A switch for Benzema, a young midfield and Azar’s dilemma
Karim needs a reserve player for the position
Perhaps Real Madrid will negotiate with teams for Lunin and then all the loan deals fall through, keeping a replacement for Courtois, as the club are happy with him. The same man Benzema does not have, and Karim has had a busy season. New club adventures lie ahead against Barcelona, who will be stronger over the summer if Lewandowski and the defenders arrive. Ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, where Karim needs to prove himself. Therefore, Real Madrid are looking for a young forward on the bench.
Majoral has no reason to be trusted again and Mariano Diaz, 28, is fed up with sitting on the bench – his agent has announced he is looking for a new club. Mateus Nascimento, who was scouted by Calafat, is seen as Benzema’s replacement. That specialist has chosen other talents for Real Madrid. The curly-haired Brazilian does not resemble Benzema in style. It is strange that they are being compared, as the 18-year-old forward is more like Nuno Gomes. The Brazilians will ask for €50m, he has to resign himself to a reserve role and the option in Holand’s contract is activated in 2024. Perez wants the Norwegian for €150m. It’s not a given that Benzema will get a replacement as tough as Mateus, perhaps finding someone simpler.
Carvajal could use a safety net
Ancelotti’s problem is that you can’t lie to newcomers about taking them into the starting line-up. When Carvajal has no heart problems or traditional football injuries, Daniel is in an iron core. Consequently, there is enough effort from forward Vazquez on the wing, as well as internal reserves like Vallejo. But Madrid say Lucas is tired of being a substitute, looking for a new club. And for Vallejo, they may opt for a loan move. In that case, we may see Nacho on the right, but I would like to see some work in the long term.
Mendy has lost a reserve in Marcelo and Gutiérrez could ask for a year on loan. It’s time to work out whether there are enough internal reserves. Rüdiger will play on the right at the very least, he can drag the ball forward, and on the left, if the German is paired with Militao in the centre, Alaba could be used. But that logic is dangerous. You can distribute youngsters, release Lucas Vazquez, and then, with one or two injuries, hello, Nacho is in the starting line-up at all positions. In order not to turn Rodrigo into a centre-back, it’s time to critically assess his charges. If they clearly improve, there will be no problem on the flanks.
Separating legends and youngsters in the centre
Another transfer and tactical task for Ancelotti. It is important to make sure that Tchouameni, Valverde and Camavanga can form a harmonious trio. Backed by Casemiro, Modric and Kroos, anyone of Real’s Franco-Uruguayan future is a player for the Champions League final. Even Tchouameni, albeit the midfielder is still without the Ears Cup in his personal collection. But one must prepare for the loss of Modric in a couple of years. It will also take into account that Toni Kroos has a difficult character. Probably won’t renew his contract in a year.
And Casemiro needed a safety net, as everyone remembers his great matches, but there have been some bad ones, especially rank-and-file ones. Same story in the centre of defence. Militao and Abal were leaving Courtois to do the job. Now you can create a revamped line – Carvajal, Militao, Rüdiger and Alaba – but no one in this defence is a perfectly reliable defender. And the sharpness of the speedy but risky defence must be combined with the familiar fluidity of the midfield, diluted with guys who can press instead of the veterans.
It’s time for Ancelotti to give free rein to Azar
Bale has finished his generous contract, will now play golf in the USA. Isco’s contract expires in a couple of days too and Rüdiger has already taken his number 22. “Roma and Betis are keeping an eye on the attacking Spaniard, who has not established himself in the iron core of the ‘Creamers’. Asensio has a similar problem. And with Marco asking to be guaranteed more time in the starting line-up with a new contract – something Ancelotti cannot do – we await the Spaniard’s departure. He’ll do as well as Ceballos, sitting on Dani’s bench is not worth it.
In attack, Jovic could have been a replacement for Benzema, or even a temporary partner in a 4-4-2 scheme, but Luka is again scheduled to be loaned out. Carlo did not see him as the right reserve forward. And since Real Madrid didn’t spend crazy money on the free-agent Mbappe deal, they can work with the money saved by reinforcing other positions. Many Real Madrid fans dream of seeing Rodrigo go the way of Vinicius at right-back in the new season. But to clear a space for the Brazilian and not provoke Ancelotti into playing with Rhombus and Azar in the role of ‘ten’, a pause should be taken with Eden. The Belgian should be loaned out.
Right winger may be needed
A temporary farewell to Azar – no one will take him away permanently, because expensive, and a point with Asensio will allow Perez to pick another man on the right wing if Ancelotti does not agree that Rodrigo will show class. It’s funny that such a player hasn’t been looked at properly. Mbappe is not a right wing forward, his arrival would have affected the position of the clever Vinicius, who has dealt with the criticism and added value. Neither Azar, Asensio or Isco are direct competitors to winger Rodrigo. Of course, keep in mind Valverde’s hybrid role – perhaps the Uruguayan will move to the right flank of the attack, simultaneously turning into a top ten, when Vinicius and Benzema play on the same line.
But in that case, Rodrigo’s own injury deprives the option of a pure right winger after all the rentals and parting ways. Unless Vinicius is put there and Alaba is lifted into the attack, which would not necessarily have a positive impact. Although Real Madrid have some painful dilemmas over tactics and line-up – the old man Perez is stepping smoothly into the French-Brazilian football river, recruiting young newcomers, perfection has no boundaries. Courtois won’t lie – Real Madrid have had Barcelona, PSG, Chelsea and Liverpool pressed against them. There was no easy win in the Champions League, hence the need to think about the depth of the squad, as well as the passing of tactical keys.
The defence has been let down by Thibaut as there is no manager there. Modrić no longer presses as powerfully, hence the punctures in the centre, where Casemiro can’t keep up with two. The goals from Benzema and Vinicius overrode the fact that Real Madrid’s Bale and Azar were redundant. Not all newcomers will play, even the big names. So transfers are needed, especially as La Liga have increased the salary cap and the LL have earned €160m. Hence a solid transfer budget for the summer, Tchouameni and Rüdiger are not the last new people in Ancelotti’s squad.