Real Madrid could be forced to start youth player at unfamiliar position

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will face Granada on Thursday night in LaLiga with a limited number of available defenders. In fact, only Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, Alvaro Odriozola, and Miguel Gutierrez are listed in the squad as available defenders. Ferland Mendy and Raphael Varane are still out with injuries, while Marcelo was a late omission from the squad.

One of those four names is also in question for the match, as Odriozola is dealing with a muscular overload in the aftermath of a positive performance vs. Sevilla.

If Odriozola cannot play, some Madridistas have wondered if Fede Valverde could start at right back, as he did against Liverpool.

But it seems like Los Blancos have a different contingency plan in mind.

According to a report from MARCA’s Juan Ignacio Garcia-Ochoa, Marvin Park could play for Alvaro Odriozola if the former Real Sociedad man is not able to start for Real Madrid due to his muscular issue.

Marvin Park has started at right wing back for Real Madrid

Marvin is listed in the squad above as a midfielder. We have seen him play as a right wing back this season, and he actually did very well in a 2-0 win over Getafe in late winter. But he has never played as a right back in a back four.

Zinedine Zidane’s options are limited. His only healthy center backs are Nacho and Militao, so neither of them can shift to the flanks. And Miguel Gutierrez is his only available fullback on either side. He has never started a match for the first team, though he has looked good off the bench in recent matches.

Even youth player Victor Chust is out, meaning a back three is ruled out.

So Zidane is going to have to trust players he normally has not, such as Gutierrez and then either Odriozola or Marvin.

Although we have not seen much of Marvin this season, Zidane has shown some faith in him. In addition to that start against Getafe, Marvin was subbed in on Matchday 1 off the bench when most fans did not know anything about him.

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Hopefully, Odriozola can play, as he showed signs of improvement against Sevilla after what has been another rough season. But if he cannot, Marvin is the next man up.