Real Madrid: A very early prediction for the team’s starting XI in 2021-2022

Kylian Mbappe (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Kylian Mbappe (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid still have to focus on the 2020-2021 season, but fans are already excited for a new-look starting lineup in 2021-2022.

The consensus is that Real Madrid are still at least a year away from truly being a top team in European football again.

Since the three-peat era and Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus, Real Madrid have not been a threat in the Champions League. In 2018-2019, they were knocked out early by Ajax, then in 2019-2020 they were easily defeated by Manchester City. And this season, they sit third place in the group after playing each opponent twice.

Real Madrid won La Liga last season behind Zinedine Zidane’s leadership, an excellent defense, and Karim Benzema’s goals. But this season, a league title is far from guaranteed with Real Sociedad, Villarreal, and Atletico Madrid all looking much stronger to make up for Barcelona’s continued disappointment.

Los Blancos must continue fighting to win their 35th league title, but it is apparent to Madridistas that the team needs new, young superstars who can truly lead the way for this club. Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and Eduardo Camavinga are all among the dream targets.

Here’s how Real could line up in 2021-2022 if they are able to make the top signings that can be reasonably expected next summer.

GK Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois is the goalkeeper of the present and the future for Real Madrid. He was the best goalkeeper in European football in 2019-2020, leading La Liga in save percentage and clean sheet percentage as the Zamora Trophy winner. And this season, he’s been holding Real together despite their woeful defending.

Andriy Lunin is an excellent goalkeeper prospect, and he needs to get playing time behind Courtois. But Courtois is clearly the guy for Real Madrid. His reflexes are top-notch, and he is always alert to danger. Even his distribution is improving.