Real Madrid Transfers: A young midfielder Juni Calafat is high on

Real Madrid, Florentino Perez (Photo credit should read BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Florentino Perez (Photo credit should read BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP/Getty Images) /

Last week it became clear that Real Madrid is eyeing to sign a midfielder this season, preferably a defensive midfielder, who can be a long-term replacement for Casemiro in the future. AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, and the club’s chief scout Juni Calafat was said to have traveled to France, to have a talk with the Frenchman’s entourage.

But Monaco seems to be quoting a high price for Tchouameni, and possibly a three-figure price too. This has called for the need to have a backup plan, and Juni Calafat seems to have found a great backup plan in another young midfielder, who has impressed the pioneer of Real Madrid’s youth policy.

According to Tomas Gonzalez-Martin of ABC Deportes, Real Madrid and Calafat have diverted their attention towards Ryan Gravenberch, who might be the backup plan if a move for Tchouameni fails. The club loves the 19-year-old Ajax midfielder, and with his price expected to be around 35 million euros, it makes sense for Real Madrid to set their sight on such a talented player. There were reports that Gravenberch might be Real’s plan-B a few days ago, and this update from a reliable journalist confirms it.

Gravenberch is a fantastic player, but he is very different from Tchouameni

Gravenberch is an excellent midfielder and given that he is a player who has grown up in Ajax’s academy, there is no wrong in expecting something special from him. He’s blessed with excellent pace and power and is a superb dribbler with great close control for a player who is 6 feet 3 inches tall.

He has the ability to dribble through those tight spaces in the final third, and can also create a chance out of nothing. He also tends to shoot from a distance when given space, and most of the time those shots manage to trouble the keeper.

He is a fine ball-winner and his defensive skills are good. He can play as a defensive midfielder, but he’s not a specialist No. 6, like Tchouameni. He’s more suited to a central role, as a box-to-box midfielder, and his case might be somewhat similar to one of Real Madrid’s current midfielders, Eduardo Camavinga.

He will be a fantastic addition to the midfield of any top European club, and he will be a long-term prospect. But before going for the player and talking with his agent Mino Raiola, the club just needs to set their priorities right. If the club’s intention is to sign a future Casemiro replacement, then going for Tchouameni might be the best decision, and it can be understandable if they back off from the race due to Monaco’s huge demands.

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But if they sign Gravenberch with the expectation of using him as a defensive midfielder, it might not be the best position. After all, everyone would want to see a youngster play in their most comfortable position.