How would Real Madrid line up without Casemiro

Note: At the time of this writing, Casemiro is still a Real Madrid player, despite heavy interest from Manchester United.

In this article, we will analyse a couple of options for Real Madrid’s squad, after Casemiro’s departure, if he does decide to join Manchester United.

Option #1: No formation change, no new CDM bought

Real Madrid broke the bank this summer and bought Aurelian Tchouaméni for €80 million, a fee which could rise to €100 million due to additional fees. The 22 years old French Defensive Midfielder is a clear long term successor for Casemiro and he had an amazing season, being the best midfielder in Ligue 1 and estabilishing himself in the French national team.

In this scenario, Carlo Ancelotti replaces Casemiro with Tchouaméni in the starting 11 and Real Madrid will be in a similar situation as last year, with no clear replacement for him. Valverde, Camavinga and even Kroos can play as a CDM, but it is definitely not their preferred position. Talented midfielder, Antionio Blanco also joined Cadiz on loan, so that is one less option for Real Madrid.

Real’s attack and midfield would look something like below, with Camavinga, Ceballos and Valverde being rotational options for the midfield.

Option #2: No formation change, new CDM bought

There were already some rumors in the Spanish media on potential Casemiro replacements. One of the mentioned named is Bruno Guimarães, Newcastle’s 24 years old CDM, brought last winter. We at Generation:Football believe Newcastle’s owners would not sell him for less than €100 million and spending €200 million on 2 CDMs in the same window does not sound something like Florentino Perez would do.

In this scenario, Real Madrid buys a new CDM in order provide rotational options for Tchouaméni, or even start over the Frenchman. We believe this CDM would not be Bruno Guimaraes, but someone cheaper.

Formation is basically same as above, with the only change being that players like Camavinga, Kroos or Valverde wouldn’t be forced into moving into CDM role, possibly cementing Valverde’s role as a Right Mid.

Option #3: 4-4-2

Real Madrid playing a wide or a narrow 4-4-2 is nothing new and in some cases, when Valverde is on the right, this already happens, with the Uruguayan prodigy helping out in defense a lot, with Vinicius Jr. staying in a more advanced role, thus creating an assymetrical 4-4-2.

When taking this option into consideration Real would either need to buy a new attacker, or make use of Hazard, Rodrygo and Asensio more often and in roles in which they might not be too comfortable in. Real’s only real/classical Striker at the moment in Karim Benzema.

For the sake of simplicity we will assume that no new attacker will be bought and Carlo Ancelotti will realize that Rodrygo is actually a competent centre forward, just like he has shown against City. Note, this is quite unlikely and if Real Madrid will end up playing with 2 Strikers, the fans can expect a new forward signing.

Option #4: 4-2-3-1

At the beginning of last season, there were games in which Ancelotti sacrificed a Central Midfielder and used more attacking players in this role, such as Hazard or Asensio. There were some OK showings, but the coach realized that this formation will not work with Real’s 21/22 squad, due to various reasons.

What would happen in this scenario is that Tchouaméni would be paired with another midfielder forming a double pivot and a more classical Attacking Midfielder would play in front of them. Last year that player was either Asensio or Hazard, but with Ceballos making a comeback, we believe he could fill this role as well.

In the below example Tchouaméni ‘s partner will be Modric, as he seems to be the most suitable option, but Valverde, Kroos or Camavinga could all play in this role. Valverde will be the RW of choice, but he could very well be replaced with Rodrygo or Asensio in this case.

Option #5: 3-4-3

Let’s close our eyes for a second and imagine that Carlo Ancelotti turned into his fellow countryman, Antonio Conte. A 3 at the back system is not something very common for Real Madrid, however we’ve seen glimpses of it in the past. The most recent memory being the 2nd half of Real’s game against Barcelona, which ended 4-0 for the Catalan side.

With Rudiger’s arrival, Real Madrid does have a lot of depth at Centre Back. Eder Militao and Alaba formed a formidable pairing last season, with Nacho being solid every time he got to play. Jesus Vallejo turned into something like a meme, but every time he played last season, he did it quite well.

In our example, we will use the 3 most probable CB’s, and in order not to complicate things too much, Real’s fullbacks will be our wingbacks/wide midfielders. For the midfield, we are keeping Tchouaméni and Luka, but every other midfielder could fill in as well. Valverde seems a bit overkill in this scenario, so we went with Rodrygo on the right.

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