both club and country.
Mikel Oyarzabal has become one of Europe’s hottest talents following his blistering performances at Real Sociedad as well as the Spanish U21 side. And former Sociedad star, Alberto Lopez is convinced that the rising star could soon join the Premier League – in an interview with Marca.
“I really rate him. I don’t think he has a lot of time left at Real Sociedad. He has so much talent, and I think he could play in a great team like Chelsea and Liverpool”, Lopez told Marca.
A product of the Real Sociedad youth academy, Oyarzabal was initially promoted to the first team in 2016. And he quickly became a vital part of the Sociedad attack, notably featuring in 22 matches in what was his professional debut campaign. The winger also scored six goals and provided two assists – a performance that helped become a prominent part of the club in the coming years.
Oyarzabal continued his progress at the highest level of football and has already notched up as many as 151 competitive appearances for the club, during which, he was involved in 61 goals.
He enjoyed the most prolific campaign of his professional career last season, scoring 13 goals. His services on the flanks helped Sociedad achieve a mid-table finish in the league. And as a result of his performances, the youngster returned to the Spanish national team last month.
However, what really made Oyarzabal one of the most sought-after talents in Europe is his performances in the European U21 Championships this summer. Indeed, the 22-year-old starred for Spain in the coveted tournament, scoring two goals and providing one assist. He helped La Roja win the final against Germany U21, notably assisting the opener from Fabian Ruiz.
A move to Premier League could make sense for the Spaniard, especially to Chelsea, who are in dire need of a new winger following the departure of Eden Hazard. He could offer Frank Lampard an additional option in the final third while his combination with the likes of Bayern Munich target Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic will be intriguing to watch.
However, the Blues are slapped with a nasty transfer ban, meaning they won’t be able to sign any player till next summer. And that could give Liverpool a significant advantage if they are to pursue Oyarazabal this summer. The Sociedad winger, despite his age, is quite experienced at the highest level of football and can be groomed into a potential long-term replacement for Sadio Mane, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer.
It will be interesting to see if any Premier League teams make a last-ditch effort sign the winger as we head towards the final phase of the ongoing summer transfer window.