Arsenal scouts were in attendance for Real Madrid’s Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, and one player reportedly stole the show.
Shakhtar travelled to the Bernabeu earlier this week aiming to pull off a shock against the Champions League holders. They were 2-0 down within half an hour as wingers Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior scored for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Shakhtar got one back before the interval as Oleksandr Zubkov fired an acrobatic volley into the net. However, they couldn’t get a second goal and the 2-1 defeat left them second in Group F.
Real, who have won all three of their matches so far, sit top of the group and are five points ahead of Wednesday’s opponents.
The 21-year-old left winger is towards the top of Arsenal’s transfer wish list for next year. The Gunners are far from the only team who hope to sign him though, as the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle have also been linked.
Mudryk did well but was ultimately kept quiet by the Real defenders. Instead, it was Los Blancos midfielder Federico Valverde who became the main attraction.
He put in a dominant performance on the right side of a midfield three and Defensa Central claim this ‘overshadowed’ Arsenal’s trip to watch Mudryk.
Arsenal ‘blown away’ by La Liga star
All of their attention was on Valverde and they were apparently ‘blown away’ by the Uruguayan’s ability.
They were also impressed by his pace, rhythm and physical prowess. Arsenal officials supposedly left the Spanish capital ‘with their mouths open’.
Arsenal scouts view Valverde as being one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world right now.
The scouting mission sets up the slight possibility of Valverde moving to Arsenal in the future. It would be an incredible coup to pull off.
Liverpool are also big admirers of the Montevideo-born star. They made an approach to sign him in the recent transfer window.
Unfortunately for Liverpool and Arsenal, Real view Valverde as being ‘untouchable’. He is a key part of Ancelotti’s side and due to this Real will not sell for any price.
His contract runs until June 2027. This means Real have no concern about him running down his terms and leaving on a free any time soon.
It’s no surprise Arsenal scouts liked what they saw in Valverde. He has become one of Real’s top players in recent seasons, helping them to win the Champions League and La Liga double in 2021/22.
Valverde often has to play at right wing under Ancelotti. This would put some players off, given the fact Valverde prefers to play in central midfield.
But rather than sulk or underperform, the 24-year-old uses his brilliant stamina to provide Real with an extra threat down the right flank.
Then when Valverde operates in his preferred position, he shows his quality even more. Real will have a top midfield for years to come, given the fact Ancelotti also has Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni in his squad.