Eduardo Camavinga spectacularly announced himself on the global stage after a dominating performance in Rennes’ surprise victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.
The 16-year-old midfielder earned countless plaudits after a mature all-round display against Thomas Tuchel’s side, and has reportedly drawn the attention of the Ligue 1 champions and Arsenal.
Here, Sportsmail delves deeper into the youngster’s rapid rise to first-team football, what attributes make him such a midfield menace and what could potentially lie ahead for him in the future.
Who is he?
Camavinga is a 16-year-old midfielder who rose through the ranks at French top-flight outfit Rennes.
He has been prominently deployed as a defensive midfielder throughout his senior career, often with limited licence to push forward. But it is clear he possesses the traits required to mature into a classy box-to-box destroyer.
His breakout performance came in Sunday’s victory against PSG, in which he even recorded an assist for Romain Del Castillo’s winner.
Eduardo Camavinga starred in Rennes’ shock victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday
How did he make it to the first team so soon?
Date of birth: 10 November 2002
Place of birth: Miconje, Angola
Rennes youth academy
Rennes II – 13/4
Rennes – 10
Did you know?
Camavinga is the first player born after January 1, 2002 to start a game in the top five European leagues
The starlet moved to Brittany and was playing football for his local side AGL-Drapeau Fougeres by the age of six. It was there that his versatility and coolness in possession were discovered to comfortably be beyond that of his peers.
The club were a partner to the Rennes academy, and Camavinga soon made the switch across at the age of 11 after his considerate talents were spotted.
He put pen to paper on his first professional contract just a month after his 16th birthday, becoming the youngster player to do so in the club’s history.
In April 2019, Camavinga made his first team debut after being introduced as a late substitute away at Angers. His first start came shortly after against Monaco, earning him the achievement of being the first player born after January 1, 2002 to start a game in the top five European leagues.
His introduction into the first-team setup has continued at the start of the new Ligue 1 campaign.
The 16-year-old earned plaudits after dominating the midfield and creating the hosts’ winner
Rennes manager Julien Stephan has eased Camavinga into the club’s first-team set-up
What’s his style of play?
Camavinga’s showing in this season’s league opener against Montpellier was particularly impressive, which further demonstrated his abilities to seize control of a midfield battle.
In the clash, he won 63 per cent of his duels despite his tender age and misplaced just one of his 41 passes throughout. The statistics are made even more noteworthy considering Rennes had been reduced to 10 men, placing further impetus on Camavinga to dominate the middle of the park for his team-mates.
His strengths lie in his energy, poise and ability to read the game – all traits that were spotted during his time in the club’s academy. These allow him to use a relentless pace to break up passages of play and carry the ball forward, although he is also wary of being dragged out of position.
But his willingness for a challenge and nonchalant nature in possession can sometimes lead him into tricky situations that result in the opposition stealing the ball back.
What have people said about him?
After Camavinga’s stellar showing against PSG, Rennes boss Julien Stephan said: ‘He played a match, indeed, like the whole team – very interesting.
‘We are talking to him. He is someone who is also very well-constructed intellectually, who knows how to question himself, who knows how to ask the right questions.
‘Many of the pros have taken him under their wing, because he is very respectful in the dressing room and very attentive to their advice. He blossomed with us this summer.’
Jo Burel, who was a coach at AGL-Drapeau Fougeres, added: ‘This is the first time I’d seen a player with such qualities.
‘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.’
Camavinga started his career at Rennes at the age of 11 before rapidly rising through the ranks
What does the future hold?
The 16-year-old’s meteoric rise to Rennes’ first team hints at an incredibly bright future, which is likely to lie at one of Europe’s elite sides.
After he set up Rennes’ winner against PSG, reports have emerged that suggest the French champions and Premier League giant Arsenal are both interested in swooping for the youngster.
Camavinga may even be eyeing up international football. He has begun the process of gaining French nationality, which means that a debut for Les Bleus looks inevitable at some stage, albeit initially at youth level.
However, his immediate future lies at Rennes, who will be hoping to build on a 10th-placed finish last season.
The 16-year-old has applied for French nationality and could feature for Les Bleus in the future