Defence: Varane in, Ramos out
Thibaut Courtois: Real Madrid couldn't prise David de Gea away from Manchester United, so they turned to Thiabut Courtois instead. They felt that the 'best goalkeeper' at last summer's World Cup would be an upgrade on Keylor Navas. They were wrong. The former Chelsea No.1 obviously feels right 188bet malaysia
at home in Madrid but he never looks remotely comfortable at the Bernabeu, particularly with the ball at his feet. The Belgian insists he's "not bad" but, to be brutally honest, that's not good enough for a Real Madrid goalkeeper. Still, given the De Gea dream has died, and it would be impossible to persuade Manchester City, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona to part company with the game's truly elite shot-stoppers (Ederson, Alisson, Jan Oblak and Marc-Andre ter Stegen), Courtois is likely to be afforded a stay of execution.
Keylor Navas: It's difficult not to feel a large degree of sympathy for Keylor Navas. As the man himself has said, "I went from winning three Champions Leagues to not playing!" The Costa Rican will not endure that ignominious and nonsensical demotion any longer. Not even a dodgy fax machine will prevent him from leaving at the end of the season.
Sergio Ramos: 'Nero fiddled while Rome burned' - Sergio Ramos was sitting in the stands, having got himself deliberately suspended for the second leg of a tie that he felt was over, as Real's European empire was brought crashing down by Ajax. It was a gross and stupid dereliction of duty on the defender's part and, in truth, it should at least cost him the captaincy. Ramos, though, retains incredible sway at the Bernabeu. It was he, after all, who sent a coded public warning to his employers about their interest in hiring noted disciplinarian Antonio Conte to replace Julen Lopetegui. In that sense, Madrid are now in a mess partly of Ramos' making. The next permanent coach would be well advised to immediately assert his authority on the senior squad by offloading a dreadfully reckless player who has long been a liability. If the latest reports are to be believed, Perez and Ramos are now at loggerheads, meaning the defender's departure is actually possible. It would be the right call, too, because even as a player, he is no longer as strong as he once was, as we saw in last weekend's Clasico. The best way to rebuild Real would be to remove one of the crumbling pillars of their European success.
Raphael Varane: The Frenchman has not played well this season; there are no arguments there. In truth, he hasn't looked like his usual imperious self since helping France win the World Cup last summer. However, calls for him to be offloaded after his defensive debacle against Ajax were almost offensively ridiculous. Varane may be running on empty right now, resulting in uncharacteristically sloppy play, but he remains one of the finest centre-halves in the world when fit how to withdraw at 188bet
and focused. The 25-year-old should remain the cornerstone of the Madrid defence for years to come.
Nacho: The humbling at home to Ajax painfully illustrated that while Nacho may be as ill-disciplined and aggressive as Sergio Ramos, he shares none of his defensive attributes. The versatile defender offers cover across the back four but his contract expires in 2020 and Madrid should try to get whatever money they can for him while they have the chance.
Dani Carvajal: The Spanish right-back also looked horribly out of sorts against Ajax but, again, it would be foolish to even consider releasing one of Madrid's most reliable and under-rated performers over the past three years. Granted, he has been below his best of late but there are mitigating circumstances, given he just like Isco has been blighted by niggling injuries. Madrid are a far better side with Carvajal in the team, though, and he will prove that again when he returns to full fitness.
Alvaro Odriozola: It's been a trying first season in the Spanish capital for Alvaro Odriozola. The 30 million signing looks nothing like the enormously exciting right-back that essentially went from Real Sociedad's reserves to Spain's World Cup squad in the space of 12 months. Carvajal's starting berth was there for the taking but Odriozola didn't even get close to claiming it. He has impressed against lower-level opposition in the Copa del Rey but struggled horribly against any credible adversaries. Nonetheless, he deserves another season to prove his worth.
Marcelo: The best left-back in the world 12 months ago yet now a Real reserve. Marcelo may be in decline but he is still only 30 and he remains a far superior player to his replacement, Sergio Reguilon. Santiago Solari is probably the only coach in the world that takes a differing view and while his days at how to play 188bet live casino
the Bernabeu are numbered, so too are Marcelo's. Cristiano Ronaldo wants the Brazilian to join him at Juventus and it seems like only a matter of time before the Portuguese gets his way