Real Madrid's New Signing Policy

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

The club once known as the Galácticos is investing quite hard in young players. Casemiro, Carvajal, Isco and Illarramendi average just 21.5 years of age, and none of them have played for their national team. Are these signings good enough for Real Madrid?

Real Madrid have spent more than 70M€ so far. Napoli bought Callejón for 10M€ and they are about to confirm Albiol's signing for 12M€, while Gonzalo Higuaín and Fàbio Coentrao could still leave the club and put some cash back in Real Madrid's budget.

Two different kind of deals have been made: First, the club activated Casemiro and Carvajal's buyout clauses. While Casemiro was playing in Castilla on a loan from Sao Paulo, Carvajal was sold for 5M€ to Bayer Leverkusen. Still, Real Madrid kept options to bring them back for 4M€ and 6.5M€ respectively. Casemiro played well enough to take that gamble and Carvajal was one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga. It will be interesting to see whether these two deals pay off for Real Madrid, but both of them were quite brilliant.

The signings of Casemiro and Carvajal have been brilliant

After these two signings, Real Madrid decided to buy Isco Alarcón from Málaga in a deal reported to be around 30M€. Isco had a very impressive UEFA U21 Eurocup playing as a midfielder in Lopetegui's 4-3-3 formation. It should be noted that Isco's release clause with Málaga was 35M€ and Málaga accepted to negotiate. Isco will arguably be a very important player for both Spain and Real Madrid in the near future, and he will give Carlo Ancelotti a lot of different options this very same year. So, considering his ability to play in every position in the offensive line and his impressive 2012-2013 campaign, Isco's signing was probably spot on. To buy a potential Ballon D'Or and reigning Golden Boy already able to contribute to the team for just 30M€ was a great deal for Real Madrid.

23 year-old Spanish midfielder Asier Illarramendi was signed last week. Real Sociedad made this deal quite tougher as a new transfer saga started, so Florentino Pérez paid 32.190.000€ to get Illarramendi out of the Basque team. Illarramendi was Ancelotti and Zidane's main target in this transfer window. He can play with Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric, but a 4-3-3 formation will suit him perfectly as well. A Sami Khedira and Illarramendi partnership in a 4-2-3-1 formation wouldn't be enough to create dangerous plays. Illarramendi performed brilliantly in the same UEFA U21 Eurocup with Isco and Morata. Real Sociedad only managed to win one game out of six played without him on the pitch, and he was the main key behind Real Sociedad's success in this 2012-2013 Liga BBVA campaign where Montanier's team finished 4th ahead of teams like Valencia, Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and Betis. Real Madrid probably overpaid to get his talents, but Isco's deal was cheaper than expected and the club could afford to do that kind of effort to please Carlo Ancelotti and give him the player he wanted.

Real Madrid would've probably bought Jovetic, Cavani or Navas if this was 2009

Players like Jesús Navas, Stevan Jovetic, Edinson Cavani or Neymar have changed teams. And Real Madrid would've probably bought them if this was 2009. Florentino Pérez, Zidane and Ancelotti have decided to sign stars in the making instead. And it seems that Jesé, Morata and Nacho will have bigger chances of getting minutes this season. That will probably hurt Real Madrid's depth when needed. These players need some time and maturity to adapt to one of the world's biggest clubs. The fans will need patience when judging Illarra, Jesé, Morata or Isco's game against big opponents this next season. But if these players pan out, Real Madrid would've ended buying them for a much more expensive fee, and that's why those signings are really good investments.

Real Madrid could've bought Xabi Alonso for 15M€ when he went to Liverpool FC in the 2004-2005 campaign. The club didn't want to pay that much and Alonso ended up winning a Champions League and succeeding as a red. And of course, Xabi Alonso ended up signing with Real Madrid for 30M€ when he was five years older. Pablo García, Gago, Emerson, Mahamadou Diarrá, Thomas Gravesen and many more tried to fill Real Madrid's void in the defensive midfielder position and failed. Real Madrid paid more than 50M€ for those players, so Xabi Alonso would've been a lot cheaper. The board learned from that experience and decided to pay a little bit too much for Illarramendi instead of signins players just to fill the void.

That's why Real Madrid has changed.

Still, Florentino Pérez likes to sign galácticos. The fans want to see Gareth Bale wearing Real Madrid's jersey and Florentino Pérez knows it. There's a long way to go before August 31st.

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