Valverde and the Future of Real Madrid

I was quite impressed and surprised to see Marco Asensio starting yesterday’s game against Valencia CF.

Carlo Ancelotti has usually been using Valverde or Rodrygo as a right winger to start games in the last weeks. Marco Asensio has mostly been used as a player for the final 30 minutes of the matches.

But some stuff happened in the last weeks…

Criticism in Spain: Valverde not the Same?

Some Real Madrid communities have been complaining about the recent performance of the Uruguay international.

But Valverde has been of immense help to this team in the 2022/23 season. In fact, this is something very obvious about Real Madrid these days…

Carlo Ancelotti is asking a lot in terms of flexibility

Sometimes this kind of stuff can ruin the career of a player. One tragic mistake in a not-so-usual role and the fans will remember it forever.

And truth be told, this is not just the case of Fede Valverde. The player from South America has been used as central midfielder, sometimes a purely defensive CM, and right winger.

Rodrygo has also been used as a right winger, central midfielder, and striker, and back in his academy days he was a… left-winger!

We have seen Camavinga perform quite well as a left-back recently (much better than the disastrous attempts to use Nacho and Rüdiger in that role).

There are other examples. Yesterday, against Valencia CF, Modric was used both close to the right winger and the left winger, switching places with Ceballos on occasion.

One might eventually ask… Aren’t these way too many changes? Is that jeopardising Real Madrid?

It’s hard to analyse the reality of Federico Valverde without realising that Carlo Ancelotti has been trying to keep an oiled, versatile squad at his disposal.

Asensio and The World Cup

Real Madrid is a side that is proud of its Spanish nationalist roots. And they usually care about having some Spanish names in the squad. In the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Asensio was Spain’s number 10 and a very important player.

It’s fair to say he came back home from Qatar with a bit more respect in terms of his form than before the World Cup. We had rumours that Real Madrid wouldn’t even care if the player joined Barcelona after the expiration of his contract.

It’s one thing to let a player go, and a different thing to allow Barça to sign a player that interests them… Coming straight from Valdebebas?

His recent performances in games that he started as a bench warmer probably convinced Carletto to give him a chance to start… Especially as Modric needs to be used carefully – in spite of his amazing fitness – and the calendar will become a challenge in a month where they’ll have to face 3 competitions: La Liga, The Club World Cup, and the Champions League.

Valverde: The Present and The Future

Yesterday’s game against Valencia could be two things…

a) Ancelotti just rested him a bit as the calendar will be complicated, and allowed Asensio a chance to start

b) The Italian manager is not 100% happy with his recent performances, like many Madridistas.

I guess the only fair conclusion is this: while the versatility of many players from Real Madrid’s squad are useful assets, sometimes in football when you try to do everything you end up doing nothing… Maybe Valverde should just be an amazing CM or focus on the RW developing even more skills to be a fast player.

One thing is certain: if Real Madrid doesn’t win either the Champions League or La Liga, lots of questions will be asked about the use of gems like Rodrygo, Valverde and even Camavinga.

Betting Analysis: Real Madrid and Valverde

When the player from Uruguay starts games, this reduces a bit the chances of Real Madrid to score early as Rodrygo is a bit faster and more adapted to the winger role.

Valverde seems to be more adapted to the central midfielder role in my opinion, although he’s capable of firing out great shots from some 20+ yards on occasion.

I guess the biggest ‘asset’ in terms of tactical options for Carlo Ancelotti is the situation we had in the last El Clasico valid for La Liga: after the first goal, Valverde shifted from his RW position to become a CM which helped Real Madrid to keep ahead in the score and win the game against Barcelona.

And as I mentioned in my recent analysis about what happened yesterday with his fellow Uruguayan Cavani, one must always analyse the team as a whole and not just specific names to understand deeply what’s going on with a football team.

Valverde is an asset for the present and the future. And he was a starter in the last UEFA Champions League final that Real Madrid won, so he’s already in the books of history of Los Blancos and European footie itself.