Arda Guler’s much-awaited debut as a Real Madrid player arrived in the team’s 3-1 win over Arandina in the Copa del Rey. The youngster played close to an hour on the night, showing great quality despite the long time he faced on the sidelines.
He came on as a late substitute against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup but has not featured for Los Blancos ever since. Three games have gone by without Guler being called on by the manager, raising concerns about his future.
Guler shuts talks of a departure
It did not take the media long to link the Turkish phenom with a loan move away from the Spanish capital in light of his constrained playing time.
With several clubs across Europe willing to sign him on loan, his reaction on the sidelines during the game against Almeria only triggered further rumours.
According to reports from Fanatik, Guler met with Florentino Perez after the game and it was decided that he would not leave the club under any circumstance.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti will trust the player as the season progresses and does not wish to rush him into the dynamics.
Further, the media outlet revealed that Guler spoke about his future in a recent interview and openly announced that a departure was off the cards.
“I will do my best to make Carlo Ancelotti trust me, I will not leave Real Madrid,” he said.
A long-term cog
Real Madrid are understandably cautious over Guler’s incorporation, for luck has seldom been on his side this season. Injury after injury left him in a negative headspace, and one more setback could have dangerous implications on his mentality.
Perez and Ancelotti see the youngster as one for the long term and are not perturbed by his slow start to life in Madrid. After all, he was never recruited as one touted for immediate success.
One can expect the youngster to slowly feature in lower-intensity games before being asked to shift up the gear. His exclusion from the recent clashes against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, thus, is understandable.
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.