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Why Real Madrid’s veteran trio will be the best midfield option next year

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In Real Madrid’s legendary period of winning three Champions League titles in a row, their midfield had a huge part to play. Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos formed one of the greatest midfield partnerships of all time, as they went on to win one title after the other under Zinedine Zidane.

After the 2018-19 season, it was clear: Real Madrid needed new, young stars to take over the mantle as Kroos and Modric, particularly the latter, slowly fade into the sunset. The Croatian was 34 years old, but in the next three seasons, he just somehow managed to keep his form going.

Luka Modric is now 36 years old, and still has a vital role in Real Madrid’s midfield. He’s still one of the best midfielders in the world, and it shows that his longevity is damn near unmatched. There aren’t many players in the history of football that have played at this high level till the age of 36. What’s more interesting about Modric is that he has no plans of slowing down. I mean, this man will be leading his team to the World Cup finals at the age of 37. How many players do you know that have done that?

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According to MARCA, Real Madrid are delighted with Luka Modric’s performances this season, and they are looking to offer him a contract extension, which will keep him around till 2023.

Modric is very important to the club, as are Toni Kroos and Casemiro. These three are currently the best midfielders that Real Madrid have, and there’s simply no one good enough (yet) to replace them in the line-up.

The chemistry of Real Madrid’s veteran trio makes it really difficult to replace them

However, the report also says that Modric’s extension doesn’t mean that Real Madrid won’t look at opportunities to buy talented midfielders next season, like Aurélien Tchouaméni or Paul Pogba. Out of these two, I think only Pogba will be able to make a strong case for a starting spot, because of his superstardom and his polished abilities as a footballer. But, I think that Luka Modric and Toni Kroos’ chemistry just makes them the preferred choice over pretty much anyone in the world. Chemistry takes time to build, and Pogba will get that time if he joins, but till he is able to do it, I think Modric will still start his fair share of games.

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As for the young midfielders that Real Madrid currently have, Eduardo Camavinga is a good player that has a very high ceiling, but until he matches that ceiling, I don’t think he will be able to establish himself as a starter at the club.

Fede Valverde has managed to break into the line-up several times in the last two seasons, and will continue to do so, but what Modric provides is really different to what Valverde provides, and given the setup of this team right now, I think it’s best if Modric remains a starter.  That’s not to say Valverde won’t have his opportunities. He will! Modric is 36, so he will obviously require a good amount of rest.

You can say the same for Toni Kroos and Casemiro. But, the main reason these players should still start is the chemistry that they have while playing together. Modric has slowed down just a little bit, true, but is still very hardworking on both ends of the pitch. Casemiro has had a rough bunch of games, but as we saw after Toni Kroos’ return to the line-up, Casemiro saw an uptick in form.

As for Kroos, well, he does what he needs to do. He slows the game down when it is required, he builds up the pace when there is a need. His long-range passing – something that the (potentially) incoming Kylian Mbappe would love to experience – and press resistance are second to none, and Real would have difficulty in replacing him when the time comes.

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There’s a reason why no one at Real Madrid has been able to replace these three in the middle of the park. Players like Martin Odegaard have come and gone, failing to make it into the starting XI.

All in all, I think that these three players are even better together than they are in an individual sense, and all of that matters a lot at a team like Real Madrid, and that is why I think that at least for the 2022/23 season, Real Madrid will stick with their veteran midfield trio for the most part.

Besides, I think that the chemistry that they share, coupled with the almost-imminent arrival of Kylian Mbappe makes Real Madrid another Champions League contender, even without someone like Paul Pogba. Time for one last dance, maybe?

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