The lead-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup had been a torrid one for reigning champions France as they kept losing one player after another to injuries.
Indeed, Les Bleus named their initial 26-man squad without key players like N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba. And soon after they were forced to see the backs of Presnel Kimpembe, Christopher Nkunku and Karim Benzema as well.
And in their World Cup opener against Australia last night, France were struck down with yet another injury as defender Lucas Hernandez suffered from an ACL tear that has ruled him out of the tournament and the remainder of the 2022/23 season.
A versatile operator, the Bayern Munich ace had been Didier Deschamps’ go-to man for the left-back position, as was the case in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, when Les Bleus went all the way. So, his injury comes as a blow for France.
The world champions have a backup player ready to take over in the form of Lucas’ brother Theo Hernandez. But the French national team do not have any further cover in the left-back position which they might need if they go deep into the tournament.
To that end, according to Le Parisien (h/t Madrid Zone), France are seriously considering deploying Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga as a makeshift left-back should the need arise.
The midfielder, who turned 20 a couple of weeks ago, was called up to the World Cup squad due to the absence of players like Pogba and Kante, in order to provide some depth in the midfield department.
However, Deschamps could now turn to the former Rennes prodigy to act as a cover in the left-back slot following Lucas Hernandez’s injury.
Camavinga, throughout his career, has never played in the left-back slot as per the data collected by Transfermarkt. But it seems like the French national team staff has seen something in the Real Madrid ace to consider utilising him in such a position.
It will certainly be intriguing to see if Deschamps does follow through with that idea in the coming weeks.
Benfica have no interest in selling Real Madrid’s midfield target in January – report
Real Madrid’s interest in Benfica and Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez is now a well-known fact.
As quoted before, the 21-year-old has a release clause worth €120 million in his current deal and despite strong interest from several suitors, the Portuguese side has no interest in parting ways with the player in January.
The aforementioned information is relayed by transfer market specialist Fabrizio Romano, who also claims that Fernandez’s former side, River Plate, also have a ‘percentage of future sale’.
Enzo Fernandez has been one of the breakout stars at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The 21-year-old has played three games for his national team at the world event and despite playing deep, has returned with a goal and an assist.
Interestingly enough, the 2022/23 season is Fernandez’s first campaign in European football. The midfielder has been with River Plate since 2006 and only moved to Benfica in July 2022 for a fee quoted to be around €10 million plus €8 million in add-ons.
In his debut season with the Portuguese team, he has so far scored one goal in 13 league outings followed by three assists.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s interest in the Argentine does not really strike as any surprise. The team from the capital city is anyway looking for a long-term successor to Luka Modric, but as it turns out, Benfica will fight hard to retain their man as they do not wish to sell their asset in January.
From Madrid’s perspective, they are anyway not expected to make any big signing in January as their primary target is still Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. The England midfielder is highly tipped to leave Germany at the end of the season and Madrid are said to be the most likely destination if not the Premier League.
In any way, the fee for Bellingham might as well rise upto €120 million given the interest he has generated across the continent so it will be upto Real Madrid to decide between the two.