Real Madrid: Could a midfielder play at right back if necessary?

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid should have Lucas Vazquez available against Inter Milan after an injury scare, but an intriguing backup idea has been floated around.

Los Blancos have suffered two serious injuries at the right back position early in the season, on top of injuries to other players on the roster, such as midfielder Martin Odegaard. Both Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Odriozola are still out, which led Lucas Vazquez to start at right back for Real Madrid in the past several games.

Vazquez, to the surprise of many, has been excellent. His versatility helped him maintain a spot on the roster this summer, and he’s flourishing at right back, having been one of the best players on the pitch at Barcelona.

Hopefully, the injury scare to Vazquez is just that – a scare. There is optimism that Vazquez will be available against Inter Milan.

If he isn’t, Defensa Central reported that Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has considered playing Fede Valverde at the right back position opposite from Ferland Mendy. Los Blancos could play Mendy at right back with Marcelo on the left, but Defensa Central say that it would not be ideal to match up Marcelo against Achraf Hakimi.

Fede Valverde could get the jobe done at right back for Real Madrid if needed

Based on how poorly Marcelo played against Cadiz and even Huesca, whose lone goal came off Marcelo’s mistake in not tracking a runner, that would be reasonable. Against a dynamic, explosive right wing back like Hakimi, Marcelo could be exposed badly.

As for Fede, right back is hardly his ideal position, but with Eder Militao out due to COVID-19 and Vazquez’s situation uncertain, it’s hard to think of a better option. Valverde has played as a wide midfielder when Zidane rolls with five midfielders, running up and down the flank and providing a lot of attacking width and service in addition to frequent ball recoveries.

Basically, Valverde is just a great footballer. He can play pretty much anywhere, even as a midfielder by trade. Fede is one of the most complete midfielders you’ll see, as he’s even added scoring to his repertoire with some great finishes this season. Valverde is tied with Karim Benzema as Real’s leader in goals so far in the 2020-2021 La Liga campaign with three.

Hopefully, Real Madrid won’t have to start Valverde at right back in the near future, and hopefully Vazquez can remain in good health for Los Blancos. Vazquez has been tremendous at right back, to the point where it looks like that could be his regular position for Los Merengues going forward, even over right winger. His energy and attacking involvement are assets there, too.

Next. Real Madrid's 5 Most Valuable Players Of The Last Decade. dark

But if Zidane needs an emergency backup to the emergency backup, the 22-year-old is worth keeping in mind. It may sound harsh to say this, but Valverde on the right and Mendy on the left might be a better duo than Mendy on the right and Marcelo on the left.