When David Alaba was subbed off in the 70th minute during Austria’s UEFA Nations League contest against France on Thursday night, there were a lot fears among the Real Madrid fanbase.
And early reports seemed to indicate that the versatile defender had indeed picked up a back injury which would see him miss their upcoming encounter against Croatia.
But, as per the latest update from journalist Alberto Pereiro, Alaba has not picked up any injury and is in good condition. The Real Madrid mainstay will continue with the Austrian national team and not return to the Spanish capital.
The same information has been reported by MARCA as well, who state that the 30-year-old is not injured and is in perfect physical condition.
This development will come as a major relief for Madridistas, considering how important Alaba has become in the scheme of things at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Signed on a free transfer last year after his contract with Bayern Munich expired, the Austrian international quickly established himself as a key cog in the side and played key roles in the team’s La Liga and Champions League triumphs in 2021/22.
In the ongoing campaign, Alaba has featured in all of Real Madrid’s nine matches in all competitions and has contributed with two goals and two assists each.
While he will continue with the Austrian national team, it will be interesting to see if manager Ralf Rangnick decides to use the 30-year-old in the game against Croatia or opts to rest him.
Real Madrid will take on Osasuna on Sunday, October 2, once the international break is out of the way. And in all likelihood, Alaba will be expected to feature in the game from kickoff, provided that he returns fully fit from national team duty.
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.