Analysis: Who is Luciano Rodriguez, the South American wonderkid wanted by Real Madrid?

The U20 Sudamericano, currently taking place in Colombia, has allowed the best and brightest young players in South American to be shown off. Brazil are the team that most are keeping an eye on, with Vitor Roque and Robert Renan having already been scouting by Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

However, Brazil aren’t the only nation at the tournament with talented youngsters. Uruguay are another team to have impressed, and their talisman is Luciano Rodriguez. The 19-year-old has been in sparking form at the tournament, and has netted four goals so far, including the winner against Ecuador on Friday.

Uruguay have historically created great strikers, with Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani among others. Rodriguez could well be the next big name to come from the South American nation, and there is little wonder that Real Madrid are scouting him, according to Defensa Central.

Standing at 179cm, Rodriguez isn’t the most imposing striker in terms of height, but he has a lot of presence on the pitch. He is strong, is able to challenge aerially for the ball with ease, and in true South American style, likes to get stuck in.

Despite still being a teenager, he has very good finishing abilities. He is clinical inside the box, but is perhaps even more impressive from outside the area. He is very good at shooting from distance, and has scored multiple times from outside the 18-yard box, including his recent goal against Ecuador.

One of the more underrated areas of his game is his passing ability. He is able to link up with midfield adeptly, but is also comfortable playing long passes out wide or to his strike partner. For Real Madrid in the future, this could be a valuable asset of Rodriguez’s game, as he’d likely be playing as a lone striker.

Coincidentally, Real Madrid already have a Uruguayan striker playing in the U20 Sudamericano, and his name is also Rodriguez. Alvaro Rodriguez is highly regarded among Los Blancos officials, but he has been outshone by his namesake at the tournament so far. They play as a strike partnership, and this may be an option for Real Madrid in the near future in the youth ranks.

Tournaments such as the U20 Sudamericano allow Europe’s elite the opportunity to see talents like Rodriguez that they would have not seen otherwise. The 19-year-old looks a special talent, and a move to Real Madrid would allow him an opportunity to train in some of the best facilities in the world, while learning from some of the best youth coaches.

It’s unclear how much Rodriguez’s current club Progreso would demand for a fee, with the teenager having a contract at his homeland club until 2025. Nevertheless, it could be an ingenious investment for Real Madrid if they sign him.

Tags Luciano Rodriguez Progreso Real Madrid U20 Copa America Uruguay
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