The shock departure of Karim Benzema earlier this summer left a gaping hole in the Real Madrid squad. Not only did the Merengues lose their ace goalscorer, but they also lost one of the leaders of the team.
Naturally, the void left by the Frenchman’s surprise exit is huge. But, according to Jose Felix Diaz of MARCA, one of the rising stars of the game, Vinicius Jr. believes he is ready to step up and take over as the leader of the team following Benzema’s departure.
Vinicius has been making rapid strides on the pitch over the past couple of seasons and is rightly recognised as one of the most dangerous forwards in the game at this point in time.
The 23-year-old Brazilian’s influence has grown beyond what he does on the pitch as he is now seen as the face of the fight against racism in football.
Real Madrid view Vinicius as the present and the future of the team and have thus handed him iconic the No. 7 shirt heading into the 2023/24 campaign.
And the Brazilian international believes he is ready to repay the faith shown by the club by taking over the mantle of leadership and filling the void left by Benzema.
The 23-year-old is confident that he is capable of being the leader of the team and acting as the reference in the attacking department now that his former partner-in-crime, Benzema, is no longer at the club.
As iterated earlier, Vinicius has shown tremendous growth in the last couple of seasons. He was one of the most important performers in 2021/22 as Real Madrid won the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League, finishing with 22 goals and 20 assists.
Last season, the Brazilian went on to better those numbers, ending the campaign with 23 goals and 21 assists across all competitions.
There have been controversies surrounding the Brazilian due to his occasional confrontations with opponents. But he realises that he needs to play with peace and complete focus although he will not back down if opposition players disrespect him.
French midfielder admits considering PSG move before Real Madrid called him
Aurelien Tchouameni has had an exciting start to his career at Real Madrid. Since joining the club for almost €80 million last summer, the young Frenchman has now become a pivotal figure in Real Madrid’s midfield unit.
However, prior to his move to Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder was closely linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
In a recent interview, Tchouameni opened up on his links to PSG but revealed his decision to join Real Madrid.
Aurelien Tchouameni on PSG links
Talking about speculations linking him to PSG, Tchouameni said (h/t Madrid Zone), “PSG? Frankly, I thought about it. It’s a very big European club, we want the French clubs to succeed.”
“But honestly, when Real Madrid calls you, it’s very complicated to say no,” Tchouameni added.
The midfielder was linked with a move to PSG during his time at AS Monaco. Les Parisiens wanted to sign the youngster as part of their plans to reinforce the midfield unit.
Tchouameni, though, ended up opting for a move to Real Madrid, which turned out to be a prudent decision from the midfielder’s end.
Tchouameni’s career at Real Madrid
Aurelien Tchouameni made a total of 50 competitive appearances during his maiden season at Real Madrid.
Although the Frenchman was not entirely a first-team regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s setup, his stature in the team is expected to grow in the coming years.
Especially as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric move on at the end of the season, there is scope for Tchouameni to become a first-team regular in the Real Madrid midfield in the years to come.
The former AS Monaco starlet has already played a crucial role in the starting eleven so far this season and it is only going to continue as the season progresses.