From the position of a guaranteed starter to a bonafide backup option on the bench, life has come fast at Luka Modric this summer.
The Croatian international has endured a rough start to the 2023-24 campaign, and there is no doubt that he expected better when he committed to a contract renewal earlier this summer.
According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, Modric has not conceded to being a substitute option this season.
He is working hard to turn his situation around and hopes to start against Getafe this weekend.
Los Blancos play their first game of the season at the Santiago Bernabeu tomorrow, and a return home could bring his first start with it. It would only be poetic for such an event to unfold, for this is perhaps Modric’s final season as a Galactico.
Less than an hour in the limelight
The 37-year-old has started on the bench for all three of Real Madrid’s games so far this season. Of a possible 270 minutes that he could have participated in, Modric has seen just 54.
Ancelotti prioritises the change of guard in the team’s midfield and has not shied away from handing Eduardo Camavinga, Jude Bellingham, Fede Valverde and Aurelien Tchouameni guaranteed starting positions this season.
Even on the one occasion where Camavinga was unfit to start, the Italian manager preferred Toni Kroos’ services over those of Modric.
Tailored for the rugged Getafe
Jose Bordalas’ Getafe are well known for their firm and defensive style of play. Not only are they one of the league’s most rough teams on the field but also present an extremely compact low block.
Getafe held Barcelona to a frustrating 0-0 draw on Matchday 1, and it is clear that Ancelotti will need his best creative midfielders on the field tomorrow. Needless to say, there would be no better time to hand the Croatian wizard his first start.
Real Madrid defender taken off with an injury against Las Palmas
There just does not appear to be any respite from injuries for Real Madrid.
Just when it appeared that they were close to having their full squad – barring the two long-term absentees – the Merengues have been struck down by fresh injuries this week.
Arda Guler, who was on the cusp of being named in the squad for the Las Palmas clash, injured himself in training on Tuesday.
And now, during the game against Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid have lost key defender David Alaba to an injury.
Close to the 40th-minute mark, Alaba went down on the ground clutching his leg and appeared to be in quite a bit of discomfort.
Soon enough, the medical staff arrived to take a look at the Austrian and seconds later he was off the pitch and straight towards the tunnel.
Lucas Vazquez came on to replace the injured Alaba, with Nacho Fernandez moving into the centre-back position alongside Antonio Rudiger.
Alaba’s injury leaves Carlo Ancelotti with just two fit centre-backs in Rudiger and Nacho, which is set to be a matter of great concern.
The hope will be that Alaba’s condition is nothing serious and that he is able to mount a quick recovery.