The Brazilian only joined Porto last August but it was confirmed on Thursday that the 21-year-old will move to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer
Amid a host of underwhelming results and a strong current of fan discontent, Real Madrid’s efforts to rebuild the squad that won four of the previous five Champions League titles continue unabated.
Youngsters like Vinicius Junior (18), Federico Valverde (20) and Sergio Reguilon (22) have all featured regularly this season, while Brahim Diaz (19) was prised away from Manchester City during the January transfer window.
Now, the Blancos have confirmed the €50 million (£43m/$57m) signing of Porto’s Eder Militao, who will arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
Militao is just 21 years of age and only joined Porto last August. He would have been forgiven for needing time to get to grips with the European game following the completion of his move from Sao Paulo.
However, the defender adaptation has been almost instantaneous. Whether deployed at right-back or centre-half, Militao has been one of the first names on Sergio Conceicao’s team-sheet this season and played a pivotal role in Porto’s progression to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Indeed, Militao has started all but one of his club’s eight European outings to date. During the group stage, he was stationed centrally, having formed an excellent partnership with fellow Brazilian Felipe and even popped up with a crucial goal in the win over Schalke on matchday five.
However, he underlined his impressive versatility by playing at right-back in both legs of the last-16 tie with Roma, catching the eye with his dynamism going forward and composed defending.
Even when deployed at centre-half, though, the mobility and attacking flair vital for any Brazilian full-back have been very much on show.
Militao never has any qualms about bringing the ball out from the back, even occasionally putting Porto fans on edge with his extravagant dribbling under pressure.
There are signs too that he is beginning to rein in his rather enthusiastic tackling: having received no less than six yellow cards in 13 Serie A outings for Sao Paulo in 2018, he has yet to be booked in Primeira Liga play.
He is playing with greater maturity than ever before, exhibiting excellent positional awareness, and is reading the game with an intelligence that is rare in one so young.
Militao is obviously a raw talent, still learning his trade, but it’s easy to understand why Madrid felt compelled to wrap up a deal for the Brazilian so swiftly.
Sergio Ramos is now 32 while Nacho showed when filling in for his suspended skipper in the humiliating 4-1 Champions League loss at home to Ajax that he is simply not up to the task.
In addition, Madrid knew that they weren’t Militao’s only admirers.
Manchester United sent scouts to watch him in action during Porto’s 3-1 win over Nacional earlier this year, while Liverpool were also monitoring his development.
In that context, Madrid had little option but to meet Militao’s buy-out clause in order to secure the services of a player that they have been tracking for some time.
Whether he is ready for the brutal bear-pit that is the Santiago Bernabeu remains to be seen.
However, given how seamlessly he settled in at the Dragao, one wouldn’t bet against him quickly becoming a regular at Real.