There is no doubt that Iago Aspas is one of the most important strikers in Spanish football for the last decade. He has scored at least 14 goals in each of the last seven seasons with Celta de Vigo in LaLiga Santander. Impressive numbers that, surprisingly, were never enough for him to establish himself in the national team.
It is true that he was called up for the 2018 World Cup (and he scored a crucial goal against Morocco), but based on the numbers he has made at Celta, if going with the national team was just based on meritocracy, he would be a starter since a long time ago.
Aspas is that kind of striker that you never want to face off. He is that kind of footballer that makes the entire team to play because he has the required quality to go down to the midfield in order to get the ball, assist easily, link up with his teammates… And, in addition, to that, he has the ability to score constantly. If we only take into account LaLiga, Aspas has scored 164 goals in total and given 41 assists.
His first great season was the 2011/12, where he managed to score 24 goals (his record so far until today). A year later, still playing for Celta de Vigo, he was only able to score half of the goals he got the previous year (12), which is still a great quantity. The next two season he tried his luck out of Vigo at Liverpool and Sevilla, but he never felt comfortable at either of those two clubs.
That is the reason why he decided to return to Celta in 2015, as he wanted to get back to his highest level. And he did so, as he scored 14 goals and gave four assists in the first season of his return. In addition, next year he scored 19 goals and assisted three times. The season after, already being the start of the team, he scored 22 goals (his second best personal stat until today). In the 2018/19 campaign, he never stopped scoring and reached the quantity of 20.
The next two years, which were both impacted by the pandemic, he managed to score 14 goals in each season. Last season he even increased those numbers to 18 goals, proving that at the age of 35 he still maintains the required level to be one of the best players in the Spanish league. Furthermore, this season he has already scored five goals in the first four games and has returned physically at this best shape.
All in all, it is clear that Iago Aspas must go to the Qatar World Cup. The Spanish National Team have plenty of available strikers that are in a positive streak such as Borja Iglesias, Rodrigo Moreno, Juanmi… But Aspas is a different player that you must have in your team, which is why, from my point of view, he should be in the roster of 23 players to be in the World Cup.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: @RCCelta.