Monday, December 5, 2022

Real Madrid Make ‘First Contract’ To Land Ligue 1 Midfielder: What Will He Bring To The Bernabeu?

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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 AS, Real Madrid have made ‘first contact’ with Rennes midfield ace Eduardo Camavinga ahead of a potential move during the summer transfer window. The same source has also revealed that the French starlet is seriously contemplating parting ways with his boyhood club which could open the door for Los Blancos to seal a move for him in this off-season.

Camavinga’s Rapid Emergence In French Football

The talented teenager has already established himself as a top performer in the Rennes first-team and has earned a lot of plaudits for producing some battling displays at the centre of Julien Stéphan’s midfield. His incredible contributions have not gone unnoticed and made him a favourite among the French club’s supporters. Camavinga has participated in 36 matches for his current employers this term, registering one goal and two assists across all competitions. Despite operating in a defensive midfield role, the Angola-born youngster has done remarkably well to contribute by scoring or creating the odd goal from time to time.

The 17-year-old has averaged 4.2 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 1.3 clearances in every 90 minutes of football in the Ligue 1 this season (stats via whoscored) which proves how invaluable he has been at the heart of the Rennes midfield. Last year, Camavinga made his first appearance for the French Under-21 side in what was a vital UEFA European U-21 Championship qualifier versus Georgia. His ceiling is sky-high, so it won’t be a surprise to see him make an impact for France’s senior team in the years to come.

What Will The French Whizkid Bring To The Spanish Capital?

Camavinga has decent pace in his locker that allows him to cover a lot of ground in midfield. He excels at making recovering runs inside his own half and is also not shy about making a tackle at the centre of the park. The French wonderkid doesn’t mind working hard for the benefit of his team and can make some direct and powerful runs with the ball in the opposition half.

Rennes’ French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga is pictured during the French L1 Football match between Rennes (SRFC) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), on August 18, 2019, at the Roazhon Park, in Rennes, northwestern France. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP/ Getty Images)

Camavinga is usually quite tidy when distributing the ball after completing 87.7% of his attempted passes in the French top tier this season (stats via whoscored). He can read the danger quickly and can pull off some crucial interceptions and last-gasp clearances for his side.

For such a young player, Camavinga ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Zinedine Zidane generally expects from his midfielders. However, there is no denying that the French workhorse might struggle to earn regular playing minutes at the Spanish capital right now. Even then, he has the potential to serve as an ideal understudy to Casemiro and Federico Valverde in the Madrid squad next season.

The promising youngster has already shown a few glimpses of what he is capable of in the French top-flight this season. But the jury is still out on whether he will be able to maintain his performance levels in the La Liga if Zidane can find a way to lure him to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium this summer.

Camavinga is still quite raw and could need time to develop into a world-class midfielder, so the Madrid supporters would need to be patient with him if they want to see the best from him someday. He will not only add some bite and steel to Zidane’s midfield but also improve the overall depth of his squad. Plus, the France U21 international will offer the Madrid head coach more freedom to experiment with his formations, tactics and teamsheets in the coming seasons.

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