Real Madrid’s planning for the future has been nothing short of exemplary. The group of players that they have currently is a mixture of young blood and experienced veterans, and that’s the perfect blend for a team that’s hungry for titles. They’ve also done one really, really good thing, and it’s not being recognised enough.
They are in the process of finding replacements for their core. They’ve already done it for so many players. Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, were really, really important pieces of the team that won four Champions League titles in five years, and replacing them was no easy task. But the club has lined up replacements for all those players, and they’ve done so while still winning, and competing for titles.
A story that was brought to light by AS, Real Madrid started the process of replacing the ageing core in 2018, and they haven’t stopped since. They have long-term replacements for nine players out of the eleven, and that’s very, very good, considering they did all that in just four years.
Karim Benzema and Dani Carvajal are the only players that Real Madrid don’t have replacements for yet
By signing Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr., Fede Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, David Alaba, Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni, they’ve made sure the core doesn’t suffer when it’s time for the old guard to drive off into the sunset.
Of course, they signed Ferland Mendy as well, a player that has been crucial in Real’s recent Champions League triumph. But they still need replacements for two players, Benzema and Carvajal.
The market for right-backs definitely exists, and there is one player that I really really like, Vanderson. But there are many players in that position that the club can look to sign in the coming years to replace Dani Carvajal. They did try getting the future sorted when they signed Odriozola, but as we all know, that hasn’t quite worked out, because Odriozola had a pretty bad spell at Real after a really good couple of seasons at Sociedad.
With Benzema, they’ve tried replacing him with Luka Jovic, but the thing about Jovic isn’t that he doesn’t have the talent. He just doesn’t fit the team’s scheme and playing style, which is unfortunate, because I really wanted him to succeed at the club. It’s a shame.
But, like with Carvajal, the club has some time before they need to get a replacement. Benzema is going to be 35 this year, so they don’t have as much time as they do for Carvajal, but I think for the next two years, the club can do without a replacement. They don’t have to sign someone just for the sake of signing someone.
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But after that, the operation of phasing Benzema out of the starting XI might start. You never know with these guys, though. Modric wasn’t supposed to play at this level at 37, so with athletic freaks like him and Benzema, you can never be sure when the decline would happen. But the club would definitely have to prepare for it, and plan for the future as well as they can.