Arsenal (opens in a new tab) the scouts traveled to the Bernabeu to see Mykhaylo Mudryk in action against Real Madrid (opens in a new tab) in the Champions League last week, but instead let Federico Valverde do the talking.
The energetic Uruguayan midfielder shone in the hosts’ 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk. (opens in a new tab) and has been electric over the past year for Real Madrid. It also put Vinicius Jr’s winner in the Champions League final this year.
The result left the defending champions top of their group with nine points from their opening three games.
According central defense (opens in a new tab)Arsenal remain keen to secure a deal for Mudryk, but Valverde’s dominating performance stood out the most.
The 24-year-old, operating alongside Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni in central midfield, showed exceptional pace and quality of work throughout the game.
Since making his Real Madrid debut against Viktoria Plzen in October 2018, he has racked up 160 appearances for the club over the past four years.
A smart and versatile player, able to play anywhere in the middle, Valverde continues to flourish.
Although Arsenal managed to sign Martin Odegaard from Real on a permanent deal last summer, there is little hope of his former team-mate making a similar move to the Emirates.
Valued at around £70m and growing in prominence at club and international level, Valverde has no reason to leave the Bernabeu. His contract was extended just over a year ago and ties him to Real until July 2027, with little incentive for them to sell any of their assets.
He has become a vital part of Carlo Ancelotti’s side, helping them reclaim the title from fierce rivals Atletico Madrid last season.
Valverde also starred in Real’s historic Champions League success, making 11 appearances in the competition and scoring the only goal in the final against Liverpool.
In the second half he received the ball wide on the right, drove to the edge of the box and slid a perfect cross towards the back post for Vinicius Junior to convert from close range.
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