Real Madrid need more defensive depth in the summer 2022 transfer window. In Eder Militao and David Alaba, Los Blancos have one of the best center back duos on the planet, but they don’t have much depth behind those two players. Nacho Fernandez is the only experienced backup, and while the likes of Rafa Marin have promise, can the Merengues really trust that group if something were to happen to both Militao and Alaba?
As reliable as these two are and as infrequently as they are out, Militao’s absence against Chelsea due to suspension provided an example of how fine the margins are at center back – and how important it is to have depth there.
Free agent Antonio Rudiger remains a favorite to join Real Madrid in 2022, but what if Los Blancos would prefer to invest in someone younger who can rise up the ranks as Raphael Varane once did?
Here are five young center back targets to keep in mind.
Freiburg CB Nico Schlotterbeck
It seems as though the 22-year-old German international is destined to join one of the big Bundesliga clubs, whether that ends up being Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund. Both teams should be desperate for a defender, and there hasn’t been a more impressive defender in Germany’s top flight this season than Nico Schlotterbeck.
With 2.2 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game, Schlotterbeck is a proven ball-winner and one of the best athletes you will find at the position. The Freiburg star has also scored four goals, and he has been getting better as the season progresses.
Schlotterbeck would probably fit better as a regular starter at Dortmund or Bayern than as a backup at Madrid, but there may not be a more high-upside – or intriguing – young center back. There may also be better fits for Real, but when considering the expected cost, Schlotterbeck is very much someone to monitor this summer transfer window.