As news exploded across the Internet about the transfer ban on Madrid’s two biggest footballing powers, Real Madrid fans must be feeling an emotion akin to outrage.
That past year or so has been filled with administrative miseries: the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti, the appointment of Rafa Benitez, the fax machine failure, the loaning of Fabio Coentrao without acquiring an adequate replacement, the failure to loan out or sell Cheryshev, the Copa del Rey debacle, and now this. The frustration Los Blancos’ fans must feel right now is palpable and justified. Despite all of Florentino’s business acumen and administrative skill, he has not covered himself in glory, and must take some serious responsibility for the mistakes that have occurred over the past 6-8 months. Yet for once, Florentino messing up might actually be a good thing (or twice, depending on how you feel about the De Gea saga). This transfer ban might just be a blessing in disguise.
Real Madrid can find their equilibrio
If there has ever been an overused word in the recent past of this club it has been "equilibrio," which refers to the tactical balance this club needs to be successful for a sustained period of time. Due to the critical importance of this "equilibrio" one would think that Florentino Perez would do everything in his power to maintain a squad brimming with chemistry and a balanced tactical make-up. Wrong. If anything, Madrid have been their own worst enemy when trying to find the secret to unparalleled success and glory. Their uncontrollable impulse to be the best extends into the transfer market, where Madrid feel the need to dominate proceedings even if it isn’t necessary. There is a saying that Madrid can get any player they want, and to a large extent that is true. But instead of using this immense power wisely to strengthen necessary areas of the squad, Madrid have often let such power overwhelm their senses and cloud their judgment.
But with the transfer ban, Florentino Perez has no choice but to put his faith in Madrid’s current crop of players. The only way to ensure success from now until 2017 is to create an atmosphere of stability and support for the manager and his players even when things are going badly. This transfer ban just may have bought time (oh the irony) for Zidane and his players to find a system and a philosophy even if things don’t quite work out this year. For Madrid, this can only be a good thing.
Los Blancos’ depth is immense
Another positive is the fact that Los Blancos have immense depth in nearly all areas of the pitch. On the wings we have Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Jese, Lucas Vazquez, Isco, and James, with two of them capable of playing up front if Benzema is injured; in center midfield and attacking midfield we have Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, Kovacic, James, and Isco; and in Defense we have Pepe, Varane, Ramos, Nacho, Carvajal, Danilo, Marcelo, and Don Arbeloa. The only clear weakness is at left-back, but Madrid have the 2016 winter transfer window to sort out this issue and with all our famed financial power, getting a back-up should be a piece of cake. If all else fails we can still call back Fabio Styrofoam Coentrao who can put in a more than decent shift in the 3 games of the season he is fit for.
Youth has a window (however short) to develop
Lest we forget, we have some of the most talented youth players in the world on loan and in our Castilla squad. No transfer window means a chance for the likes of Asensio and Mayoral to break into the first team if Madrid sees a sudden drop in the quality of their attackers and need reinforcements. If we need a back-up CB, no problem. 19 year-old Jesus Vallejo is mature beyond his age and will be ready enough to start putting in decent shifts for Madrid next season. The only real concern for youth is at central midfield, but even if Modric gets injured or experiences a decline, we won’t need the likes of Alvaro Medran and Omar Mascarell (Lucas Silva cannot come due to the fact that Madrid has maxed out on non-EU players) to take his place in his absence. There is a reason we bought Mateo Kovacic.
However bright the transfer ban might have made things, there are some negatives to consider. Benzema is known for undergoing one or two barren patches every season and is more injury prone now than I have ever seen him before, so a striker that can come in and do his role effectively seems like a good transfer target. The prime candidate is Alvaro Morata, but this ban has all but ended our hopes of snatching him back from Juventus. The buy-back clause for the Spanish talent is only available in the summer and thus the earliest foreseeable time we could nab him is the summer transfer window of 2017. That is too long to wait and a rich English club could easily snap him up in the time being. With questions over whether Morata would even come back to Madrid if the 2016 transfer window was open to us, FIFA’s ban has all but killed our hopes of keeping one of the world’s most promising home-grown strikers.
Perez might go on a splurge
With Madrid shut out of the market for a year, Perez’s fingers might be getting really itchy right now. He is never content with leaving anything still and constantly has to tinker with the squad. While buying a ton of star players in the winter transfer window is highly unlikely, there is a distinct possibility that Perez could see this 1 month span as his last chance to grab some of his targets, so prepare yourself for the possibility of a famous Perez splurge. All we really need right now is a left-back (and maybe a back-up striker though I doubt there is any good candidate out there besides Morata), but I doubt Perez sees the world through such reasonable spectacles.
Conclusion: Pros win out
While there is no doubt that the loss of Morata and Perez gorging himself in the transfer market are significant worries, the positives of the situation far outweigh the loss of one player and the slim possibility of Perez doing something so erroneously stupid. Real Madrid receives the chance to achieve balance, squad chemistry, and the promotion of youth with this ban and it is a chance we must not let slip through our hands.