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Jan 23, 2020, 6:21:00 AM

Flamengo Starlet Will Play For Madrid

Flamengo’s Reinier Jesus is the next big thing for La Liga’s Madrid as they have locked him in a long-term deal that would see 18-year-old attacking midfielder play for the first-team.

After turning 18 four days ago, Reinier will wear a Madrid kit from now on. The former Flamengo starlet is in for a six-and-a-half-year deal with the Spanish giants. He was initially planned to play for Madrid’s ‘B’ team, but sources are saying that he may see the top-flight action quickly.

Reinier will train with the seniors right away, such as Castilla coach Raul and first-team boss Zinedine Zidane, who both played a big role in the young midfielder’s decision to join Madrid. Major clubs in different European football leagues were some of the options that he had.

Madrid agreed with Flamengo in paying Reinier’s 30-million Euro release clause, which was already lowered at the starlet’s behest. Reinier extended his contract with the Brazil Serie A champions back in November 2019.

80% of the release clause will go to Flamengo, which is worth 24 million. His family and agent will receive 10% each, which is three million.

Reinier had some big performances in his former team, although he was overshadowed by the greatness of both Gabigol and Bruno Henrique, who were the team’s front men.

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The 18-year-old’s experience would come in handy considering his age. He was part of Flamengo’s historic 24-game unbeaten run, which led them to win the Brazilian title after a decade.

Reinier needs only 2.66 shots in order to make a goal. He has an impressive average of one goal per 118 minutes - which is the second-best in the competition, next to his former teammate Gabriel Barbosa.

The young midfielder tallied six goals in just 15 games with the Brazilian giants, and three of those strikes came up as a substitute. He is efficient whether he starts the game or comes off the bench. It’s quite wise for Madrid to consider in bringing in such talent.

Flamengo boss Jorge Jesus, however, questioned the starlet’s value. He was quite disappointed with the 30-million price that was set by the team for Reinier’s talent.

‘You can't sell a player like Reinier for €30 million! At Benfica, players would be sold for more than they were actually worth. Flamengo doesn't know how to price their players on their true value’, said the Flamengo boss.

The chances are wide open for Reinier. He could possibly have the best of a career in Madrid if he continues to play well and stays healthy through that stretch. He would be Madrid’s greatest signing of the new decade if he lives up to his talent.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA