Mid season player assessments

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Post by futbol_bill Sun Dec 13, 2020 8:08 pm

This season has been projected as survival with what we have, because of covid, lack of investment funds and prior youth investments. No new players were brought in, costly players not fitting in were sold as well as youth in system that weren’t likely to make it with first team. And a small handful of promising players that wouldn’t get playing time were put out on loan.

The theory was the promising youth could get enough playing time and yet be eased into roles with veterans providing guidance and reduce their playing time. Then at end of season, we would know, by their demonstrations who belonged and who didn’t and then sign a few star players for missing holes in squad.

Well a few things have gone wrong with that theory. The kids generally, have not stepped up, the veterans got off to a slow start. Maybe this is normal, but it’s even worse this year given there was no preseason and literally no break between seasons. Now after appearing to be on the brink of being out of all competitions, there has been a resurgence with all trophies now in the realm of possibilities. However it is because of the veterans on the squad. If this trend continues, how will we know what holes need replacing? How will we know how much longer the vets can perform at the level needed?

So I thought it might be worthwhile as we near the midseason point, to take a look at entire squad as to how likely is it that they should be here next season.

Courtois - solid performances, he definitely is a keeper for next few seasons. (Although I suspect Hala will still want him out and bring Navas back!)
Lunin - no assessment. We will have to wait until copa games to get any read on him.

Ramos - solid, true leader, will be difficult to replace and questionable as to how to replace him, as he will always start if he is on squad which makes getting a solid replacement much more difficult. For sure, Ramos will be here for at least another season.
Varane - looks like he has lost confidence with several critical errors. A year ago, we would have said, he would be solid for several years, but now we know he isn’t Ramos’ replacement, certainly not in terms of leadership plus if he doesn’t regain confidence, he too may need to be replaced.
Militao - playing time has not been a lot, mainly due to injury and covid positivity, but so far not impressive. He still needs to earn his spot for next season. Assessment at this point would be no.
Nacho - had a couple of rocky starts, but has come through as the reliable squad player. Assessment should be he stays, but he will soon reach the age when he has to be replaced.

Bottom line re CBs, we may need 4 new CBs over next few years!

Carvajal - has been injured a lot but his performance yesterday demonstrated he sill has it. He definitely stays.
Lucas - once again this squad player has demonstrated he can be counted on. He, like Navas at Sevilla, has earned a new role as a RB. He is the clear backup to Carvajal as well as available on wing when needed.
Mendy - he is fitting in well and has earned the starting spot over Marcelo.
Marcelo - he has slid into the role that we expected, a veteran  easing the youngster into starting role and accepting a backup role. However, he should go this summer paving road for return of Reguilion.
Odriozola - hasn’t played due to injury, however he has lost out to Lucas and should be sold. I write this one off as a poor signing.

Casemiro - his usual contributions, a few careless moments and some ball handling difficulties, however there is no denying he is an essential piece of team. His spot on team is unquestionable.
Kroos - lots of criticism of his play, yet he is a solid part of midfield. No question he should be replaced, but plan of him helping ease someone into his role can’t happen with current squad. He is likely here for another season, but they need to make Valverde his understudy.
Modric - right when it was looking like he was finished, he raises him game. At the moment, if assessments had to be made, Modric and Kroos would still be here next season.
Valverde - IMO, he is demonstrating what he needs to and should be designated Kroos understudy and both should share that starting spot.
Odegaard - season is getting hampered with injuries. He has not demonstrated the form he showed at La Real. I still believe in him and believe he should be Modric’s understudy with both sharing that starting spot. Of course the issue with set understudies is the no proper backup for Casemiro.
Isco - he has done nothing to earn the right to stay and is likely leaving in January! However good news is this opens a clear opening, if Modric, Casemiro, Kroos return to bring in someone like Camavinga.

Benzema - has been solid. Issue will be will his play stop Perez from going after both Mbappe and Haaland (as many of us hope he does). If it was me, I would go for both, sell off Hazard and play those two plus Benz!
Jovic - he had to show he could get back to form before he signed, but so far - nope!
Mariano - wasn’t supposed to be here, but thank goodness he was as he was only CF for a few weeks. But bottom line is he doesn’t have the talent to stay.
Hazard - like Jovic, he has something to show and so far - nope. His contract likely means he’s back, but I don’t agree.
Vinicius, Asensio, Rodrygo - I put them all together as I have the same view on all three. Developing, have had some promising play, but not demonstrating starter material. Unless they accept a backup role, they all could be gone.
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Post by sportsczy Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:38 pm

Pretty much... I think Varane is on his way to being fixed for a couple of reasons: 1) we're playing a lower defensive block; which is more solid and better suited for him in terms of where he is today and 2) the issue he's having is purely mental; he just got rattled by his mistakes. It's not like he has physical issues. He was extremely good for France against Portugal and he's been mostly good since the international break. He'll be back come January methinks.
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Post by Chad31 Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:14 am

Your evaluation of kroos is wrong I don't know why you guys love to underrate greats players like him, just cause he is not a shitty dribbler, while the likes of isco and vini can be straight dogshit consistently and people call them sparks lol, the bias against who aren't overly technically gifted is weird, oh I forgot that young French kid is being linked gotta trash players my bad.

Also rodygo is better than asensio and vini, he is very similar to benzema, he actually tries to read the game and be apart of the team, people call him timid for it yet he scores and assists at higher rate than vini, the cr7 model is shit and inefficient that why vini/asensio struggles, rodygo can easily be starter on the fact his game is so mature and he is natural finisher, he is easily be starting material much more than the likes of asensio and vini, vini could be starter if he wasn't so over eager to be a star, if played with the team instead of trying to stand above them, he would have much better numbers and performances, but he rather waste game after game trying to do flukes than actually competing, rm fans and media need to trying to praising such behavior as a good thing cause it limits young players like asensio and vini, there is more the attacking plays than flukey goals and dribbling into blind allies.

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Post by futbol_bill Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:49 pm

Good to see you back Chad.

I’m not assessing Kroos as bad, i only stated there has been criticism of him (not by me). The FACT is his age, that club needs to find, develop or buy a replacement for him. I think they have one in Valverde and they should groom him for that role. But I don’t see Kroos gone for at least another year.

As to Rodrygo making it, possibly! But we are taking about potential rather than proven capability. These 3 still have half a season to demonstrate their capability before club moves to bring in some proven scorers.

What are your assessments?
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Post by Thimmy Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:35 pm

I think we’ve already wasted some time where our young Brazilians could’ve gained some valuable experience and developed at a club where the pressure and expectations would be more relevant to their needs, at this stage in their careers. Then again, as silly as it may sound, we’d actually have to replace these teenagers before considering loaning them out.
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Post by futbol_bill Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:12 pm

Timmy, i agree with you. One thing seems to be clear. At least one proven scorer will come for next season, so that means at minimum, one of Jovic, Hazard, Asensio, Vinicius or Rodrygo has to go. Then you have Brahim possibly pushing for a return role. Doubt if Kubo will be ready.

So they are not only fighting to be starters, they are also in a battle for the bench roles.

Personally, i would like the purchase of Haaland and Mbappe and play Benz with them, leaving all these guys to fight for 3 remaining bench roles. Only issue with this, means Flo had to admit more poor purchases.
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Post by Perucho21 Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:51 am

Varane will be fine. Remember that he has pretty much won everything there is to win in this sport other than Euro but he's a world champion so I'm sure he's fine with that. Point being motivation might be low, he needs to regain that confidence
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Post by futbol_bill Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:58 pm

I expect the whole CB situation for next season comes down to do they stick with Militao for another season or not. I expect the other three to return.

Midfield comes down to hopefully signing Camavinga.

The bigger issue is the forwards; signing one or two proven scorers plus who remains as backups.

There is still a half season for Hazard, Jovic, Vinicius, Asensio, Rodrygo, Odegaard, Militao to prove themselves.
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Post by The Demon of Carthage Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:41 pm

Madrid will not let go of Hazard after just two seasons. They spent 100m on him, they will want to get something in return. I think regardless of what happens this season, he'll still be here next season as well. So his place is safe for the time being.

I also think that Vini, Asensio, Rodrygo, Militao and Odegaard will be here next season as well. The only one who might get offloaded is Jovic.

As opposed to what most of you think, I don't think Madrid will spend much next summer. Partly because we are in very difficult financial times, and mostly because the rumored targets will still be out of reach next summer as well.

Haaland's release clause of €75m will not be activated before 2022 and Mbappé is rumored to be already in negotiation with PSG for an extension. If it happens, Mbappé will be forever out of reach.

So what you're looking at here is our squad that will be the same until at least 2022. We may get one or two additions in the midfield and maybe the defense, but I suspect the attack to stay the same until then.
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Post by futbol_bill Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:54 pm

DoC,  do you not realize Flo has stated publically, at least to socios that there will be funds for purchases next summer? Plus the club has yet to agree or announce a stadium sponsorship deal. This season is the one that they tighten belts and went with what we have and thus the season long evaluations.

Btw, I agree re Hazard, that part was just my wishful thinking.

The issue in my mind is how well Benz has been playing and likely result is acquiring only one of Mbappe or Haaland. You are right that there will be competition for both of them.

A front line of Hazard, Benz, Haaland or Mbappe is still a significant improvement. The issue with the kids becomes their playing time will reduce significantly (except for Vini with Hazard’s frequent absenses!). My bet would be Asensio will be the odd man out, which would put team at minimum required Spanish content.
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Post by The Demon of Carthage Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:08 pm

I honestly didn't know about Flo's public statement that there will be funds for purchases next summer. Was it published on Marca?

Also, I thought there was no stadium sponsorship deal with any entity. Did something change?

My understanding is that Flo tried to secure a sponsor but nobody offered him a good deal, so he ended up taking a loan which was structured by J.P Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch with the collaboration of Banco Santander and Societe Generale. The debt will be paid through annual installment of of 29.5 million euros each from 2023-2049.

Was I wrong? Did something change in the process and now a sponsor is willing to take over the financing of the revamping of the Bernabeu?
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Post by sportsczy Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:57 pm

no you're right DoC... which is one of the reasons Mbappe is likely to re-up with PSG. Madrid can't afford to pay his fee and the wages. In fact, that's the problem with all elite players right now. In order to move, they will need to take a pay cut and they won't.

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Post by futbol_bill Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:23 pm

He just put off any sponsorship deal until stadium was finished. Deal will likely be set before next season.
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Post by Mr Nick09 Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:18 am

@sportsczy wrote:no you're right DoC...  which is one of the reasons Mbappe is likely to re-up with PSG.  Madrid can't afford to pay his fee and the wages.  In fact, that's the problem with all elite players right now.  In order to move, they will need to take a pay cut and they won't.

how is repaying 30 mil per years for like 20 years crippling us as a football club? Not to mention we have to start paying in like 2023 if I recall, it’s lining up with when the season started the stadium will be done. Also that stadium will get naming rights when it’s done, its gonna be too easy to find a company wanting their name to be attached to the stadium when it’s done.

If we are not signing Mbappe, it’s not because of the stadium.
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Post by sportsczy Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:34 am

It's 37 million net euros a year (to match the offer made to Mbappe by PSG) + 150 million (at least) for the transfer fee.

Not saying we won't have the money... but not this summer.  We have 1.5 years of covid losses to cover first.  I doubt we give PSG and Mbappe what they will both ask for.
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Post by futbol_bill Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:27 am

The lost revenue from covid was projected to be 150M and they recouped over 100M in sales. They are getting over covid this season. Don’t know where you are getting your numbers from.
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Post by Mr Nick09 Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:21 am

@sportsczy wrote:It's 37 million net euros a year (to match the offer made to Mbappe by PSG) + 150 million (at least) for the transfer fee.

Not saying we won't have the money... but not this summer.  We have 1.5 years of covid losses to cover first.  I doubt we give PSG and Mbappe what they will both ask for.
you are making the assumption we have to match PSG, we don’t. As for the transfer fee you are also making the assumption it’s gonna be 150 mil, it’s not.

If Mbappe wanted to renew with PSG he would have, but his career plan is not to stay there any longer
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Post by sportsczy Wed Dec 16, 2020 3:30 pm

@Mr Nick09 wrote:
@sportsczy wrote:It's 37 million net euros a year (to match the offer made to Mbappe by PSG) + 150 million (at least) for the transfer fee.

Not saying we won't have the money... but not this summer.  We have 1.5 years of covid losses to cover first.  I doubt we give PSG and Mbappe what they will both ask for.
you are making the assumption we have to match PSG, we don’t. As for the transfer fee you are also making the assumption it’s gonna be 150 mil, it’s not.

If Mbappe wanted to renew with PSG he would have, but his career plan is not to stay there any longer


Mbappe's father (also his agent) on Dec 12th:

https://rmcsport.bfmtv.com/football/psg-le-message-d-espoir-du-pere-de-mbappe-sur-une-prolongation-2015144.html

It will come down to money.  PSG will not sell for cheap...  they'd rather keep him and have his contract run out like they did for Cavani, Silva, Rabiot, etc.  Not to mention other clubs not called Madrid would be willing to pay.

Also, Mbappe is not going to take a pay cut of any consequence (maybe a little if he feels he can recoup in other revenue areas).  Just won't imo.  He may have if he hadn't battled several bad tackles that injured him in the past 12-18 months...  but, from pundit reports in France, Mbappe realizes that he's not invincible.

Also, his family plays a big part in his decision and they want him to stay at PSG and take the money.  Mbappe himself said recently that the decision regarding his future will be made as a family...

There is no Real Madrid discount. That's a false premise that I hope management isn't counting on.
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Post by Mr Nick09 Wed Dec 16, 2020 3:59 pm

It’s not down to money Sports, Mbappe is gone. PSG put the brinks truck in front of the table for months and he still hasn’t signed. The situation is dire for them.
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Post by The Demon of Carthage Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:37 pm

@sportsczy wrote:
@Mr Nick09 wrote:
@sportsczy wrote:It's 37 million net euros a year (to match the offer made to Mbappe by PSG) + 150 million (at least) for the transfer fee.

Not saying we won't have the money... but not this summer.  We have 1.5 years of covid losses to cover first.  I doubt we give PSG and Mbappe what they will both ask for.
you are making the assumption we have to match PSG, we don’t. As for the transfer fee you are also making the assumption it’s gonna be 150 mil, it’s not.

If Mbappe wanted to renew with PSG he would have, but his career plan is not to stay there any longer


Mbappe's father (also his agent) on Dec 12th:

https://rmcsport.bfmtv.com/football/psg-le-message-d-espoir-du-pere-de-mbappe-sur-une-prolongation-2015144.html

It will come down to money.  PSG will not sell for cheap...  they'd rather keep him and have his contract run out like they did for Cavani, Silva, Rabiot, etc.  Not to mention other clubs not called Madrid would be willing to pay.

Also, Mbappe is not going to take a pay cut of any consequence (maybe a little if he feels he can recoup in other revenue areas).  Just won't imo.  He may have if he hadn't battled several bad tackles that injured him in the past 12-18 months...  but, from pundit reports in France, Mbappe realizes that he's not invincible.

Also, his family plays a big part in his decision and they want him to stay at PSG and take the money.  Mbappe himself said recently that the decision regarding his future will be made as a family...

There is no Real Madrid discount.  That's a false premise that I hope management isn't counting on.

I agree with this.

Whether we like it or not, PSG is a very attractive destination. Yes the league is weak, but playing for them means you get paid more than anywhere else and you get to live in one of the greatest cities in the world.

If Madrid wants to lure Mbappé away from PSG, they'll have to give him a big, fat salary and meet PSG's asking price, which I'd assume it will be a fortune.

From what I read though, their officials are saying that the negotiation with Mbappé has resumed and is going well.

We will see what happens. I think if by June of next year he still hasn't renewed, he's pretty much gone. If he renews before that time, Madrid can kiss him goodbye for ever.

By the way, I wouldn't lose sleep over him if he doesn't come. The one I really want is Haaland. That beast of a goalscorer must be wearing the white of Madrid by 2022.
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Post by Perucho21 Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:40 pm

If im being honest I believe Mbappe won't make a decision until what happens in the UCL this season. If it's another elimination, I don't see him signing an extension.
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Post by futbol_bill Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:39 pm

If we really look at this objectively, there are a lot of positives.

First off, with recent form, and the resurgence of veterans, means the prospects for this season are positive, a huge improvement from just 2 weeks ago.

It should shake the kids up that they have just a half season left to prove they deserve to stay.

The play of several veterans tells us we don’t have to solve all problems next season.

And the play of Benz in particular plus the fact mentioned in this thread several times that Hazard will be back next season means they will sign only one proven goal scorer. I believe if it’s Haaland, Benz could shift to RW, if it’s Mbappe, he would continue his RW play. Either way, I suspect Asensio’s days are numbered.

And it is good that there are two viable options. So Flo can go after both Mbappe and Haaland knowing we need only to catch one! Not a bad bargaining position to be in.
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Post by sportsczy Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:57 pm

I have one big concern with Haaland:  Can he play any other position other than a central striker?  Because that's something he won't play with Benzema here for the next couple of years.  Benzema, as he's aging, cannot be asked to play a wide role... and definitely not help defensively to cover the fullback.

Haaland would need to play either left or right to start.  Can he play as a wing striker?  Has he ever done it? I always saw his as a good replacement for Benzema... not someone to play with Benz unless we change systems to a 442.
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Post by The Demon of Carthage Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:10 pm

You won't have to worry about that sports. Benzema is 33. Haaland won't be sold before the release clause in his contract becomes activated which will be in 2022. By that time, Benzema will be 35 and at the end of his contract with Madrid. They might renew him for a couple more years, but I don't think he'll remain the undisputed central striker by then.
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Post by Mr Nick09 Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:22 am

Is it so sure Haaland won’t move before 2022? That’s the ideal scenario for us to sign him but I feel like United are getting desperate and they would make that move, even over 100 millions. They can sell Pogba to Juve for like 50 mil to fund it
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