Celta de Vigo are one of the sides struggling in this La Liga season. Their head coach, Eduardo Coudet, paid the price and was sacked in November, as Portuguese head coach Carlos Carvalhal took over the Galician side. However, Celta found a talented boy from their youth system. Gabri Veiga, who was only 20, then emerged as a first-team option. Under both coaches, he was given time to start, even against strong opponents such as Barcelona and Real Sociedad.
After Celta Vigo lost one of their main players in Brais Mendez, Gabri Veiga has stepped up this season as his natural successor and is already having an outstanding campaign. Gabri Veiga is the kind of midfielder that can make a difference in the final third, gifted with loads of quality, vision, personality and an extensive work rate.
Elite clubs have been after him for a while now, and FootTheBall analyses what makes him so special.
How good is Gabri Veiga?
Gabriel ‘Gabri’ Veiga is another academy product to come off the Spanish divide. Yet to completely assert himself in the league, Veiga has a lot to look forward in his career.
Because his position is more inclined to the right side, he has made more around that region. But another noticeable trend is the distribution of successful and unsuccessful dribbles. He is decent in the central third when it comes to taking on the opponents, but there is certainly room for improvement when he tried to dribble in wider space, most failed attempts occurred in outer areas.
Veiga is not a deep-lying progressive passer because his style is more energetic, he always tries to make runs behind and take advantage of his teammates’ probing through balls.
Clearly, this is a breakthrough season for Veiga into elite football, he has been impressive on the pitch, even though not everything has been perfect, but he has been giving good performances. Veiga is still young, he is only 20, and still has his up and downs like receiving a red against Almería. More consistency can be expected from him when he is been given more chances to play week and week out, but with 9 goals and 3 assists to his name already, Veiga has stamped his mark.
Gabri Veiga stats
In terms of ball progression, Veiga isn’t impressive compares to other ‘number 8s’, he merely had 4.82 progressive passes per 90, while others such as Dani Parejo from Valencia, Luka Modrić from Real Madrid, or Mikel Merino from Sociedad, had more, let alone Toni Kroos!
In fact, he is one of the midfielders who tries more shots per 90 minutes (2,61), reflecting that he trusts on his shooting even from long distances. Comparatively, Veiga had better progressive runs per 90 at 1.38 — higher than the mean of all in 1.26, but that figure was nowhere near the likes of Frenkie de Jong or Yunus Musah.
Gabri Veiga scout report
A remarkable aspect of his game is his tendency to always look forward on and off the ball. He always looks for vertical passes whenever he receives the ball, looking to advance either with progressive carries or looking for progressive passing lanes.
Off the ball, his sense of positioning allows him to take advantage of the rivals, scanning the surroundings constantly and detecting spaces to offer dangerous passing lines.
Defensively Veiga adopts an active role in Celta Vigo. Despite being an offensive player, he has a good ability to recover balls in 1vs1 situations, using his body well and timing tackles to perfection.
Gabri Veiga transfer news
Veiga has enjoyed an outstanding campaign with Celta. The 20-year-old has scored eight goals from midfield. And it would appear that many of Europe’s heavyweights are chasing his signature, with Tottenham amongst those to have sent scouts to watch him this season.
Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle are among the teams following Celta Vigo player Gabri Veiga closely. Scouts from these three clubs, as well as another from the Bundesliga, have visited Spain on several occasions over the last few months to watch him live.
He is contracted at Celta until 2026, although the Spanish side are desperate to renew his deal. The 20-year-old has a release clause of €40m and has changed his agent, although Celta want to double this sum in a contract extension. which is something that could change the direction of his future. Pini Zahavi, Robert Lewandowski’s agent among others, is in contention to represent him going forward.
Gabri Veiga has everything to be a top player, and even more, if he gets to unlock all his potential. Still young, he still has room for improvement in different aspects, such as maturity towards the game and in decision making. Even so, he has already established himself in international football as a potential rising star.