After a close race with arch-rivals FC Barcelona, Real Madrid signed Arda Guler from Fenerbahce in a deal worth €20 million last month.
The Turkish phenom is regarded as one of football’s brightest upcoming talents and started his career at Real Madrid on the right foot.
Guler displayed an excellent level of training and was even pushing for a starting spot in the pre-season tour. Unfortunately, an untimely injury saw his progress halted and his debut delayed.
Subsequent tests revealed a tear to the meniscus of his right knee and the player was expected to be out of action for close to two months.
According to reports from Mario Cortegana (h/t Madrid Xtra), Guler could start thinking about rejoining training soon if he continues without pain during the week.
The 18-year-old prodigy completed the first round of his treatment earlier this week and the feelings are positive after that. And if things go well over the coming week, there is a chance that a return to training might be sooner than anticipated.
A surgical angle considered
However, one would expect the club to be cautious with his return to the field to avoid aggravating the lesion.
The youngster’s possible return to training comes as music to the ears of the Real Madrid administration.
After all, it was not too long ago that they considered the possibility of taking the player under the blade if his pain did not resolve in two months.
On that front, the Merengues could opt for resection of the affected part or a surgical suturing of the torn meniscus. In either case, the player would be out for an additional few months at least.
A cautious approach
Given that a meniscal tear is a more serious affection when compared to the regular muscular setbacks, it will be critical for Los Blancos to ensure that they do not rush Guler back into training or the squad.
At 18 years of age, the youngster has his whole career ahead of him and it is vital that he recovers in the best way possible.
Carlo Ancelotti has no shortage of options in the attacking midfield, with Jude Bellingham appearing to be a guaranteed starter in the role now.
The goal with the Turkish star, thus, will be to gradually increase the load on his knee and hope for a complete recovery.
Real Madrid full-back never considered summer exit, would retire at club if given chance
Ferland Mendy finds himself in a difficult situation at Real Madrid. The Frenchman has struggled with injury and fitness woes for a large part of the past year, leading to doubts over his future at the club.
In fact, it had been reported that Los Blancos were considering selling Mendy during the summer transfer window earlier this year itself.
But, such a move did not materialise and the 28-year-old has stayed put at the Santiago Bernabeu although reports suggest that he is likely to be on the move next year.
Mendy would retire at Real Madrid if he could
Despite there having been numerous reports about his future in the summer, The Athletic reports that Mendy did not consider the possibility of an exit at any point.
In fact, the report adds that if given a chance, the 28-year-old defender would retire at Real Madrid.
Mendy’s contract with Los Merengues expires in 2025 and he is understood to be seeking a renewal for a while now, but there has been no move made by the club.
The injuries that the 28-year-old has picked up are understood to be a major deterrent for Real Madrid, which is why they are already looking to reinforce the left-back position with Alphonso Davies next year.
Mendy enjoys Ancelotti’s trust
Despite the non-stop speculations surrounding him, Mendy continues to enjoy the full trust of manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Indeed, as per the report, the Italian tactician has informed the Frenchman that he is the left-back that best fits the defensive requirements needed in the team.
Ancelotti’s decision to bench Fran Garcia in the UEFA Champions League game even though Mendy was unavailable and start David Alaba at left-back was taken as an indicator within the dressing room that the Frenchman remains the first-choice in the position.
So, it remains to be seen how the situation unfolds over the coming months, especially with Ancelotti’s future also uncertain as his contract expires in 2024.