Real Madrid have today announced the signing of Flamengo midfielder Reinier Jesus on a six-year contract.
The highly thought of Brazilian, who was also linked to both Barcelona and Manchester City – plus the record 13-time European champions – will join the club when he finishes his participation in the Under-23 Pre-Olympic Tournament.
Reinier joins Real Madrid: Five things to know…
- Reinier came through Flamengo’s esteemed youth set-up and has to date made 15 first-team appearances.
- He’s since registered six goals and created a further two for his teammates in that time.
- A number of European powerhouses were linked to the midfielder but Madrid have won the race to his signature.
- Zinedine Zidane currently has a total of five Brazilians in his first-team squad.
- Reinier shoots frequently and is comfortable linking play from an attacking midfield role, according to smarterscout data.
Reinier is set to work under Raul, who manages Real Madrid’s Castilla side, when he arrives in the Spanish capital. Although some youngsters can get caught in the Bernabeu headlights after leaving South America, current Flamengo boss Jorge Jesus is in no doubt Reinier will succeed.
Jesus told Marca earlier this month: “Physically he’s got extraordinary characteristics. He’s very strong technically and he’s five years ahead of his age on the pitch, he plays as if he were a 22-year-old in terms of emotion and intelligence. Now he has to grow, he’s not Joao Felix, they’re different.
“The Portuguese has more goalscoring characteristics while Reinier is technically gifted and he doesn’t like playing as a striker, he likes having another player alongside him and he’s very strong in the middle of midfielders.”
Smarterscout’s style ratings* echo Jesus’ assessment of the youngster, with his link-up passing achieving a score of 91 and his ability to receive the ball inside the penalty area ranked at 99.
*Playing styles are quantified by the frequencies of different actions, all on a 0-99 scale, benchmarked to position.
A move worth making?
You can hardly blame Real Madrid for signing another promising Brazilian attacker. Since letting Neymar slip between his fingers, club president Florentino Perez has been determined to ensure the samba nation’s ‘next big thing’ wears the fabled white jersey rather than the blue and red of Barcelona.
Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo, both 19, have recently made the switch from South America and the former, like Reinier, came through at Flamengo.
Of course, neither player is close to being the finished product and much of their success depends on regular playing time, which is crucial as they are still developing as footballers.
Both have shown flashes of brilliance, reaffirming Perez’s decision to part with millions for their signatures. Reinier, on the back of Jesus’ words of encouragement, will now form part of a growing group of Brazilians at the Bernabeu and their presence will surely only boost his development.
The youngster’s competition down the road seems to be with Isco, James Rodriguez and Brahim Diaz – Real Madrid’s current crop of attacking midfielders – though it remains to be seen how quickly he can progress to Zinedine Zidane’s first-team squad.