It’s almost been a rule in modern times that Real Madrid tend to overbook one position each season. For the last two or three years, it’s been the midfield and this year won’t be an exception. With the arrival of new boy Mateo Kovačić, there will clearly be some men who will be pushed down the order of importance for Rafa Benítez. Here are three of those potentially affected by the new signing.
The Basque is under a lot of pressure this year. If the club doesn’t decide to sell him between now and the end of the transfer market, he will have to prove that he was worth buying from Real Sociedad. Los Blancos tend to get very impatient with signings and rarely give them more than a term or two to finally explode. The 25-year-old hasn’t done anything worth remembering yet.
With all of this is mind, the midfielder is facing his last chance to make it at the Bernabéu. The arrival of Benítez can be his last ray of light, as he was the man that helped made a star out of Xabi Alonso. The similarities between the two and the method from the new coach can bring out what Asier is hiding underneath that nervousness. To him it really is now or never.
The Brazilian was a requirement by former coach Carlo Ancelotti when Luka Modrić became injured. He was one of the best players from Cruzeiro, and even won awards for best midfielder in the Série A. However, the European adaptation for players born in the Americas is usually a lottery. For some it takes some time, for others it’s just a matter of minutes.
In barely nine matches, less than half played from the start, his involvement in the team has been null. Kroos, Modrić and company take all the weight and what is left for him is a few balls here and there. In addition, he didn’t show any flashes of talent that would make him a necessary piece for the 2015/16 season. It’s almost certain his importance will take a huge hit and will probably be loaned out, since Kovačić already took his jersey.
Any midfielder from the youth team
The dissolution of Real Madrid C, the second in line in the youth system, has already forced a huge number of youngsters out of Madrid. This has given Zinedine Zidane a lot of of extra players on top of some great ones he already had. While Real under Florentino Pérez hasn’t really used the youth system directly to feed the first team. The club likes to follow the loan system and study the worth of the young ones.
That system and the overbooking of Benítez’s midfield will greatly diminish the chances of any player hoping to play with the big boys. A series of unfortunate events would be the only possible avenue for this to happen. Kroos, Modrić, Casemiro, Silva/Illarramendi (if they stay) and now Kovačić are already crowding the line. The youngsters will have to wait patiently for an opening.