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18-year-old Real Madrid academy prodigy has caught Ancelotti’s eye – report

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Photo courtesy: Real Madrid official website

The rise of Nico Paz over the past year has been astronomical. The youngster is one of the biggest talking points from the club’s academy and is considered the crown jewel of a special crop of talents coming through La Fabrica.

Many in the club administration believe that he is the best young talent at Real Madrid. Considering his red-hot performances for the U-19s and Castilla, many consider him to be ready to take the step up to the first team.

According to reports from Mario Cortegana, the officials higher up have taken notice of young Nico. He has caught Carlo Ancelotti’s eye, particularly for his power and technique on the field. Moreover, the manager likes the youth prodigy’s physical resilience in individual battles and close control in tight spaces.

Nico has played 17 times in the league for Castilla this season, scoring two goals and setting up three more. He also netted five times in seven appearances for the U-19s in the UEFA Youth League.

Paz is an attacking midfielder by trade and is seen as one who can add a new dimension to the first team’s already stacked midfield. The only obstacle on that front is seemingly the severe competition for minutes.

The conditions are not amicable for the Argentine prodigy to make the step up to the first team, for regular playing time is a must in the early years of his career.

However, one can expect him to receive the occasional call-up to the senior side throughout next season and feature as a regular member in training sessions.

With the futures of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric uncertain beyond the next season, the doors to the first team for Nico Paz could well open in just over a year’s time. Going by the little he has shown in his stint at the club so far, he will be more than ready to pounce on his chance.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid youngster to have a more prominent role next season – report

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Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

In a recent report by Manu de Juan in AS, it has been revealed that Arda Guler is expected to play a significant role for Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid next season, despite ongoing rumours connecting him to Liverpool

Currently, Carlo Ancelotti has five key players listed on the club’s official website: Kylian Mbappe, Vinícius Jr, Rodrygo, Brahim Diaz, and Endrick. However, Guler is an additional player who is likely to make a substantial impact next season.

In fact, it is said that the Turkish teenager is set to be Ancelotti’s versatile player for the 2024-25 season. His adaptability is a major asset as he can play in various positions, including as a central or attacking midfielder, a right winger, or even as a forward. 

His recent performance in the European Championship highlighted his capabilities, where he scored one of the tournament’s standout goals. This versatility makes him a valuable addition to the squad.

Ancelotti has clear plans for Guler

Ancelotti has indicated in the past that he sees Guler’s primary role as a forward. However, the coach is not hesitant to use him in a midfield role when needed. 

Arda Guler will have more prominence next season at Real Madrid. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

This flexibility will be crucial, especially with changes in the team’s lineup. With Toni Kroos having left and Aurelien Tchouameni expected to play more as a centre-back, there will be a need for additional midfield options.

Despite his potential, there are concerns about Guler’s physicality and his ability to cover extensive ground on the field. Ancelotti has acknowledged these limitations, noting that Guler needs to improve his defensive positioning and overall physical endurance. 

The coach has mentioned that Guler is already working on these areas, aiming to overcome these challenges.

Meanwhile, during one of the celebrations at Cibeles, Ancelotti hinted at Guler’s increased involvement in the upcoming season. He described Guler as a “very interesting boy,” suggesting that the young player will have more opportunities to showcase his skills. 

This implies that fans can expect to see a lot more of Guler in action, making him a player to watch closely in the next season.

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