Though only a few months into the new season, La Liga has already given fans much to cheer about. Yet where there is joy and happiness, there is also suffering.
Several players in La Liga have found it difficult to show their best form this season, while some have just been at their absolute worst.
In this article we will take a look at the eight most disappointing players in La Liga so far and discover why they must get back to their best for their respective clubs.
Last season Real Valladolid’s Antonio Rukavina was one of the best defenders in La Liga. His ability to win the ball and lead the backline was impressive and helped the Spanish club have a successful season.
However, things are completely different this year.
The Serbian is averaging less than two tackles and interceptions per match. Rukavina is also struggling to distribute the ball as he has only completed 78 percent of his passes this year.
But the most worrying part of the 29-year-old’s form is how invisible he has become.
Rukavina has led the Valladolid defense by being vocal and getting involved in every defensive stop,but he has become practically nonexistent this year.
If Real Valladolid want to have a successful season their defensive captain must get back to his best.
Celta Vigo captain Borja Oubina has been a force at the Galician club since day one. His leadership and ability to control play is very important to the club and it is the absence of these qualities that is hurting Celta the most this year.
Oubina is the focal point of Celta Vigo’s midfield. Not only does he feature as a strong holding midfielder, but he is also one of the most creative players in the squad.
The 31-year-old is still doing a good job on the defensive end of things, averaging three tackles and two interceptions per game. However, his link up play has fallen apart this year.
Oubina is only averaging 0.2 key passes per game which has caused Celta to suffer to create chances. Without creativity the Galician club has struggled to score goals, and it's no wonder why they are only three points above the bottom of the table.
Celta Vigo cannot succeed without Oubina. The captain does absolutely everything in the middle of the pitch. And without his contribution things are not going well for the Galicians.
Xavi Torres has the task of replacing Benat in the Real Betis midfield and he isn’t really doing a good job of it. Whether it is his defensive production or offensive creativity, things just aren’t coming together for the 26-year-old.
Torres is averaging less than one interception per game, something Benat excelled at, while also committing at least two fouls per game as well.
The defensive contribution of Torres is nowhere near what it should be and his attacking production has been even worse.
Not only has the Real Betis midfielder failed to score a goal or give an assist this year, he has not even given a key pass to this point.
Xavi Torres has struggled to make an impact on the club this year and is actually hurting Real Betis. Things must change soon or he will certainly lose his place in the lineup.
Catalan club Espanyol have been on fire this season, but Pizzi has not.
Last year Pizzi scored eight goals and dished out six assists in 35 matches with Deportivo. This season Pizzi has failed to find the back of the net or create a real scoring chance.
The 24-year-old is also completing merely 71 percent of his passes and attempting only one dribble as well. Known as an attacker who can beat defenders off of the dribble, Pizzi is not having the same effect he used to.
The Portuguese winger was expected to add a new attacking dimension to Espanyol’s style of play. Sadly, to this point Pizzi has only been a liability.
Imanol Agirretxe played a big part in Real Sociedad’s run last season to earn a place in this year’s Champions League. His 13 goals and five assists made him one of the most important players in the squad, but his consistency has always been his best attribute.
In August it was reported by Football-Espana.com that the Basque striker had suffered a muscle injury, and he hasn’t been himself since.
In six matches this season, Agirretxe has failed to find the back of the net and has given only one assist. His contribution has dropped significantly since last year but his numbers aren’t the worst thing.
Agirretxe has always been a consistent striker who you could count on; when he plays you know what you are getting. This year the Basque striker is struggling significantly and when he is on the pitch Real Sociedad looks a bit lost.
With Champions League play looming over La Real, Agirretxe needs to get back to his best. But the most important thing this season is remaining competitive in La Liga where the Basques surprisingly sit 15th on the table.
Over the past two seasons Sofiane Feghouli has been one of the most important players for Valencia. His speed and attacking ability make him a very dangerous winger and, with Roberto Soldado gone, he has to step up.
We are only a few months into the new season, but it seems as though Feghouli hasn’t even begun playing yet.
He has only scored one goal this year but it is his passing that is most disappointing. The Algeria international is only averaging 15 passes per game with 0.3 key passes.
That is a major concern.
The 23-year-old winger has been one of Valencia’s most important attackers and creators and that just isn’t happening this year.
Valencia started the year off badly but have fought to move to seventh in the La Liga table. Feghouli hasn’t been a major factor so far but he absolutely has to be in the long run.
Let’s just be honest for a minute. Rayo Vallecano is without question the worst defensive side in La Liga.
The club from Madrid is giving up at least 12 shots per match and is only making 20 tackles every game. Committing 12 fouls per contest is not a good thing either.
In just eight matches Rayo Vallecano has conceded 21 goals and has scored only six. The entire defense is suffering and though not all blame can be put on the keeper, much of it can.
Ruben Martinez has played in all but two matches this year and has already conceded 16 goals. He is only averaging one save per goal and makes approximately three saves every match.
Making only three saves in a match is not a good day for a keeper, especially when your defense is allowing 12 shots on target.
Martinez is conceding close to three goals per game and that is just not acceptable.
Rayo Vallecano is struggling badly this year. Not only does Martinez have to step up, the entire defense needs an overhaul.
Athletic Club Bilbao’s Aritz Aduriz may very well be the most disappointing player in La Liga so far. Tasked with replacing Fernando Llorente, the Basque striker has just not been able to find his rhythm.
After scoring 18 goals in all competitions last season, Aduriz is yet to find the back of the net in what is one of his worst starts to a season in his career.
Not only is the Athletic Club striker failing to score, he is also struggling to get chances. He has only taken 15 total shots this year and is giving the ball away at least two times every match.
It would be better if Aduriz was contributing in other areas, but he isn’t. The 32-year-old is only completing 64 percent of his passes and is delivering a key pass only 0.9 times per game.
To say that Aduriz is struggling is putting it lightly. Athletic Club has arguably the best young strikers in Spain in their youth system and Aduriz could soon find himself on the bench.
The Basque striker has got to find his scoring boots. With Llorente gone, Los Leones desperately need a target man and Aduriz is yet to provide the club with a capable center-forward.
Who do you think is La Liga’s most disappointing player this year? What about the most disappointing team? Leave your thoughts and comments below!
Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on La Liga and Spanish football!