Sunday, August 14, 2022

3 Possible Alternatives For Real Madrid After Missing On Key Midfield Target

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Barcelona have mostly overshadowed their arch rivals Real Madrid in the past decade time and time again and now the Los Blancos will be furious that they are getting trumped by the Catalan giants in the transfer market as well. Barcelona have beaten the Spanish capital for the signature of Portuguese midfield maestro Andre Gomes. The 22-year-old was among the hottest properties in world football and could be a great addition to the La Liga holders.

Real Madrid rarely miss on any of their targets, such is the reputation of the club. Now that Real Madrid have missed on one of their prime targets, we have to wait and see how they react in the transfer market. Gomes was clearly eyed as the long-term heir to magical Luka Modric. The Croat is now 31 and Real Madrid looking for a long-term successor of the midfield maestro is not at all surprising.

Here are 3 alternatives of the Portuguese they could look for.

Ander Herrera

No matter whoever Real Madrid signs in the summer to bolster their midfield ranks, would have to be satisfied being confined to the bench for the most of the season while the midfield duo of Modric and Kroos work their magic on the pitch. Zidane, from his early days, looks like a manager who is not a fan of rotating the starting XI much although that could change as the legendary Frenchman gains more experience. Ander Herrera, in his two seasons at Manchester United could never really establish himself as a first-team regular and as the Red Devils look to reinforce their squad with big name players, the Spaniard’s struggle for game time could become worse.

Wigan Athletic's David Perkins (L) vies with Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera during the pre-season friendly football match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at the DW stadium in Wigan, northwest England, on July 16, 2016. / AFP / JON SUPER / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read JON SUPER/AFP/Getty Images)
Wigan Athletic’s David Perkins (L) vies with Manchester United’s Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera during the pre-season friendly football match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at the DW stadium in Wigan, north-west England, on July 16, 2016. / AFP / JON SUPER / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read JON SUPER/AFP/Getty Images)

Herrera could be the ideal cover for either Kroos and Modric at Real Madrid and in the process, he will get more time on the pitch than he could get at Old Trafford.

Marco Verratti

The Italian is one of the most technically gifted midfielders right now and getting him would be the best possible response from Real Madrid after missing out on Andre Gomes. The Italian is a quick, creative, agile and technically gifted midfield playmaker with notable dribbling skills and close ball control. Verratti is known for his confidence on the ball and ability to retain possession in tight spaces when under pressure, due to his low centre of gravity and resulting balance. Verratti would be the perfect long-term successor for Modric at Santiago Bernabeu.

Mateo Kovacic

Real Madrid already have the tailor-made replacement of Modric for plenty of years to come in his compatriot Kovacic. The 22-year-old struggled for game time in his debut season at Real Madrid but showed his glimpses of quality whenever he was called upon. Real Madrid, letting Kovacic go would be a big blunder. Zidane needs to retain the services of the young Croat at any cost and needs to give him more time on the pitch by maintaining the balance of the team.

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