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REAL MADRID

Rodrygo set to be given more creative freedom by Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti

The Brazilian has not scored since the first match day of the season and Ancelotti is looking for a way to involve him in Madrid’s game plan.

The Brazilian has not scored since the first match day of the season and Ancelotti is looking for a way to involve him in Madrid’s game plan.

Real Madird forward Rodrygo Goes is not going through the greatest patch of form in the early stages of LaLiga, which has seen him only score on one match day of the season. Now, Carlo Ancelotti is looking for a way to maximise his potential and output on the pitch.

Rodrygo’s position in the side is not up for debate, neither is the argument surrounding his participation or effort in a white shirt. But there is a small niggling feeling that he is not firing on all cylinders, and that is something that needs to change when they play Real Sociedad in LaLiga (KO Sunday 17 September 2023 at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 noon PT).

The task is, in the absence of Vinicius, to make the player the undisputed leader of the front line - with Bellingham’s permission, of course.

One goal so far for the Brazilian

The truth of the matter is that Rodrygo has only scored on the first match day of the season, when he netted against Athletic Club at San Mamés. A quick one-two with Carvajal allowed the forward to line up for the shot and fire in at the near post, surprising the goalkeeper who got half a hand to the ball - but not enough. From then on, there was a lot of Rodrygo waving his magic wand, but with no final product, no rabbit inside the hat.

His football has been brilliant at times, yet he lacks the goalscoring touch that we have grown accustomed to over the years at the Bernabéu. Against Almería, Celta and Getafe, we didn’t see that lethal threat, and it’s time for a change.

Rodrygo's only goal of the season came on match day 1, against Athletic Club in Bilbao.
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Rodrygo's only goal of the season came on match day 1, against Athletic Club in Bilbao.VINCENT WESTREUTERS

What position will Rodrygo play while Vinicius is injured?

The good news is that the player comes into the game against Real Sociedad off the back of a simply fantastic international break with Brazil. He didn’t have Vini Jr there either, and as such he took on the responsibility on the left wing and showed everyone where he was most comfortable. The forward got a double against Bolivia and was a key figure against Peru, and the goalscoring touch in the yellow shirt appears to have filled him with confidence once again, allowing him to come into the LaLiga fixture smelling blood. It’s his time.

Asked whether he would change from the new-look 4-3-1-2 to the tried and tested 4-3-3, Ancelotti flatly denied the suggestion. “Without Vinicius we’re going to adapt the system, not change it. We don’t have anyone like Vini, that’s how it is. If Joselu plays, we will cross it more, and with Brahim, we will play in between the lines. It will be an adaptation, not a change of system.” But within that ‘adaptation’, there is a hint of a 4-3-3: Ancelotti wants to take the chains off Rodrygo, allow him to drift out wide and attack from there. The movement would allow Joselu to be a pure number 9 on his own and open the right wing for Valverde.

Rodrygo shone for Brazil during the international break.
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Rodrygo shone for Brazil during the international break.CARL DE SOUZAAFP

Rodrygo wants to get to 20 goals

Rodrygo comes into the 23/24 season after having scored 19 goals and getting 11 assists in the previous campaign - some of his best ever numbers. Despite this, he still did not get past the 20 mark, something that feels like a small annoyance for those at the club. This season his task is to break that barrier, and although he’s only on one goal as things stand, there is a long season ahead and Rodrygo’s mission starts today.

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