The Champions of Europe, Real Madrid, who lifted their 11th European title last season have been rather calm in the transfer market. Zinedine Zidane, a club legend, who was in charge of the side halfway through the previous season was not able to compete with the likes of Barcelona for the La Liga title but managed to keep the club’s reputation as the ‘Kings of Europe’. However, the challenges will only get tougher for the Bernabeu outfit who will be expected to compete for all three trophies this season. With the Spanish League set to start this weekend, here is a season preview for the Los Blancos’ 2016-17 season.
Alvaro Morata (Juventus – €30m)
Jesé Rodriguez (PSG – €25m)
Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal – €7m)
Alvaro Medran (Valencia – €1.5m)
Omar Mascarell (E Frankfurt – €1m)
Alvaro Arbeloa (free)
Review of the transfer business
The manager at Real Madrid has not really looked to spend big this summer and surprisingly has a negative balance. The only player that Zidane has spent any money on was Álvaro Morata, who was bought back from Juventus after two impressive seasons in Italy. They have, however, included the likes of Marcos Llorente, Mariano Diaz and Borja Mayoral into their senior squad from Real Madrid Castilla, a lower division Spanish side also owned by the Spanish giants. But even with such less transfer business, Real look one of the strongest sides in the Europe and will surely compete with the best in the new season.
The manager has also let the likes of Jesé, Cheryshev and Arbeloa leave this summer and will probably add one or two players in the two weeks of the transfer window that are left and if he can get his hands on top class players, Zidane will not be too far away from challenging to defend the Champions League successfully for the first time. However, their biggest coup of the transfer window still remains that fact that they got star player Cristiano Ronaldo to agree to extend his contract till 2021 this summer.
Real Madrid are one of the few sides in Europe that have star player all around the field. The likes of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane will be hard to beat at the back alongside Marcelo while Luka Modric and Toni Kroos will be expected to take care of the midfield for the side.
Ronaldo and Bale will yet again be used on the flanks, inter-changing positions with one of Karim Benzema or Alvaro Morata who will lead the side in attack. They have a settled look about their team and will surely have a strong season up ahead. The likes of Lucas Vasquez, Casemiro, Isco, James Rodrigues (linked with a move away from the club), Lucas Silva and Mateo Kovacic provide healthy depth in the squad that will allow them to compete on all fronts this season.
The manager will not try to change too many things in his squad and will hope that the quality in his first team can get them through the few tough games they will face throughout the tournament.
Expectations for the season
The manager gave Real Madrid their 11th Champions League trophy in just half a year in charge of the club. His time at the club last season was marked as a start of a new era in the history of one of the greatest clubs in world football and this will be his first full season in charge of the senior side.
Zidane showed what he is capable of achieving with his squad in the previous season and will be expected to not only repeat the performance but better it. Real Madrid failed to be consistent enough in the previous season to win the league and if Zidane can get his troops to maintain the level of performance in every single game, he can easily snatch the La Liga title in his first full year at the club. They will also be a big threat for the Champions League and are capable of becoming the first team to retain the European title.