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Finding another defensive masterclass

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Where do we go when Casemiro needs to be replaced?

Real Madrid CF v Girona FC - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

As the club approaches a re-building period, the midfield of Real Madrid is starting to be redeveloped but one aspect has been given little attention.

For the last few years, the dynamic midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro has dominated the game. But now with the players getting older and the club wanting to move forward, other players are being signed to eventually take their place.

By developing and bringing in younger players, the attacking mindset of the club will always improve since it is (and probably always will be) an important quality of the club.

However, out of the three regular starters, Zinedine Zidane and Florentino Perez have been focused on replacing only two of them; the German international (29) and the Croatian international (33) leaving Casemiro (27) position an open void.

So what happens when we need to replace the Brazilian?

Looking at the rest of the squad, the only other defensive midfielder is Marcos Llorente (24) and when given the chance to play for Casemiro, the Spaniard played as if the role in the first team was always his.

But Llorente’s time with Los Blancos is reportedly coming to an end.

There is talk that rivals Atletico Madrid want to sign the player to a five year contract for 40 million and it looks as though the deal will be announced later this week.

If this deal is completed, Real Madrid will only have one defensive midfielder for the 2019/2020 season, the same one that is aging at the same rate as Kroos and Modric. There will be no back up whatsoever for a defensive midfielder and Zidane’s preferred style could change as a result.

So taking a look into the transfer window, who are the other players that could come to the club?

If we want younger players to come in for when Casemiro is on decline, Real Madrid needs to look at other defensive midfielders around the same ago as Llorente who specialize in aerial duels, tackling and ball interception.

Some options could be Ruben Neves (22) of Wolverhampton Wolves, Tiemoué Bakayoko (24), of AC Milan or even Juventus’ Emre Can (25) if the club wants someone with a little more experience.

Comparing Casemiro to Neves, Bakayoko and Can
WhoScored.com

All three players have the same defensive style as Casemiro (plus Llorente) and would bring their own strengths to the club.

Their transfer values are also a bargain as they sit between 35-45 million so Real Madrid would not have to spend a fortune on a replacement defensive midfielder that would help them maintain their midfield domination.

So with all the focus on bringing in players to replace Kroos and Modric, it is very important that the club starts making moves to replace the Brazilian defensive masterclass as soon as possible.