Once again Argentina continues to be a breeding ground for some of the world’s best young football talent. Here’s 6 to watch in 2018
Fabricio Bustos – Independiente
It may not have resulted in the usual European move but 2017’s breakthrough star, Ezequiel Barco’s record-breaking move to Atlanta United was testament of a tremendous year for Independiente. Ariel Holan’s Copa Sudamericana champions now have to deal without their pint-sized playmaker but there is more young talent coming out of Avellaneda.
Electrifying full-back Fabricio Bustos has already been watched by Jorge Sampaoli and will be hoping to put some niggling injuries behind him and force a way into the Argentina squad ahead of the World Cup.
Marcelo Saracchi – River Plate
After a lacklustre 2017, River Plate are investing heavily to ensure a far more successful year but one of the club’s signings from the previous window already looks to have solved any possible issue at left-back.
Uruguayan Marcelo Saracchi arrived from Dabubio in August but proved he was more than ready for the step-up in his performances during the second half of the season. The attacking full back is probably already ahead of Milton Casco in the pecking order and the 19-year-old will hope to push on even more this season.
Lucas Acosta – Belgrano
Argentina may not produce goalkeepers at the rate it does forwards but Belgrano look to have found themselves a good one in Lucas Acosta. The 22-year-old Córdoba native has played in every game this season as El Pirata have enjoyed a much improved campaign from recent years. Central to that success has been the defensive record with Belgrano conceding only eight goals and Acosta has impressively managed eight clean sheets from twelve matches.
Nahitan Nández – Boca Juniors
Nahitan Nández has already proved an astute signing since arriving from Penarol in August last year and with injuries in midfield, the former Uruguay under-20 captain slotted immediately into the first team, scoring the winner in a Superclásico. Now a full international, Nández will likely be in Russia but faces stiff competition at Boca this season.
Nicolás González – Argentinos Juniors
Roma have already made advances for Nicolás González according to Argentinos Juniors’ secretary general Alejandro Roncoroni and that is perhaps of little surprise given the 19-year-old has scored five Superliga goals already this season.
Quick and direct, González can play across the attack and has provided Los Bichos with a great outlet on the counter. Fellow top-scorer Braian Romero leaving for Independiente means González will need to keep on finding the net and hopefully form a partnership with returning hero Lucas Barrios.
Santiago Cáseres – Vélez Sarsfield
Despite remaining deep in relegation trouble it has been a hugely positive summer for Vélez and aside from Gabriel Heinze being appointed manager, the club have made a number of excellent signings – none more so than Mauro Zárate’s return.
However, even during the poor performances of 2017, a number of Vélez’s young talents had the chance to impress. Maxi Romero earned his move to PSV but midfielder Santiago Cáseres has also attracted attention. The classy, defensive midfielder has proved to be an excellent ball-winner in front of the back four but is also an efficient passer as Vélez build attacks from deep. European clubs and River Plate are already circling around the 20-year-old.