There aren’t too many positives for Real Madrid to take from their dreary defeat to Rangers at Ibrox. Zinedine Zidane will be trying to block a dumpster-fire performance out of his memory, while Marcelo will have the globe out as we speak, trying to locate the furthest he can possibly get away from Ryan Kent and Scott Wright.
For youngster Miguel Gutierrez, however, it was another day to remember in the famous white shirt.
The 19-year-old is making a name for himself at the Bernabeu, and while he may only be their third-choice left-back when everyone is fit and firing, it surely won’t be long before he is much further up the pecking order.
Move on over, Marcelo. There’s a new king in town, and here is everything you need to know about him.
They say you should never judge a player by their nickname, but when your nickname is ‘The Eagle’, you’re setting a pretty high bar for yourself.
Gutierrez’s moniker presumably comes from his eagle-eyed vision, which he displayed against Granada in his first ever La Liga start back in May.
He picked out Luka Modric with a quite frankly ridiculous chipped ball through, and that made quite the impression on the players around him.
Among those to have had their minds blown by Gutierrez’s maiden assist was his then-manager Zinedine Zidane, who described his performance as ‘phenomenal.’
The youngster was only in the team due to injuries to Marcelo and Ferland Mendy, but the mark he made has kept him in the picture ever since.
“Miguel played because we didn’t have Mendy or Marcelo and I think he was phenomenal. I’m happy for him. He is a Real Madrid player.”
It’s not just his assists that catch the eye, however. Despite playing on the left of a back four for the majority of his fledgling career, Gutierrez has an uncanny knack for goal.
He nearly got one with a stunning solo run against Rangers, emerging from the bench to take Nathan Patterson for a ride and smack the post.
It was nearly a return to the sort of form that saw him score in three successive UEFA Youth League games in 2020 – the quarter, the semi and the final on Real’s way to lifting the trophy.
If you hadn’t gathered already, Gutierrez comes very, very highly-rated.
So much so that coaches at Real Madrid’s Castilla team – B-team to the uninitiated – believe he has a higher ceiling than Sergio Reguillon, who is currently lighting up the Premier League with Spurs.
This comes from the realchamps.com who reckon academy staff see a bright future on the youngster’s horizon.
Gutierrez has been on the radar of most major European clubs for a while now, and the rumour in England was that Arsenal were trying desperately to land him before deciding on Nuno Tavares from Sporting CP.
He’s also been linked with West Ham and Leeds among a host of others, and while the interest seems to have died away for now as Carlo Ancelotti takes a look at him in pre-season, don’t be surprised to see him being tipped for a Premier League loan in the weeks ahead.
As things stand, it’s widely believed the youngster has a €40m release clause in his contract. That’s £34m, if any of the English sides in the frame want to gazump Real Madrid and take the negotiations out of their hands.
It’s a steep fee for him as things stand – he’s only made six competitive appearances at club level, while he’s yet to even break into the Spain U21 side.
If he continues his development in the months ahead, however, it won’t be long before that begins to seem like a bargain.