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Madrid Need Coverage for Marcelo

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With the January transfer window now open, managers can take the opportunity to reinforce their squads mid-season in preparation for a critical run for the remainder of the season.

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Although major deals are usually conducted during the summer due to the most-wanted players being cup-tied, history shows that smart business can still be done. Signings like Luis Suarez to Liverpool, Nemanja Vidic to Manchester United, and Nemanja Matic to Chelsea are just some examples of solid signings that took place during January transfer windows. As most football fans know, these players came through on the investment and gamble for their respective clubs, aiding them in their quests for glory.

Real Madrid too, should be on the look for players.  More specifically, players that can be able to replace Brazilian star Marcelo from time to time. Despite Madrid having the likes of Nacho and Danilo as back ups, they both have been unconvincing when called upon. Fabio Coentrao is out on loan with Monaco, thus, the left side of defense for Los Blancos is currently lacking serious depth with Marcelo as the club's only natural left-back.

Most Madrid fans are aware of what Marcelo brings to the table. Taking on the role as a leader on the pitch and jokester off the field, the 27-year-old has grown to become a critical component of Real Madrid's style of play. Bombing forward with technique and athleticism, the Brazilian exemplifies the new standard for wing-backs in the modern game. Newly appointed coach Zinedine Zidane will be looking for left-backs with similar qualities.

As of late, there have been three candidates that Madrid has been linked with. Those players are: Marcos Rojo from Manchester United, Alberto Moreno from Liverpool, and Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina.  Though they are not 'Galactico' signings, they all potentially could aid Madrid in squad rotation.

Marcos Rojo, Argentine international from Manchester, has been complaining because of his lack of playing time under Louis Van Gaal. Not my favorite choice, Rojo at least brings experience and physicality at the highest level. Along with Lionel Messi, he aided Argentina in getting to the World Cup final which prompted the move for England. He has shown his ability to play on the sides as well as in the heart of defense. However, he may again find himself protesting again if he finds minutes hard to come by at the Bernabeu.

Marcos Alonso is an exciting prospect. The young defender started his career in Madrid and has showed his versatility in the line of duty, playing in the defense and even midfield. Pushed abroad, he has experience in different leagues which could prove to be an asset. Similar to Marcelo, he is attack-oriented and technically gifted, and would suit Madrid's playing style. Also, he would not likely moan about playing time and understand his role as a supplement to the defense, rather than be a starter over Marcelo.

Alberto Moreno is probably the most balanced of the three contenders. The Liverpool full-back has become an important player under Jurgen Klopp and has experience playing in Spain. With Sevilla and Liverpool, he has shown his talent to surge forward and defend.  It should be noted that he is now enjoying his time with the Reds under a new manager, but Moreno would find the chance to play for Real Madrid hard to turn down, according to his agent.

The era of Zidane has begun, and it will be very exciting to see what types of changes he will make and how that will affect the team. Much like other managers in Europe, he will be looking at any opportunities to boost the imbalances he finds.