Real Madrid kicked off their La Liga campaign last weekend with a resounding 4-1 win away at Deportivo Alavés at the Mendizorrotza Stadium, and prepare for their second jaunt outside of the Spanish capital when they visit Levante on Sunday evening.
But unfortunately for Carlo Ancelotti, Madrid will be without key midfield duo Luka Modric and Toni Kross for the clash at the Estadi Ciutat de València.
🚨| Real Madrid’s official squad for tomorrow:
❌ = Kroos, Modrić, Marcelo, Mendy, Mariano.
Carvajal is back! ✅ pic.twitter.com/uBGzYTJ164
— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) August 21, 2021
Kroos has yet to feature for Madrid this season under the returning Ancelotti and is not expected to return to first-team duties till early October, while Modric – who did start and complete 88-minutes in the win over Alavés, will now join him on the treatment table after picking up a groin injury.
Los Blancos remain incredibly light in the center of the park this season, with just Modric and Kroos joined by holding midfield stalwart Casemiro, Federico Valverde, and Dani Ceballos, who is also sidelined for at least another month.
Questionable squad building decisions in Madrid
Despite the lack of real depth in the center of the park for Madrid, Los Blancos refused to find a way to make the situation work for Norwegian international starlet Martin Ødegaard, and instead opted to grant him passage to complete his move to Arsenal in a deal that netted them €35million.
But the tactical versatility in Ødegaard’s locker would have given Ancelotti a creative in-house replacement for the sidelined Modric & Kroos, and the club must now contend with the dire need of re-assessing whether or not they need to open their checkbook and secure a central midfielder before the transfer deadline.
Madrid has long been linked with interest in Stade Rennais’ French international starlet Eduardo Camavinga, who has made his intentions plain regarding his refusal to extend his deal in Brittany at Roazhon Park.
Should the 21-year-old wiz kid refuse to change his stance regarding an extension, Rennais sporting director Florian Maurice will look to sell the youngster for a fee less than the €60million the club looked for earlier this summer.
“Either we extend it or we look for a solution to sell him. Letting him go for free is not good for anyone. He can choose between saying ‘I want to go’ or ‘I want to stay’ but we have to find a solution that satisfies all parties.” [quotes via Marca]
If the recent injuries to Modric & Kroos are any lesson to live by, Madrid should seriously consider bringing in another central midfield player if they do not intend to play Russian roulette with their lack of options through the middle.