ATLÉTICO MADRID

Adrián Corral, youth pearl who chose Atleti over Real Madrid

The defender is the only player of the 2003 generation to be included in one of Simeone's squad list this season. He also turned down Liverpool and United.

Adrián Corral, youth pearl who chose Atleti over Real Madrid

Atlético Madrid have high hopes for Adrián Corral. Despite being in his second year with the Under-19s, he's regularly featured for the reserves and is the youngest player to figure in one of Diego Simeone's squad list for the first team (in the Copa, against Cornellà). An international for Spain at youth level (Under-15, U16 and U17), Corral is one of the big promises for the future in Atleti's youth academy and for how he has been progressing, it is looking likely that he will make it to the senior squad.

Offers from the Premier League

Curiously, his first call-up by Simeone came just when he was going through a particularly complicated moment. At the start of 2018, he left Villarreal and chose to join Atleti after rejecting offers from Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid, among others. Atletico offered him a  project with guarantees and a future at the club. Now, all of that is coming to fruition and Corral is advancing and realising those early expectations.

One of Adrián's most appealing attributes is that he has managed to stand out so young being a defender. He is comfortable playing either in central defence or at left-back, and that kind of versatility is what coaches value. He is also a level-headed defender who knows when not to foul opponents. We'll see if he is handed his first team debut this season, but it's clear that his moment will arrive eventually.