Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is looking for a midfielder to step into the first team to replace the injured Aurélien Tchouaméni and Eduardo Camavinga. The French duo have both suffered medium to long-term injuries, which has left Madrid with fewer options in midfield.
According to AS, Toni Kroos is favourite to inherit the role, while David Alaba and Real Madrid Castilla player Mario Martin remain unlikely alternatives. Alaba, 31, has operated in central midfield for Austria, however, Ancelotti is not keen on using him in this role and prefers him to stay in central defence.
While Los Blancos have been impressive going forward, Ancelotti is yet to establish a reliable defensive midfield setup due to injuries. These problems began with Tchouaméni’s injury in the last Clásico, when the midfielder fractured a toe. The France international is expected to be sidelined until 2024.
This was a significant loss for the Italian manager, as the 23-year-old established himself as a starter in this role last season and continued to be important this campaign. In his absence, Camavinga, who has also operated as an inverted left-back, took over this position and was equally impressive.
However, the 21-year-old suffered a knee sprain while on international duty with France and will be out for about eight weeks, leaving Ancelotti with problems in the midfield. Tchouaméni is expected to make his return before his teammate, however, it is likely that Ancelotti will turn to Kroos to deputise in this position in the short term.
The German has the technical qualities to play in the position in terms of his passing range and selection, however, it remains to be seen if he can cope with the physical demands of this position.
Rajan Sangha | GSFN