Real Madrid have offered squad players like Lucas Vázquez and Isco improved contracts this season, and yet, when it comes to Pepe, the best player at the Euros, a club legend, and arguably their best defender, they are hesitant to match his wage demands. Why? Two words: Jesús Vallejo. Having a stellar season on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, Vallejo has been tapped up by Zidane as Pepe’s successor, although he seems closer to Zizou’s captain, than anyone. The European champions wisely snapped him up in the summer of 2015 after a meteoric rise to fame for Real Zaragoza. The Spaniard has more to his game than previous youth CB signings for Los Blancos such as Ezequiel Garay or Raphaël Varane. He can dribble out of pressure, he’s quick, and can pass. Alongside Mats Hummels and Niklas Süle, Vallejo has been the best center back in the Bundesliga this season, but he’s even more suited to La Liga. He has a winning mentality, and his confidence is high enough to take his game to infinity and beyond. We’re talking about a 19-year-old here who’s nutmegged Arjen Robben. That alone, is reason enough to put him on this list.
Photo Credit: Presse Sport