Analysis: Who is the €30m Real Madrid and Newcastle United target Ivan Fresneda?

Real Madrid have enjoyed a golden era over the last decade, winning a remarkable five Champions League over that period of time. Even more so, it has been more or less achieved with a similar side for many of those triumphs.

Veteran right-back Dani Carvajal is one of that star-studded side that Real Madrid are considering a long-term replacement for. Although Carvajal is only 30, his injury issues and inconsistent performances mean that Real Madrid are looking for a younger model sooner than perhaps they would otherwise.

Along with Arsenal, Newcastle United, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Inter and Milan, the great and the good of European football, it has been confirmed that Real Madrid are interested in Real Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda.

Coming through initially at Leganes before moving to Valladolid, the 18-year-old has only played 8 times for La Pucela this season. Such has been the quality of those performances though, Fresneda has caught the attention of an abundance of top clubs. He made his debut in Segunda in January of 2022 against Burgos, playing just once more for Valladolid that season. Despite spending a number of games on the bench, he was rarely used.

Since making his La Liga debut against Girona in early September, he has started all but one of the matches he has been fit for. Still, few players make such a strong impression after just 10 senior showings.

Although he has only just burst onto the scene, Fresneda has ranked in the top 7% of full-backs for tackles, dribblers tackled and clearances. He also averages 1.54 interceptions per game, and makes the top 10% for key passes.

Manager Pacheta has declared that if has in charge of a big club, then he would ‘have no doubts’ about making a move for him. “We all have the data, the numbers are frankly very impressive.”

According to Matteo Moretto of Relevo, Real Madrid have joined the list of admirers in recent days. Los Blancos were ‘greatly impressed’ by Fresneda in their recent La Liga match, where the 18-year-old competed well against Vinicius Junior, arguably one of the toughest assignments for a full-back in world football.

His release clause currently lies at €30m, but should he reach a number of targets this season – one of which is playing another 14 games, then his price jumps to €45m.

Whether a club is willing to risk paying that clause at such an early stage remains to be seen, but it seems likely he will become their record sale. Mohammed Salisu’s move to Southampton for €12m is the highest fee La Pucela have received.

Reasonably strong for his age, possessing pace to keep up with any winger, he ticks the basic boxes for a decent full-back. However Fresneda is a rare gem in that he looks more than capable both going forward and defending, whereas as most are more given to one than the other. Technically, he is strong without standing out, but his fighting attitude also helps him to compete well against any opposition.

Few right-backs are causing as much of a stir as Fresneda and currently, it appears Spain have one of the most promising right-backs in European football coming through.


Photo via on Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

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