Carlo Ancelotti has a much bigger role to play behind Federico Valverde’s resurgence than he receives. For some who was a subject of a club-record bid made by Liverpool, a return of three goals and two assists in limited appearances this season is something to budge an eye on.
More importantly, his recent UEFA Champions League heroics against RB Leipzig where he opened the scoring in a 2-0 win was sparingly commendable. That because he was deployed as a make-shift winger despite having Marco Asensio on the pitch, who by the way played in a midfield three.
It must be remembered that it was not so long ago that Valverde’s Real Madrid career was on a decline to an extent that he had lost his place to a 19-year-old Eduardo Camavinga.
Back then, lack of consistency and growing injury concerns had affected his performance big time. As it turns out, he put in the hard work and got himself in the thick of things, playing a big role in his side’s Champions League glory.
He was instrumental in Madrid’s comeback wins over Paris-Saint Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City before laying an assist to Vinicius Jr’s only goal in the final against Liverpool.
But if there was anything missing from his game, it was the lack of goals and Ancelotti could not believe that he ended the 2021-22 season with a solitary goal.
After the win over Leipzig, Ancelotti spoke candidly about the aforementioned and joked that if Valverde does not score more than 10 goals this season, he would rip up his coaching credentials.
“What seemed strange to me was that he just scored once last season. I told him that if he was not able to score more than 10 goals, I’d have to rip up my coach’s ID. He has a rock in his foot,” he was quoted by The Athletic.
For now, it’s understood that Ancelotti has big plans for Valverde. The only thing that remains to be seen is how he uses him throughout the season.
Real Madrid maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.