Jude Bellingham is the talk of the town from Real Madrid’s midfield. Yet, there is another youngster who has been churning out spectacular performances week in and week out for Los Blancos – Aurelien Tchouameni.
The team’s only loss of the season came in the game the Frenchman was rested, and that only goes on to emphasise his importance under Carlo Ancelotti.
A major setback
Tchouameni was most recently seen in action in El Clasico last night, where he dished out a clinical performance at the base of Real Madrid’s midfield. He played the 90 minutes on the night during which he oversaw nine key defensive actions.
While he did complete the game without any discomfort, the player suffered a stress fracture in the second metatarsal of his left foot on the night.
Diagnostics have confirmed the same, and the player is expected to miss six to eight weeks of action according to Fabrizio Romano. He is likely to return only in January. This comes as a big blow to Ancelotti’s plans.
Few options to replace him
Real Madrid are yet to lose a game with the young Frenchman in the starting lineup. Needless to say, replacing him is easier said than done.
Eduardo Camavinga is likely to take his compatriot’s place in defensive midfield in the upcoming games. After all, he dominated the midfield playing as the pivot in Real Madrid’s clash against SC Braga midweek.
Another option at Ancelotti’s disposal is Toni Kroos. The German has long advocated a transition to a deeper role as age catches up with him and is a solid performer in the position.
Considering Kroos’ form as an interior this season, however, it would be a surprise if the manager opted to utilise him in Tchouameni’s place. Nevertheless, nothing can be ruled out.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.