Real Madrid: Exciting young players to watch out for at the World Cup

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The FIFA World Cup in Qatar has kicked off and amid all the controversy, negativity and usual pre-tournament drama that’s ensued, there does seem to be an air of youthfulness around this time’s event. There will surely be some of them that Real Madrid will be keeping a close eye on.

The fact that more and more teams have picked younger squads for this year’s tournament has surprised no-one. 26 players are now allowed on the flight to Qatar, an upgrade from the previous 23. Many European nations have chosen to use those extra slots to integrate the youth instead of extending the amount of experience already on the roster. While the likes of Spain and Germany have in recent years emphasized particularly on building teams around young footballers, others like Portugal and Netherlands have added youngsters to an already-existing set of veterans.

Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni are without doubt some of the most exciting young footballers that Real Madrid can already pride themselves over having signed. Still, there are always a number of other names who are linked with possible moves to Real Madrid in the future.

It is of course expected to go after youngsters at the end pf every World Cup. Florentino Perez has in the past splashed out on some unreal talent including Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez in 2014 and Thibaut Courtois in 2018. Any player who impresses at the world stage is expected to grab the attention of Real Madrid’s scouts and here’s where your eyes should be looking at this year’s tournament.

Exciting young players Real Madrid fans should watch out for at the World Cup

Real Madrid

Jamal Musiala, Thomas Müller and Youssoufa Mokouko, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

1. Jamal Musiala & Youssoufa Moukoko (Germany)

The 19-year-old Musiala is practically a household name in Germany by now and those all over Europe are starting to take notice as well. He fits right into this Germany team who without Toni Kroos will be looking to move on from the disaster that was the 2018 World Cup.

This is a new look Die Mannschaft set up under Hansi Flick with a new identity instilled through it’s streams. They play some fast, aggressive and clinical football resembling the dominant Bayern Munich team under the manager but with an added sense of unpredictability.

Musiala’s role in this team would be to sit behind Thomas Muller – the ultimate footballing Raumdeuter. Ilkay Gundogan and Joshua Kimmich will complete a midfield that is diverse and multitudinous in every way.

For Bayern Munich, Musiala often plays as the link between the more defensive-minded Kimmich and the more free-roaming Muller. According to statistics from fbref, he ranks in the top 1% of midfielders in the top 5 leagues for Non-penalty goals, XG, XA and any shot creating actions overall showing that he’s got the end product side of the game covered.

With 9 goals and 6 assists in 14 Bundesliga appearances so far this season, Musiala’s numbers aren’t just good for a midfielder – he competes with attackers in that sense.

As far as goals off the bench go, Moukoko has come up with the goods for Bayern Munich’s arch rivals Borussia Dortmund this season. Like Musiala, he burst onto the scene very young, at 17 years of age, having already represented another nation on the youth level. But unlike Musiala, he’s not likely to get many minutes at the World Cup.

Even with the injury to Timo Werner, Hansi Flick has to look no further than Muller or Mario Gotze to do a job up front. That means the youngster will have very few chances to prove himself but in the odd chance, he might play Germany’s third and final group stage game vs Costa Rica, in the event that they’ve secured qualification by then.

Moukoko is fairly explosive even for a centre-forward his age. At times his game does give off a sense of being unpolished or raw because of his poor work rate but that will come with experience. He has often been the talisman in a struggling Borussia Dortmund team this season and his end product will only improve with time. The youngster will surely have his name come up in the same sentence as Real Madrid in what looks to be an extremely bright future.

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