Real Madrid Transfers: 3 under-the-radar defensive midfielders to watch

Celta Vigo, Renato Tapia (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Celta Vigo, Renato Tapia (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /
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Milan, Ismael Bennacer
Milan, Ismael Bennacer (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

AC Milan DM Ismaël Bennacer

Out of all the midfielders on this list, Ismaël Bennacer would be the most difficult to acquire. Transfermarkt values him at 40 million euros, but the Rossoneri could ask for a lot more. Bennacer is crucial to Milan, as evidenced by the team’s play whenever he is unavailable.

The Algerian international is one of the best midfielders in Serie A. And Real Madrid crave the best. Considering this team has been linked to the likes of N’Golo Kante and Eduardo Camavinga, they may not want to cut too many costs when pursuing a defensive midfielder to help Casemiro. Bennacer doesn’t grab as many headlines as the usual suspects linked to Los Merengues in transfer rumors, but he is as good as any of them.

So far this season, the 23-year-old is averaging 2.1 tackles per game and 1.5 dribbles completed per game with about 89 percent of his passes completed. Brahim Diaz’s teammate has been a huge reason why Milan were in first in Serie A for much of the season. They have slipped lately, but they are still very much in the title race.

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Bennacer won’t be easy to acquire and isn’t as defensive as Renato Tapia or Ellyes Skhiri, but he is better than both players, especially on the ball. And Real would probably much rather trust Bennacer to calmly play under pressure. Few can offer Casemiro’s defensive presence anyway, so Bennacer’s defensive contributions would be more than sufficient for Los Blancos.