Despite a relatively good start to the season, Real Madrid have endured a rough period lately, especially in light of their recent defeat to Atletico Madrid.
The result highlighted the team’s lapses in the defensive unit, which has especially gotten coach Carlo Ancelotti worried.
Real Madrid unlikely to sign a new centre-back
Real Madrid have conceded six goals in seven league matches so far this season. A major reason behind their underperformance in defence is injuries.
The club lost their star defender Eder Militao to an injury earlier in the summer, with the Brazilian ruled out for the majority of the campaign.
To add to their woes, David Alaba became the latest player to pick up a knock earlier this week, although the injury is understood to be not very serious.
However, despite injuries to Alaba and Eder Militao, Real Madrid are unlikely to sign any free-agent centre-backs from the market.
This has been reported by Fabrizio Romano (h/t Madrid Zone), with the Italian transfer expert claiming that Real Madrid bosses are very happy with the current squad, despite injuries.
Not many options on the table
The major driving factor behind Real Madrid’s reluctance to sign a free agent from the market is the sheer lack of viable options.
As things stand, the highest-rated centre-back available on the market is Almamy Toure, followed by options such as Phil Jones, Zouhair Feddal and former Borussia Dortmund star Sokratis.
There are a few legacy options available, though, such as Jerome Boateng and Shkodran Mustafi, but both former Bundesliga stars have been out of sync from top-level football for a while now.
Real Madrid are unlikely to consider any of them as viable options for the club. As such, the club are likely to continue with the current squad, at least for the next few months, before the January transfer window kicks in.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.