So he signed, and to no one's surprise Kaka will be at Real Madrid for the foreseeable future. Returning president Florentino Perez has promised to chase three more big name players in Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo, and David Villa.
If Madrid does manage to sign these three players, what happens to their current squad? (Specifically, the large Dutch contingent that has been in place for the past season or so.)
Four fairly good players would fall into this category: Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Rafael Van Der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, and Arjen Robben.
First, the question must be how many of these new players will be signed?
If it's Villa, then the forwards are in trouble.
If it's Ronaldo and Ribery, then it's the wingers and midfielders.
For the purpose of this scenario, let us say all three are signed.
Right now, Robben, Sneijder, and Hunter are either starters or key players at the club.
But, with the addition of these three, how many would want to stay?
Imagine a 4-5-1 with Diarra as a holding midfielder, Ribery and Kaka central, Robben and Ronaldo as wingers, and Villa up front.
This would leave Sneijder, Hunter, and VDV on the bench. Sneijder is currently a starter and Hunter a super-sub, while VDV has been in and out of the lineup with injuries and mercurial form.
While Sneijder has had great form and Hunter has proven he can score even as a sub, this would leave VDV out of the loop. Furthermore, as we have seen in Manchester United that while players can be productive off the bench, in the case of Tevez and Berbatov, they are unlikely to stay happy.
If Ronaldo could wrangle his way out of Manchester to Madrid, is it such a stretch to imagine them getting Robben back?
Robben has already proven he can be very good in the Premiership when healthy and has a similar skill set to Ronaldo.
Snejider has shown the temperament and ability to be good no matter where he is, but if Madrid were to sell him they would probably get whatever the payed for him and then some.
Hunter is the youngest of the group but perhaps the most talented. With Kaka feeding him and having Villa as a possible strike-partner, it could turn out to be a nightmare for other teams considering they both have greater than 1:2 goals to game ratios over their careers.
Van Der Vaart would be the biggest enigma for Madrid with the influx of new players.
Would they sacrifice their holding midfielder to add another offensive weapon in a lineup that is already stacked?
Would a player of his skill-set be useful off the bench?
Van Der Vaart is a playmaker in the same vein as Kaka, and is not generally known to generate instant offense the way Hunterlaar and Snejider can. It already seems he is the odd man out on the Madrid squad, but with three world class players coming in his time at the Spanish capital may be numbered.
The Dutch contingent that came to Madrid during the short lived tenure of Bernd Schuster looked to be, and at times was, extremely productive.
They played an attractive style of ball and won quite a few games. However, the drubbings by Barcelona and take over by Perez seems to have spelled an end to this era leaving the question, what happens to the Dutch?
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