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Real Madrid’s 23-year-old midfielder will start against Athletic Club – report

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Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images

According to reports from MARCA, Aurelien Tchouameni is going to start against Athletic Club in Real Madrid’s first La Liga game of the season. His presence from the opening minute is guaranteed.

The Spanish media outlet adds that the French midfielder has returned to his best level and has convinced everyone at the club.

His current form is similar to that which he showed in the initial days after his arrival which secured him a place in Ancelotti’s plans.

Redemption season for Tchouameni?

Despite starting on the right foot last season, Tchouameni lost his footing after the FIFA World Cup.

His prominence under Ancelotti saw a steep drop in 2023, and he was relegated to the bench for several crucial clashes.

The 23-year-old defensive midfielder completed the league season with just 24 starts under his belt and an average of 65 minutes per appearance. He provided four assists in the process and averaged 0.7 key passes per game.

Stiff competition for Tchouameni

Tchouameni set to reclaim starting berth. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Most of Ancelotti’s midfield options ply their trade higher up the field compared to the French international.

However, the one player competing directly with Tchouameni for the defensive midfield position is Toni Kroos.

The German international has played as an advanced midfielder for most of his career. As he ages, the veteran sees a transition to a deeper role as a favourable change.

Kroos has shown to have the skill set to operate as a pivot in his few performances in the position last season. It is safe to say that the veteran will be Tchouameni’s biggest competitor at Real Madrid.

It is thus essential that the youngster takes his chances with both hands. With a start in Real Madrid’s curtain-raiser guaranteed, the ball is now in the Frenchman’s park to prove his worth and level to the manager.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder set for a change in roles heading into the new season

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(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Federico Valverde, the dynamic midfielder for Real Madrid, is once again on the cusp of adapting to a new role under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti, reports Mario Calderon for Mundo Deportivo

Valverde’s remarkable versatility has been a key asset for Real Madrid, allowing him to excel in various positions on the field. This adaptability has been crucial for the team, and it seems another transformation is on the horizon for the 25-year-old Uruguayan.

The team chances and so does Valverde

His potential shift in role comes amid changes within the team, notably the reassignment of the number ‘8’ shirt to Toni Kroos. 

The German midfielder’s responsibility for constructing the game will likely be shared among several players to ensure a seamless transition.

Here, Valverde’s ability to quickly grasp new concepts will be a significant advantage for both him and Ancelotti. Even during the current period, with many players still absent, Ancelotti is already strategizing on how to best integrate everyone into the team dynamics without compromising performance.

Federico Valverde might play a different role at Real Madrid next season. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Marcelo Bielsa must be credited

Valverde’s recent experiences with the Uruguayan national team in the Copa America under coach Marcelo Bielsa have further honed his skills. 

Bielsa entrusted Valverde with the captain’s armband and deployed him in a deeper role, where he was responsible for initiating plays from the back alongside his teammate, PSG’s young pivot, Manuel Ugarte. 

This experience has enriched Valverde’s understanding of the game, adding another layer to his already impressive skill set.

As the new season approaches, Valverde will need to re-establish himself in whatever role Ancelotti deems fit—be it as a winger, a pivot, or even a full-back, a position he has previously played under former coach Zinedine Zidane. 

Regardless of where he is positioned, Valverde’s importance to the team is undeniable. His versatility, coupled with his ability to adapt quickly, makes him a pivotal player for Real Madrid’s upcoming campaign.

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