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Rival watch: Barcelona superstar set to miss Real Madrid clash through ankle injury

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Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will face off against arch-rivals Barcelona in the first El Clasico of the season in less than three weeks.

Ahead of the crucial encounter away at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on October 28, Carlo Ancelott’s men have been handed a major boost.

Robert Lewandowski ruled out

As per journalist Toni Juanmarti, Barcelona superstar Robert Lewandowski will be unavailable for the Clasico against Real Madrid due to an ankle injury.

The 35-year-old was taken off with an injury during the UEFA Champions League clash against FC Porto last night, which Barça won 1-0.

It was initially expected that his injury was not very serious and just a strong bruise following a rough tackle from Porto’s David Carmo.

But, Barça issued a statement earlier today confirming that Lewandowski had sustained an ankle sprain.

Building on that Toni Juanmarti is reporting that the striker will be out for at least a month, effectively ruling him out of the Clasico against Real Madrid.

Apart from Lewandowski, Barcelona will also be without another key player in Frenkie de Jong for the Real Madrid encounter while there are still some doubts about Pedri and Raphinha’s availability as well.

Real Madrid’s casualties for Clasico

While Barcelona have been hit with a fresh injury concern, Real Madrid also have some notable absentees for this month’s El Clasico.

Both Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao are long-term absentees and will be out until the end of the season, while Arda Guler’s fresh injury setback means he is also a doubt.

Apart from that, Real Madrid will also be without captain Nacho Fernandez for the Barcelona encounter due to the defender’s three-match suspension following his red card in the match against Girona.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid still waiting to see the best version of 24-year-old midfielder

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni has been at Real Madrid since 2023 but the Frenchman still hasn’t convinced the club’s hierarchy entirely, reports MARCA.

At just 24 years old, Tchouameni was signed for a staggering €80 million, a fee that could rise to €100 million with additional bonuses. This substantial investment reflects the high hopes that Real Madrid had for him, but so far, he has not lived up to those expectations.

Upon his arrival, the young midfielder’s potential sparked a fierce bidding war two seasons ago, with several top clubs vying for his signature. 

Ultimately, Tchouameni chose Real Madrid, but not before the club shelled out a considerable amount of money to secure his services.

A valiant effort to replace Casemiro

Initially, Tchouameni was brought in as a replacement for the legendary Casemiro. However, he has struggled to fill those big shoes and his performances have been inconsistent, with moments of brilliance interspersed with matches where he fails to make a significant impact. 

While he possesses excellent technical skills, his creativity and ability to influence the game are often questioned. As a result, he has yet to win over the Real Madrid fans.

One of Tchouameni’s strengths is his age. At 24, he still has plenty of room to grow and improve. He understands the high standards that Real Madrid demand from the players and is committed to reaching that level. 

Real Madrid still have hope

Aurelien Tchouameni hasn’t convinced the Real Madrid board entirely. (Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images)

The club hopes that he will continue to develop and eventually become a leader in the midfield, especially in the absence of veterans like Toni Kroos. 

However, for this to happen, Tchouameni needs to step up and take charge on the field, asserting himself as a player his teammates can rely on.

Tchouameni’s reserved playing style has even caused coach Carlo Ancelotti to doubt whether he is the right fit for the midfield. As a result, the Italian has considered shifting him to a centre-back position due to his aerial ability and strong positioning. 

When called upon to fill in for injured players like David Alaba and Eder Militao, Tchouameni has performed admirably. In fact, Ancelotti once also chose him over Nacho.

Injuries have not helped his case

It must be noted that injuries have plagued Tchouameni’s time at Real Madrid, causing him to miss 20% of the matches since joining the team. 

Additionally, Ancelotti has kept him on the bench for another 20% of the games over the past two seasons. This means that Tchouameni has been a starter in only 55% of the matches under Ancelotti’s management. 

His absences have gone largely unnoticed, as he missed four of the six Champions League group matches and the final, having little impact on the team’s overall performance.

In summary, Tchouameni remains a work in progress at Real Madrid. His potential is undeniable, but he has yet to fully realize it on the field. 

With time on his side and a clear understanding of what is expected of him, the hope is that he will eventually rise to the challenge and become a key player for the team. Until then, Tchouameni’s journey at Real Madrid continues to be one of promise and uncertainty.

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