Real Madrid are the reigning LaLiga and Champions League winners, and they are already among the big winners in the summer 2022 transfer market, having signed Antonio Rudiger for free and star midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco.
But the expectations in Madrid remain sky-high. Even immediately after securing the 14th Champions League title in the club’s history, everyone from the president to the manager to players to the fans made it clear the focus is on the 15th.
The pressure in the Spanish capital remains as intense as ever. Here are five Real Madrid players who could feel some serious heat in 2022/23.
LB Ferland Mendy
We begin with left back Ferland Mendy, whose goal-line clearance against Manchester City was one of the most important and underappreciated moments in Real Madrid’s march to the 2021/22 Champions League title.
Signed for 50 million euros from Lyon in 2019, Mendy has been a defensive stalwart on the left flank for the Merengues, but he has also been wildly inconsistent offensively. That led to Vinicius Jr. needing to take multiple defenders on at a time with little help on the overlap.
Real Madrid’s wise decision to sign Antonio Rudiger for free could mean more minutes for David Alaba at his old position of left back, with the German starting alongside another big-money 2019 defensive signing, Eder Militao.
Mendy’s spot in the lineup is not lost yet, but it is in danger. If Mendy does not make strides offensively and this leads to more difficult defensive assignments for Vini Jr., then the Frenchman could indeed lose minutes in 2022/23.