Very few youngsters in world football can claim to be at the same level as Real Madrid target Jude Bellingham. Out of the few who can compete, only a small fraction remain available on the transfer market, making Los Blancos’ horizon for a backup option very narrow.
One player who caught the eyes of the management at Santiago Bernabeu as a possible alternative was Enzo Fernandez. The Argentine phenomenon was declared the best young player in the recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Unsurprisingly, he found himself linked with a move to Real Madrid when the European Champions felt Bellingham’s deal was slipping away. Now, however, Carlo Ancelotti’s side no longer have such a luxury.
According to reports from Gianluca Di Marzio, Chelsea are closing in on a blockbuster €127 million deal for the Benfica star. Almost all the details have been agreed upon by the two clubs and it is only a matter of finishing touches now.
The agreement will see Chelsea pay the Portuguese club in three instalments of about €40 million each as opposed to a direct one-time payment. His departure from Benfica was imminent, especially given that he has missed two training sessions already since winning the World Cup last month.
In 14 appearances for Benfica in the Portuguese top flight this season, the youngster has scored one goal and provided three assists. Further, he averaged two key passes per game and created eight big chances.
Fernandez’s move to London now means that Real Madrid no longer have a plan B. They will have to go out all guns blazing to sign their primary target Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund, but reports suggest that they have emerged as the frontrunners for his signing, which bodes well for Carlo Ancelotti & co.
Brahim, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Sevilla
Real Madrid are set to play hosts to Sevilla this evening, in what could prove to be a critical match in the context of the title race.
Although Los Blancos hold a formidable lead at the top of the table, the club are coming on the back of a disappointing result against Rayo Vallecano.
Dropping more points against Sevilla tonight could prove to be costly, especially with Barcelona and Girona breathing down their necks.
Potential Real Madrid lineup vs Sevilla
As Real Madrid approach this crucial game, coach Carlo Ancelotti has to make several arrangements, especially with so many players ruled out either due to injury or suspension.
Starting from the goalkeeper position, Thibaut Courtois remains out, which means Andriy Lunin should continue in between the sticks, ahead of the unhappy Kepa Arrizabalaga.
In the right-back position, Ancelotti is likely to opt for Lucas Vazquez, as Dani Carvajal is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last game.
On a bright note, though, Antonio Rudiger is back and should return to central defence. He will be accompanied by Nacho Fernandez at the heart of Real Madrid’s four-man backline.
Elsewhere in defence, Ferland Mendy should continue to start ahead of Fran Garcia in the left-back position.
Moving into midfield, Eduardo Camavinga has been ruled out due to suspension. However, Ancelotti does have a myriad of options in the middle of the park.
Aurelien Tchouameni should continue to operate in the number six position, just behind the two interior midfielders Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.
Luka Modric is an option on the bench, should Ancelotti require more experience in the middle.
As for the attack, the Real Madrid frontline should be led by Brahim Diaz once again, even though he faces fierce competition from Joselu.
Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, on the other hand, are guaranteed choices in the wide attacking spaces, though Ancelotti does have Arda Guler and Alvaro Rodriguez as potential alternatives.