Real Madrid: 3 players who must step up with Dani Carvajal suspended at Osasuna

Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (Photo by Alejandro/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (Photo by Alejandro/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /

CB Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane is always the guy cleaning up mistakes at the back for Real Madrid. It actually ends up hurting his perception among fans sometimes, because when Real get caught out defensively on counters, he is the person closest to the end result. That’s not due to any fault of his, but rather due to his recognition skills and speed that enable to him to even have a shot at making a defensive play when the rest of his teammates are nowhere to be found. If a goal happens, Varane gets the blame, even though the blame should be shared.

Varane will have to be ready to do more cleaning up and to play more cautiously without Dani Carvajal. Looking at the statistics, Real Madrid allow nearly one full goal per game more this season when Carvajal does not play.

And the responsibility to prevent any of that from manifesting itself on Saturday night will largely fall on Varane’s shoulders. The center back has been under scrutiny for his own errors on the ball this season, but, otherwise, he’s been having another above-average season in central defense. Varane’s had a few world-class performances, too, including last week’s display against Iago Aspas’ Celta Vigo that fell under the radar in comparison to the plaudits Nacho received next to him.

Next. 5 attacking players for Real Madrid to target. dark

Hopefully, Varane puts together another big performance in snowy Pamplona, where slips and slides are all too easy.