‘Destined for great things’ – 13 quotes on Man Utd target Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga has established himself as one of the most sought-after young players in Europe, leading to links with pretty much every big club under the sun, most notably Manchester United in recent weeks.
Despite still being 18 years old, Camavinga is already a senior France international and has made over 80 first-team appearances for Rennes.
We’ve compiled 13 quotes on the midfielder’s unique talent from those who have worked closest with him.
“This is the first time I’d seen a player with such qualities,” Burel, who coached Camavinga at amateur club AGL-Drapeau Fougeres, has previously said. “When we wanted to maintain a result, we put him in defence, if we needed a goal, we would put him in attack. He had the ability to do both.”
“The ease and the maturity he shows on the pitch are incredible,” former coach Martinais told Bleacher Report in 2019. “He’s on the ball a lot, he rarely gives it away and he’s very mature. That’s what knocks you out. For his age, it’s really amazing.
“All the exercises we did, we’d have just finished explaining them and he’d have already understood everything. With some of the others, you had to repeat yourself and show them again. He got it straight away.
“We had to come up with new drills to challenge him, because he was twice as advanced as the others. It was all so easy for him.”
“This is what has always amazed me about him,” the former Rennes manager told ESPN in 2020. “He is so talented, intelligent and mature that he always looks in his element.
“He is not fazed by anything. Every time, he has to go a step higher, he does. He is an incredible young man and an incredible talent.”
“He is still a developing player, who has enormous qualities to reach the very high level,” the Rennes manager told Quest France in May 2021.
“Afterwards, my interest and my position are perhaps taken as something subjective but if I put myself in his place, I think he still needs to do at least a year at a club like Stade Rennais, where he is at home, with the confidence of everyone to develop further.
“He will have time to take other steps forward.”
“The level of maturity and calmness that he shows is incredible for his age and even more so as a midfielder,” former France international Escude told Marca in April 2020.
“[France coach Didier] Deschamps said that Kante makes the difficult things easy, which is the hardest thing. Camavinga is the same.
“He is also smart, quite fast, technically good. He is very interesting. I think a big step is coming for him very soon.”
The former head of Rennes’ academy told Bleacher Report in November 2019: “He has this simplicity that brings the ball to life. He touches the ball as much as anyone else, but sparingly. He doesn’t need to carry it. He passes the ball, he makes himself available; he passes, he makes himself available.
“The best midfielder I’ve had at 16 was Yoann Gourcuff. [Camavinga] reminds me of Yoann Gourcuff at the same age, but a left-footer. I knew Blaise Matuidi when he was at Troyes at the same age. For me, Eduardo is more advanced than he was.”
“Since he joined us at 10 years old from a local club, he was destined for great things,” Chauvin told ESPN in 2019.
“He was always ahead of everyone else in his age group but also everyone else one or two age groups above [him] in terms of talent, intelligence and maturity.”
Hatem Ben Arfa
“We were like ‘wow.'” Ben Arfa told ESPN in 2019. “He was incredible. Technically and physically, he’s a monster. Everything he does is perfect. For me, he’s the definition of a modern midfielder. There’s nothing he can’t do.
“He can defend, tackle, head the ball, create, score, assist. He’s powerful but gifted technically with his left foot. He’s intelligent, elegant. You rarely see a player like him at his age. Let’s not forget: he’s still 16.”
“He is very mature for his age. That is what makes the difference”, Nzonzi told L’Equipe in October 2020. “He has great variety to his play. But that is something that you normally master with age. It is positive for what is to come.
“It did not surprise me, I knew that there were good players here. He seems very at ease, he has this maturity and will continue to improve. And then he works well too. He is a good boy.”
“I need to manage him like Julien Stephan is managing Eduardo at Rennes,” Deschamps said Camavinga made his first start for France. “He will play every three days soon. He is a very young player with a lot of great skills and huge talent.”
“I already selected him last month, I think he is good enough and that’s why he plays. He needs to show his skills on the pitch, even if we should not ask too much either. He is here.
“We all know the huge competition we have in the midfield but it’s not the others and him, it’s totally him among the others. I will need to make some choices.”
“It is a pleasure to see him don the shirt,” Pogba said after Camavinga scored his first goal for France. “To score after his first starts, that is honestly wonderful. I was truly happy for him. I only wish him the best and much more.
“He has everything for that. His future is in his hands. He is very at ease, he is a little dancer. He makes me think a bit about me. He is not a timid person. It is good because he is confident. He has confidence in his qualities. He is a very good youngster, I like him enormously.”
Eduardo Camavinga’s first goal for France was special ✨
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 10, 2020
“Camavinga can play next year in the Premier League,” his agent told The Athletic in March 2021. “He is that good. Whether he will or not, I don’t know.
“His background is tough if you know what he went through as a refugee. But his character is amazingly strong. He is not your average 18-year-old. Playing in front of 100,00 people is not going to scare him.
“He’s a lovely boy and I think he’s going to be a superstar.”
Perhaps the most important quote comes from the player himself, who replied to questions about where his fearlessness comes from by telling Canal+ in September 2019: “I’ve always been like that. I was often moved up a year, so playing with bigger players doesn’t scare me.”