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Injured Real Madrid midfielder likely to return vs Villarreal, youngster will not be rushed

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

It appears that the injury problems that had plagued Real Madrid in recent months are starting to let up to an extent in recent times.

The Merengues have had to battle with several injury issues so far this term but have not let it affect the results on the pitch as they remain close to the top in La Liga and won their group in the UEFA Champions League.

However, as we get closer to the mid-season break, things are looking up for Real Madrid on the fitness front.

Tchouameni likely to return vs Villarreal

Indeed, as reported by AS, Aurelien Tchouameni did a large part of the group training session today and is likely to be named on the squad list for Sunday’s La Liga clash against Villarreal.

Tchouameni has been out on the sidelines for longer than a month after he suffered a foot fracture during the first El Clasico of the season in late October.

It was expected that he would be out for at least two months, but things have gone very well with his recovery, leading to him returning to group training well ahead of schedule.

The French midfielder spent a good part of the session with the group, first in the gym and then on the pitch, and the outlook for him is encouraging.

The plan is for him to become more integrated throughout the week with the group and do some full training at a normal pace. If he manages to do so, the 23-year-old has a great chance of making the squad for the match against Villarreal on Sunday.

With the imminent return of Tchouameni, Carlo Ancelotti will have more room to manoeuvre and make rotations in the middle, as well as be able to count on someone who had been a key player for him at the start of the season.

Guler close, but no risks

Getting closer and closer. (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Arda Guler is another player who is in the final stages of his recovery, although it is not yet clear that he will be able to play against Villarreal.

As per the report, the teenage talent did some individual work with the ball on Thursday but Real Madrid understand that they need to be very cautious with him.

After rupturing his meniscus, for which he had to undergo surgery, Guler has had to deal with two muscle injuries.

As such, Real Madrid will not be in a hurry with the Turkish prodigy even if it means he has to wait until 2024 to make his debut.

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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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