3. Rudiger as the RCB in a 4-3-3 with Alaba as a CB and Militao as an RB
As I’ve mentioned in the previous slides, Rudiger is a right-footed centre-back but he is used to playing on the left side. But in this setup, he can be the team’s RCB, with David Alaba as the LCB. The minor position change might not be a huge deal for Rudiger, because a centre-back has to cover every blade of grass on the other side at times, irrespective of their position on paper.
But here comes the twist. This team will have Ferland Mendy as the left-back of the team, while Eder Militao becomes the right-back. The Brazilian has the experience of playing as a right-back, having played in that position for Porto in the 2018-19 season.
Some of you might think of me as a mad man to imagine such a backline, but this is the only way in which I can see all of Alaba, Mendy, Militao and Rudiger being accommodated in the same time. And yes, I do see Militao as an undroppable player for Real Madrid, irrespective of the recent criticism of Militao due to his form issues and mistakes in recent games. He has been a solid player for the most part of this season and the recent rumours of a contract extension only prove that the club has complete faith in him.
But I believe such a system is too defensive, even if Carvajal is used instead of Militao, and if I was Real Madrid’s manager, I would never even think of using a team with Mendy and Militao as full-backs.
I can’t see this system being used by Carlo Ancelotti next season. He will use Alaba and Rudiger as the centre-backs in case of a Militao injury or suspension, with a backline of Alaba-Rudiger-Militao-Carvajal being his first choice backline this season.
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And it will be interesting to see where Ferland Mendy’s future lies, as he might become a second-choice left-back after Rudiger’s arrival. He is entering his prime years, and he would want to play regularly for his club at this age.