Real Madrid can sign a very cheap Marcelo replacement who is already one of LaLiga’s best LBs

Real Madrid, Florentino Perez (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Florentino Perez (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /

Yesterday, a report from ABC Deportes’ Tomas Gonzalez-Martin had surprised some of the Madridistas including myself, because it was mentioned that Real Madrid‘s manager Carlo Ancelotti doesn’t trust Castilla’s young left-back Miguel Gutierrez. It was also mentioned that the club would look for a new left-back this summer.

With Marcelo leaving the club this summer after his contract expires and with Miguel’s position seeming unclear, someone has to be signed by the club to fill in the spot of Mendy’s backup, with Frenchman’s injuries becoming a frequent worry.

Some names like Sergio Reguilon, who has a buy-back clause of 45 million euros in his contract at Tottenham, and Jose Gaya were rumoured to be the possible targets. But today, another name has been reported by the media, as a Marcelo replacement, and that option does look reasonable.

According to Sergio Santos of AS, Real Madrid is eyeing to sign Rayo Vallecano’s left-back Fran Garcia this summer. He has also mentioned that Miguel Gutierrez will go on loan, and Real Madrid will look to get Garcia for just 5 million euros, as they hold 50% rights of the La Fabrica graduate, who was sold to Rayo in the summer of 2021.

Real Madrid, Fran Garcia (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Fran Garcia (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Fran Garcia can be a great back-up for Mendy

I have mentioned in some of my previous articles that Real Madrid’s academy always produces quality full-backs, with the best examples being Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Reguilon, and Achraf Hakimi. Fran Garcia is another quality full-back, who hasn’t achieved a lot yet but has a lot of potential.

Fran Garcia had stayed in Castilla till the age of 21, but he wasn’t hyped a lot and some Castilla coaches saw Miguel Gutierrez as the best left-back in La Fabrica. He was growing and he had to take the next step in his career. So the club decided it’s better to loan him to a team where he can get consistent minutes. Subsequently, he was loaned to Rayo Vallecano in September 2020, when the Madrid based club was in the second division.

There weren’t really a lot of expectations from Fran’s role, but he quietly had a sensational season at Rayo and helped them achieve promotion to LaLiga. He accumulated over 3700 minutes, registering 2 goals and 4 assists for the club, including a goal against Barcelona in Copa Del Rey. He was also awarded the ‘Player of the Season’ award by Rayo, and they didn’t wait long to activate the 2 million euro buyout clause in his deal and make him a permanent player. This season he has only one assist so far in LaLiga, but that doesn’t show you the complete picture, and he has been one of the best left-backs in LaLiga. According to FBREF, he is in the 95th percentile across Europe, for carries into the final third, and in the 91st percentile for progressive carries.

He is a very talented player blessed with lethal pace and excellent attacking skills, that have made Rayo use him as a winger at times. He is not a very tall player, but he is physically strong and can give a tough fight to the opponents in 1v1 situations. Well, he does have his own weaknesses, but he has shown a lot of improvement in the last 18 months.

Since the club still holds 50% of his rights and his release clause at Rayo is worth only 10 million euros, the club can get him for as low as 5 million euros. It would be a steal, and the club will have a young and fantastic player as Mendy’s backup. I don’t want to compare him with Miguel, but if the club has taken a decision on Miguel, then they should look at Fran as the best option.

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He has already made his first-team debut, as he got to play for Real Madrid in a Copa Del Rey match against UD Melilla in the 2018/19 season, and he also assisted Isco for a goal. If the report is true and the club buys him back from Rayo, then we can expect to see many more first-team appearances and many more assists from the 22-year-old.