The end of last season saw the end of an era for Real Madrid. Several stars of the triple UEFA Champions League winning squad bid adieu to the club, bringing about a change of guard in many positions.
With players like Marcelo, Gareth Bale and Isco now no longer at the club, the baton has been passed on to youngsters and new signings. This transfer begins with new faces taking over the kits donned by the former stars.
As revealed on the official website, Marcelo’s number 12 kit will be worn by Alvaro Odriozola for the coming campaign. This will be the first time since 2006/07 since anyone other than the Brazilian wears it.
Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger will be the new number 22 for the club. The new signing takes over the kit from Isco Alcaron, who joined Sevilla as a free agent.
The third kit number revealed was that of Aurelien Tchouameni. The French midfielder will take over Gareth Bale’s number 18 jersey for his debut season.
Luka Jovic’s departure from the club opened up a vacancy for the number 16 in the dressing room. The kit will now be donned by Eduardo Camavinga, who exploded towards the end of last season.
Apart from the numbers 26 to 30 that are reserved for players promoted from the subsidiary team, only the number 16 remains vacant in Los Blancos’ dressing room. All first-team players have been registered, with the exception of Reinier, whose future is uncertain.
With the squad seemingly full, any new arrivals must now go hand in hand with a first-team departure.
Real Madrid’s 29-year-old star upset with his situation, desires more clarity on role
At Real Madrid, the quest for securing a spot in the first-team lineup involves battling it out with some of the best players in European football.
Competition is generally considered the perfect antidote to complacency and the Merengues‘ immensely talented roster encapsulates that sentiment best.
While injuries have done a number on the team, there is still an abundance of competition in the squad. As of now, the fight for a spot in the starting lineup is most intense among the goalkeepers.
Indeed, since the beginning of the campaign, there has been no fixed goalkeeper with both Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga featuring between the sticks alternately.
However, after being acquired on a season-long loan to fill in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, Kepa is not entirely content with his situation.
Kepa unsatisfied with the unclarity
Indeed, as per The Athletic, Kepa is extremely disappointed with his situation and how the coaching staff at Real Madrid have been handling the matter.
Ancelotti has not clearly explained his reasoning as to which of Lunin and Kepa is currently his first-choice keeper.
And according to sources close to him, Kepa is unhappy and would have preferred further clarification on the matter from the manager.
Lunin in the driving seat
Owing to Lunin’s exceptional form lately, he has successfully displaced Kepa as the first-choice goalkeeper.
In fact, Kepa has not started a game since Real Madrid’s clash against Almeria last month in which they leaked two goals.
It is safe to assume Kepa’s frustrations stem from the fact that he initially arrived as the primary keeper to replace Courtois and turned down an offer from Bayern Munich to join the Madrid outfit.
As such, being shunned and having minimal clarity from the coaching staff’s preferred goalkeeper has led to dissatisfaction.
As things stand, Real Madrid have no plans of signing him permanently, given that Chelsea would ask around €20 million for him, something that the club have intentions of paying.