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Real Madrid’s plan to solve their defensive crisis

The club from the Spanish capital are going through a crisis at the back, but there is a plan on the horizon to halt the bleed.

The club from the Spanish capital are going through a crisis at the back, but there is a plan on the horizon to halt the bleed.

Real Madrid are running out of central defenders, and even when they’re back, there’s a problem.

In January, the club were reluctant to go to the market when the emergency alarm was blaring, despite a context that eventually led to Carvajal accompanying Nacho in the middle of the back line in their 1-1 LaLiga draw against Atlético; it is inevitable that the club are now looking towards the future.

The future, moreover, is closer than it may seem: of the four central defenders in the squad, only Militão is still in his twenties. The worry that surrounded the club ahead of the derby was that the aerial game which, in the end, was indeed a hindrance. It seemed like the bullet had been dodged, right until Marcos Llorente headed into Lunin’s net at the death, reinforcing the reality of the squad.

Militao, central del Real Madrid, se retira lesionado en el partido contra el Athletic de la primera jornada de LaLiga EA Sports, disputado el 12 de agosto de 2023 en San Mamés.
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Militão suffered an injury in the first game of the 23/24 season.CESAR MANSOAFP

Madrid’s problem with ageing centre-backs

Ancelotti’s quartet of defenders averages out at 30.2 years. Militão turned 26 on January 18; the same day Nacho blew out 34 candles. At the same time, Rüdiger is on his way to 31 (March 3) and Alaba will return from injury at 32-years-old (June 24). Despite the age, what this list certainly shows is that Ancelotti has a lot of depth at the back when everyone is fit and firing.

The pair of defenders that won Champions League number 14 have had the misfortune of seeing reduced minutes this season. But there must be an expiration date: Madrid cannot have transfer plans for everywhere except the back line.

Both Rüdiger, the Kaiser who has anchored the backline, as well as Alaba and Nacho are already in the territory governed by the ‘30-years-old′ rule at Real Madrid, where contract renewals are negotiated on a year-to-year basis when the previous deal expires.

Real Madrid to recall on-loan defender

Nacho has already experienced it and it will happen once again at the end of the season. Rüdiger and Alaba, already in their thirties, have contracts that expire in 2026 and next season will be the time to get serious about their new deals, tough enough without taking into account the difficulty of recovering from an injury like the one suffered by the Austrian.

The spinal column of the side is more than stocked up from the engine room to the front line. Tchouameni (24), Valverde (25), Camavinga (21), Bellingham (20), Arda Güler (18), Brahim (24), Rodrygo (23), Vinicius (23) and Endrick (17) is quite the list of talent. There are also other potential attacking incorporations, including Kylian Mbappé (25) who is the preferred signing or Haaland (23) who looms as Plan B.

Given the fact that Militão is the youngest centre-back at 26 years old. For next season, Rafa Marín (21) will return, having already played in the first division with Alavés. At the LaLiga club he has shown the makings of an elite defender and Madrid are already counting on him for the 2024-25 season. His name was sounded out as a potential recall option when Alaba was injured but in the end, as has been the case with the club, they stood still in January and kept their cards held close to their chest.