Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Real Madrid Defender Generating Interest From Arsenal & Manchester City: Should Zidane Cut His Losses?

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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 Don Balon, both Arsenal and Manchester City are interested in acquiring the services of Real Madrid centre-back Éder Militão this summer. The same source has also revealed that Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane will be integral in determining the Brazilian’s future at the Spanish capital but he currently doesn’t have too many defensive options to cope with in the event of Militao’s departure in this off-season.

Madrid have Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane as their first-choice centre-half options with Nacho Fernandez serving as the only natural back-up to them except for Militao. Therefore, the Spanish giants need to find a suitable replacement for the Brazilian before making any decision on his future during the summer transfer window.

Militao’s Struggles At The Bernabeu This Season

The 22-year-old has endured a frustrating season since arriving from FC Porto last summer. He has struggled to earn regular first-team opportunities at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with Zidane often preferring to rely on Ramos and Varane to perform at a high-level week in week out.

Militão has only made 13 appearances for the La Liga outfit this term while receiving a total of 992 minutes of game time in the process. Defensively, he has averaged 1.7 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 2.7 clearances per game in the Spanish top-flight and the UEFA Champions League which highlights how well he has performed whenever he has been called upon this season (stats via whoscored).

The Sertaozinho-born talent has also earned six senior caps for the Brazilian national team but is still waiting to open his goal-scoring account for his country. Maybe a summer switch to England could give him the platform to rediscover his old form and stake a claim in Tite’s squad for the UEFA European Championship finals after the competition got delayed until the summer of 2021 due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Real Madrid’s Brazilian defender Eder Militao gestures during the Spanish league football match RCD Mallorca against Real Madrid CF at the Iberostar estadi stadium in Palma de Mallorca on October 19, 2019. (Photo by JAIME REINA/AFP via Getty Images)

What Does The South American Sensation Bring To The Table?

Militao can use his quickness and power to make some vital recovering runs inside his own half and is also not shy about getting stuck in with a few tackles to win possession back for his side. The defender excels at reading the danger quickly and clearing his lines whenever his teammates are left exposed at the back. The Brazilian can also put his body on the line to block a goal-bound shot from the opposition and is also an accurate ball-distributor as evidenced by his pass success rate of 86.8% in the La Liga this season (stats via whoscored).

Should Los Blancos Cash In On Militao This Summer?

If Zidane is willing to give Militao a decent shot to earn a regular place in his starting XI next season, then he should keep him at the club beyond this summer. However, if the French head coach is planning to add a fresh face in defence, then he would be better of cashing in on the Brazilian defensive ace this summer.

Militao has all the skillset to become a top centre-back in European football, but for that to happen, he needs to ensure regular playing time on the field in the coming seasons. If Madrid is not willing to provide that, then Militao’s summer exit could prove to be the only realistic option that will benefit both parties before the start of the new season.

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