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Open Thread: July 17, 2021

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Our Saturday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Real Madrid Pre-Season Training Session Photo by Helios de la Rubia/Real Madrid via Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

Nuno Espirito Santo: “Gareth Bale will NOT be part of our team next season”.

The new Tottenham Hotspur head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has ruled another Gareth Bale return to Tottenham Hotspur but admits the club needs new signings to improve.

Bale had a mixed season on loan back at Spurs from Real Madrid, scoring 16 goals but struggling for regular starts in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho.

This puts Madrid in a difficult spot as it was hoped that Bale’s arrangement with spurs would continue. Additionally AS reported that if Gareth Bale stays, the club will not be able to register one of Vinicius, Rodrygo and Militao in the first team squad next season as the Welshman is considered a player from outside the European Union.

The candidates to dethrone the Kroos, Casemiro, Modric midfield?

Luka Modric has just signed a new contract, Toni Kroos has stated he’ll retire at the club and Casemiro is in this prime and set to gain more power in the dressing room after the departure of Sergio Ramos. These players have been almost guaranteed starters in the Real Madrid midfield in recent seasons and seem set to spend the foreseeable future at the club. KCM at the height of their powers were untouchable but have shown cracks in recent times. There are a few players looking to break into the side this season and they will view the upcoming campaign under new coach Carlo Ancelotti as somewhat of a fresh start.

Martin Odegaard - The great hope is that the young Norwegian will be the next great midfielder to ply his trade at the Bernabeu. There was much excitement around the Norwegian when he first signed, but he has been loaned out various times in recent seasons. He ended up being loaned out in January of last season after getting less and less playing time. It remains to be seen what Ancelotti’s plan for him will be.

Fede Valverde - The Uruguayan was always the first alternative for Zidane when one of his top players wasn’t available. He has been played in a variety of positions in midfield and has never been considered to be sold by the club. This season, Valverde will be looking to go from backup player to regular starter. Who will he replace though?

Antonio Blanco - The young cantera product impressed when he was given minutes towards the end of 2020/21, but his holding midfield role is that of Casemiro and the Brazilian is so hard to drop. The plan is for Blanco to play there whenever Casemiro isn’t available.

Ceballos and Isco - Both players want to stay. Ceballos has returned after two years on loan at Arsenal and wants to fight for his place. He was barely given any chances under Zinedine Zidane, but will be hopeful of more opportunities with Ancelotti. Isco meanwhile is keen to get back to his best. He formed part of Ancelotti’s midfield four during his first spell at the club, but has been well below what was expected of him over the last two years. After losing his place under Zidane and in Luis Enrique’s Spain side, he should be want to get back to his top level.

Ferland Mendy as a center-back?

La Sexta’s Jose Luis Sanchez reported that Ancelotti is considering using the Frenchman as an option for the center of Madrid’s defensive line. If Varane leaves the chances of this move potentially increase. I’m a big fan of this adjustment as Mendy is defensively solid and seemed to do well in a 3 man backline. Offensively he’s alright but a team like Madrid needs a little bit more. Here’s a poll on the topic:

Poll

If Varane leaves would you move Mendy to center back?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Yes
    (271 votes)
  • 31%
    No
    (153 votes)
  • 11%
    Other? (Name another current player or new signing)
    (55 votes)
479 votes total Vote Now