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Carlo Ancelotti planning internal shuffling to replace Luka Modric

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hoto by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Journalist Alejandro Alcazar has reported via SPORT that Carlo Ancelotti believes Jude Bellingham happens to be the perfect candidate to replace an outgoing Luka Modric.

Real Madrid have been on the lookout for someone to step into Modric’s shoes for a while now. It is a tall order because Modric is one of a kind, especially with his Croatian flair. 

Nonetheless, within the team, there are players who can bridge the midfield and the attack, and the one who fits the bill closest is Bellingham. 

The England midfielder has skills, can hold his own one-on-one, has a keen eye for the game, and packs power and precision, making him a prime candidate to follow in Modric’s footsteps.

Ancelotti has already tried

“We are asking Bellingham to play a little further back. There he is more comfortable, he likes it better,” said Ancelotti after the Alaves game where Bellingham was on the scoresheet. 

“He doesn’t like to play so high up. He has more defensive quality than Vinicius and Rodrygo,” he added.

Carlo Ancelotti would want Jude Bellingham to play Luka Modric’s role next season. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Bellingham has proven to be quite handy, especially in a season where Real Madrid had only three forwards to rely on. 

Ancelotti was brainstorming how to beef up the attack, with Joselu as a reliable backup option, given the team’s accustomed style of playing without a traditional number 9. 

He came up with a strategy, deploying a diamond midfield with Bellingham at the forefront, sliding in from behind as a pseudo-centre forward, and it worked like a charm.

Bellingham’s role might change

Looking ahead, Ancelotti will have some heavy artillery joining the attacking ranks next season with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick coming in. 

They will team up with Vinicius, Rodrygo, and Joselu to form a fearsome front line. This means Bellingham might find himself edged out of the forward lineup, but there is still a place for him in his natural habitat: the midfield, where he’s the bridge to the attack.

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Features

Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining

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Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:

Goalkeeper

Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Defence

Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.

Midfield

The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.

Attack

Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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