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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Monaco, Aurelien Tchouameni
Monaco, Aurelien Tchouameni (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images) /

4. Monaco DM Aurelien Tchouameni

The perfect midfielder for Real Madrid in terms of his fit for the club, Aurelien Tchouameni might be the only player who can truly replace Casemiro as the No. 6 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Now 30 years old, Casemiro remains a top-class defensive midfielder and vital to Real Madrid, but the club must think about transitioning to the future. And getting cover for him. Enter Tchouameni, who is averaging 2.8 tackles per game and 2.7 interceptions per game as one of the most productive midfielders in Europe on the defensive end.

Tchouameni was a breakout star last season under Niko Kovac for a very successful Monaco side, as he was the heart of everything good they did. He still is, though Monaco are sixth and behind both Rennes and Strasbourg in Ligue 1.

A smart passer of the ball and an effective ball-carrier with 1.3 dribbles completed per game and 1.6 fouls drawn per match in league play, Tchouameni can offer more ball security and attacking contributions than Casemiro. He can help Real Madrid in the short and long term.

When watching him play, it is often hard to believe he is 22. That may not seem as impressive as the 18-year-old Wirtz, but when you factor in the longevity of defensive midfielders and the scarcity of elite play at the position, Tchouameni’s trajectory becomes that much more impressive.