Camavinga is one of the hottest prospects in world football and has been catching headlines with impressive performances for Rennes since the start of the season. He’s already been linked with clubs such as Real Madrid, PSG, Liverpool and Spurs. He’s only 17 but has been extremely promising, already showing to be a high calibre of player with a huge ceiling and a bright future.
The midfielder is an U21 international for France. He was born in Angola, moving to France when he was 2. He’s been with Rennes since he was 11, making his debut for the first team aged 16 after impressing in the reserve side. Rennes are 3rd in Ligue 1 with a young squad, 6 points behind Andre Villas-Boas’ Marseille.
The best clubs in the world are fighting for the young Frenchman’s signature, and it’s not hard to see why. Staying at Rennes and continuing to get minutes in Ligue 1 and experience in senior football might be his best option, but it won’t stop clubs wanting to get one of the best young talents in the world on their books as soon as possible.
It isn’t hard to understand why Camavinga is such a valued prospect. At such a young age he has some of the best defensive numbers in Europe. This season he’s made the most tackles in Ligue 1. He has huge tackles numbers and is involved in a lot of duels. He’s an excellent tackler, he puts in well timed challenges and likes to dive in, he’s is great at connecting with the ball and poking it away. He’s patient in 1v1s, staying tight to the attacker while they travel, trying to slow them. Once they slow, he leans into the player and jabs in with a foot. If he’s coming across and the attacker is dribbling he puts in well timed sliding tackles.
He’s slim in build but tall and athletic, standing at 6’0″. He used his body well and has excellent tackling technique. He commits quite a lot of fouls but with the amount of duels he’s involved with it’s hard not to. He’s the sort of player who comes out of 50/50s and collisions with the ball way more than they should and always does well in challenges even if he lacks aggression and a large physical presence. With good awareness he is quick to react and read danger, pressing wide areas and anticipating passes.
He’s agile, athletic with good balance and change of direction. He’s explosive and gets across to make interceptions and stay with attackers effectively. He breaks up play in midfield extremely well and is already up there with the best in his ability to defend from central midfield.
On the ball he’s extremely elegant and composed. He doesn’t complete that many dribbles but is able to drift past players in midfield and making it look easy with changes of pace and great ball control as well as using body feints and quick changes of direction to chop inside. He is good at driving into space, making 1.7 progressive runs p90 even if he doesn’t take on players as often.
One of his best attributes is his game intelligence, he makes a lot of good decisions and has shown consistency for Rennes this season. He’s excellent at making quick decisions with quick reactions. He’s good at drawing in a man and making a pass as the last moment and good under pressure with good awareness to find teammates quickly and off balance.
He is great finding space in midfield and being accessible to teammates. He has good awareness and checks his shoulders well, knowing when to take a progressive touch and move into space, shield the ball or return the pass. He rarely loses the ball, getting dispossessed 0.8 times p90 and draws a lot of fouls. He works to get into good positions and into space but can also at times be too close to teammates, occupying their space and being in awkward positions that can slow play. With a more organised system this would be sorted though with some added discipline to his game.
He’s a classy player to have in your midfield. He’s mainly played in a midfield two in a 4–4–2, and in a three at times in a 5–3–2 as the deepest midfielder. He has a good first touch, which could be better occasionally. He’s strong at passing with good technique, they’re fast but could be a little smoother with more top spin. He spreads the ball well, finding players in space.
He has good long passing, completing a huge 77% of them even if he doesn’t attempt many. Showing that he picks the right moments to attempt them. He works well in a midfield two, spreads play well even if he doesn’t play aesthetic switches of play. His pass map shows his free role in midfield to find space and get around the pitch.
He only plays 4.3 progressive passes which is low and as you can also see from his pass map, he completes a huge amount of his passes but not enough are forward. He’s intelligent and great technically but this is the key part of his game to improve on. He can progress the ball by carrying but in a league with higher intensity and more physicality than France, gliding past players and running into pockets of space won’t be as easy.
Camavinga is one of Europe’s highest rated prospects, and for good reason. At 17 years old he already massively effective defensively for Rennes. He’s an elegant and classy player, a good athlete and great technically. His passing selection could be a lot more progressive and being more physical and adding muscle would be beneficial. He’s also quite left footed which didn’t really caused him issues but improving his right foot would be useful.
Getting more minutes in France would be great for his development but the top clubs will be chasing him. Obviously I’d love to see him at Spurs but I don’t think it’s realistic, but I didn’t think Ndombele was either…