Parth Shah (Sportz Interactive), Jul 13, 2011

Reviewing La Liga transfers: Focus on Real Madrid

Fabio Ceontrao: Versatile, attacking wingback

Real Madrid

Confirmed deals: Fabio Coentrao from Benfica (€30 m), French defender Raphael Varane from Lens (€10 m); Hamit Altintop from Bayern Munich (undisclosed); Jose Maria Callejon from Espanyol (€5 m); Nuri Sahin from Dortmund (€10 m).


Ins: Neymar (obviously), Carlos Tevez (Man City), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid)
Outs: Lassana Diarra, Kaka, Sergio Canales, Raul Albiol

Performance Review:

Intent: 10/10 – Jose Mourinho seems to be a man on a mission. And that mission seems to be upstaging Barcelona at every turn. Barca was the team that prevented The Special One from claiming an unprecedented treble in his first full season with Madrid and Mourinho has made his intentions pretty clear by going out and signing 5 new players within the first 45 days of the transfer window. Whether these players are good enough to reclaim the glory years is a debate for another time, but for now, Mourinho gets full marks for on our intent scale.

Nuri Sahin: The next Xabi Alonso?

Impact on quality of squad:

Madrid might have paid over the odds for 23-year old wingback Fabio Coentrao but there is no denying the talent that the former Benfica man possesses. He will provide some much needed competition for Marcelo and is versatile enough to play as a winger. Nuri Sahin is another fantastic signing, with him having an excellent season playing for Borussia Dortmund. He can play in a holding role, as a plamaker and has a good shot on him. At 22, his best years are still to come and he will offer a quality backup to Xabi Alonso. Defender Rafael Varane is one for the future as well, so it’s refreshing to see Mourinho building a team for the future and not just buying the best talent available in the market.

Verdict: Mourinho has recently come out and said that he would like 1 more striker for this team, since Higuain and Benzema are the only out-an-out strikers that Madrid owns. It seems Adebayor will probably not be signed on a permanent deal. The team is perfect in all other areas and with the versatility that Ronaldo, Kaka and Angel Di Maria provide, there will never be a scarcity of goal-scorers at Madrid. But probably what needs to change is the mentality of the coach himself. So before he plots his next masterplan for the El Classico, one hopes “The Special One” will be looking to unleash his attackers, and not stifle them with an overtly defensive setup. Only time will tell whether Mourinho has learnt his lessons from the Champions League Semi-finals, but the initial signs are there to see. Investing in young, versatile players and having plenty of options on the bench is a good way to start.

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