Following last Sunday’s defeat to Barcelona at Spotify Camp Nou, Real Madrid are effectively out of the title race in La Liga. Los Blancos trail their El Clasico rivals by 12 points, with just 12 leagues matches left in the season.
It was a desperately disappointing result for Real Madrid, and the performance flattered to deceive too. Dani Carvajal was singled out for criticism, after another underwhelming showing in a Clasico this season for the veteran right back.
Carvajal has been first choice at right back for several years now at Real Madrid, but doubts over his long term ability to hold down the position that ramped up this season after a significant drop off in performance levels.
Despite the drop off, Real Madrid are expected to continue with Carvajal as first choice into next season, according to Fichajes. Lucas Vazquez is expected to retain his place as a backup, while Alvaro Odriozola will likely be moved on.
Carvajal is showing losing his ability to compete at the highest level, and there is certainly an argument to suggest that Vazquez is not off the required standard to push Carvajal to compete as first choice, which would likely raise the latter’s performance levels.
Fran Garcia is expected to re-join Real Madrid this summer from Rayo Vallecano, having spent the last three season at Vallecas. The 23-year-old will compete with Ferland Mendy to become first choice at left back, and Real Madrid could benefit from a similar setup in the opposite fullback position.
If Real Madrid are unwilling to spend big on a right back this summer, they could do worse than pursue a deal for either Ivan Fresneda or Arnau Martinez. Both have the potential to become a regular starter at a top side like Real Madrid, and neither would surely expect to be a regular starter at this current stage of their careers at Los Blancos.
Either play would be able to push Carvajal to improve next season, or if that fails to happen, they could pass him in the pecking order to become first choice, which would be beneficial in the long run for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid have tended to favour signing younger players in recent seasons, and both Fresneda and Martinez perfectly fall into their transfer policy. Both are upgrades on Vazquez, and have a much higher ceiling than Carvajal.
For the remainder of the season, it would be worth switching Nacho Fernandez to right back in order to compete with Carvajal, with Ferland Mendy now back from injury, and David Alaba nearing a return.
Real Madrid cannot afford to carry Carvajal for too much longer. Retaining the Champions League is a priority following a dismal league campaign, and they will need the 31-year-old to be at the top of his game in order to give themselves the best chance of winning their 15th crown.
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