Real Madrid: 4 ways the defense can improve for the rest of the season

Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal
Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images) /

A healthy Dani Carvajal

We must always acknowledge the impact of key injuries whenever Real Madrid are underperforming, because many times, issues are down to who is missing rather than solely who isn’t playing to the best of their ability.

Just as Real’s attack has suffered without Eden Hazard, the defense – and really, the entire team – has suffered without Dani Carvajal during his absence due to an MCL tear.

The wonderful news is that Carvajal may return to the pitch sooner than expected, because that will be a massive boost to Los Blancos. He has been missed greatly by Madridistas, and his absence has made fans realize just how important and reliable he is on the right side of the defense.

With all due respect to Lucas Vazquez and while acknowledging his Man of the Match-caliber performance at Barcelona, he is no right back. His performance in the tackle at Inter Milan showed it. Vazquez makes positioning errors and can get bullied due to his lack of strength. He works hard and can help the attack, but he is not half the right back Carvajal is.

And Nacho? He offers so little in terms of attacking ability and is so slow that he is pretty much as much of a liability to the team on the right as Marcelo is on the left.

Carvajal is a star player at the right back position. He has quietly set the benchmark for so long, and he is not somebody Real Madrid can replace. Over the past few weeks, we have seen just how important the Spain international is to the club.

Next. An early predicted XI for Real Madrid in 2021-2022. dark

Recall that last season Carvajal had 2.1 tackles per game, 1.2 interceptions per game, and five assists. He’s wonderful in one-on-one situations, he is an intelligent right back who has played the position at the highest level for years, and he knows how to support the attack without making a fool of himself defensively. And right now, that matters more than Real Madrid would care to admit, because they’ve had some embarrassing moments against counterattacking La Liga clubs.