Real Madrid: 3 players who must step up after Sergio Ramos’ knee injury

Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Raphael Varane
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /

CB Raphael Varane

We begin with the easiest choice, and that is fellow center back Raphael Varane. Even as recently as the Champions League knockout stage loss to Manchester City in August, fans questioned whether Varane could truly lead Real Madrid from the back without Sergio Ramos by his side. Those questions actually increased in the group stage of this season’s Champions League following the club’s first loss to Shakhtar Donetsk.

But in recent months, Varane has bounced back, and he deserves high praise for his defensive excellence. Following his heroic performance on the road against Huesca, the French center back may finally be getting his due in the 2020-2021 season.

Varane scored twice for Real Madrid, who needed to come from behind in order to defeat La Liga’s last-placed team. The center back managed to eek two goals past the goal-line like a poacher, stepping up as a leader in the penalty box just like Sergio Ramos often does with clutch goals.

With opponents like Atalanta and Atletico Madrid up on the horizon, Varane must continue to step up in this regard. And defensively, he’s as good as ever. That said, if there is one area in which Varane could be tested greatly by the likes of Atleti, La Real, and Atalanta, then it is his safety and passing on the ball.