Real Madrid have made some incredible moves this summer, but they are set to hurt the team if they go any further.
Immediately after the World Cup, the reigning UEFA Champions League winners added arguably the two biggest breakout stars in Brazil. The squad signed Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez for a reported £71 million and then brought in Toni Kroos, who was a key part of Germany's title.
These two players will add to an attack that already features Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and more world-class players capable of scoring at any time. There is no question this group is capable of racking up goals against almost any defence in the world.
However, the latest moves have brought question marks to the locker room in the form of playing time for some of the other elite talents. This will likely lead to a number of extra transfers in the coming weeks that will only end up hurting the team.
It is believed that PSG have re-entered the race for his signature, but various reports in Spain claim that Di Maria is holding out for a move to Old Trafford despite United's lack of Champions League football in the upcoming campaign.
The versatile playmaker won't be allowed to depart for less than £50million, and Louis Van Gaal is prepared to meet Real's asking price as well as offering a lucrative long-term deal, with PSG still unwilling to match the asking price.
The Independent adds that Sami Khedira is likely on his way out of the Bernabeu:
Neither of these players made his way to the pitch in the UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla. Khedira could not even earn a place on the bench for Carlo Ancelotti's club.
Which player would be most important for Real Madrid this season?
While it usually makes sense to sell valuable pieces who are not even on the first team, the fact is Real Madrid need these players. Even with the additions heading into the season, these two provide something no one else on the roster can provide.
With Di Maria, the club has one of the top creators in the entire world. The Argentine led La Liga with 17 assists thanks to his great vision and ability to place the ball exactly where it needs to be every time down the pitch.
It is no wonder Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal spoke about him being a dream addition for his club when assessing his own team. He recently explained, via Sacha Pisani of Goal.com:
At this moment, we have five number nines and four number 10s – and we don't have wingers to give us attacking width. Or, I should say, we don't have wingers of the highest level, like Ronaldo or Di Maria or somebody like that.
When you could put a player in the same sentence as the reigning Ballon d'Or winner, he is obviously something special.
As imposing as the current lineup for Real Madrid is, there is no one who can match Di Maria's ability to set up teammates. This could lead to much more one-on-one play from the other stars, which could end up failing against the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Meanwhile, Khedira is just as important as a defensive midfielder. Although he is not going to show up often in the scoresheet, he comes up huge on the other end of the pitch with his ability to consistently win balls and keep possession away from the opponent.
Cristian Nyari of Bundesliga Fanatic also noted the player's drive was vital in Germany's World Cup run:
Khedira's drive so important for Germany. No other player on the roster offers that, not even Schweinsteiger.— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) June 1, 2014
Kroos and Luka Modric both are solid in the middle of the pitch and know how to push it forward, but neither has the defensive ability of Khedira. Considering centre-back is arguably the biggest question mark for Real Madrid, it is much more important to have a defensive-minded player keeping the opposing attack as far from the goal as possible.
Losing these players could be devastating for Los Blancos, but the latest idea for an incoming transfer makes even less sense. According to Andy Hunter of The Guardian, Radamel Falcao is close to joining Real Madrid after turning down Liverpool of the EPL:
Liverpool have made an eye-catching attempt to bring Radamel Falcao to Anfield only to be informed the Monaco striker is destined for Real Madrid this summer...Liverpool’s approach revealed the 28-year-old, who missed his country’s captivating World Cup campaign with a cruciate ligament injury, is set to follow James Rodríguez out of Monaco but that a deal with European champions Real is close to being agreed.
Unlike Di Maria, Falcao is a pure scorer who does not set up teammates. The Colombian striker would not be an upgrade over Benzema and would not really fit into the current system. Instead, it would be a pricey move to add just a little depth.
Instead of selling off key pieces and bringing in less-useful new ones, Real Madrid should do their best to keep the status quo. Ancelotti needs to convince Di Maria and Khedira to stay by actually putting them in the starting XI, where they would truly help the squad win.
The Spanish giants have already had a great summer to make the team a favourite to win a lot more trophies. Now it is important to not make the club any worse before the start of the season.
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