La Liga 2021/22 preview: Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad are one of the most interesting teams to watch in La Liga. The summer of 2020/21 showed a lot of ambition by the club with the signing of David Silva, who had been a crucial part of Manchester City’s success in the Premier League for a better part of a decade.

Silva’s presence in midfield was apparent early on. La Real were performing well and were the league leaders at one point but the season ended with a 6th place finish in the league and they subsequently failed to secure a coverted Champions League spot for the 2021/22 season. The concerns about the physical condition of aging players like David Silva and Nacho Monreal were apparent with both the members of the squad suffering multiple injuries.

This year’s summer transfer window has been one of the craziest windows, with PSG stealing the limelight for obvious reasons. La Real managed to secure the transfers of Spanish defender Diego Rico from Bournemouth and goalkeeper Mathew Ryan on a free transfer from Brighton & Hove Albion. Despite the interest from Real Sociedad, Take Kubo has rejoined newly-promoted Mallorca on loan from Real Madrid, and with the potential departure of Adnan Januzaj to Lazio, it will be interesting to see if there will be a couple of further signings before the deadline day on August 31.

Under manager Imanol Alguacil, they will most likely start in a 4-2-3-1 with Isak up top and Oyarzabal and Portu on the wings. In the centre of the park, Alguacil has some interesting options, with Illarramendi, Merino, Zubimendi and Silva. The defensive line of Monreal, Le Normand, Elustondo and Gorosabel will likely play in front of Álex Remiro in goal. This is still an area that needs improvement if a higher league table finish is to be achieved. Imanol Alguacil’s faith in Alexander Isak continues to pay off time and time again. Isak was in a sensational run of form in the 2020/21 season. His performance against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey and his stunning displays in the Euros have caught the eye of many European clubs.

It might prove to be difficult for Real Sociedad to keep hold of Isak beyond this season if he keeps performing at the highest level. The competition among the wingers will be fascinating throughout the season with Ander Barrenetxea, a versatile youngster who can play on either side of the flank, lurking to get a starting role in the team. This season could be his opportunity to establish himself as a top talent in the league.

The new La Liga season is certainly going to be exciting, filled with lots of uncertainty, surprises, twists, and turns and Real Sociedad are one of the teams to watch out for. There will be two main questions surrounding the club this season – can La Real finally clinch their Champions League dreams and go further in the Europa League? And with the club persuading Xabi Alonso to sign a one-year extension with Real Sociedad B, could this be the final season for head coach Imanol Alguacil at the Basque club? With La Liga now underway, it will be intriguing to see how the Basque side fares, starting with an away trip to Camp Nou to face Barcelona.

Ravish Avula

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