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Will Real Madrid really build a forward line with three left-wingers?

Will Real Madrid really build a forward line with three left-wingers?
Will Real Madrid really build a forward line with three left-wingers?

Real Madrid and Florentino Perez, after a seven-year wait, finally have the crown jewel they have chased endlessly. Kylian Mbappe is officially a Galactico, and the years to come appear very exciting for the team.

The Frenchman’s arrival, however, brings with it a fundamental question for Carlo Ancelotti and Co. After all, it will not be easy to fit the World Cup winner into the team’s starting XI without unfairly removing one of the existing mainstays.

More importantly, the team cannot deploy the incoming star in the same position where he has excelled for Paris Saint-Germain in recent years. Ancelotti, thus, has a big task on his hands to find a new working dynamic.

The left-wing frenzy

Vinicius Jr. has grown into a monster on the left over the years to the point where he is now the favourite to take home the Ballon d’Or. As a potent force down the flank, he is the club’s mainstay in the position and is untouchable as such.

Mbappe, thus, arrives in Madrid with his niche position already taken. He can indeed operate as a centre-forward, but history is a testament that his true strengths are only focused when he plays wide and on the break.

The new <em>Galactico</em>. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
The new Galactico. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ancelotti’s problems are only compounded by the situation of Rodrygo Goes, who also prefers to play on the left flank. The youngster has shone whenever deployed in Vini Jr.’s place on the field, but his numbers on the other extreme of attack are not as impressive.

Having three starting quality left-wingers and no natural right-wing option thus shows a clear imbalance in Real Madrid’s squad and a challenge for the manager at the helm.

Optimising resources will be key

Mbappe’s arrival is undoubtedly the biggest boost for Real Madrid heading into the next season and getting the most out of the French forward will account for a large part of the team’s success.

The first step that Ancelotti is thus expected to make is a change in formation from the 4-4-2 of last season to a 4-3-3, opening up more places in attack.

The fundamental basis of the shift will see Jude Bellingham pushed down into central midfield, limiting his presence in the attacking third, likely alongside Federico Valverde and Aurelien Tchouameni.

Of the three places in attack, Vinicius will take up responsibilities down the left flank with Mbappe starting as a centre-forward. One can, however, expect the Frenchman to drift to the left regularly.

Rodrygo’s place in the starting lineup will depend on his ability to step up on the right wing. If the Brazilian fails to make the cut, the likes of Brahim Diaz or Arda Guler could take up the responsibility in the attack.