Real Madrid Transfers: 5 under-the-radar moves to consider in 2021

Florentino Perez of Real Madrid (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Florentino Perez of Real Madrid (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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Celta Vigo, Renato Tapia
Celta Vigo, Renato Tapia (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Celta Vigo DM Renato Tapia

We begin with a player who should be familiar to Real Madrid fans, because he has been one of the breakout stars of the season in the defensive midfield. Renato Tapia is now arguably the second-best pure defender in the defensive midfield position after Los Blancos’ own star man Casemiro, who has been the class of the position in world football for the last several seasons.

Case could use some backup, though. He was run into the ground in 2019-2020, which caused him to have a slow start to the 2020-2021 campaign. While he has rebounded during the calendar’s flip to 2021, Casemiro could still use relief. He may have been hurt the most by Real’s financially prudent decision to avoid any summer signings last year.

Tapia is probably the best possible backup to Casemiro and would be affordable. The 25-year-old is reportedly on Los Blancos’ radar, and he is even mentioned as a possible long-term replacement for the entrenched Madrid star.

It’s hard to think of many better possible replacements, and Tapia is just entering his peak. Per, he has 3.2 tackles per game and 1.8 interceptions per game, which are excellent numbers. Tapia has done so much hard work in midfield to help the other players at Celta Vigo shine, particularly the three attacking midfielders.

There will be questions about Tapia’s ball-playing ability with a pass completion percentage of 81.5, but he is averaging 1.0 dribbles per game and 1.7 fouls drawn per game. As a backup, he’s a great option for Real Madrid.