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Real Madrid youngster explains his decision to reject Barcelona move in favour of Santiago Bernabeu

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Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

After making a big-money move to Real Madrid last summer, Arda Guler has endured a rather slow start to life at Santiago Bernabeu.

Regarded as one of the most talented young attackers in Europe, Guler’s progress this season has been marred by injuries.

The young Turk, though, raised many eyebrows with his recent performance against Real Sociedad, with the forward notably scoring the winner.

Days after his performance against Sociedad, Guler sat down with KAFA Sports for an interview, where he talked about his ‘dream move’ to Real Madrid while reminiscing about his time at Fenerbahce.

Arda Guler on Real Madrid move

When asked about his decision to choose Real Madrid over Barcelona, who were keen on signing him in the summer, Guler explained:

“I dreamed of Real Madrid since I was a little boy. While I was on vacation, my father called and said: ‘Real wants you’. I was extremely excited.”

Explaining his decision to join Real Madrid, the youngster added, “I could have stayed at Fenerbahçe for one more year, but I wanted to show the world what a Turkish young man from Fenerbahçe could do in Europe. I hope I will continue to show.”

One for the future (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

“Real Madrid fans cannot accept losing a match. That’s why you feel pressure. Real Madrid are meant to win,” he further said.

Guler went on to reveal that Real Madrid offered him the tantalising project of replacing Luka Modric in the long run.

“Real Madrid told me that I would be Modric’s heir. They offered a long-term project, and I was convinced,” he said.

Guler, though, has not featured much since joining Real Madrid, primarily because of injuries. The player, however, has no complaints with Carlo Ancelotti.

“Do I play enough? Our coach constantly talks about his plans. He prepares me. He is in constant communication,” he said.

Guler went on to talk about his teammates, including Luka Modric, the player he is supposed to replace in the years to come.

“I can’t call him Luka, I can’t call him Toni, they are older. I learned this in my family. I feel like I’m disrespecting them. I call Toni brother and Modric brother. That’s why they started calling me brother,” he said.

“I constantly try to learn something from Kroos and Modric, I constantly ask them questions and get advice,” he added.

Talking about how Real Madrid teammates perceive him, he said, “I try to learn something from everyone. Alaba, Rudiger, Valverde, Diaz. I spend the most time with them.”

“What do they call me the most? They say Turko, they say Abi,” revealed Guler, who, as mentioned earlier, starred in Real Madrid’s recent win over Real Sociedad.

Talking about his celebration after scoring a goal against Sociedad, Guler reiterated his belief in god, stating, “It is based on trust. I believe that everything comes from Allah.”

Guler also talked openly about the adulation he receives from Turkish fans, adding, “The support of the Turkish people gives me strength.”

Finally, Arda Guler reflected on his time at Fenerbahce, especially on whether or not the Turkish outfit should have received more from the deal.

“Together with our family, we requested Real Madrid to pay a little more. They kindly agreed they understood,” he revealed.

Guler, though, denied his father’s getting a cut from the Real Madrid deal, adding, “Such a thing is not even possible.”

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Features

Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining

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Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:

Goalkeeper

Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Defence

Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.

Midfield

The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.

Attack

Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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