Despite—or perhaps because of—Modric’s undoubted quality, fans of both Spurs and Real are viewing this transfer with consternation.
Spurs are understandably anxious to keep their talismanic playmaker. He is their best player by quite some margin, and his influence on the field is undoubted.
The Croat made 41 first-team appearances for his team last season, and though his statistical contributions are less than glorious—four assists and five goals in all competitions—the assertiveness with which Modric commands the Tottenham midfield is nigh irreplaceable.
He understands Tottenham’s style of play and is imperative to the beautiful attacking football they have begun to cultivate over the past few seasons.
Also, speaking realistically, it is extremely unlikely that Spurs will be able to tempt a player of Modric’s quality to White Hart Lane to replace him, and his loss will be an almost-crippling blow to their chances of a top four finish—particularly with a menacing-looking Chelsea chomping at the bit to right the wrongs of last season’s sixth-place finish.
However, £35 million is an enormous sum of money, and the conspicuous lack of Champions League football that is hanging over Tottenham’s head is an all-too-familiar obstacle that a player of Modric’s quality should not really have to face.
Additionally, the club that has come knocking is Real Madrid, and unless you happen to speak fluent Catalan, an expression of interest from Real Madrid will sow seeds of ambition in any player’s mind.
Real, on the other hand, have a different objection to the transfer, in that it is as-yet unclear where Modric will fit into the Madrid team.
Los Merengues set up in an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, with Mesut Özil sitting slightly behind the main striker and the conservative Sami Khedira staying back and knocking short, simple passes to the wealth of creativity ahead of him, with the defensively solid and creatively outstanding Xabi Alonso beside him. Then, the indubitable Cristiano Ronaldo plays high up on the left in something of an inside-forward/faux-striker role.
With Kaká and Nuri Sahin currently warming the bench as able backups to Özil and Alonso respectively—as well as the home-grown Esteban Granero and Lassana Diarra waiting in the wings should Real experience an injury crisis—it seems as though the plethora of talent in the midfield has the potential to dilute Modric’s playing time. And he needs playing time to influence the game in the way that Spurs fans are all-too-aware that he can.
Understandable as these concerns are, Modric would be a raging success at Real.
His arrival would almost certainly signal the departure of some of the above-mentioned players, many of whom have failed to fire thus far at Madrid, and I believe that his transfer would be of great benefit to the team.
Read on, read why and feel free to comment with your take on the matter!