‘Valverde can be Real Madrid’s midfield version of Ramos’ – Forlan a big fan of fellow Uruguayan
The former Atletico Madrid striker is keeping a close eye on the development of a compatriot that he expects to become a legend in the Spanish capital
The highly-rated 21-year-old was snapped up by the Blancos in 2016, with his signature secured with one eye on the future.
Forlan had spent the 2015-16 season playing alongside Valverde at Penarol prior to his big-money switch to Europe.
The former Atletico Madrid striker claims to have been in no doubt that his fellow countryman would succeed at Santiago Bernabeu.
He is now tipping Valverde to secure legend status with the Liga giants, with there every reason to believe that he can become an on-field leader in the mould of World Cup winner Ramos.
Forlan told Radio Marca: “He has the qualities to keep growing. He’s a good boy, a good professional.
“I’m not at all surprised by what I’m seeing of him, because [his qualities] were already there.
“He is gaining confidence, maturity, experience and is a player that Real Madrid’s supporters will enjoy for many years.
“I’ll risk saying that he can become in midfield what Sergio Ramos has been as a defender.
“I’m not surprised by his emergence, because it comes with age.
“Nowadays he’s realising where he is and he’s [now got] the maturity of life. That will help him a lot; the confidence, maturity, knowing the conditions he has and that he is appreciated a lot at the club.”
Valverde is not the only exciting young talent that Forlan is keeping a close eye on.
His former employers at Atletico invested heavily in Portuguese starlet Joao Felix ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
The 2019 winner of the prestigious Golden Boy award has not made the immediate impression expected of him at Wanda Metropolitano, but Forlan says the 20-year-old merely needs patience in order to prove his worth.
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The ex-Manchester United frontman said of Felix: “We’re all people, we’re not machines.
“We need time to adapt, to understand the coach.
“There is a reason why UEFA sets league levels and qualifies them in different ways; everything has its own process and time.”