Real Madrid: Ancelotti looks to Marín to fill Ramos, Varane void
Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid's technical staff have been impressed by Raúl's Castilla defender Rafa Marín and see him as a first-team possibility.
Carlo Ancelotti has been incorporating Castilla defender Rafa Marín into Real Madrid first-team training during the international break and the club have high hopes that the 19-year-old could become a mainstay of the Bernabéu back four for years to come. The Italian tactician has identified the central defender - who stands at over 6”2’ – as the most promising prospect in the academy and is considering promoting him to the first team given his side’s lack of cover across the back line.
As well as his physical presence, Marín is good on the ball and can play it out from the back while his height makes him an asset at both ends of the pitch, especially from set-pieces. He also possessed a quality that is in high demand at Real Madrid at the moment: he is extremely fast.
The teenager has become a fundamental part of Raúl’s Castilla side this season, making seven appearances, and the club’s technical staff have been impressed with his performances. Spain under-21 coach Luis de la Fuente is also keeping a closed eye on Marín’s development as La Rojita also have plenty of room for improvement in central defence.
Ancelotti keen to use Marín in back four
For Ancelotti, Marín’s rapid rise can also provide a solution to an immediate problem. David Alaba and Éder Militão are Madrid’s undisputed starting central defenders but behind them Ancelotti only has Nacho, who is also expected to cover the full-back positions when required, and Jesús Vallejo, who has only made one appearance so far this season, a three-minute cameo against a Shakhtar side already losing 4-0 in the Champions League.
Marín joined Real Madrid from Sevilla in 2016 after spending his early youth career at Alcolea. After working his way through the academy ranks he was promoted to Castilla at the start of the current season and Ancelotti and his staff may fast-track him into the first team before the campaign ends, especially if there is no movement on the part of the board for defensive reinforcements in January.