Real Madrid is expected to have a busy transfer window this summer, with some huge signings looking likely. One high-profile signing looks inevitable already, as Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger has been touted to join Real Madrid as a free agent this summer. Even Fabrizio Romano has given a “Here we go” for this transfer, and we can expect an official announcement from the club once the transfer window begins.
This news comes as a huge sigh of relief for a lot of Madridistas including me, who have been highly disappointed with Real Madrid’s defensive struggles this season. Real’s defensive struggles have more to do with structural issues, but it has always been like that at Madrid (except for the Mourinho era and Zidane’s second stint), and it has always come down to individual brilliance.
This is where Antonio Rudiger’s signing can prove to be a huge blessing for Real Madrid, and a lot of players will benefit from his signing. There’s a need for Carlo Ancelotti, who had reportedly asked for the German’s signing, to involve Rudiger in the scheme of things from the word go. So let us have a look at the ways in which Ancelotti can incorporate Rudiger into the team, and how the team’s defence can be set up.
1. 4-3-3 with a backline of Alaba, Rudiger, Militao, and Carvajal
This might be the best possible line-up with Rudiger, in my opinion. Rudiger will get to play as an LCB, a position that has brought the best out of him and a position that is currently occupied by David Alaba. A strong physical presence like him in the centre of the backline will definitely improve the team’s way of dealing with crosses into the box.
There is an argument that Rudiger doesn’t fit a four-man defensive line well, and people are already making assumptions that Rudiger and Militao can’t progress the ball with ease. But Rudiger is a great passer of the ball, being in the 98th percentile for passes into the final third, and in the 93rd percentile for the number of progressive passes per 90. He is also a great long passer, with a habit of getting into his unique pose and launching the ball from the left side of his own half to the right-back making the run on the right flank.
One major change involved in forming this lineup is the replacement of the team’s current left-back, Ferland Mendy, with David Alaba. There’s no doubt in saying that Alaba is a better left-back than Mendy, who has been a liability this season in attack, and also with the ball at his feet. Ferland Mendy has been a great signing for Real Madrid, but he hasn’t been that good to become an irreplaceable player.
As for Alaba, he is growing older and he might not be the same explosive left-back he once was, but he is still a great player in the final third. His brilliance from the left-back position can be understood from Benzema’s goal vs Rayo (Home) and Eden Hazard’s goal vs Elche in Copa Del Rey). He is a brilliant crosser of the ball, and he can also act as an inverted centre-back at times, something that will definitely help Rudiger and Militao.
And coming to Carvajal, well, he’s still the best right-back in the team and no right-back has been linked to the club, as of now.