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Player v. Player: Esteban Granero v. Xabi Alonso

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 06:  Esteban Granero of Getafe reacts during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Getafe at the Camp Nou Stadium on April 6, 2008 in Barcelona, Spain. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Khalid KhanCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2009

The transfer saga of Xabi Alonso takes many twists and turns, and there is no sign of it ending as of now. This raises questions that if Alonso does not arrive then who will do the job of playmaker, or to be more specific, deep-lying playmaker.

Alonso maybe suitable for the job and wanted by Pellegrini, but at the moment, there are many players on Real Madrid's squad whom are playmakers.

However, since Manuel Pellegrini prefers the 4-4-2 formation, that would suit a deep-lying playmaker, namely Alonso or a similar player. Another formation that is good for such player is 4-1-4-1, but it won’t be realistic for Real.

From the existing squad, Guti and Wesley Sneijder can both play as a deep-lying playmaker.

But Guti is inconsistent and therefore unreliable. Sneijder does not prefer to play in the deep-lying position. His defense is vulnerable and he likes to play in an offensive role.

Still, if Alonso does not come then Sneijder may well have to fill that position. But another player that may well be a better choice is Esteban Granero.

Granero is young and, despite his offensive credentials, can be developed into a deep-lying playmaker’s role.

He is a good passer which is an essential for a deep-lying role, has great vision, ball retention, free-kick taker, got a good head and can become a future workhorse in the center midfield.

All he will need is the playing opportunities and backing from the coach, while saving the club a huge amount of money in purchasing Xabi Alonso.

The club had tabled an offer for AS Roma’s Daniele De Rossi, but unfortunately this Alonso saga once again illustrates the fixation of Real Madrid’s hierarchy on one player and the inability to contemplate other options when things are not working out for them.

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