Real Madrid Transfers: Ranking the 5 best U23 targets for 2022

Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Bayer Leverkusen, Florian Wirtz
Bayer Leverkusen, Florian Wirtz (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid could be major players in the 2022 summer transfer window. Kylian Mbappe is the priority target, and only a shocking turn of events could prevent him from fulfilling his dream – and perhaps destiny – of playing at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Now 23, Mbappe is getting closer to the peak of his powers, though he obviously still has room to grow. Aside from Mbappe, Real will be going for other young players who are already stars and can become superstars, such as Erling Haaland.

But which other young players could be major acquisitions for Los Blancos in 2022? Here is a look at the top five possible transfer targets under the age of 23. While it is not realistic to expect Los Merengues to sign more than one of them, these five players are very much valid targets.

5. Bayer Leverkusen AM Florian Wirtz

Just 18 years old, Florian Wirtz plays like a seasoned veteran. The young man has taken the mantle left behind by Champions League hero Kai Havertz of Chelsea, and he is actually playing at an even higher level than the prospect who once caught Zinedine Zidane’s eye.

Wirtz is extremely gifted technically and in his decision-making. With 7 goals and 10 assists, the German is one of the most productive players in the Bundesliga. But far from just offering final product in the attacking third, Wirtz also excels at carrying the ball and leading counterattacks. He has a great range of passing and uncanny vision for his age.

He is filling up the stat sheet in so many ways. Wirtz has 2.6 key passes per game and 2.0 dribbles per game in the Bundesliga to further the notion that he is one of the world’s best playmakers, even at 18. In the Europa League, he is shining above the rest with three goals, three assists, and a jaw-dropping 3.6 key passes per game.

Real Madrid may not have the financial resources to spend on Wirtz in addition to Haaland and Mbappe, but he is such a great player that Los Blancos must keep a close eye on him in 2022 and 2023. Wirtz is a generational player, and those who tracked him in the region since his days at the Köln academy can attest to that.