29/07/2021; 9:06 AM By : Steven D. Thompson
Despite what it seems, Real Madrid is suffering financially. The 13-time European champions have hit a rough patch. And the recent departures of Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos are proof.
As Raphael Varane moves to Manchester United, Real has lost its last world-class centre-back, and the club is yet to sign a replacement. Having earlier lost Sergio Ramos to PSG, Varane’s exit will hit the Los Blancos, where it hurts the most as the Frenchman was with the club for a decade.
Carlo Ancelotti will be left defenceless as Varane leaves. The Frenchman was a legend, having won four Champions League trophies and three La Liga titles for a total of 18 trophies during his tenure at Santiago Bernabéu.
Raphael Varane will be remembered at Real Madrid due to his overall trophy haul, which is the eighth-highest in the cub’s history. Varane’s quick thinking and speed saved the club on several occasions, and he was the perfect partner for Ramos, correcting mistakes instantly on the field.
Out of 236 La Liga appearances, Varane had 14 yellow cards, which is in stark contrast to Ramos’ 160 yellows and 20 reds in 508 games. While both legends departing is a sad sight for Real Madrid fans, the club is in a better position financially than Barcelona, which had almost lost Lionel Messi.
Since signing James Rodriguez for €80 million back in 2014, Madrid is yet to invest as heavily in player acquisition. The highest they’ve spent since is €45 million for Eden Hazard back in 2019. The club was desperately looking for a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo. But the plan backfired as Hazard missed most of the season due to injuries.
Searching for Varane’s replacement is more about survivability rather than improving performance. Although the Frenchman isn’t in his top form right now, he’s still one of the best defenders on the planet.
Varane wasn’t keen on extending his stay at Real once his contract expired in 12 months. This was largely because Real Madrid didn’t want to pay €12 million a year that Varane requested. While Madrid will feel the loss, they have Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez to rely on. The duo performed consistently in the last season during Varane’s absence, and the club hopes for a rerun this year.
Real also has David Alaba arriving shortly, and the Austrian is quite efficient at the centre-back. But most of all, Madrid must continue focusing on minimising expenses amid the current fiasco. Ancelotti has a lot on his plate and is the club’ safe bet after Zidane’s departure and Allegri turning down the offer.
Ancelotti is unlikely to form any long-term goals for the club as the management has its eyes on roping in PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino in the next season. While Varane might have a better career at Manchester United, he was best-placed to lead Los Blancos into a new era. With Ramos gone, Luka Modric nearing the end of his career, and Marcelo past his prime, Varane was the best choice to lead the squad.
To make matters worse for Real, Isco hasn’t been at his prime, while Dani Carvajal has been nursing injuries for a while. Varane’s absence shouldn’t come as a surprise to most familiar with the team since the player was quite vocal about his displeasure. However, Madrid fans aren’t that forgiving as most of them see Manchester United poaching one of their legends and leaving them vulnerable.
While Militao and Nacho are prepped for the added responsibility, Victor Chust and Jesus Vallejo aren’t experienced enough to come in as substitutes. Madrid fans aren’t used to seeing the team in such a vulnerable state. However, Varane’s reluctance to renew his contract was always going to be a problem.
Since the Frenchman had nearly a year left on his contract, selling him now will pump the club’s coffers with some much-needed coins. Club president Florentino Perez was desperate to launch the European Super League. The event would boost the club’s struggling finances, helping it retain players while fulfilling its dreams of roping in Kylian Mbappe. Unfortunately, PSG and Manchester United are the only clubs capable of that kind of signing at the moment.