5 Positions Real Madrid Must Strengthen This Summer

5 Positions Real Madrid Must Strengthen This Summer

After one of the most dominant years in Spanish football history, the aim for Real Madrid now is to either replicate that or better it. To sweep aside teams like Bayern Munich, Juventus and Atletico Madrid on their way to a 3rd UCL title in 4 years, not only shows dominance, it professes superiority. But as we all know, in football there’s no rest for the wicked. If you don’t capitalise on your success, someone else will.

So Zinedine Zidane must use this summer to work on any spots in the squad that could be deemed as a weakness. They must look at their arch rivals Barcelona and compare if they’re stronger in every department, including the bench.

Here are 5 areas of the squad Real Madrid must improve this summer.

#5 Goalkeeper

de gea navas

Keylor Navas only kept 5 clean sheets in 30 La Liga appearances.

Despite the heroics of Keylor Navas in the Champions League final, his performances over the course of the season have left much to be desired. The Costa Rican keeper has been under fire for much of the campaign as many of his mistakes have cost Los Blancos points in La Liga. Even when the drop in points may not be his fault, he has taken the flack as he’s perceived to be an average player in a team full of stars. When your competitors have the likes of Marc Ter Stegen, Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Buffon, it’s hard to justify the spot of Keylor Navas.

Many a Madrid fan has called for the homecoming of David De Gea, the Spaniard is seen by many as the best keeper in the world. And it doesn’t help the case that the shot-stopper was born in Madrid, making Real Madrid fans feel he belongs at the Bernabéu.

#4 Centre-Back

nacho fernandez

Behind every potent attack, there’s a sturdy defence paving the way. The foundation of every title-winning team is a rock-solid defence that gives the attackers the platform to thrive. However, on occasions, the attack can supplement the inefficiency of the defence.

In La Liga, Madrid conceded 41 goals, 4 and 10 more than Barcelona and Atletico respectively. It’s the flamboyance of their defence that left Zidane’s men so open at times, but it’s the quality of the individual defenders that saw them through.

It’s all well and good having Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane as your first choice centre-backs but when you have Nacho Fernandez as your backup, you’re in trouble. With Pepe on his way out of the Bernabéu, Madrid are in dire need of another CB. Not only do they need a backup, they need a defender capable of destabilising the Varane-Ramos partnership.

#3 Right-Back

danilo

Dani Carvajal created 35 chances from 23 league games.

Dani Carvajal is arguably the best right-back in world football today, but Danilo is arguably the worst full-back at a top side today. The Brazilian is incompetent in defence and clueless in attack. Often the full-back is left idle-placed in transition and defence, his positioning leaves gaping holes down the right side of Madrid’s attack, as Gareth Bale does not track back.

When Dani Carvajal gets injured, the impact on the team is there for all to see, as Zidane relies heavily on the competence of his full-backs. He expects them to maintain width at all times and supply the right service to the forwards. Danilo cannot provide that and that’s why for the sake of not having a drop in quality, Madrid must recruit a right-back this summer.

#2 Central Defensive Midfielder

casemrio

Casemiro may have scored a crucial goal in the Champions League final, but the Brazilian’s place in the Galacticos side is far from secure. The defensive midfielder is limited on the ball but sturdy in his defensive attributes. He’s a competent tackler, aggressive man marker and efficient at breaking up play, but at Real Madrid, you must always be able to offer more. When you look at the CDMs of Europe’s elites, they can offer what Casemiro does, plus more. Sergio Busquets, Sami Khedira and Arturo Vidal are all players who shield their defences whilst contributing to build-up play. All players are required to possess multiple roles through versatility and adjust to all situations.

#1 Right Winger

bale

Gareth Bale only scored 7 league goals in 2016/17.

As Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid career hangs in balance, Zinedine Zidane is in dire need of an explosive right winger that caters to the needs of Cristiano Ronaldo. Any right winger that plays for Madrid must first give Ronaldo service, and then convert the rebounds from his misses. It’s as simple as that really, it’s a selfless role that not many in world football can perform.

Bale’s season has been hampered by injuries, forcing Zinedine Zidane to change the shape of the team. Instead of playing a conventional 4-3-3, Zidane instead opted for a 4-4-2 with Isco almost centrally behind Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. This has led to wonders but it’s easy to tell that Zidane feels more comfortable with his team in a 4-3-3, a formation that Bale has not been able to make excel over the past campaign.

About the Author Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with a soft spot for Pascal Cygan.

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