The pre-season is supposed to be the window in time for the manager to test his resources and plan ahead of the new campaign. On that front, the current pre-season is seen as a critical one for Real Madrid.
The Merengues have lost some critical players over the past few months, and the manager finds a relatively different squad at his disposal when compared to the group he had last season. He has thus had to experiment on multiple levels including the formation in use.
One of the most important positions where Ancelotti faced a dilemma was left-back.
Despite the arrival of Fran Garcia, the manager has opted to give Ferland Mendy the start in two of the team’s three pre-season games.
The Frenchman’s injury against Barcelona thus came as a big blow. As revealed by the club website, tests carried out on Mendy reveal a muscle injury in the right femoral biceps muscle of his thigh. His return will be based on how his situation evolves.
The French star is expected to be out for at least two weeks with his latest setback and is a doubt even for the league opener against Athletic Club in mid-August, reports Arancha Rodriguez (h/t Madrid Xtra).
More importantly, his injury puts the brakes on any potential move away from Real Madrid that was on the cards.
Real Madrid see the left-back department with a lens of worry given Mendy’s inability to make a tangible difference in the final third.
Concurrently, however, there are doubts over his fitness.
Last season, the defender missed a staggering 92 days through injury across two spells on the sidelines. As a result, he missed 23 games for the club which necessitated the use of Eduardo Camavinga at left-back.
His latest injury less than 150 minutes into the pre-season campaign thus comes as a worry.
In fact, it is safe to say that Garcia could well take over as the primary left-back from this point on.
French midfielder admits considering PSG move before Real Madrid called him
Aurelien Tchouameni has had an exciting start to his career at Real Madrid. Since joining the club for almost €80 million last summer, the young Frenchman has now become a pivotal figure in Real Madrid’s midfield unit.
However, prior to his move to Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder was closely linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
In a recent interview, Tchouameni opened up on his links to PSG but revealed his decision to join Real Madrid.
Aurelien Tchouameni on PSG links
Talking about speculations linking him to PSG, Tchouameni said (h/t Madrid Zone), “PSG? Frankly, I thought about it. It’s a very big European club, we want the French clubs to succeed.”
“But honestly, when Real Madrid calls you, it’s very complicated to say no,” Tchouameni added.
The midfielder was linked with a move to PSG during his time at AS Monaco. Les Parisiens wanted to sign the youngster as part of their plans to reinforce the midfield unit.
Tchouameni, though, ended up opting for a move to Real Madrid, which turned out to be a prudent decision from the midfielder’s end.
Tchouameni’s career at Real Madrid
Aurelien Tchouameni made a total of 50 competitive appearances during his maiden season at Real Madrid.
Although the Frenchman was not entirely a first-team regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s setup, his stature in the team is expected to grow in the coming years.
Especially as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric move on at the end of the season, there is scope for Tchouameni to become a first-team regular in the Real Madrid midfield in the years to come.
The former AS Monaco starlet has already played a crucial role in the starting eleven so far this season and it is only going to continue as the season progresses.