Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga continues his impressive rise in La Liga


After a disastrous start to the campaign which led to coach Eduardo Coudet being sacked, Celta Vigo have slowly been rebuilding their campaign with midfield hotshot Gabri Veiga being the key.

Since manager Carlos Carvalhall took over one key tactical change has been to drop Renato Tapia and instead play the 20-year-old Veiga alongside Fran Beltran in midfield in a 4-4-2 formation.

This setup plays to the midfielder’s strengths, handed licence to roam forward due to the more defensively-minded Beltran but Veiga also has the pace and stamina to quickly get back and help his team out defensively. 

Although his goal output reads more like an attacking midfielder, it is clear when you watch Celta Vigo play, Veiga is more of a box-to-box player who enjoys the defensive side of the game as much as the attacking side. 

Veiga has the typical technical traits of young Spanish players with his dribbling ability becoming an increasingly important aspect of Celta Vigo’s ball progression. Veiga is also neat and tidy with the ball at his feet which has led to the youngster building up an impressive partnership with captain Iago Aspas.

This feature of his game has drawn comparisons to Barcelona great Andres Iniesta who himself was an expert at progressing the ball with his passing and dribbling ability, just like Veiga is doing now. 

What has surprised most fans this season about Veiga is his clinical edge in front of goal. So far in league play this season he has hit eight goals and a further three assists, establishing himself as one of his side’s most important players.   

This clinical edge was there to see in his side’s recent 3-0 victory over relegation strugglers Real Valladolid. His first goal was a brilliant bottom-corner finish after a late run into the box while his second was another well-hit strike into the corner from a rebound.

Veiga’s wonderful form in February led the Spanish under-21 international to be handed the February La Liga player of the month award, gaining rightful recognition for his form.

A senior Spanish call-up for the midfielder cannot be far away but he will have his work cut out to get any national team minutes with young Barcelona duo Gavi and Pedri seemingly nailed-on starters for La Roja in midfield. 

First on Veiga’s mind though should be to put a larger gap between Celta Vigo and the bottom three. They currently sit in 12th place but are only three points off 18th-placed Almeria. With a talented squad, it should be no problem for The Los Celestes to avoid a relegation scrap.

Veiga is a product of the Celta Vigo youth academy and was officially promoted from Celta Vigo B to the men’s team ahead of this season. At the age of 20 he may be seen as a late bloomer but instantly impressed on his promotion to the first team. 

With Celta Vigo’s board clearly seeing something special in their midfield protege,  they tied him down to a long-term contract up until 2026 which will make it financially harder for clubs circling to entice him out of Spain.

As with any young player nowadays, it is reported Premier League trio Manchester United, Newcastle United and Arsenal are all fighting for Veiga’s signature come the summer with a reported release clause of £35.5 million being mooted around. 

However, Celta Vigo will do everything in their power to keep the midfield maestro at the Estadio de Balaidos for at least one more season.

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