Fede Valverde, young Uruguayan who hopes to anchor Real Madrid’s midfield in many years to come, is about to take his first La Liga steps with Deportivo
Uruguay’s leading figure in the upcoming generation will make his first steps in the Spanish top flight as La Liga side Deportivo de La Coruña has signed the midfielder from Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal.
The man in question, Federico Valverde, will try and build on a terrific performance in the U20 World Cup earlier this year and eventually put himself in the picture for Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
Valverde will join Deportivo, having played for Real Madrid Castilla – Real Madrid’s second team – last season. Before coming to Spain in 2016, the midfielder already featured for his boyhood club Peñarol at the tender age of seventeen. His talent was quickly acknowledged by his club as well as his country with the youngster representing Uruguay in all youth categories so far.
OFFICIAL: Fede Valverde (18) has joined Deportivo de la Coruña on a season long loan from Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/P6i9vX0b7M
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) June 22, 2017
Valverde experienced his breakthrough at an early age, scoring seven times in Uruguay U17’s Sudamericano campaign in 2015. Interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona soon followed and Arsenal even went so far to submit a bid. It was the record European champions Real Madrid that won the race for Valverde, however, and signed the Uruguayan for a reported fee of €5M.
At 17, Madrid decided to let Valverde stay in Uruguay another year, where he won the Uruguayan championship in his debut year. In the summer of 2016, Pajarito joined up with Real Madrid Castilla and played in virtually every game in their 2016/17 campaign. Valverde was one of RM Castilla’s standout players both in the league and the UEFA Youth League.
It meant that the Uruguayan arrived at the U20 World Cup full of confidence and it was noticeable as Valverde was Uruguay’s key player throughout the tournament. The way Valverde orchestrated the play at such young age (18) was very impressive. It was reminiscent of his idol, Real Madrid star Toni Kroos. His outstanding performances helped guide Uruguay U20’s to the semi-finals, where they got knocked out on penalties by Venezuela.
Valverde’s great tournament didn’t go unnoticed as he was awarded the Silver Ball for being the tournament’s second best player, underlining his tremendous quality. Deportivo know they have a future world-beater in their squad next year and will try and take full advantage of it.
What does Valverde bring to Deportivo?
As he showcased in the U20 World Cup, Valverde adds quality in possession but also brings solidity to the midfield. He is a down-to-earth player with very few airs and graces which means he doesn’t feel too good to put a shift in on the pitch. It makes him an extremely useful player for Deportivo, whom will once again be in the bottom half of the table and won’t always dominate the ball.
Therefore it will be a new experience for Valverde, which can only be good for his development as a player.
Up to this point, Valverde is used to playing in the middle of the park but at Deportivo he could also feature further up the pitch and even on the wing. His pace and good shooting abilities make him very capable of operating in those areas. In any case, in whatever position, it’s important that Valverde can get some minutes under his belt.
Deportivo can be the first step in a glorious career in Europe for Fede.