Real Madrid’s scouting department, headed by the super-competent Juni Calafat, has been working relentlessly behind the scenes to recruit the best young talent all across the world, especially in South America, and even more specifically, Brazil.
Now, Calafat has found yet another Brazilian teenager who could follow in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian youngsters Vini. Jr. and Rodrygo. Matheus Nascimento of Palmeiras is the latest player who has caught the eye of Calafat, according to AS’ Tomás Roncero.
Matheus Nascimento is regarded as a successor to Karim Benzema
Nascimento is an 18-year-old striker who is known to be a prototypical modern striker. He is tall, but also very agile at the same time.
Known to be one of the best young talents in Brazil at the moment, Nascimento is good at linking play with fellow forwards, which makes him more similar to Karim Benzema rather than being an out-and-out No. 9 like recent Real Madrid signing Luka Jovic.
Real Madrid are yet to find a successor to Karim Benzema, with Jovic failing to carve out a niche for himself at the Santiago Bernabéu. His time is all but up with the club he signed for in 2019.
Los Blancos were heavily linked to Erling Haaland, the best young striker in the world at the moment, but with the Norwegian opting to sign for Manchester City, and Benzema playing the best football of his career at 34, the need to find a successor becomes a bit less important for Real Madrid, even though it’s something that’ll need addressing in a year.
According to the same report from Tomás Roncero, Nascimento will start out with Real Madrid Castilla, where previous Brazilian youngster Reinier Jesús, Vini. Jr., and Rodrygo started before the latter two became integral parts of the first team.
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That is exactly what Real Madrid might have in mind, with a two to three-year roadmap being planned for the Palmeiras prospect so that he can make the leap to the first team by the time Benzema ends his Real Madrid career. It’s the perfect plan for Nascimento as he can both use the time at Castilla to adapt to life in Spain and make small strides before being handed the #9 duties for the first team.