3 overlooked needs Real Madrid must address

Real Madrid, Florentino, Perez (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Florentino, Perez (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Miguel Gutierrez
Real Madrid, Miguel Gutierrez (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

A left back who can attack

Ferland Mendy is one of the best defensive left backs you will find on the planet. Honestly, off the top of my head, I cannot think of a left-sided defender who is better at the defensive aspects of the game than Mendy. He is a wall, and his impact on the team’s defense is obvious when you compare Real before and after his returns from injury.

Though some of that comparison may be rooted in comparing Madrid defensively to Mendy vs. Marcelo. The latter is clearly done at this level of football, and he will be out the door when the 2021-22 season ends, hopefully to ceremonious applause that glosses over his misgivings over the past couple of seasons.

While Mendy has defensive positives, his touch, passing, crossing, and creativity are all lacking at left back. Madridistas have been spoiled by Roberto Carlos and Marcelo over the years. They are two of the finest attacking left backs in the game’s history.

So while Real Madrid must temper their expectations, they should get a more attacking option to compete with Mendy for minutes. There are possible signings who can be brought in, but the easiest way to fill this need is to take youth seriously. After all, Real do not have unlimited funds. They should take advantage of options within the club at Castilla.

It’s something Carlo Ancelotti frustratingly cannot get right, and Madridistas are especially confounded as to why Miguel Gutierrez, who is now healthy, has suddenly been phased out of the first team entirely.

Fran Garcia is a former Castilla player shining at Rayo Vallecano, but even he is not as good as Miguel. We are talking about a young man in Miguel with the potential to be special, based on the playmaking qualities and all-around ability we have seen in 2020-21 and 2021-22 for the first team. And he is obviously incredible for Castilla, including in midfield.

Next. 5 ways Real Madrid must use summer to prepare for future. dark

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Miguel is the obvious answer here. He is a need filled. But make no mistake, left back is a hole for Real Madrid. David Alaba is 100 percent necessary at center back and must stay there for the team’s continuity, defensive coverage, leadership in the center, and overall build-up play.

So at left back, there is currently no first-team option besides Mendy, and that is not good enough. And that must change next season with Miguel called up full time, otherwise Real could start to suffer. Defenses are figuring out that they can load up on Vinicius Jr. due to how little end product Mendy has with his passing and crossing.