La Liga champions Real Madrid have reportedly poached Atletico Madrid for 16-year-old dynamic centre-back Ariel Nkoghe.
According to a report by Spanish outlet MARCA, the non-aggression pact between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid is a thing of the past. The two clubs had agreed to not raid their academies for young prospects. But that has long ended, with Real Madrid poaching away 16-year-old dynamic centre-back Ariel Nkoghe.
Ariel Nkoghe is a native of Mostoles and has roots in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. He has spent his formative years thus far in Spain, recently rising through the ranks at Atletico Madrid. And the Spanish under-16 international has taken age-group football by storm in his homeland.
The 16-year-old is a dynamic centre-back who can reprise different roles at the back. While the teenage sensation is primarily a central defender, he can also play as a left-back. And after turning professional, Nkoghe became the subject of several top clubs. But not many could have foreseen Real Madrid raiding Atletico Madrid for the youngster.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have had a “non-aggression” pact for years. Such an agreement entailed the clubs not raiding the other for young prospects from their academies. But Real Madrid broke that arrangement by signing Jesus Fortea last summer from Atletico Madrid.
— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) April 25, 2023
The Merengues have rubbed salt into the wounds by prising Ariel Nkoghe away from Atletico Madrid. But the raid will unlikely end there, with widespread reports claiming they have signed five more prospects from La Academia. As for Nkoghe, the 16-year-old wanted to leave Los Rojiblancos to join Real Madrid.
The reigning La Liga champions have a rich history of constantly scouring the market for the most promising prospects. And Florentino Perez has also adopted a youth-oriented approach to building the first team in the last few years. Such an outlook has helped Real Madrid ensure smooth transitions from one generation to the next.
Players like Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, and Eduardo Camavinga have already stepped up. And Nkoghe will be in line to take over from Antonio Rudiger in a few years. For now, the 16-year-old dynamic centre-back will slot into Real Madrid’s youth division, hoping to break into the first-team squad in the coming years.