Dani Carvajal's Return to Real Madrid Is Savvy Move by Los Blancos
Who said you can't go home again?
From Sky Sports:
The full-back was presented at the Bernabeu on Friday—exactly a year after he was sold to Bayer Leverkusen for five million euros.
Although he signed a five-year deal with the Bundesliga side last summer, Madrid retained a buy-back clause in the contract, which they exercised last month to bring him back to the Spanish capital for a reported 6.5m euros.
The 21-year old joined Madrid's junior set-up in 2002 before graduating to Real Madrid Castilla, the B team. He spent two years with the reserve side, helping them win promotion to the Segunda Division A, Spain's second tier, in 2011-12, but never made any appearances for the first team.
Obviously, Carvajal was impressive enough in Germany last year that Los Blancos felt he was worthy of buying back immediately. He started 31 games for Leverkusen in league play, scoring a goal and adding an impressive seven assists.
According to WhoScored.com, he earned a 7.63 match rating for the season in Bundesliga play, making him the highest-rated defender in the league last season in WhoScored's rankings.
Speaking of WhoScored.com, Carvajal made the site's Under-21 Team of the Season:
It's not hard to see why Real Madrid brought him back.
And Carvajal should have a real chance at winning a spot in the starting 11. While Alvaro Arbeloa is currently the incumbent, Carvajal could very well steal that starting gig from him in training. Arbeloa is arguably Real Madrid's weakest starter, so the opportunity will be there for Carvajal.
Now, playing for Real Madrid is a whole new challenge for Carvajal. With all due respect to Bayer Leverkusen, playing as a member of Los Blancos comes with a whole new level of pressure and expectation.
Basically, you have to have more than just the talent to succeed at Los Blancos—you also have to possess the correct mindset. If you can't rise to the occasion, you'll quickly find yourself sinking to the bench.
Some Real Madrid fans may be concerned that Carvajal made just one appearance at the U-21 European Championships, as Barcelona's Martin Montoya was given the nod at right-back. That team was so stacked, however, it would be hard to fault many of those players for making limited appearances.
There's little to dislike about this move for Real Madrid. They look like geniuses for putting in a buyback clause and essentially loaning him to Leverkusen last year, where he earned vital experience. They not only are bringing back a player with huge potential, but also one that may upgrade the right-back position immediately.
As savvy moves on the transfer market go, this one takes the cake. If Carvajal continues to evolve as he did last season, Los Blancos will be bringing a very effective player back to Madrid.
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