The guy is very good, he just did not get the chance at R.Madrid when other players did, but he belongs to the same class (1987) of Fabregas, Piqué, Mata.... and another really good spanish players. He was one of the best spanish players by that time, and he has a lot of potential, I consider him better that Tymo and L Guztavo clearly, and of course better that the Benders.
The fact that he is not called up to the spanish NT is not strange, as they have today a lot of great midfielders, like Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Fabregas, Xavi Alonso (maybe the player with greater resemblance), Javi Martinez.... not an easy moment to break through. Besides, the fact of playing in a weak league makes it really hard to compete with the other players. Benfica paid seven mill. for him, if the price is about that sum it would be a great adition to the squad.