Watching Sporting de Gijón’s accomplished 2-0 victory over Sevilla last night one player shone far more brightly than the vast majority of those with whom he shared the El Molinón turf.
The home side’s 21 year-old left-back, José Angél, impressed with a performance possessing of a maturity beyond his years, the defender’s positioning, distribution, speed and dexterity all marking him out as a potential star of the future.
Born and raised in Gijón, Angél is one of the latest players to have graduated to the first team from the club’s famed academy which once produced Spain’s all-time record goal scorer, David Villa.
Indeed, if last night’s display is anything to go by, Angél is blessed with the same confidence in his ability as Villa, handing the threat posed to him by Sevilla’s Diego Perotti with a consummate ease.
Deceptively strong, quick across the ground and an adroit crosser of the ball, Angél is a full-back reminiscent of a younger Javier Zanetti; defensively sound, intelligent in his forward runs and a genuine threat in the final third.
Still only in the early phases of his career, if Angél continues to improve there’s no reason why he couldn’t become the natural long-term successor to Joan Capdevila in the Spanish national side.
He may only have recently established himself as an automatic selection in the Sporting first eleven, but Angél is already attracting covetous glances from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Villarreal, Everton and Manchester City are believed to be monitoring the player’s progress, the left-back thought to be available for a price as low as £5m – despite having four years left on his contract – with Sporting desperate to ease their financial worries.
Wherever Angél’s future lies, he looks set to enjoy a sparkling career at the highest level. Part of yet another extremely talented generation of Spanish footballers, we should be seeing much, much more of this gifted young full-back in the months and years to come.