Real Madrid have not been very active during the current January transfer window. However, they managed to sign one of the top young talents from South America when they snagged Reinier from Flamengo. Los Merengues acquired the 18-year-old forward for a reported €30 million earlier this month.
It seems that has the makings of a new policy at the Santiago Bernabeu. Over the last few years, Real Madrid have found value in signing youngsters who can become the face of the team in the future once the current era of established stars such as Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Marcelo are no longer in the squad. But this has been a process that started years ago.
When did Real Madrid changed their transfer policy?
Until recently, Real Madrid were known for signing established players to form the new Galacticos. But it seems they have left that approach to other sides, such as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. Florentino Perez is doing things differently this time around, as he’s looking to build a sustained powerhouse that can dominate Europe for years to come.
It all started with the arrival of Martin Odegaard from Stromsgodset back in 2015. He was the first young building block to arrive, but the core of the new transfer policy has moved into the club over the last two years.
Real Madrid signed Alvaro Odriozola, Vinicius Junior, Brahim Diaz and Andriy Lunin during the 2018-19 season. Not happy with that, they added Eder Militao, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Rodrygo Goes, Takefusa Kubo and Reinier during the current campaign. None of these players has turned 25 years old.
How would a predicted XI with recent signings would look?
If we only add Madrid’s recent youth signings and promoted players from Real Madrid Castilla, a potential starting XI in a few more years would look like this:
Lunin; Achraf Hakimi, Eder Militao, Jesus Vallejo, Mendy; Federico Valverde, Odegaard, Kubo; Rodrygo Goes, Jovic, Vinicius Júnior
The bench would include players such as Odriozola, Reinier, Dani Ceballos, Brahim Díaz, Sergio Reguilon and Borja Mayoral. The ones in the starting lineup, all are under contract until, at least, the end of the 2021-22 season. Most are signed until the end of the 2024-25 campaign, with the only exceptions being Kubo (2023-24), Achraf (2021-22) and Odegaard (2022-23).
The approach is excellent – but will it work?
This is the toughest part for sure. Real Madrid would undoubtedly need to add some experienced player to the mix if they want this approach to be successful. Names such as Casemiro (27 years old), Raphael Varane (26), Isco (27) and Eden Hazard (29) would need to remain around to keep the culture going. Other such as Marco Asensio (24) and Toni Kroos (30) could also fit into the timeline of a sustained winner by the end of the 2022-23 season. Experience is key in these situations.
Either way, Los Blancos are taking the right approach this time around. And while no one knows if it will pan out or not, only thing is certain. They certainly have the right players around to make things happen.