The Real Madrid kids Zidane could turn to as injuries blight his side
The next Sergio Ramos, the young Japanese star whose skills left Marcelo stunned… and a former Tranmere Rovers starlet! Meet the Real Madrid kids Zinedine Zidane could turn to as an injury crisis hammers his side
- Real Madrid have suffered a high volume of injuries with Eden Hazard now out
- The Spanish champions elected not to spend any money in the transfer window
- Zinedine Zidane may now have to turn to the young stars in the club’s academy
- But there are plenty of emerging prospects for the Madrid manager to pick from
Having spent no money in January, and with an injury list that now includes Eden Hazard once more, Real Madrid are hoping Zinedine Zidane will dip into the club’s famed talent factory to blood some of the emerging youngsters.
Young stars such as Victor Chust, Sergio Arribas and Antonio Blanco have all impressed under the club’s B-team coach Raul. The big question now is how they will fare under Zidane’s management as they start to become first-team alternatives. Many of these are players won the UEFA Youth League last season, they now want to take the next step.
Sportsmail looks at the emerging talent who are hoping Zidane’s famed preference for experience (something that also been a problem for Vinicius, Martin Odegaard and Luka Jovic) will not prevent them taking the next step in their careers.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane may have to call upon his young stars in the academy
The 20-year-old centre-back has already debuted in the Spanish Cup. He played 120 minutes in the defeat by Alcoyano and did well individually despite the result. Zidane could have used him on Sunday when his defensive partner Eder Militao was sent off but he preferred to move midfielder Casemiro out of position.
He is a fan however and has already called him up to Champions League squads. Chust led the side to the UEFA Youth League last season and has a Under 19 Euros medal too. Aggressive and physically imposing he also brings the ball out from the back well with his right foot. He’s a long-term candidate to replace Sergio Ramos.
Centre-back Victor Chust is being moulded as a long-term replacement for Sergio Ramos
Zidane gave left-back Gutierrez a first-team debut in a friendly against Fenerbahce in 2019 and has been calling him up to train with the first team regularly since the second half of last season.
If Chust could be the next Ramos then Gutierrez could follow Marcelo’s lead. He top scored for Madrid in the Youth League last season and with that attacking flair has played at left wing as well as at left-back under Raul.
Zidane has already used Miguel Gutierrez as part of a first-team friendly back in 2019
This 20-year-old midfielder has been called up to Madrid’s last three games albeit without being used. He will benefit from Odegaard’s departure leaving a place in the squad.
He has already won honours with Spain at Under-17 and Under-19 level and attracted interest from other clubs wondering how he will progress at Madrid. He reads the game well in front of the defence but then has a range of passing that can start or finish attacks.
Antonio Blanco (centre) is on the cusp of breaking into the first-team after recent call ups
Zidane turned to the 19-year-old attacking midfielder at the weekend giving him eight minutes in the defeat by Levante and leaving Isco on the bench in the process. He also came in for the first game of the season against Real Sociedad and got minutes in the Champions League against Borussia Monchengladbach.
A low centre of gravity and being equally comfortable on either foot makes him unpredictable when attacking defences. He got three goals in last season’s run to Madrid’s first ever UEFA Youth League success and more will come at a higher level as soon as he gets the chance.
Sergio Arribas has already leaped ahead of Isco in the pecking order at Real Madrid
Takuhiro ‘Pipi’ Nakai
Still only 17 years old the attacking midfielder, better known at the club’s Valdebebas training ground as Pipi, is set for big things. He first trained for the first team at the end of last year but he was already on everyone at the club’s radar after joining aged nine and bamboozling Marcelo with his skills in an unforgettable moment caught on camera at Valdebebas.
He should be playing with the Under 18s B-team this season before graduating to the Under 18s A-team and then on to the youth side Real Madrid Castilla but he is already impressing Raul with a rare combination of supreme skill but no tendency to overelaborate to as to showcase it.
Takuhiro Nakai’s skills as a child took Marcelo by amazement and he is tipped for bright things
Brought up in Mallorca, Marvin moved to Tranmere as a nine-year-old and impressed everyone during three seasons at their youth academy as a flying winger. When his Nigerian father and South Korean mother decided to move back to the island Marvin had to return too.
He kept progressing and ended up on Real Madrid’s books, coming on for his debut as a substitute in the first game of the season. Zidane has not called on him again so far but he continues to progress.
Marvin Park initially started his youth career at Tranmere Rovers before emigrating to Mallorca
Best of the rest
Sergio Santos is another who won the UEFA Youth League last year. The 19-year-old right-back was twice called up in the Champions League group stage and twice in the league to cover injuries to Dani Carvajal and Madrid’s other senior players in that position. Luis Lopez is Castilla’s 19-year-old goalkeeper. He went to the last Clasico in Barcelona as the team’s third keeper.
Pablo Ramon is Chust’s central defensive partner. He is quick and technically excellent. Madrid brought him from Mallorca where he had already debuted with the first team. And Peter Federico switches between the Under 18s and Castilla. He’s a flying winger who at just 18 has everyone at Madrid watching his progress.
Luis Lopez (left) and Sergio Santos were part of the squad who won the UEFA Youth League
Pablo Ramon is another youngster hoping to break into the first team’s central defence
Peter Federico (left) and Lucas Alcazar pose after winning the Youth League against Benfica
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