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Will Real Madrid really build a forward line with three left-wingers?

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Photo courtesy: GETTY Images

Real Madrid and Florentino Perez, after a seven-year wait, finally have the crown jewel they have chased endlessly. Kylian Mbappe is officially a Galactico, and the years to come appear very exciting for the team.

The Frenchman’s arrival, however, brings with it a fundamental question for Carlo Ancelotti and Co. After all, it will not be easy to fit the World Cup winner into the team’s starting XI without unfairly removing one of the existing mainstays.

More importantly, the team cannot deploy the incoming star in the same position where he has excelled for Paris Saint-Germain in recent years. Ancelotti, thus, has a big task on his hands to find a new working dynamic.

The left-wing frenzy

Vinicius Jr. has grown into a monster on the left over the years to the point where he is now the favourite to take home the Ballon d’Or. As a potent force down the flank, he is the club’s mainstay in the position and is untouchable as such.

Mbappe, thus, arrives in Madrid with his niche position already taken. He can indeed operate as a centre-forward, but history is a testament that his true strengths are only focused when he plays wide and on the break.

The new Galactico. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ancelotti’s problems are only compounded by the situation of Rodrygo Goes, who also prefers to play on the left flank. The youngster has shone whenever deployed in Vini Jr.’s place on the field, but his numbers on the other extreme of attack are not as impressive.

Having three starting quality left-wingers and no natural right-wing option thus shows a clear imbalance in Real Madrid’s squad and a challenge for the manager at the helm.

Optimising resources will be key

Mbappe’s arrival is undoubtedly the biggest boost for Real Madrid heading into the next season and getting the most out of the French forward will account for a large part of the team’s success.

The first step that Ancelotti is thus expected to make is a change in formation from the 4-4-2 of last season to a 4-3-3, opening up more places in attack.

The fundamental basis of the shift will see Jude Bellingham pushed down into central midfield, limiting his presence in the attacking third, likely alongside Federico Valverde and Aurelien Tchouameni.

Of the three places in attack, Vinicius will take up responsibilities down the left flank with Mbappe starting as a centre-forward. One can, however, expect the Frenchman to drift to the left regularly.

Rodrygo’s place in the starting lineup will depend on his ability to step up on the right wing. If the Brazilian fails to make the cut, the likes of Brahim Diaz or Arda Guler could take up the responsibility in the attack.

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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