Real Madrid are down to the bare bones. As they return to action after international duty, their injury issues have escalated into a full blown crisis, with Eduardo Camavinga and Vinicius Junior both sustaining serious injuries.
While it is not a major a problem, Carlo Ancelotti is also sweating on the fitness of Rodrygo Goes, who returned from Brazil-Argentina with a minor knee issue. He should at least get Jude Bellingham and Dani Ceballos back, but Kepa Arrizabalaga, Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Arda Guler and Aurelien Tchouameni are all still missing.
Like it or not, Ancelotti must turn to the academy for reinforcements, even if it is just to fill out his bench. Nico Paz is considered almost a certain beneficiary. The 19-year-old was included in their preseason tour to the USA, has appeared twice off the bench already, and is on the fringes of the first team.
Meanwhile the two greatest areas of need are in central midfield and up front. Manuel Angel is the option who impresses for Real Madrid Castilla most, and has a well-rounded game. As per Relevo, Mario Martin is well-liked by Ancelotti. The 19-year-old plays in front of the defence, the specific role Ancelotti is short of, and is positionally sound.
Up front, Gonzalo Garcia Torres looks primed to get a chance too, and has been singled out as the most natural option to play instead of Vinicius from the Castilla side. Target man Alvaro Rodriguez showed last season against Atletico Madrid and Osasuna that he can be effective, but has since lost his place for Castilla, and despite Ancelotti claiming he would be with the first team this year, has not moved up.
Real Madrid’s academy consistently produces talented players, but with the first team generally packed with quality options ahead of them, rarely get a chance to show their worth at the Santiago Bernabeu. The best of Raul Gonzalez’s bunch may get a unique opportunity in the coming weeks.
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