Real Madrid are undergoing one of the toughest transition periods in the centre-back department. Life after Raphael Varane or after Sergio Ramos wasn’t going to be easy, but losing them both in the same summer left a giant hole inside the heart of Real Madrid’s defense, and given how sound they were defensively under Zinedine Zidane in his second tenure, it was always going to be tough. Losing Zidane – the mastermind behind the defensive stability of Real Madrid – in the same season, didn’t help.
Real Madrid, to replace Sergio Ramos, went for David Alaba once they understood that Ramos wasn’t going to extend, or that he wasn’t fit enough to play consistently at the top level anymore, since we saw the extent of his injury problems last season. Alaba was a great acquisition, and he was always going to be good because of his versatility. The way he has played as the ball-playing centre-back in the team has really helped Real Madrid out of bad pressing situations, among so many other things.
But, the one we don’t talk about enough is Eder Militao. Militao has had a fantastic season so far, he is one of the best central defenders in La Liga, and the things he is doing are just nothing short of fabulous. He is always the one who takes the risk and goes towards the ball-carrier to win the ball, and he does that as well as one can. He reads the opposition amazingly, and even though he had his fair share of mistakes in the game against Shakhtar, the sample size is enough to prove that it was just a small blip in form.
In fact, Real Madrid are just now realising that, and they prioritize him and two other players over everyone else when it comes to talking about contract extensions.
Mendy, Militao and Vinicius are Real Madrid’s next renewal priorities, per source
MARCA has reported that Real Madrid want to extend the contracts of these three players first and foremost. If you think about it, everyone on their priority list deserves a better, bigger contract. Vinicius Jr has become one of the most important players in the squad, and we’ve talked about him deserving a better contract at length.
As for Mendy, we can see how important he is. Real Madrid’s defense was very shaky to start the season, and Mendy’s absence had a huge part to play in that. Once he returned, the defense stabilized a little bit, and even though Real Madrid still aren’t the strongest defensively, they’re still doing much better than before. More time together for the backline would help them bring some consistency, and the results will improve.
But yes, it’s a great move to extend Mendy’s contract. He definitely is the best defensive left-back in the world, and his contract needs to be among that of the elites in his position right now.
Militao, as I said, has been fantastic this season, and has really come up clutch at an awkward time for the club. However, this is why he was brought in in 2019, so that the club has someone to rely on in defense in case either one of Ramos and Varane departs. We’re seeing a guy with enormous amounts of talent go from being one for the future to being one for the now. Give the man the contract he deserves.