Eduardo Camavinga is the future

Eduardo Camavinga – remember that name. If you don't watch much Ligue 1, you may not have heard of him. You might not know that he's 17 years old and the starting DM for Stade Rennais. You might not know that this Angola-born teenager has already played for France U21, or that he already had about 400' in Ligue 1 under his belt at age 16. And if you haven't looked him up on our site, you might not know that he's a smarterscout young prospect enjoying his breakout season. So here:

That's right – this 17-year-old is already as good as an average Ligue 1 DM, with the minutes to prove it. His main shortcoming right now is his skill on the dribble. He tends to dribble more when he's on the right side, especially as he gets further forward. In central areas, he tends to use longer passes to push the ball forward, as you can see on his smartermap:

Things start to get really interesting when we look for players in the top five European leagues with similar styles. At the top of the list, the closest match is Mousa Dembele in 2016-17 at Spurs. Adrien Rabiot last season at Paris Saint-Germain comes very close, too. Here's a side-by-side comparison:

Dembele and Rabiot are better in duels and have higher ball retention, but let's not forget that Camavinga is just 17! He has plenty of time to catch up to them, especially since DMs tend to peak a bit later than other midfielders. What's impressive is that he's showing the style of these mature players already, and that his decision-making is so good that he has high ball retention despite being a weaker dribbler.

Providing he stays healthy, Camavinga will have the world at his feet very soon. A few top clubs have recently brought in young DMs as successors to their veterans – Frenkie de Jong in particular comes to mind – but the one that signs Camavinga could have a rock at the base of their midfield for more than a decade. We're just glad we'll get to see it.

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