Ranking Real Madrid’s best defenders in 2021

Real Madrid, Eder Militao, David Alaba (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eder Militao, David Alaba (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

4. Ferland Mendy

Coming in fourth place is Ferland Mendy. Even at an age this young, Ferland Mendy has proved to be one of the best defensive left backs in the world and has thus replaced Marcelo for a starting role at Real Madrid.

Not only me, but every Madridista in the world is very delighted with the way the Frenchman has been playing so far. It was tough to rank Ferland Mendy this low keeping in mind how crucial he is to Real Madrid and the top form he has been in, but when you play for a top club, all of the factors are kept in mind (factors I mentioned in Nacho’s slide).

When we talk about his defensive performances, Ferland Mendy has been top-notch. He is strong and puts his body to great use to safeguard the ball. His tackling is spot on and his high jumps help him win aerial duels easily. The fast sprints he makes help him track back the opposition’s attackers in case they counter-attack or in case a fellow teammate loses possession. Statistically speaking, Ferland Mendy has averaged 1 tackle, 0.5 interceptions, and 0.9 clearances a game so far this season.

But what made me rate the former Lille player at this place is how injury-prone he was last season. Last season, Mendy was injured for much of the second half of the season which allowed us to watch Miguel Gutierrez, who was simply too promising.

In my previous article itself, I wrote why Ferland Mendy needs to step up to help Vinicius Junior in attack and I received a lot of criticism for it. Well, probably they did not look at him from the angle I wanted them to see. The recent game against Getafe illustrates my point perfectly. Ever since Getafe scored, they stood strong in their half to prevent Real Madrid from finding spaces.

Now that is when Carlo Ancelotti decided to sub off Ferland Mendy for Marcelo. The Italian knows how better Marcelo is than Mendy in the attack. Marcelo could not make much of an impact on the game, but one thing I know for sure is that he has done a better job than Mendy could have done in these circumstances.

Miguel Gutierrez is pretty similar to Marcelo. He is great in terms of attacking from the wings, something that Mendy is not too good at. Miguel is still very young and can improve his defending to give a healthy competition to the Frenchman. But Mendy is not someone to mess up with. He is strong and fast and is determined to do anything to improve.

Ferland Mendy has been working on improving his attack, but still has a long way to go. If the Frenchman can improve his attacking, I am pretty sure he will turn out to be the best complete left back in the world.