There are several unsung heroes at Real Madrid who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the team’s success. One such figure who is barely recognised is Juni Calafat.
The Brazilian is the head of Los Blancos’ scouting department and is responsible for several of the young recruits in recent years, including the €100 million acquisition of Aurelien Tchouameni from AS Monaco this past summer.
And according to reports from Diario AS, Tchouameni has exceeded all expectations at Real Madrid so far. The management trusts him to cover the defensive midfield position completely.
The Frenchman seems set to be Calafat’s next big success after Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo Goes and Federico Valverde.
Since Casemiro’s departure, Tchouameni has been a regular starter for Real Madrid. Yet, the 22-year-old did not take any pressure on his shoulders and dished out three world-class displays in as many games.
In his most recent outing against Real Betis, he was nothing short of stellar. Tchouameni had 92 touches with a pass completion rate of 90%. He produced a whopping 30 defensive actions on the night, one key pass and one dribble.
In a very short time at the club, Tchouameni is already assured of a starting spot in Real Madrid’s midfield. Yet, the question remains as to how long he can retain his good form and whether he can do it consistently.
Los Blancos signed the French international from Monaco in June. The deal is reported to be worth €80 million and can go up to €100 million with add-ons. His current contract runs until the summer of 2028.
Real Madrid teenage prodigy needs to play more, insists national team manager
The situation with Arda Guler at Real Madrid has become tense in recent days. The Turkish phenom has not been at the receiving end of many minutes despite completing his recovery from injuries, and the player is now getting fed up with his situation.
It is, however, not just Guler who is affected by the situation. With the European Championships coming up, the 19-year-old looks likely to enter the competition with Turkey with no match fitness, and his international federation is far from happy with his situation.
Turkey manager speaks out
Speaking at the recent sponsorship event of the Turkish National Team, head coach Vincenzo Montella was asked to comment on Guler’s situation at Real Madrid.
As a former Sevilla coach and with knowledge of how La Liga works, he understood the circumstances and hoped for the player to see more minutes.
“He is playing very little, but I hope he can do it from now on because he has a lot of talent,” he said, as quoted by SPORT.
Montella went on to reinstate that he still maintains complete confidence in the Real Madrid star’s abilities for the upcoming tournament, despite his drought for minutes.
“We are following him very carefully. We want our players to be in their best physical condition for the European Championship.”
Exit on the cards?
Guler has played only 92 minutes all season and is now vexed by his helplessness. As revealed yesterday, he feels misguided and is unhappy with how the circumstances are currently.
The disappointed star, thus, could seek an exit, potentially on loan, from the club next summer if his situation does not improve.
But with Jude Bellingham and Brahim Diaz both on song, it does not appear like Guler’s chance in Madrid will arrive anytime soon.
Carlo Ancelotti retains faith in the Turkish star, and it remains to be seen if he looks to turn the player’s fortune around in the coming months.