It was not too long ago that Real Madrid had their two best centre-backs at the exit door. Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane were part of one of the team’s best-ever defensive duos, but both engineered departures after the 2020-21 campaign.
Many felt that Los Blancos had their work cut out in finding replacements. However, Eder Militao and David Alaba slotted into the manager’s plans perfectly to enable a seamless transition.
The story thus took a 360-degree turnaround when Ramos was suggested as a replacement for the injured Militao over the weekend.
According to reports from Fabrizio Romano, however, sources close to Real Madrid are playing down rumours of the legend’s return.
Where is Ramos?
After leaving the club of his life, Sergio Ramos joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent in 2021.
Over the past two seasons, he linked up with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar Jr to conquer Ligue 1 twice. However, he constantly struggled for fitness and was released by the club as a free agent this summer.
The 37-year-old is thus still available on a free transfer. However, it is clear that he is well past his prime playing days and Real Madrid are not considering his return to replace Militao.
Who will Ancelotti count on?
As it stands, the management at Valdebebas are not looking to make a new centre-back recruitment. They have faith in the combination of Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba and see Nacho Fernandez as an able backup.
If the need for a fourth centre-back arises, Carlo Ancelotti will turn to the Castilla side for options. Alvaro Carrillo and Rafel Obrador are two players whose profiles interest the manager as possible candidates.
Moreover, the Italian tactician is also considering testing Ferland Mendy at centre-back. The Frenchman is, however, currently injured and will miss the next few matches.
Injured Real Madrid defender will undergo scans tomorrow – report
Real Madrid have started the 2023/24 campaign on a strong note, winning six in six across all competitions.
What makes the streak even more impressive is that they have had to do so without a number of key players present.
Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Arda Guler and Vinicius Jr are still out on the sidelines while Dani Ceballos and Ferland Mendy have only recently returned from injury.
But, earlier this week, Dani Carvajal became the latest victim of the injury course as he sustained a muscle issue that ruled him out of the match against Union Berlin last night.
Carvajal will undergo MRI tomorrow
Carvajal had been in fine form prior to his injury earlier this week and his absence is certainly a blow.
With a game against Atletico Madrid coming up later this weekend, Mario Cortegana of The Athletic is reporting that the 31-year-old will undergo his MRI scans tomorrow morning.
It should present a clearer picture of the extent of the veteran right-back’s injury following which a potential date for his return could be determined.
Prior to the Union Berlin match, manager Carlo Ancelotti sounded optimistic about Carvajal’s condition, as he said:
“Carvajal has an overload, we prefer not to take any risks. It’s nothing serious, he’ll undergo tests tomorrow and we hope he recovers soon. Carvajal can make it to the derby. The feelings are good.”
But tomorrow’s scans should provide a better picture of how his condition is and when he can make a comeback.
Lucas Vazquez: an able deputy
With Dani Carvajal unavailable, Carlo Ancelotti turned to Lucas Vazquez for the right-back position and the veteran Spaniard did not disappoint last night.
Indeed, the 32-year-old was a regular outlet going forward down the right flank and made six key passes against Union Berlin.
And Ancelotti will count on him again in the derby versus Atleti if Carvajal’s recovery will take longer.