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Benzema’s successor

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Real Madrid have massively altered their transfer tactics in the last few years. The team who brought the fashion of signing big-name players who were nicknamed Galacticos are now investing in young talents and making them into world-class stars. This strategy has worked brilliantly, helping the team find gems such as the Brazilian sensation Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, and Casemiro. Now another player looks to follow in their footsteps. On February 19, 2023, 18-year-old Alvaro Rodriguez made his senior team debut for Real Madrid.

A product of Girona’s youth system, Rodriguez has been making waves with his impressive displays for the youth teams. And now he has been rewarded for it by Carlo Ancelotti, who is looking to deploy every resource to defend their La Liga and UEFA Champions League title. 

While Real Madrid are one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, the rise of a player like Alvaro Rodriguez frees up money to be invested in other areas of the squad, making them even more potent. 

So, who is Alvaro Rodriguez, and how good is he?

Who is Alvaro Rodriguez? 

Born in Palamos, a coastal city in Girona, on July 14, 2004, Alvaro Rodriguez started his footballing career at the age of six with the local club Global Palamos. He spent three years at the club before leaving for Girona, one of the biggest clubs in the area. Here, he began to move up the ladders of the youth teams. 

And it was here that he caught the eyes of the Real Madrid scouting network, and they wasted no time adding him to their ranks in 2020. Despite being only 16 years old, Rodriguez was inducted straightway into the under-19 squad, which spoke volumes of his talent. 

His induction was helpful for the club, which went on to win the Copa del Rey Juvenil. This gave a further boost to his career as he was given a promotion to Real Madrid B. Rodriguez turned out to be one of the few positives for the team that season despite getting limited playing time as they finished 10th on the table. ‘ 

It was evident that Rodriguez needed to be given more minutes if Real Madrid B had to turn around their fortunes, and this is what has transpired as the team currently are on top of the table. 

These impressive performances could not have come at a better time for him as the senior side were struggling in the league, eight points behind league leaders Barcelona. Thus, he finally made his debut in La Liga, and with his talent, we could expect him to play a more prominent role in the senior team, especially from the next season.

Alvaro Rodriguez stats 

After being promoted to Real Madrid B in 2021-22, Rodriguez started to hit the ground immediately. He would score four goals and provide four assists across 17 appearances. However, he only played 648 minutes which gives him an impressive stat of one goal involvement per 81 minutes. His most impressive performance came against UE Costa Brava, scoring one and assisting two to help the team win the match 5-1.

In the current season, he has scored five goals from 16 appearances for Real Madrid B. He debuted his senior team on January 3, 2023, in Copa del Rey against Cacereno playing 23 minutes.

However, his La Liga debut would be far more impressive. Coming off as a substitute in the last two minutes of the game, Rodriguez wasted no time in showcasing his talent. The teenager made a remarkable tackle in the attacking third to win the ball back before squaring the ball to Marco Asensio, who put the ball in the back of the net.

Getting your first goal involvement that too in such a short time of your La Liga debut shows not only his talent but also the fact that he is mentally strong and unfazed by any situation.

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Alvaro Rodiguez potential and style of play

Alvaro Rodriguez is a centre-forward who loves to play all across the front line. He is also good at dropping down the pitch to get the ball and be involved in the build-up. This was clearly evident by his assist for the senior team. Like Karim Benzema, he is equally good at scoring goals and creating them. While it would be a bold statement that he is a successor to the Frenchman, he is on the right path till now to emulate him.

Rodriguez is also quite brilliant with the ball at his feet and can provide pin-point passes even while running with the ball at high speeds. On top of that, he has excellent awareness and game intelligence that helps him exploit the gaps in the opposition’s defence with ease. 

Alvaro Rodriguez Real Madrid future 

With Real Madrid struggling in La Liga and facing a daunting prospect in Liverpool in the Champions League, Alvaro Rodriguez is bound to get more minutes. Several sources close to the club have also suggested he might get a chance in the Champions League. 

And even though his current contract expires in 2027, he is bound to get a massive bump in his pay over the summer as Real Madrid look to ward off interest from other clubs who will want him to join their ranks. 

However, Real Madrid have the money and the charisma to make Rodriguez stay at the club and possibly become the next big youth superstar to emerge at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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