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Real Madrid midfielder aspires to take over Toni Kroos’ No. 8 shirt

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Toni Kroos’ recent retirement announcement sent shockwaves through the footballing world. More importantly for Real Madrid, it will leave a gaping hole in the team’s midfield unit next season.

Contrary to expectations, though, Real Madrid are not scrambling for a replacement and are willing to wait until 2025 to find someone in the market.

Until then, Real Madrid may assess several in-house replacement options, one of whom is Federico Valverde.

Valverde’s great desire to become the number 8

A recent report from Diario AS has pointed out that Federico Valverde is one of the players gunning for the right number eight shirt after Kroos announced his retirement.

The German will play his last game for Real Madrid on June 1, meaning the iconic number eight jersey will be up for grabs next season.

Valverde is keen on taking Kroos’ spot next season (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

That is where Valverde comes into the fray. Valverde’s ambition isn’t limited to simply occupying the vacated midfield position. The 25-year-old Uruguayan has openly expressed his admiration for Kroos, stating, “I never stopped being that child who admired you.”

This admiration translates into a fervent desire to inherit not just Kroos’ position, but also his iconic number 8 jersey. Kroos himself, after all, had hinted that he might mentor the Uruguayan international into becoming the next ‘number eight’.

Challenge from Tchouameni?

The report adds that there could be a potential challenger to Valverde’s ambitions in the form of Aurelien Tchouameni.

However, seniority plays a key role in such situations. Valverde’s established presence at the club gives him a clear edge over the recently arrived Frenchman.

In any case, Real Madrid would ideally like to assess all the options before deciding who gets to replace Kroos in the long run.

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Real Madrid News

France NT growing concerned about Real Madrid star’s fitness ahead of Euros

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid star Aurelien Tchouameni is currently with the French National Team in preparation for the upcoming European Championships.

Didier Deschamps and Co. were hoping that the defensive midfielder would make a complete recovery from the stress injury on his left foot in time for the Euros, but his situation does not appear as favourable any longer.

With the commencement of the competition approaching fast, the French setup are worried and must make a decision fast, as revealed by SPORT.

Long time out

Les Bleus are still living in the optimism that Tchouameni will make it back in time for the premier event. With every passing day, however, the Real Madrid star’s availability is looking more distant.

After all, the deep-lying midfielder last played over a month ago in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich. Since then, he missed four league games, the UCL final and two friendly games with the national team.

Tchouameni has been injured for over a month. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Should the Frenchman recover in time, there will be questions raised about his match-fitness and rightly so for 40 days is a very long hiatus in the world of football.

Urgent decision

The medical team of the French national setup have reportedly devised a specific plan to ensure that the youngster recovers at the earliest and is available for the event in Germany.

Deschamps, however, has a critical decision to make as he will not be allowed to make any changes to his squad after the tournament begins. His deadline, thus, is the 17th of June before his team’s clash against Austria.

The manager hopes to recover Tchouameni at all costs and will likely wait until the nth minute before taking a decision.

Should a replacement be required, a UEFA Medical Committee doctor will have to confirm that the injury is indeed as serious as the camp believe.

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