Ranking the 5 best young players of the 2021/22 Season
A successful campaign for Real Madrid. The club achieved everything it wanted. To start- the trophies. Real Madrid won three trophies this season- Supercopa de Espana, LaLiga Santander, and UEFA Champions League. A perfect ending for a lot of players, and a great beginning for the new ones. But the most important thing Real Madrid earned this year was the fruit of the club’s trust in its young players. Everyone stepped up, be it Eduardo Camavinga, Vinicius Junior, or Eder Militao, be it Ferland Mendy, Federico Valverde, or Rodrygo Goes.
Luka Jovic had a much better campaign than his first two seasons at the club. He helped in the most crucial stages of the season- when Karim Benzema badly needed rest, with his recognition-worthy performances against Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, and Real Sociedad. Juanmi Latasa, Rafa Marin, and Peter Gonzalez got a chance to prove themselves with the first team.
After ranking the best players for Real Madrid this season, I will be ranking the best youngsters.
5. CM/CDM Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga comes at 5. The youngster Real Madrid signed after the Kylian Mbappe deal broke down at the start of the season. It was an excellent move by Florentino Perez and Real Madrid bought the Frenchman for a bargain of €30 million.
I had some concerns of my own and had doubts regarding his quality. When a player of such young age arrives in the Spanish Capital, you usually expect him to be a star of the future and at the same time, you don’t have many hopes because you would expect him to take some time adjusting to the environment.
But Eduardo Camavinga is no normal player. Right from the first touch when he made his debut, he looked dangerous. Coming on in the 66th minute against Celta Vigo, Eduardo Camavinga scored his first goal for Real Madrid making his debut extra special. He helped Real Madrid control the ball well, and has improved over time since.
The French midfielder did not get as many starts as a new signing would expect, but he knew that it would take a lot of himself to replace the KCM. Yet he got the play time he deserved because of his consistent performances and played a very crucial role in the most intense periods of the season.
When he first arrived at the club, I thought of him to be someone who could replace Casemiro in the long run. But I was wrong. It seems like it was not his natural position. He likes to have freedom of position, switching the play to the opposite flank, and keeping the opposition at bay with short passes to retain possession.
He may not be the perfect box-to-box midfielder that Federico Valverde is, but he has the quality of a playmaker. So if you ask me, after analysing his play for a season, I would take Eduardo Camavinga as someone who can replace Toni Kroos in the near future.
As per WhoScored.com, Eduardo Camavinga has represented Real Madrid in a total of 36 games in LaLiga Santander and UEFA Champions League, starting 14 and coming in as a substitute in 22 games.
In each of these games, not once did the 19-year-old disappoint the fans or the club.
He finished the season averaging 1.9 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, and 0.5 clearances a game in the little playing time he gets. With 2 goals and 2 assists in his name, he averages 0.4 key passes, 0.6 dribbles, 1.9 long balls, and 28.3 passes a game. When you look at his play time, you would think of this as some very good statistics for a youngster.
What makes me admire Eduardo Camavinga so much is how he coped with the extreme pressure and responsibility in the most crucial games. For example, in the game against Manchester City, when he came on, the only role he had was to prevent Manchester City from counterattacking Real Madrid.
With two goals down, Real Madrid went all-in on the attack which opened spaces for Pep’s men to counterattack. The young Frenchman was instructed to prevent that, and he made the most crucial tackles in those few minutes, cutting passing lanes and easily stealing balls.
He made the most crucial interception to steal the ball against Chelsea in the second leg. Then sent it to Vinicius Junior who crossed it with ease to Karim Benzema for the winner.
Apart from that, another great highlight of the season was the assist to Rodrygo in his UEFA Champions League debut against Inter Milan.
Do you remember his long cross to Karim Benzema? Which the 33-year-old controlled and passed to Rodrygo for scoring the first goal against Manchester City? It was by far the best highlight of the season for the young Eduardo Camavinga. It was the perfect ball over the top for Benzema who was unmarked and it was this breakthrough that lifted the spirit of Santiago Bernabeu and that of the players.