A man of many talents, Zinedine Zidane is as much a keen-eyed scout as a successful coach. Since hanging up his football boots, the Real Madrid boss has kept a constant eye on Ligue 1 to monitor the latest young pearls emerging from the French championship.
And the latest to attract his attention is Benoit Badiashile, Monaco’s up-and-coming 19-year-old center back. Standing at a powerful 1.92 meters (6’ 3”), Badiashile made his debut at 17 and is considered one of the most promising young defenders in France, which he represents at U-19 level. In short, a new Raphael Varane.
Badiashile the right fit for Real Madrid
Badiashile possesses all the qualities that Madrid is desperately seeking: a left-footed center back who can complement the right-footed starters – Ramos and Varane. The young Monaco player joins Zidane’s list of potential future defenders, which also includes Dayot Upamecano (Leipzig), Gabriel (Lille) and Mohammed Salisu (Valladolid).
Another plus factor is Badiashile’s low price tag. He has a contract with Monaco until 2024 and is valued at between €35 and €40 million, mainly because he has not yet fallen under the radar of Europe’s most powerful clubs. He had been very high on the list of desired left-footed central defenders for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, though the Premier League club finally opted for Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake. Last season, Wolves had a €34 million offer for Badiashile rejected by Monaco, according to L’Èquipe.