Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Real Madrid Plotting A Move For This Serie A Full-Back: What Will He Bring To The Spanish Capital?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by (via Calciomercato), Real Madrid have identified AC Milan defender Davide Calabria as one of three candidates to replace Alvaro Odriozola at the Spanish capital. The same source has revealed that the Galacticos have set their sights on the Italian full-back ahead of a potential move in the future with RB Leipzig’s Lukas Klostermann and OGC Nice’s Youcef Atal also on Zinedine Zidane’s transfer shortlist.

Calabria’s Brilliant Rise In The Italian Top-Flight

The Brescia-born prospect came through the youth ranks of AC Milan before breaking out as a first-team starter back in 2015. Calabria has gone on to make 91 appearances for the Serie A giants, scoring two goals while creating five assists on all fronts.

The Italian defender had to endure an underwhelming start to this campaign after he failed to score or create a single goal in his first six matches in the Italian top-flight this term. However, he has averaged 3.2 tackles, 1.0 interceptions and 1.8 clearances per game in the top tier of Italy (stats via whoscored). The San Siro outfit have recently appointed Stefano Pioli as their new manager. He will look to turn Milan’s fortunes around for the better in the coming months.

AC Milan are currently occupying the 12th spot in the league standings with a total tally of ten points from eight league matches. Calabria has been their first-choice right-back, but he has failed to find consistency with his performances on the field so far this season. The 22-year-old has also represented Italy at various youth levels but is yet to earn a senior cap for his nation.

What Will The Italian Defensive Ace Bring To The Bernabeu?

Calabria is a moderately paced full-back who can make some penetrative runs down the right flank. He is versatile enough to operate in either full-back position or play in a more advanced role down the right flank. The Italian rising star has a wealth of top-flight experience for a player of his age. He is also a reliable defender at the back and can be a difficult man to beat in a 1v1 footrace out on the wide areas.

However, Calabria has been guilty of being inconsistent this season which is a cause for concern. Los Blancos should be looking to recruit ready-made, world-class players rather than invest more money on the youth if they are hoping to compete for trophies next year. Zinedine Zidane would be wise to bring in a capable replacement for Odriozola soon. Calabria does not have the proven track record to become a future Galactico at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

The growing weight of expectations to represent a club of Real Madrid’s stature could be an issue for the young defender who has looked average at best this season.

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