Over the years, Real Madrid has been accused of not promoting its youth academy. They’ve always sought for the best players from other clubs and youth systems causing the club to lose some of its promising young stars some of whom have developed to be among the best in the world. Although I’m in support of promoting academy players, I would also like Real Madrid not to drop their salacity to have star players because it’s an identity; one that could be called the ‘Madrid Identity’.
Buying stars has always been Real Madrid’s thing, as a matter of fact, it’s one of the reasons the club still has a name in Europe and in the world of football as a whole. I’m not saying I’m in support of the whole concept but it has its advantages which I’ll discuss on a different blog.
Last season the newly elected president, Florentino Perez, spent a disquieting sum of about 250 million Euros buying the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema, Xabi Alonso, etc. Some of them did live up to expectations while the others didn’t. Once again, the summer transfer window is open and according to Florentino Perez, three or four major signings are going to be made.
There have been so many names linked to Real Madrid but, honestly, only three of them are necessary :-
a) Douglas Maicon: He is definitely one of the best right backs in the game (if not the best). Some would say that the team already has Sergio Ramos so there will be no need for the new guy but I think that with Maicon, there will be an added amount of flexibility to the defense especially when injury and fatigue come into play. There have also been rumors that Nemanja Vidic might be joining the team but in my opinion, he is really not needed. With Pepe, Raul Albiol, Ezequiel Garay, and even Sergio Ramos, Vidic wouldn’t bring as much flexibility as Maicon would bring.
b) Angel Di Maria: I know there has been a lot of controversy as to whether Perez should sign David Silva or Angel Maria but in my opinion, Di Maria is much more needed on the team than David Silva is. David Silva is more of a central player than a winger, he players centrally for both Valencia and the Spanish national team and, to be honest, his position is well occupied on the team. We already have Kaka, Van der Vaart and Sergio Canales all occupying that position. He is also not fast or skillful enough to play on the wings. On the other hand, Di Maria is fast and skillful, and even though he’s not too strong physically, he is a natural winger and that’s what Los Blancos need at the moment. For some years now, Madrid has consistently had to depend on one winger; Robinho, Robben and now Ronaldo. There is an urgent need for a winger and Angel Di Maria is a facile candidate. Cristiano Ronaldo will be like a mentor to him and in no time, he’ll be as ruthless as his Portuguese colleague. Jose Mourinho also seems to prefer Di Maria but if Mr Perez can afford the two of them, then why not? They play totally different roles on the field.
c) Ashley Cole or Aleksander Kolarov: I would personally pick Ashley Cole over Kolarov because, for some reason, players from the Italian league know how to flop in the Spanish League. Ashley is a more experienced and proven player, and would adapt faster than Kolarov would. Though Arbeloa filled in well at left back position the few times he played, I still think there is need for a more established left back. Marcelo can also be an alternative but he should be moved to the wings, he has the potential to be a very good winger.
Another player being tipped to join Los Merengues is Steven Gerrard. I would definitely like to see him join Real Madrid because, unknown to many, he would be a very important and integral part of the team. It’s true that we already have kaka and VDV in that position but the two of them aren’t worth much defensively. Real Madrid needs a player who can connect the defensive side of the team to the offensive side, someone who come back and transit play from defense to attack but Kaka and VDV don’t play that deep. Xabi Alonso tries to do the job but doesn’t hold on to the ball well enough and usually resorts to long range passes which may not work all the time. That’s when Steven Gerrard would come in handy. I wouldn’t consider him to be a priority but if he’s willing to join the team for a reasonable price then I say,’go for it’.
Real Madrid has a lot to take care of before the season kicks off and I hope Jose Mourinho lives up to expectations. He should know that the Madrid job is the ultimate job, if he cannot make it there then he should consider dropping the name, ‘the special one’. And in the club’s attempt to better itself, it should do so without trying to copy other clubs. The team should have its identity, the ‘Madrid Identity’.