The Spanish child prodigy who is not only after BVB

18-year-old Ivan Fresneda left Real Madrid for Valladolid. Thanks to strong performances, he is now in demand among Europe’s elite. Also at Borussia Dortmund.

After the disappointing performance with Brazil at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Vinicius Junior was eager to resume play in the Spanish league. The first opponent: the relegation-threatened Real Valladolid. A clear thing on paper. Real won 2-0, but Vinicius hardly got a chance.

The reason: Ivan Fresneda. The right-back put in a world-class performance and knocked out Vini for the entire game. Even though the 18-year-old was considered a great talent even before the game against Los Blancos, he proved in this encounter what enormous potential he has.

Aggressive but fair defensive work and good handling of the ball characterize the youngster. At the same time, he is so talented that some of Europe’s biggest teams are already following his development closely.

But who is Fresneda – and what really distinguishes the young defender? SPOX and NXGN take a closer look at one of Spain’s greatest talents.

Ivan Fresneda: The first steps

Born in Madrid in 2004, Fresneda initially played for local clubs EMFO Boadilla and CF Quijorna. At the age of ten he joined Real Madrid’s youth academy to take the next step.

Despite his great talent, nothing came of it at first, Fresneda went to Leganes just four years later. There he got more chances in the local youth academy and was finally transformed into a full-back.

In 2020, Valladolid grabbed the highly talented youngster – and he hit it off immediately. After just a year, Fresneda established themselves as an integral part of his new club’s U19 team.

Ivan Fresneda: The Big Breakthrough

After numerous injuries in Valldolid’s first team, Fresneda was called up to the first team’s training in December 2021. And just a short time later, the right-back got his first chance in a competitive game.

In the cup against Real Betis, Fresneda played for 79 minutes. And even if Valladolid got under the wheels with 0: 3: the then only 17-year-old was one of the best players.

That saw him play 90 minutes in the league against Burgos just three days later. Valladolid won 1-0 and Talent Fresneda won three of his tackles.

However, the young Spaniard did not make any more appearances for the professionals in the 2021/22 season. Nevertheless, he left a lasting impression with his performances and laid the foundation for his current role as a regular in the LaLiga team.

Ivan Fresneda: That’s how it works at the moment

Watching Fresneda play it’s hard to believe he just turned 18 last September. The right-back has his strengths on the ball, is dominant in tackles and surprisingly mature for his age.

This was shown in the game against Real Madrid mentioned at the beginning. Vinicius Junior was completely out of action for 87 minutes, the Brazilian started nine dribbles against Fresneda. Only one of them was successful.

That performance sparked a lot of transfer speculation – and some top European clubs are said to be interested in signing in this transfer window.

Ivan Fresneda: His Chocolate Sides

Fresneda is developing into a balanced right-back, but his strengths are still defensive. His duel leadership is extremely strong and he is already very stable in direct duels against offensive players.

Compared to other defenders in the five biggest European leagues, Fresneda is loud FBref already among the best players in terms of successful duels per game and clarifying actions in defence. He is also at the top of the rankings for European defenders in terms of intercepts.

On offense, Fresneda likes to run past his team-mates on the right wing to create scoring chances for his forwards. Since Valladolid is very harmless in attack, it is difficult to prove the influence of the right-back.

If he can develop these strengths in attack, Fresneda should become a strong full-back with and against the ball.

Ivan Fresneda: Room for improvement

There is definitely room for improvement when it comes to passing, but this is also due to the fact that Valladolid is generally weak in this area and has little possession. Nevertheless, Fresneda has to become more secure in his passes.

This also means that he can develop more risk. The 18-year-old only makes 2.2 passes per game. His qualities as a dribbler can also be improved.

In the Valladolid system, Fresneda is quite limited in his role as a right-back. It is quite possible that he can develop better with more creative freedom.

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