Aurélien Tchouaméni: The Quiet Architect of Real Madrid’s Ascending Empire

France, with its history steeped in romance, offers a tableau of delights: the refined beauty of its language, the allure of its wines, and the timeless charm of its landscapes. This romanticism extends beyond the arts and into the arena of football, where France’s reputation remains untarnished. Our grandfathers and fathers celebrated the genius of Michel Platini, while Zinedine Zidane, our celestial leader, commanded a formidable cadre: Thierry Henry, Didier Deschamps, Patrick Vieira, Lilian Thuram, and the enigmatic Eric Cantona.


Today, the mantle has been passed to a new generation — Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and N’Golo Kanté —who have not only won the World Cup but have also carved out illustrious club careers. Yet, France continues to astonish the footballing world with its emerging talents, players so young yet so extraordinarily gifted that they compel opponents to capitulate.


Aurélien Tchouaméni and his Real Madrid teammate, Eduardo Camavinga, are emblematic of this new era. In a season marred by tactical upheavals and a relentless barrage of injuries that could have derailed any team’s ambitions, Tchouaméni has risen above, shining brightly and executing his duties with a quiet, unyielding excellence.



With the departure of prolific striker Karim Benzema and the seemingly inevitable arrival of Kylian Mbappé, Real Madrid faced a conundrum. They needed to replace Benzema’s prolific goal-scoring but also had to avoid the issue of acquiring a marquee striker who might be sidelined upon Mbappé’s arrival. Madrid’s solution was to forego buying a traditional striker, leaving Carlo Ancelotti to devise an alternative strategy.


He found it by deploying Vinícius Jr. and Rodrygo as false forwards, with Jude Bellingham operating just behind them. Bellingham played a false 9 role, making penetrating runs into the box to score, while Vinícius Jr. and Rodrygo functioned as wingers. For this system to be effective, Ancelotti relied on a midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, and Aurélien Tchouaméni to maintain balance and cohesion.


Aurélien Tchouaméni epitomizes the archetype of the modern midfielder, seamlessly blending physical dominance, technical prowess, and tactical acumen. Central to his role is disrupting the opposition’s play, maintaining possession fluidity, and acting as the vital conduit between defense and attack. Predominantly, Tchouaméni operates as a holding midfielder, meticulously positioning himself just ahead of the back line to thwart adversarial threats.


Tchouaméni’s defensive acumen is a testament to his profound game understanding. His positional awareness is impeccable, consistently scanning the pitch to preemptively obstruct passing lanes and intercept through balls. This foresight, paired with his physical attributes, enables him to execute crucial tackles and interceptions, effectively dismantling opposition plays before they gain momentum.



His agility and pace are instrumental, allowing him to close down opponents swiftly, minimizing their time on the ball and compelling them into rushed decisions. Tchouaméni’s ability to cover extensive ground enhances his presence in both defensive stances and transitional phases, making him a ubiquitous force in midfield.


In aerial battles, Tchouaméni’s commanding presence is palpable. His timing and leap afford him a distinct advantage in high-ball contests, pivotal for defending set-pieces and long balls while facilitating his team’s possession recovery and counter-attacking endeavors.


While primarily defensively oriented, Tchouaméni’s forward-thinking mentality significantly enriches his game. His adeptness at breaking lines with incisive passes, whether threading through tight spaces or lofting over defenses, underscores his passing range and vision. This ability to disguise intentions often leaves opponents flat-footed, creating valuable opportunities for his teammates.


Tchouaméni’s composure under pressure and precise passing are critical for advancing play. His technical finesse ensures that he executes these passes with unerring accuracy, injecting a creative element into his defensive duties. His tactical intelligence shines in his dual positional efficacy, offering consistent support for defenders and maintaining team shape through possession recycling.



The Frenchman’s spatial awareness and timing facilitate a seamless transition between defensive and offensive roles, bolstering team fluidity. Quick reactions and astute decision-making are hallmarks of his transitional play, adeptly initiating counter-attacks or reinforcing defenses as the situation demands. This versatility renders Tchouaméni an indispensable component in various tactical configurations.


As the final whistle blows on another triumphant season, Real Madrid stands poised not merely as a team, but as the harbingers of a new era in football. With the LaLiga title already secured and the tantalizing promise of a record-breaking 15th Champions League within reach, this squad of youthful prodigies, soon to be bolstered by the electrifying arrival of Mbappé, is on the cusp of crafting an empire destined to dominate Europe.


In the heart of this emerging dynasty, Tchouaméni commands the field with a presence that suggests not just leadership, but a legacy in the making. Real Madrid is not merely writing history; they are scripting a legend, one that will echo through the annals of football for generations to come.


By: Tobi Peter / @keepIT_tactical

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / John Berry / Getty Images