Following our series of the New Talents of the season we now focus on midfield. Three players who are very different but who have all taken a step forward this season: the midfielder followed for all of Europe’s big clubs; an unexpected name that has faced English and Colombian federations against each other; and the young talent who has confirmed this season that is ready to be a starter in a Champions League contender.
The name everyone wants
Eduardo Camavinga is only 17 years old but he has already proved his worth. A midfielder that reminds us that the talent and intelligence to read the game exists beyond creative metrics. Since his debut last season, his numbers in recoveries are extraordinary: he is the midfielder who makes more successful tackles every 90 minutes and with a success rate close to 70 per cent. In addition this season has managed to increase his passing percentages and times dispossessed. With the improvement in possession in terms of ball progressions and chances created still on the horizon, it is easy to understand all the rumours that associate him with Europe’s biggest teams.
Colombian surprise in the Premier League
The transition from youth level to the first team is always complex, even more so in the Premier League where all the clubs have the economic resources to make big transfers. That’s why the presence of Steven Alzate, who has reached the elite to stay, is even more surprising. From performing well with Swindon Town in the fourth division to a key player with Brighton and called up with Colombian national team in twelve months. Steven Alzate is a player who stands out for his ability to combine creativity with passing and dribbling with a relevant defensive contribution. Although his recent appearances have been on the right wing (as a full-back or wing-back), it is in midfield where we see his best performance combining recovery with a great offensive presence. One of the gems involved in the relegation fight.
Real Madrid’s generational replacement
Fede Valverde is not an unexpected talent, he has been looking for his place in La Liga and Uruguay national team for some time now, but we have allowed ourselves the luxury of including him because this year he has cleared up all the doubts about him. Last season we saw his ability to put in a tireless physical effort in a Real Madrid squad with problems in midfield, especially with Luka Modric far from his best, but his contribution with possession was far from the standards of the club. This season has been the confirmation of the Uruguayan midfielder with possession metrics: he has increased in percentage of passing and in his influence in the dangerous plays (xG Buildup), he is still not the most creative in the number of chances but he has improved notably in the quality of his key passes (expected assists), besides more consistency in the contribution with goals and assists.
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