The La Liga giants will have to replace the Croatian veteran midfielder sooner or later.
Luka Modric has been a pivotal figure in the dominance of Real Madrid in European football in the last decade. The Croatian playmaker has consistently delivered laudable performances, and has been a regular starter in the playing XI over the years. In 215 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid, Luka Modric has scored 15 goals and assisted 34 others.
His relentless work-rate coupled with the tendency to pull the strings from the midfield has had a massive influence in the team’s success. However, the midfielder is 34-year-old currently and his contract with the club ends next year.
The time seems ripe for Real Madrid to look out for suitable, younger alternatives for Luka Modric. Here, we present five such names that could arguably fill that gaping hole.
5. Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga is a 17-year-old midfielder who plies his trade for Rennes in Ligue 1. He has already become a regular name in the team sheet for the senior squad of his club, making 25 appearances in the Ligue 1 in 2019-20 season. He is a free-flowing midfielder who dons various roles in the midfield.
Camavinga has a tremendous maturity to control the pace of the game with his astute passing abilities. He shifts back to the defensive line to assist the centre backs and prevent potential offensive threats from the opposition team. The teenager is also adept at moving ahead with some swift command over the proceedings and creating certain goal-scoring chances through his passes.
He even made four appearances in the UEFA Europa League in the 2019-20 campaign, and had an incredible passing success rate of 90.6% in those games.
In the Ligue 1, he racked up an accuracy of 87.7% for the same also registered an impressive 4.2 tackles and 1.9 interceptions in each match. Though the Ligue 1 club would be reluctant to let go of their prized possession so early, Real Madrid could possibly keep knocking their doors and lure Camavinga to Santiago Bernabeu to replace Luka Modric in the Spanish capital.
4. Martin Odegaard
Why spend money aplenty when you have a ready-made replacement waiting in the wings? It is a theory that several football clubs ponder upon when they are on the search for a replacement to a stellar player. The notion could be considered to be rather pragmatic by many, but nurturing Martin Odegaard to take over Luka Modric’s responsibilities isn’t as unfathomable as one would assume.
The Norwegian starlet endured some testing times immediately after signing for the Los Blancos in 2015. However, he has had arguably done justice to his potential in the last two seasons. In 2018/19, Odegaard scored nine goals and played an assist in 12 others in 35 league appearances for the Dutch side Vitesse.
In the 2019/20 season, the midfielder is representing Real Sociedad and he has netted four and set up five more goals in 26 La Liga matches. Odegaard’s creative abilities have stood apart in this campaign for Sociedad, as he has attempted 2.2 dribbles and made 2.1 key passes in every game for the team. Odegaard might spend another season on loan away from Real Madrid, however, he could very well become a suitable individual to replace Luka Modric in the future.
3. Dani Ceballos
On loan to Arsenal from Real Madrid, Dani Ceballos is certainly someone who has been earmarked to play a critical role in the Spanish club’s midfield as time progresses. Ceballos has an appreciable control over the ball, as he is someone who can be termed to be a ball-carrier.
The 23-year-old could break the opposition’s backline with his swift moves through the centre. He prefers drifting inwards from the flanks at times and has a vision that allows him to spot his teammates on promising positions to put the ball into the back of the net.
In 16 Premier League appearances in 2019-20, Ceballos had a passing accuracy of 88.3% and pulled off 1.1 key passes in every match. Though he is having a rather modest season with Arsenal, the North London club would be adamant on securing him on a permanent transfer move. Accordingly, whether or not Real Madrid allow for this to happen could have a major impact upon the way in which their midfield shapes up after a few years.
2. Donny van de Beek
There have been numerous speculations about Donny van de Beek’s apparent departure from AFC Ajax. The prodigious midfielder would naturally attract several suitors and the Los Blancos should be one of them if they are looking to substitute someone of Modric’s stature. Van de Beek is capable of playing higher up on the pitch, and oozes class with his free-flowing style of play.
He produces a goal-scoring threat and picks up some exquisite passes from the centre of the field. In 23 Eredivisie encounters this season, the Dutchman scored eight goals and notched five assists. He delivers 1.8 key passes and records two tackles per game.
Van de Beek’s ability to combine with the other midfielders and build up consistent pressure on the opposition before releasing a quick, decisive pass into the final third makes him stand apart from his peers. He is yet to embark into his peak years as a professional footballer and could very well be a significant asset if Real Madrid comply to shell out the required transfer fee to replace Luka Modric.
1. Kevin de Bruyne
Luring Kevin de Bruyne away from Manchester City would be a strenous task for any club. However, if the ban on Manchester City to compete in the UEFA Champions League stays for the next two years, then doubts could possibly be cast on the Belgian international’s future in the Premier League.
De Bruyne would turning 29 years in 2020, and the upcoming couple of years could supposedly be his most productive period in professional football. He has attained immense domestic success with City in England, but he has been deserted of the same on the European front in the last few years.
In his tenure with Manchester City, the midfielder has scored six goals and bagged 11 assists in 33 UEFA Champions League matches. Staying away from the most prominent European club football competition for two campaigns is not entirely feasible for a modern-day footballer; especially, when that individual is relishing the prime years of his career.
De Bruyne could taste success in the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. On the other hand, the Spanish giants would secure a midfielder who could deliver the expected level of performances right from the very beginning of his tenure, which promises to be an excellent match.