Familiar faces, a few new names, and the same indomitable old guard led by Carlo Ancelotti are set to make the Real Madrid squad for the 2022/23 season. Here in this piece, we will take a look at the squad depth with which Real Madrid are set to begin their quest for their 36th league title, 15th UEFA Champions League title, and even their 20th Copa del Rey trophy.
The article is divided into three parts for the pitch's three areas, starting with goalkeepers and concluding with the forwards.
Our numero uno on the pitch is designated to retain his regular starting spot in between the sticks. Courtois will be looking to continue on from last season’s outstanding performance which was topped off with that man of the match award in the UCL Final against Liverpool, where he faced a massive 2.58 Expected Goals On Target Conceded (xGOTC) but still managed to keep out everything The Reds threw at him.
The Belgian narrowly missed out on the coveted Zamora trophy, finishing runner-up to Sevilla’s Yassine Bounou who conceded only 24 goals in his 31 league appearances, thus, recording a 0.77 goals-to-game ratio. Courtois, meanwhile, had a 0.81 coefficient. It is pretty certain that the 30-year-old in his prime will produce yet another fruitful season with important saves, coming in clutch whenever the backline falters.
The Ukrainian is set for another quiet season, and fans will find it rare to see him start in between the sticks. Real’s second-choice goalkeeper started only two games last season, his last feature coming on 15th May against Cadiz, ending in a 1-1 stalemate. He is yet to keep a clean sheet with Real Madrid’s first team and will look to achieve that feat with the limited game-time he’ll get this season.
With the departure of Diego Altube to Albacete, Castilla man Toni Fuidias will be a travelling bench partner with the Real Madrid first team. We can’t see him feature in any top-flight games, but his season with Castilla under Raul will be noteworthy.
Rudiger is one of the two new faces set to join Real Madrid for this season. The 29-year-old German defender in his prime has won the Champions League with Chelsea playing a crucial role in their campaign while also being a regular starter for the German National team under Hansi Flick. His detailed stats from last season are spcial:
In the 2021 - 2022 season, Rudiger won 117 aerial duels and 92 tackles. On top of this, he made a total of 13 blocks for Chelsea. Rudiger is set to become a regular part of the back-four for Real Madrid and will be looking to continue his consistent and formidable presence at the back just like he did in his time with the dwellers of Stamford Bridge.
Odriozola is returning from a fruitful season-long loan away at ACF Fiorentina during which he featured 25 times for the Viola and netted once while registering the same number of assists. He had two shots on target from a total of thee shots and scored one goal (1.50 xG).
Odriozola averaged 34 passes per match with a pass completion rate of 89%. The 26-year-old received four yellow cards and one red card. Like last season, Carlo must have conveyed to him already about his lack of playing time for the upcoming season for being in line after Carvajal, Vazquez, and to an extent Nacho for the right back spot.
Dani Carvajal, 30, will be entering his ninth season at Real Madrid. Although he has become more injury-prone in recent seasons, he will still be no doubt the first-choice right back for the team, while Lucas Vasquez is expected to rotate in.
Carvajal probably won’t have an injury-free campaign, but he will be looking to build upon his quick burst of stellar form which he showed at the end of last season. In spite of his agei and injuries, he still comes out with a leader-like mentality whenever he steps onto the pitch.
The Austrian skipper immediately became a starter for Real Madrid after arriving on free from Bayern Munich as a replacement for Sergio Ramos, and since then he has made the Madridista family so close to himself as if he has been around for like 10 years or so!
Alaba brings the ball forward with impressive leadership. He will retain his starting position in the backline, however, he will certainly play left-back on occassions where Ferland Mendy can’t play.
Unless David Alaba decides to shift to his pre-dominant position at left-back, Militao may be set to lose his guaranteed starting position as a centre-back with the arrival of Antonio Rudiger. The Brazilian will be looking to correct some of his ‘silly’ mistakes and indecisiveness in certain situations when the back-line collapses.
Militao looks committed to his Real Madrid future, and the arrival of Rudiger will hopefully have no negative effect on him.
Militao reads the game well and had a 63% interception rate from last season which he will be looking to improve even further on.
Despite being sidelined for a part of last season due to injury, Ferland Mendy still played a crucial role in Real Madrid’s jubilant campaign. Carlo Ancelotti has claimed that Mendy will be his first-choice left-back, thus affirming Mendy’s stay and importance for the upcoming season.
Another season of being an important utility player crucial to the team’s success awaits Vazquez who impressed whenever called to action, especially in the right-back spot. The Spaniard had a pass interception rate of 2.98 per 90 minutes, and a 2.96 successful tackle rate per 90 minutes during the course of the 2021/22 season.
The loyal servant with Madridista blood flowing through his veins, fan favourite and academy product Nacho is set for his 12th consecutive season with Real Madrid. Like Lucas, he remains a crucial utility player stepping up whenever called for action. His memory as a captain from last season ended on a bitter note losing 4-0 in El Clasico, owing to disastrous tactics and perfunctory defending. Despite his shortcomings in certain fields of his gameplay, Nacho is an integral part of the squad — invoking leadership and an undying mentality to the general atmosphere of the dressing room.
A quiet season awaits Vallejo as he remains far behind in contention for selection in a CB role. Maybe we will see him play after / if we secured LaLiga late season but right now a loan move would do him all the good necessary for his development.
Real’s €100 million signing from AS Monaco is raring to go for next season. Aurelien Tchouameni, pre-dominantly a defensive midfielder, fits different profiles in the midfield position. Intercepting opponent passing lines and regaining possession is what Tchouameni does comfortably week-in, week-out.
With Monaco, Tchouameni had a high interception rate of 3.56 (per 90) last season, finishing in the 99th percentile for his position. Apart from this, Tchouameni likes to pop for a few tremendous shots from long-range but won’t bring the necessary conversion abilities in the final third that Carlo desires now. But that’s not why he was brought into Real Madrid anyway.
Tchouameni excels as a box-to-box midfielder and initiates himself as a presence on the field, making good use of his stature. He’s not a creative passer but is an effective ball carrier. We would all like to see him playing as a double-pivot with Casemiro but that decision depends on Carlo, whether to ease him into a starter immediately or put him in contention after Casemiro and play the ideal 4-3-3. Certainly, he is not going to be a benchwarmer as Real don’t typically splash 100 million bucks for a 22-year-old only to sit on the bench.
Another season of breathtaking tackles, crucial interceptions, and undying spirit awaits for Case’hero’. No doubt, the first-choice centre-defensive midfield role will be fulfilled by him, but as mentioned earlier, a double pivot with new signing Aurelien Tchouameni might be seen during the season. The Brazilian averaged a 3.21 tackle success rate per 90 and an interception rate of 2.12 from last season along with his crucial last-ditch blocks and clearances.
Dani returned from his loan spell at Arsenal during the start of last season ready to fight for a midfield spot but had to endure an injury he picked up from the Olympics. Real are trying to offload him, as with the likes of Tchouameni, Valverde and Camavinga in contention, the Spaniard’s game time is surely uncertain.
Since his debut for Real Madrid against Celta Vigo ended in a 5-2 scoreline, where Eduardo Camavinga netted a goal shortly after replacing Eden Hazard, he has become a serious game-changer for Carlo Ancelotti. Camavinga finished in the top five indexes when it came to completing passes in the final third of the pitch in the league, with a completion rate of 85.02 percent.
Despite his position pre-dominantly being a centre-defensive midfielder, Camavinga showed his versatility in all positions by playing as a midfielder catering to the team’s needs. The 19-year-old is expected to feature in more minutes than last season as Real Madrid continues its transition from the KCM midfield trio to a new future.
The in-form Uruguayan is raring to go in for the next season and prove his worth again to the club after delivering a massive performance in the Champions League final against Liverpool capping off with an assist for Vinicius’ goal which he termed — ‘I actually tried a shot but it found Vini’. With his intensive work-rate capacity and becoming a menace in attack to the opposition, Fede is expected to be a part of the post-KCM era midfield. He is in contention to rotate with Rodrygo in the right-wing position due to the lack of depth in that area and him already producing numerous stellar performances there.
I Don’t want to lower the mood but it might be the final season of Luka Modric’s stellar career before he decides to hang up his boots. Mere words fail to express what the Croatian has been for Real Madrid and its fans. Ageing like fine wine, the 36-year-old is still feeling the game like he’s 27, though it is expected that Fede Valverde or Eduardo Camavinga will start to replace him more often on the pitch but you never know, and he might end up dropping masterclasses each and every game, just like he has been doing for some time now.
There were some talks surrounding the future of Marco Asensio which still haven’t been cleared yet but all things suggest that he is set to play at the Santiago Bernabeu for the upcoming season. Carlo Ancelotti will rotate him as a centre-attacking midfielder with a right-wing role. Despite the fan uproar several times during last season due to his lukewarm performances, he did what was asked of him and had somewhat of a mediocre season. The Spaniard netted 11 times in his 39 appearances from the 2021/22 campaign and we are expecting a similar production from him in the upcoming season. His link-up gameplay and easing into tight areas would be useful along with his one magic of a left-foot, but his indecisiveness and lack of precision often ruin the cheers for him.
The Brazilian is coming back from a two-year, impotent loan spell away at Borussia Dortmund during which he featured in just 40 games across all competitions with a sparse amount of game time. Similarly, it is quite improbable that he will play a game for Real Madrid this upcoming season due to the huge competition in midfield. It’s best for both him and the club to set up a loan deal soon for him either this summer or give him some time and decide in January.
Like his midfield partner Luka Modric, Toni Kroos also is entering the twilight of his career, but he is far from the retiring any time soon. The German maestro had a stunning 2021/22 season securing his fifth Champions League medal while finishing top five in the league, when it came to passes creating danger, pass progression value, pass completion rate percentage, one-touch pass completion, pass completion rate in the final-third, as well as securing top 10 in expected goal buildup. He has already taken the decision of retiring from the German National Team so that he could focus on his final years with Real Madrid. Another year of dictating gameplay, incisive passes and those sublime cross-field balls to the right awaits.
After having a wonderful season topping off with two clutch goals against Manchester City in the Champions League semis, Rodrygo is set to become the first-choice right winger for Real Madrid. A driving force in the attack with his countryman Vinicius on the other wing, La Liga defences are set to have a tough time containing him. Marco Asensio will emerge as the Brazilian’s top competitor for the spot as he will be looking to game up in order to attract potential suitors due to an ‘alarming’ contract situation with Los Blancos.
Real Madrid’s French talisman registered 44 goals and 15 assists in 46 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid in 2021-22 and averaged a direct goal contribution every 66.42 minutes.
An absolute menace to the opposition, King Karim is charging for the coveted Ballon d'Or this year after a historic season with Real Madrid, surpassing Raul Gonzalz in the all-time top scorer chart.
Former Chelsea maestro Eden Hazard is set for his fourth season with Real Madrid. Let’s just hope he has an injury-free season and can contribute to the team as much as he can. His wish to try a different position possibly as a false nine will be granted but to an extent as it would be a contrast to the 4-3-3.
In terms of performance — a quiet season but in terms of media attention — a pretty noisy season awaits for Mariano Diaz. The striker prefers to be on the bench for Real Madrid than a club where he would be getting regular minutes but nonetheless as much as there is fan discontent surrounding the player, he will be Real Madrid's second-in-line striker after Karim Benzema as anticipated.
The Castilla product has established himself as a prolific goalscorer from his time away from Real Madrid. The 25-year-old is at a crossroad in his career where he wants to take the final decision depending on whether Real are interested in keeping him or else he will leave on a permanent transfer and doesn't want to get subjected to another loan spell. According to recent news, a price of around €10-12 million euros has been named for him and Getafe looks to be the front-runner in the race to sign him. Mayoral’s six goals and one assist in 18 league appearances convinced the cross-city rivals enough. He still wants to form the Real Madrid squad for the 2022/23 season and fans won’t mind a proficient goalscorer as second-choice in the team.
Veni, Vidi, Vici! These words are enough to describe Vinicius Jr.’s 2021/22 season in which he scored 22 goals and recorded 20 assists across all competitions. Carlo Ancelotti has successfully formed a lethal duo with the Brazilian and Karim Benzema last season and it bore fruit with Vini being able to channel his immense potential into reality. No doubt that Vinicius is the first-choice left winger.