Real Madrid signed one of the best prospects in the world this past summer for just 30-40 million euros, pending add-ons. When you watch Eduardo Camavinga, it is often hard to believe that he is just 18. And what’s even more remarkable is that he has been playing at the highest level for two seasons, having entered Madrid’s radar in 2019 as a 16-year-old after a scintillating midfield performance against PSG.
Camavinga first burst onto the scene for his defensive qualities, with analysts later lauding his attacking upside, specifically his ball-carrying. It did not take long for Camavinga to make an attacking impact for Real Madrid, too. In fact, he scored at the Santiago Bernabeu in his debut, serving as a catalyst for a comeback win over Celta Vigo. And he had the match-winning assist for Rodrygo Goes at the San Siro in the Champions League.
There are a lot of reasons for Madridistas to be optimistic about Camavinga fulfilling his potential in Madrid. And in his case, that means becoming the best midfielder in the world.
What Real must learn, though, is if Camavinga can be the defensive midfield solution they have been looking for. As we are seeing this season, Casemiro needs help. We have known this for some time, even in 2019-2020 when Case was at the peak of his powers and produced one of the best individual seasons of anyone in Europe, en route to Los Merengues capturing the La Liga title.
Eduardo Camavinga can help Casemiro
Since then, fatigue has set in. Casemiro has not been as consistently dominant. At times, he is just as good. But he has become more prone to mistakes. Real Madrid targeted Camavinga and other midfielders with the apparent idea of finding relief for the No. 6.
On Matchday 16 at Real Sociedad, Camavinga entered the match a little past the hour mark for Casemiro in order to spare the Brazilian a possible fifth yellow card and suspension for El Derbi. As he did in his previous appearance, Camavinga boosted the team with his work rate, providing a lot of running and defensive quality. He had one of the highlights of the match – a picture-perfect slide tackle in his own penalty box to win possession.
Real Madrid have plenty of time to evaluate Camavinga. He has years to develop in Madrid, and he is more than willing to take it slow by learning from the veterans of the squad like Casemiro. But Real do need to glean some more insight about Camavinga and his fit. Can he be a 6? In what capacity? We know he can be a wide midfielder and bring a lot of quality with his left foot. But we are also all aware of his ball-winning abilities and the ground he can cover. Plus, the modern game requires No. 6’s who are strong on the ball and accurate with their passing. The latter is an issue for Casemiro in his own half.
Camavinga is an interesting solution to split minutes with Casemiro and eventually even take over. However, he may also be more suited for a different role. We still do not know yet and cannot pretend as if we do. That is why it becomes so important for Real Madrid to continue to obtain evaluation points for Camavinga, especially at such a delicate, underappreciated position in the Madrid XI that makes everything else tick.
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With Los Blancos linked to midfielders like Aurelien Tchouameni who are not cheap, knowing how to assign their resources in midfield is also important. Real have seemingly crossed Paul Pogba off the list, which makes sense. They probably want to go younger, more defensive, or, if possible, not sign anyone at all and just trust Fede Valverde, Camavinga, and the overlooked Antonio Blanco.
Knowing about Camavinga’s future as a 6 becomes even more important to Madrid in the context of planning a busy summer 2022 market. It is already, however, important enough if he can spell Casemiro and help the veteran stay fresh and at maximum effectiveness against top competition.