5 Real Madrid players Carlo Ancelotti needs to trust more

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Fede Valverde
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

1. Fede Valverde

No, the player on the first spot isn’t someone from Castilla who has low chances of playing in the top flight. Rather, it is someone who has well proven his worth to Real Madrid with his performances in the past. He is someone who enjoyed a regular role under Zinedine Zidane and he showed on the pitch why he deserved that much importance within the squad. Alas, this season, he hasn’t been half the player he used to be. I am talking about one of Real Madrid’s most passionate young players, Federico Valverde.

Fede Valverde’s record looks very bad this season. In 19 appearances in the league that includes 11 starts, he just has one assist to show for a direct goal involvement. Nor is he standing out passing-wise. He has only been good with his defensive contribution and that is alarming for a 23-year-old who earlier seemed to be on an upward growth curve.

Valverde has had one brilliant moment in the season so far and that was when he scored the winner in the semifinal of the Spanish Supercup. That is the only goal he has scored in the season. Moreover, he has looked very rusty, to say the least. There is something fundamentally wrong with him and I think it is the tactics Carlo Ancelotti has been deploying.

It limits Valverde’s natural gameplay which is more about carrying the ball out of deeper positions and setting up attacks after a controlled buildup. He isn’t accustomed to a high-pace counter-attacking game. He is good with counters, I am sure you will remember the part he played in Benzema’s opener in last season’s second Clasico in the league. It is just that playing with a high line, cramping for space, and operating on a higher pace all of the time isn’t suiting him.

Another reason is the scarce playing time. Naturally, he’d be the second choice in midfield given the combination of Kroos, Modric and Casemiro is a league apart. But, he hasn’t even been used rotationally. Most of his starts were from the beginning of the season when Kroos was out with injury. Since then, he has only started against weaker defenses and that needs to stop.

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If a young player is already making a transition from his natural style of play to suit a new manager’s tactics, he’d need frequent game time to adjust. That hasn’t been the case with Valverde. He isn’t someone capable of starting only against weaker opponents, which has been proven for seasons now. He should rather be a regular rotational piece in the midfield and thus, he is the one whom Carlo Ancelotti needs to show his trust the most.