Real Madrid splashed the cash to secure the signing of Brazilian wonderkid Endrick from Palmeiras last December.
Despite him being just 16 years old at the time, Real Madrid splashed €35 million on his signing, with another €25 million in variables.
Endrick has stayed back in Brazil with Palmeiras as he is still not 18 and will be making the jump to Madrid in July next year, once he is no longer a minor.
Real Madrid have total faith in Endrick
It has not been smooth sailing for Endrick at Palmeiras during the ongoing season as he has had to deal with being left out on the bench more often than not.
As such, he has had a mixed campaign, but despite that, Real Madrid retain total confidence in the 17-year-old sensation and have not changed their plans in incorporate him into the first-team squad next season, reports AS.
Endrick has netted eight goals in 42 games in all competitions for Palmeiras this term while registering an assist.
As mentioned earlier, the teenager has not been a regular starter for the Brazilian club and as such he has not flourished to the level expected.
But, Real Madrid are not worried by the stagnation as they chalk it down to the lack of regular game time. They have closely monitored Endrick at Brazil and are very happy with the youngster.
The next No. 9?
Real Madrid for the first time in the history of the club went into the season without any player wearing the No. 9 jersey.
Following Karim Benzema’s exit, the shirt number became vacant and stayed the same way with Joselu opting for No. 14.
Now, the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland have been linked with a move and could naturally be the heirs to the No. 9 shirt if they arrive.
But, if Real Madrid do not make a high-profile signing in attack next year, Endrick may very well be entrusted with carrying forward the legacy of the No. 9 jersey.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.