Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wants TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s German fullback Jeremy Toljan as backup for Dani Carvajal next season
As per a report in in Spanish outlet Don Balon, the Frenchman has asked the Real Madrid hierarchy to get him a fullback. Danilo’s departure to Manchester City means that he only has Dani Carvajal as a right-back and Zidane wants Toljan to act as a backup to the Spaniard.
Carvajal, now 25 years of age, is said to have Zidane’s complete confidence, but reinforcements are needed in what is sure to be another long, arduous season for the European Champions and Real have reportedly received good reviews about the 22-year-old German international.
Real would likely see Toljan as good candidate mainly due to his age and how little he will likely cost. Since making his debut for Hoffenheim in 2013, he has made a total of 59 appearances in four seasons and been deployed in every position in defence as a part of a three or four man defence.
His 21 appearances across all competitions last year was spent mostly as a right wing-back in a Julian Nagelsmann led Die Kraichgauer side, which finished fourth in the Bundesliga table. He was also used as a left wingback and on a few occasions as centerback and fullback.
Toljan, who has a season left on his current contract, was a part of the German side that finished second in the Olympics last year and also the side that emerged victorious in the recently concluded U21 European Championship and he featured in each game played in both tournaments.
However, if reports are to be believed, Real aren’t the only club interested the youngster. According to football.london, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Napoli all said to be interested in the Toljan, who turns 23 in August.
— Bundesliga Journal (@bulijournal) June 29, 2017
Described to be an athletic and gifted player who can play a variety of roles across midfield and defence, he would no doubt be a good acquisition for any club. There is work to be done however, but there is ample time for him to develop and fulfill his vast potential.
However, Real Madrid is the place to do that. Opportunities will surely present themselves as Zidane looks to keep rotating his squad, but at the age of 22, he will need to feature week in and week out if he needs to continue his steady progression and development.
Should Hoffenheim ultimately qualify for the Group stages of UEFA Champions League, Toljan will likely make his Champions League debut this season and given that he features regularly for his club, he will be able to get valuable experience in Europe’s premier football tournament.
However, the lure of the Santiago Bernabeu, the chance to train alongside the best players in the world, the opportunity to work with Zinedine Zidane and the massive upgrade in wages that come along with it may prove far too tempting for the young Toljan to give up and it remains to be seen whether he chooses to make the step up in his career this summer.