With the lack of depth and options in several areas of the pitch, Carlo Ancelotti has had to come up with innovative solutions to get the best out of Real Madrid. And having won ten out of eleven games this season, he certainly has been successful in doing that. The recent change in formation has not helped all the players though.
At Real Madrid, Rodrygo has played in every position up front and in every system devised by Ancelotti. This season, his role has changed from being on the right flank in the 4-3-3 formation to one of the two forwards in the Italian coach’s new 4-4-2 diamond system.
Rodrygo can be used in any position up front due to his versatility and his ability to affect games from several positions. Although this season, the Brazilian youngster has struggled to leave his mark on games.
Rodrgyo looks nowhere near his best in a more central role. And it looks like he is not particularly happy with it either.
Real Madrid player admits he does not like his new role
As reported by the Mirror, Rodrygo said:
"“It’s always important to be able to play in different roles. But I’ve always made it clear that it is better for me to play on the wings. I’ve always said I don’t like playing as a number nine, although at my club I have to. I don’t like it a lot.“Here in the national team, with Diniz’s system, I have more mobility, I can move anywhere on the pitch, which has helped my game. It is important to know how to do different things. It helps you to avoid being substituted, it helps you play and be in the starting XI. You need to do what you are required to do, that is very important for me.”"
Heatmaps from this season show that the Brazilian forward has a tendency to move out wide even while playing in a more central position. Nothing has really worked for him this season though.
With Karim Benzema no longer at the club, the expectation was that Rodrygo would be one of the players to step up to the plate and add more goals to his game. Instead, he seems to have taken backward steps in his development. According to stats from Transfermarkt, he has scored a goal and provided an assist in 11 appearances this season.
The 22-year-old might not be happy with his new role. But there is no reason for Ancelotti to change a system that is producing results on a consistent basis.