Best XI of 2013/14 La Liga Signings

Paul Wilkes@@paulwilkesfootyFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2014

Best XI of 2013/14 La Liga Signings

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    Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

    The 2013/14 season has come to an end, but there's still plenty to look back at and admire.

    With Atletico Madrid named champions, this year will live long in the memory.

    As the World Cup is just around the corner, plenty of teams will be looking to conduct their transfer business early.

    There have been plenty of star performers throughout the season, but how many of those players were signed for their respective clubs last summer?

    Here, we take a look at the best XI of the 2013/14 permanent signings.

     

    All statistics from WhoScored.com.

Goalkeeper: Beto (Sevilla)

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Portuguese goalkeeper Beto arrived on loan in January 2013 as cover for Andres Palop. Sevilla's other shot-stopper, Diego Lopez, had just joined Real Madrid.

    He impressed so much that the move was made permanent last summer. As Unai Emery's undisputed first choice, he kept eight clean sheets in La Liga.

    His Europa League final heroics during the 120 minutes of play and the penalty shootout will live long in the memory.

    Beto has been included in Paulo Bento's World Cup squad and looks likely to feature as understudy to Rui Patricio.

Right-Back: Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid)

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    They say Real Madrid don't allow their youngsters time to grow and that they are too quick to move them on.

    That might be true, but their willingness to admit to mistakes is shown by their buy-back options.

    Daniel Carvajal was sold to Bayer Leverkusen in 2012 and signed a five-year deal. He returned to the Bernabeu last summer and displaced Alvaro Arbeloa as Carlo Ancelotti's preferred right-back.

    The year in Germany has done him good, and he returned a much better player.

Left-Back: Mikel Balenziaga (Athletic Bilbao)

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    Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press

    The Basque's transfer policy means they have limited options when it comes to spending the cash earned by player sales.

    It also means they often sign players who have played at the club previously.

    Mikel Balenziaga made his Athletic debut in the same game as Ander Iturraspe. After two years at Real Valladolid, he helped Ernesto Valverde's team qualify for the Champions League.

Centre-Back: Andreu Fontas (Celta Vigo)

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    Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

    New Barcelona manager Luis Enrique converted Andreu Fontas from a defensive midfielder to a centre-back when he coached him in the B Team setup at the Camp Nou.

    As you would expect, the 24-year-old is comfortable in possession and strong in the tackle. He was pivotal in helping Enrique transport his style to Celta Vigo.

    With Barca's well-known struggles in the middle of defence and the buy-back option in Fontas' contract, it wouldn't be too surprising to see him reunited with Enrique for a third time.

Centre-Back: Gabriel Paulista (Villarreal)

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    The 23-year-old Brazilian is fast becoming one of the best young defenders in La Liga.

    Gabriel, as he is often known, joined Villarreal from Esporte Clube Vitoria last summer.

    Having competed with the more experienced Chechu Dorado throughout the campaign for the right to partner Mateo Musacchio, Gabriel started the final four league matches.

    He was part of the defence that kept clean sheets against in-form Rayo Vallecano and Sevilla.

Midfield: Mikel Rico (Athletic Bilbao)

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Three impressive seasons at Granada saw Mikel Rico make the move to Athletic Bilbao.

    Alongside Ander Iturraspe in the centre of midfield, Rico helped give Athletic a more solid base.

    Under Ernesto Valverde, the team got caught less in transition while still giving licence to the creative attackers.

    Like a number of Athletic players, Rico contributed to the goals tally as well, with five for the term in the league.

Midfield: Piti (Granada)

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    The experienced attacking midfielder with an eye for a goal was an absolute bargain when he was snapped up from Granada on a free transfer.

    He was never going to recreate his unbelievable scoring streak of last year, but with only wages to pay out, the Andalusians couldn't go wrong.

    Important goals against Levante and Real Betis gave Granada crucial points as they survived the drop once more.

Winger: Giovani Dos Santos (Villarreal)

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    The former Tottenham wide player has matured considerably since his time at White Hart Lane.

    His transformation started last season with strong performances for Real Mallorca and continued into this campaign with Villarreal.

    He started only 26 league matches but scored 11 goals and made eight assists.

    He netted in both league games with Real Madrid and should be a key player for Mexico at the World Cup.

Winger: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    The Copa del Rey final winner was a pivotal moment for Gareth Bale and a definitive answer to his critics.

    It's been a fantastic opening year in Spain for the Welshman considering all the problems he has encountered.

    A direct contribution to 27 goals in 24 starts is an outstanding effort, while a full pre-season and no international football means he will be even stronger next term.

Forward: Charles (Celta Vigo)

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    Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

    The striker finished the season in fantastic form with four goals in his final three matches.

    After joining from Almeria as a replacement for Iago Aspas, Charles scored in his La Liga debut and grabbed the first-ever goal at the new San Mames.

    His brace against Real Madrid was the highlight of his year, as he capitalised on mistakes from World Cup winners Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso.

    Under Luis Enrique, he has scored 12 league goals and showed there is room for an out-and-out forward.

Forward: Carlos Bacca (Sevilla)

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    There were numerous comings and goings at Sevilla last summer. The efforts of coach Unai Emery and director of football Monchi should not be underestimated.

    Out went star striker Alvaro Negredo, who was an instant hit at Manchester City. His replacement was Colombian Carlos Bacca.

    The forward was bought from Club Brugge for €7 million, and Sevilla instantly inserted a €30 million buyout clause.

    His 18 goals helped Sevilla to a fifth-place finish in the league and a Europa League trophy.