As Real Madrid continue to spend on players that they may or may not need, the issue arises as to who should start, who should sit on the bench, and who should be left out of the game day squad.
With certain new transfers having enjoyed a particularly special World Cup, we now look to a potential formation, who will play in it, and who won’t. (This formation assumes the highly likely departures of Angel Di Maria and Sami Khedira).
As successful as Ancelotti was in the past year employing a 4-3-3, he will likely be forced back into a 4-2-3-1 in order to accommodate another star attacker in James Rodriguez, who is less likely to be able to be converted into an elite central midfielder with the ability to flit out and into the channels opened up via the 4-3-3 like Angel Di Maria was.
Should Keylor Navas make the switch to Real Madrid, forcing either Casillas or Lopez into the reserves, he would be the undisputed number 1 at the Bernabeu. Coming off of an incredible run in the World Cup with Costa Rica, Navas would be a welcome addition to a rotation whose age is beginning to show. With Casillas (33) and Lopez (32) starting to lose some of their unmistakable talent, a younger keeper must be brought in. However, as things stand, Diego Lopez belongs in goal for Los Blancos. A dismal World Cup by Iker Casillas only furthered to exploit some the faults that were occasionally on display in club play, especially in the Champions League final. Either keeper can perform at an elite level but it is a fact that Madrid will need to look for a new keeper in the coming transfer windows.
Looking to a defensive line that will line up with four across the back, it looks likely that Carvajal will slot in at right back in a position that is still up for grabs, depending on Arbeloa’s form and fitness. Next to him, Sergio Ramos will find himself up against the likes of Luis Suarez, the perfect complement to Ramos’ physical yet usually controlled defensive game. Alongside Ramos, I favor Varane over Pepe due to the high-level of confidence that Varane played with at the World Cup, along with the unpredictability of Pepe’s actions and discipline. Varane rarely loses control of his emotions while Pepe is almost as likely to make an amazing last man tackle as he is to run over the player he is chasing, concede a penalty, or a receive a red card for arguing. The final defensive spot is occupied by Marcelo, even though he produced a dismal showing against Germany and was at fault for other goals, as he is Madrid’s best option as far as left-back is concerned. Despite rumors regarding a possible purchase of Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez, Marcelo has been a defensive stalwart in Madrid for the past couple years and will not be looking to lose out to the likes of Fabio Coentrao.