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Ancelotti’s tactical puzzle: Too many stars, not enough spots

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti finds himself in a quandary not only concerning his defensive strategies but also in managing an impending congestion in his offensive lineup as the 2024/25 season approaches.

The acquisition of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick has significantly bolstered an already formidable attacking roster, teeming with star power and potential waiting to be unleashed at any given opportunity.

Right now, Ancelotti faces the arduous task of balancing player satisfaction throughout what promises to be a demanding season, punctuated by nearly 70 matches across all competitions that necessitate squad rotation. 

While every player will have their chances, key fixtures will undoubtedly see Mbappe and Vinicius take precedence, barring injury or suspension. 

Interestingly, Ancelotti’s confidence in fielding the best available players, as evidenced by his handling of goalkeepers Andriy Lunin and Thibaut Courtois, explains his decisive approach.

Players waiting for chances

Arda Guler is eagerly waiting for his chance under Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

A pressing issue for Ancelotti revolves around Arda Guler, a young talent whose potential demands regular playing time. He showcased promise last season, recovering from early setbacks to emerge as a crucial component. 

Ancelotti must figure out how best to integrate Guler without stifling his growth—a delicate balance given fan and club expectations.

Meanwhile, Endrick represents a great project yet requires time to adapt to new surroundings, teammates, and the nuances of European football. 

At 18, he may initially assume a supporting role, serving as a spark during critical junctures while gradually earning opportunities to start.

In contrast, Brahim Diaz has already proven himself with a stellar campaign, overcoming initial scepticism to establish his place among Madrid’s elite. 

His challenge lies in maintaining consistency and staving off competition from players like Rodrygo, whose performances have oscillated in fan reception. 

All this means Ancelotti finds himself entrusted with an array of attacking talent that positions Real Madrid as the frontrunner across all competitions. 

While Florentino Perez did assemble the Avengers, this world-class offensive unit demands validation on the pitch, a responsibility Ancelotti shoulders with the intent to maximize their potential while ensuring no player is left neglected.

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Real Madrid News

Just in: Real Madrid’s defensive target picks up fresh injury

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Photo by Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/Getty Images

Real Madrid are in active negotiations with LOSC Lille for the transfer of Leny Yoro. After weeks of impasse, the club appear to have made some ground in the race to sign the Frenchman.

However, should the Yoro deal fall through in the coming weeks, Real Madrid have identified Lazio’s Mario Gila as the ideal alternative.

Formerly of RM Castilla, Gila currently plies his trade for Lazio and has emerged as a key defensive lynchpin for the Italian outfit, impressing onlookers with his technique and discipline.

Mario Gila picks up fresh injury

However, in a major development, it appears Mario Gila has picked up a fresh injury during training, reports Diario AS.

In the pre-season camp at Auronzo di Cadore, Gila appears to have fractured his left foot and could be out for several weeks.

Fresh setback for Mario Gila (Photo by Marco Rosi – SS Lazio/Getty Images)

Lazio confirmed the defender’s injury, stating, “Mario Gila underwent clinical and instrumental examinations which revealed a fracture of the phalanx of the big toe of his left foot, suffered during training.”

Gila has started taking the appropriate treatment and the extent of his injury will be known soon. However, as things stand, the defender could be out for at least the next few weeks.

What does this mean for Real Madrid?

Mario Gila’s fresh injury setback is sure to dwindle any hopes of a potential return to Real Madrid this summer.

In any case, Gila’s chances of returning to Santiago Bernabeu were slim given that Real Madrid have finally made some ground in the deal to sign top defensive target Leny Yoro.

Los Blancos, though, would have liked having someone like Gila available as an alternative, especially with LOSC Lille still demanding a fortune for the Frenchman.

Unfortunately, that might not be an option anymore, no thanks to Gila’s injury. The club, though, will keep a close eye on the Spaniard’s injury situation, knowing he could return to fitness before the end of the summer break.

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