The Clasico left a lot of evidence of problems behind. Perhaps the most obvious was the dependence on Karim Benzema in Real Madrid‘s attack.
Without the No.9, Carlo Ancelotti opted to field Luka Modric in the false centre forward position, flanked by Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes. The experiment didn’t work and Los Blancos barely created anything.
Hardly any options
Although Ancelotti has been criticised, the truth is that the coach didn’t have many other options.
Without Benzema, and with Rodrygo ahead of Asensio in the line-up against Barcelona, the Italian’s arsenal was full of wet powder. Eden Hazard had made four consecutive substitute appearances without minutes. Gareth Bale was left out of the final squad, officially due to back problems, and his last appearance came in the form of three minutes in the Champions League round of 16 first leg against Paris Saint-Germain.
Luka Jovic isn’t counted on, and Mariano Diaz, Ancelotti’s desperate plan B at half time in El Clasico, has a secondary role in the squad.
The certainty of Mbappe
So Madrid, apart from licking the wounds of a humiliating defeat, are obliged to look to the future, where there are reasons for optimism. The main one is the arrival of Kylian Mbappe, which at this stage is taken for granted, after the Frenchman’s repeated refusal to renew his contract at PSG.
No one now doubts that Mbappe will be wearing the white shirt from next summer, which will put Madrid’s attack on another level. He will add a lot to Real Madrid’s attack.
The Haaland option
As MARCA has been reporting, Madrid’s other big hope for the attack from 2022/23 is Erling Haaland.
Los Blancos and Manchester City seem to have been left alone in the fight for the Norwegian striker, who has 80 goals in 82 games for Borussia Dortmund.
Crunching the numbers
The financial side of the plan is complicated. Real Madrid are trying to balance the books to deal with two huge operations. To do so, they are counting on the wage bill being freed up by several important players coming to the end of their contracts, and the possible departures of players who barely contributed, such as Hazard, Jovic and Mariano.
For there to be incomings there must be outgoings, and the club are already working on them.