Son of Real Madrid icon Fernando Redondo, Federico is rising through the ranks of Argentinos Juniors and could soon bring the family name back to Europe.
Elegant, sleek, precise, intelligent - all could be used to describe Copa América winner and Real Madrid icon Fernando Redondo. The weight of expectation could easily burden a young player, yet the same words are already being attached to Federico, the son of arguably Argentina’s most revered ‘cinco’.
The similarities are clear, though Federico is no carbon copy of his father, and any comparison is probably more of a hindrance to development at this early stage. Both products of the famed Argentinos Juniors academy, Federico prowls the same portion of the pitch as his father.
Either as part of a double pivot or a lone holding midfield player, Federico anchors the Bichos midfield and has quickly established himself as an important first-teamer since making his debut in 2022.
A slender 6 feet and 2 inches (188 cm), Redondo has the physique for the role - robust enough to cope with the physicality of the midfield battle, yet upright and graceful with the poise of an athlete who can move the ball forward.
This is where Redondo really excels. And it begins before receiving the ball. The 20-year-old exhibits exceptional positional sense and is always looking for space to get the ball into feet from the defenders, incessantly scanning to be aware of not only his surroundings but the positions of his teammates.
Controlling the ball and ready for the next pass, Redondo is tidy in possession and keeps Argentinos ticking over. Ninth for the average number of passes per 90 in Argentina’s Liga Profesional de Fútbol and third for total passes among under-23s, the academy product was fundamental to the style of former manager Gabriel Milito prior to his sudden departure.
A pass accuracy of 88.6% across all competitions in 2023 compares very favorably and this is not a stat padded by a player who only plays backwards or sideways. Redondo’s aforementioned awareness creates just that fraction more time for him to pick those forward passes between the lines and push Argentinos Juniors up the pitch. 8 passes per 90 into the final third illustrate his creative streak and with the accuracy of those passes only dropping to 75.1% Redondo’s remains impressively reliable.
A clever passer, Redondo disguises some of these well and has contributed to the attack with three assists in addition to two goals of his own in 2023.
While some of the eye-catching dribbling for which his father was known isn’t as prominent at this stage, Federico is a solid ball carrier. Close control can see him spin out of danger and when an opportunity arises his long limbs carry him into space and away from his marker.
But of course, all these more offensive attributes are only so valuable for a holding midfielder if the defensive side of the game isn’t up to scratch. Fortunately for Redondo he isn’t left wanting there either.
Exceeding 10 recoveries per 90, Redondo covers a huge amount of ground and when moving into the opposition half during an Argentinos Juniors attack can prove very useful in swiftly winning back possession in the event of any turnover.
This is where both his awareness and physical attributes are again an asset. 3.37 interceptions per 90 are a direct result of not only Redondo’s ability to read situations and position himself correctly but those long legs can reach out and nick the ball. That six-foot-plus frame is also handy in the air winning many of those aerial duels and providing extra support at set-pieces.
His 7.24 defensive duels per 90 and 62.15% duels won were decent and while there is room for improvement as has already been highlighted Redondo is far more than a ball winner at the base of midfield.
As part of Argentina’s under-23 squad hoping to book a spot at the Olympics, Redondo could draw further attention in the coming weeks. Not that this is really required. River Plate have already made their interest known and while the transfer fee may prove prohibitive for a move within Argentina, it could be a relative bargain elsewhere.
Argentinos Juniors president Cristian Malaspina has already admitted that the 20-year-old’s return to the club after the pre-Olympic tournament is doubtful given the level of interest so perhaps prepare to see Redondo shining in Europe once again soon.