Dani Carvajal has been the mainstay at right-back for Real Madrid in recent years but is getting no younger. He turned 30 years old earlier this year and is headed towards the dusk of his career.
Lucas Vazquez has been a more than reliable backup option to the Spaniard, but the fact remains that he is not a natural right-back. In such a situation, Real Madrid are on the lookout for a top right-back to sign in the coming windows.
One of the names strongly linked with a move to the Bernabeu is Reece James. The Chelsea defender is one of the most highly sought-after defenders in world football after his consistent high-level performances over the last two seasons.
Needless to say, Real Madrid have taken notice of his abilities and are admirers of his talent. According to The Athletic, Chelsea are aware of the Champions League winners’ interest in James and have begun talks over a contract extension with the player.
The 22-year-old is currently one of the lowest-paid players in Thomas Tuchel’s squad. Three years remain on his current deal with the Londoners, but a tempting offer from a top European club could lure him away from Stamford Bridge.
Last season, the youngster made 26 Premier League appearances for Chelsea. In that duration, he scored five goals, provided nine assists and averaged over seven defensive actions per game.
His impressive performances at the club level earned him a starting spot in Gareth Southgate’s England side ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold. Needless to say, an extension with Chelsea will not stop Los Blancos’ pursuit of the player next summer.
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.