The ideal role for Aurelien Tchouameni at Real Madrid in his first season

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Though the transfer is not official yet, Fabrizio Romano gave Aurelien Tchouameni to Real Madrid the fabled “Here We Go”, meaning Madridistas can fully expect the best possible midfielder on the transfer market to join the world best midfield for the 2022/23 season.

A casual fan may wonder why Real Madrid is willing to spend up to 100 million euros (or more) on a midfielder when they already have the legendary trio of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro, as well as the two best young midfielders in the world in Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga. That does not even factor the potential continuation of Dani Ceballos, who could start for most teams in Europe, and top prospect Antonio Blanco.

But Tchouameni is a rare talent. Real have already found their two long-term No. 8’s in Camavinga and Fede. The 6? That’s where Tchouameni comes in. He is the only player who could possibly replace the seemingly irreplaceable Casemiro – the greatest defensive midfielder of his generation and the missing piece who helped lift Real to a three-peat… and the most recent Champions League title triumph over Liverpool with another defensive masterclass.

Tchouameni had a jaw-dropping 2.5 tackles and 2.9 interceptions per game in Ligue 1 last season, essentially mirroring Casemiro’s defensive output. Meanwhile, he was more decisive offensively, completing close to 87 percent of his passes with five total goal contributions, 1.7 fouls drawn per game, and 1.1 dribbles completed per game.

Aurelien Tchouameni will get immediate minutes at Real Madrid

It is safe to say that as an anchoring midfielder, Tchouameni can do it all. He can play elite defense, read the game, keep the ball for his team, carry the ball, draw fouls, and even score goals. Tchouameni is just 22, but he is already a great all-around midfielder and was a key leader for Monaco. When you peel back the surface of how 6’s are underrated, you see that Tchouameni is more elite than the overhyped forwards everyone talks about. And you then understand why Real wanted him so badly.

In the long-term, Tchouamen will be the starting defensive midfielder. That is obvious.

But what about for the 2022/23 season? Tchouameni was Ligue 1’s best midfielder – and it honestly was not even close – and Real Madrid paid 100 million euros for him. He had interest from two other elite clubs in PSG and Liverpool, but he chose Los Blancos. So like Camavinga, he is going to give Real grace and will not expect to start immediately. That said, Real paid a pretty penny for him, and he is already world-class. So shouldn’t he start?

I expect him to get significant minutes. How many? The exact number is not worth predicting. But he will get starts. We know that Real Madrid want to rotate more, and we saw how much better the starters were when Camavinga and Valverde got more minutes.

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Carlo Ancelotti learned from his mistakes with them, meaning Tchouameni won’t have to worry about toiling on the bench. He is going to play. For years, Madridistas have begged for Casemiro to get rest, noting how much better he looks when he is fresh. They also knew that it was impossible to rest him, because there was no natural replacement – and that made them even more worried for life after the Brazilian.

Now, they have their man. Tchouameni is going to get plenty of starts in rotation with Casemiro. Tchouameni even gives Real Madrid the flexibility to play with a double-pivot and a 10. He could be an anchor with Toni Kroos or Luka Modric, and then we could see someone like Eden Hazard or even a loanee / signing / Marco Asensio (depending on what happens in the market) as a 10. Because we all know Carlo Ancelotti loves his 10’s.

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So get excited. Tchouameni is the 6 of the future, and he is also the Casemiro relief that this team has been begging for. The young midfielders of Real Madrid can help prolong the careers of KCM, too, as if you needed another reason to be happy.

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