According to reports from AS (h/t Madrid Zone), Carlo Ancelotti has been very impressed by Bellingham’s composure and technique in front of goal. He is considering the possibility of using the youngster as a number nine in the games to come.
A proven goalscorer
Bellingham only signed for Real Madrid earlier this summer in a deal worth over €100 million. Since his debut against AC Milan in preseason, he has played six games for Los Blancos and scored four goals in that duration.
His impressive record in front of goal goes further back. Last year for Borussia Dortmund, Bellingham scored eight goals in the Bundesliga and netted an additional four in the UEFA Champions League.
Ancelotti has no shortage of options to deploy in attacking midfield with Luka Modric, Brahim Diaz, and Arda Guler capable candidates in the position.
The urgent need for a No. 9, however, could push the manager into the contentious decision of using Bellingham at centre-forward.
The flip side: why change a working system?
While it sounds fancy on paper to deploy the new signing as a striker, that is far from the case. Bellingham is one of the most elite up-and-coming midfield talents in world football and altering his path at such a crucial juncture would not be advisable.
Moreover, the Merengues have convincingly won both their league games to this point without feeling the void left by Karim Benzema’s departure.
In many ways, Bellingham is already playing as a No. 9 for the team. He is often the farthest man forward and the target for all crosses from the wings. With the system working perfectly as it stands, altering it would appear baseless.
Real Madrid rising star suffered against Atletico due to veteran forward’s absence, says Simeone
Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid was not the first time were in trouble this season. In fact, the Merengues have gone behind early in almost every league game so far.
However, the difference on Sunday night was that they never really mounted a comeback. More importantly, Jude Bellingham did not come good, for the first time.
Simeone unravels the mystery
A jubilant Diego Simeone spoke to the media after his side downed Real Madrid by three goals to one and spoke about a plethora of topics.
Interestingly, he commented specifically on why Bellingham did not have an impact at Civitas Metropolitano, citing the absence of Joselu as a key factor.
“No, the spaces were reduced and I think that Joselu’s lack of presence left him with fewer chances to get there, when he takes advantage of Joselu’s aerial play. We controlled him better, he’s extraordinary,” he said, as quoted by AS.
He even called out the refereeing on the night and insisted that the Real Madrid star-boy should have seen red for his late tackle on Angel Correa, saying:
“It looked like a sending-off to me live, it was a hard leg up, with Angelito hitting the ball.”
Ironically, he defended his defender Jose Maria Gimenez for an equally threatening tackle on the night.
“A bad foul, it’s a yellow card because it goes sideways. Bellingham goes from the front and I think it’s a bit more,” he stated paradoxically.
No time to lament
The game at Civitas Metropolitano may not have gone Real Madrid’s way. Yet, it is good for the Merengues to taste defeat early and see the gaping holes in their dynamic.
Carlo Ancelotti admitted in his press conference that he bore the lion’s share of the fault for Sunday’s loss and that he would have done things differently if given the chance.
“Maybe I could have done it better. It’s pretty clear. When the team doesn’t do what it has to do, it’s my responsibility,” he stated.
Nevertheless, Los Blancos have a hectic schedule ahead with two games in the next five days and a UCL fixture against Napoli next week. With Vinicius Jr back, one hopes they find their mojo once again.