Eduardo Camavinga, the prodigy who became “untouchable”
During this second season in Madrid, the French international has made a breakthrough to the point where he is now considered an essential player by his coach, Carlo Ancelotti.
Of the four Frenchmen at Real Madrid, we didn’t expect him to be the most important this season. However, Eduardo Camavinga has become a key element of the Merengues. At a time when his club is one step away from the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the French international has the opportunity to assert the level he has just surpassed a little more by scratching his stay against Liverpool, alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, Wednesday 15 March.
If we believe the trend, he has every reason to start the meeting. Since his return from the World Cup, the 20-year-old midfielder has ceased to be an option off the bench and has refused to retain the label of player of the future, an idea firmly rooted in an intermittent first season. Used in 40 of the Merengues’ 41 matches this season, he only missed the last matchday of the C1 group stage against Celtic, remaining on the bench during an evening without minimum stakes. Above all, he has started in 17 of Madrid’s last 20 games.
A course crossed, before the others
Carlo Ancelotti is under the spell of his midfielder. “Eduardo is untouchable, like Luka Modric and like Toni Kroos. Wherever he plays, he plays very well”, praised the coach on January 21, before the match against Bilbao in La Liga (2-0). Since his decisive entry into the field in the semi-final second leg of last season’s Champions League against Manchester City (3-1), the boy from Fougères has gained confidence, whether it’s from him or from his teammates. “He managed to seize opportunities, like when Aurélien Tchouameni was injured. For me, he’s a must among Real Madrid’s strong players”insists Mathieu Le Scornet, the one who had recruited him in Rennes.
The coach, who has just finished an interim spell with RC Strasbourg, has known the prodigy since he was 10 and has a very close relationship with him. No surprise from him when it’s time to analyze the progress of the one who, at 20, already has four full seasons with the pros: “Every weapon is important for expressing yourself in this hyper-competitive environment. He knows how to tackle. Technically he also has this ability to project himself, to be able to eliminate individually and then finish. He still has one more to develop, it’s consistency at the highest levels”.
Not yet beyond reproach, Eduardo Camavinga is still regularly singled out for avoidable mistakes, such as in Real’s last outing against Espanyol on Saturday (3-1). Used in the left-back role to help out, such as during the World Cup, he was caught behind Joselu’s advantage, because poor trajectory reading. “We saw his match against Tunisia [il avait joué à ce poste pour la première fois et avait souffert dans la défaite des Bleus lors de la dernière Coupe du monde]... Like what, you must be a specialist in the work”argues Mathieu Le Scornet, unconvinced that his early performance on the left side of defense helped his development as a player.
Grew up in the French team
Since his return from the World Cup, Cama has played seven games in this position, Carlo Ancelotti considers him the best option to compensate for the simultaneous absences of Ferland Mendy and David Alaba. If the interested person plays soldiers on camera, happy to do it “give it back to the coach” the trust placed in him, having been moved from his preferred position shows that he is not yet unstoppable in the centre, alongside Kroos, Modric, Tchouameni and Valverde.
Against Liverpool, regardless of the quality of his performance, he should keep his place in Didier Deschamps’ list, which will be unveiled on Thursday, for the Blues’ next two games. For Mathieu Le Scornet, the French international has taken advantage of the first months of the year to climb the hierarchy of the selection: “His start to the season goes beyond the standards of the other midfielders in the French team. Today, who is in front of him? Tchouameni, maybe Rabiot… For me he skipped Fofana and Guendouzi, that’s for sure.”