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, Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard of Real Madrid (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

LW Eden Hazard

Vinicius Junior has a bright future ahead of him in world football, and Rodrygo Goes has even more upside as a left winger. But how can you put either of them over Eden Hazard? The Belgian has been one of the top five players in the world for years, and he’s shown that same quality at Real Madrid when at full strength. His goal against Huesca was a moment of magic that shows the difference in quality Hazard has over other members of the squad, and when he was at full strength last October and November, Real looked like the team to beat in Europe.

Hazard just needs to stay healthy. That’s it. When he’s healthy, he is unplayable on the ball with his quick feet, quick thinking, and almost innate ability to find a teammate or the goal with a scintillating end product.

CF Karim Benzema

Since this is a starting lineup for the 2021-2022 season, Karim Benzema remains the starter for Real Madrid. At some point, Benzema will slow down and will need to split time with another striker, or he will need to be replaced by the ideal transfer target in Erling Haaland. Kylian Mbappe playing through the middle is another distinct possibility.

But next season, Benzema will still be the man to spearhead the attack, and you wouldn’t bet against him bagging another 20 goals and nearly 10 assists in a season either. Benzema has some rough patches of form, but, by and large, he is a consistent, chance-creating striker who can score some high-quality goals, even if his finishing comes and goes at times.

Moreover, when Real Madrid sign a goal-scoring wide forward, preferably Mbappe next season, the connection between Benzema and that player, as well as Benzema and Hazard, will be vital. There’s not a single No. 9 in the world better at supporting a pair of world-class wide forwards than Benz. Just ask Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

RW Kylian Mbappe

Finally, we come to the second projected major signing of the 2021 summer transfer window, and that is the Galactico of all Galacticos.

Kylian Mbappe is a generational talent. That word gets thrown around a lot, but Mbappe has earned it. The 21-year-old dominated on the world stage for France in 2018, stealing the show alongside fellow superstars Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba.

And now, Mbappe has surpassed them. This season, Mbappe has seven goals and four assists in 435 minutes. The “But Ligue 1” replies are as useless as they are ignorant. Anyone who has watched Mbappe in his league understands that he earns every goal contribution with his brilliant movement, agility, and immense technical quality. The improvements to his game are extraordinary, and he could make a Ronaldo-like leap in stylistic and statistical efficiency at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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Mbappe is not a guaranteed signing, but Real Madrid should do whatever they can to sign him. And I really mean that they should do just about anything. He is the answer, and his ability to play anywhere in the front three is exciting. Imagine a fluid front three consisting of Hazard, Mbappe, and Benzema in 2021-2022. Unstoppable is the first word that springs to mind.