Real Madrid: 3 young players who are ready to start

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Real Madrid, Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi (Photo by Tom Weller/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Real Madrid have a roster filled with experienced stars, but they are becoming known for their highly impressive collection of young talent.

With stars like Sergio Reguilon and Takefusa Kubo on loan, Real Madrid have several exciting young players who can become key players for the first team whenever they are ready to return to the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, only a select few young stars are already prepared to start regularly for the first team. Here are three players who could start in 2020-2021, assuming some of them are brought back from highly successful loan deals.

RB Achraf Hakimi

Mostly a right back, Achraf Hakimi can also play at left back, left winger, and right winger, scoring goals and providing assists at any of those three positions. Hakimi already has 10 assists for Borussia Dortmund in the 2019-2020 season, and he picked up where he left off in BVB’s first game back in the Bundesliga season, roasting FC Schalke 04’s defense in the Revierderby.

Although Hakmi isn’t as good of a defender as Dani Carvajal, his incredible attacking ability could make him the starter in 2020-2021. It’s possible Hakimi’s loan with Dortmund is extended for a year, especially if it earns Los Blancos more favor for a future Erling Haaland deal. That said, Real will likely get Hakimi back after two sensational years at Dortmund.

If Hakimi returns to the Santiago Bernabeu, don’t be surprised if he becomes a regular starter. Because he can play at a high level at right back or right wing, with the latter being Real’s biggest weakness right now.

 

Real Madrid, Fede Valverde

Federico Valverde of Real Madrid (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

CM Fede Valverde

Unlike Achraf Hakimi, Fede Valverde received minutes for Real Madrid’s first team last season and was one of the biggest breakout stars in European football. The Man of the Match of the second Clasico, Valverde thoroughly outclassed 75 million euro man Frenkie de Jong for the second time in 2019-2020.

Valverde raises his standards in the big games, and Real Madrid are significantly worse without him on the pitch. He makes everyone better, running with the intensity of three men. And when he’s on the ball, he’s always thinking about ways to progress the game forward. Valverde is a menace to have on counterattacks.

Opposing teams know they can’t bully Valverde, who is especially dangerous against physical opponents like Atletico Madrid. Surely Diego Simeone is either having envious dreams or outright nightmares about what Fede has done to Atleti – and not just the decisive red card in the Spanish Supercup Final.

Valverde quietly had four assists in under 1,300 minutes last season, and both of his goals in La Liga came from outside the box. His running and defensive work actually overshadow his technical quality in the attack, which is excellent. He is an ideal box-to-box midfielder who could become nearly as important to Zinedine Zidane‘s lineup as Casemiro.

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