Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid: Where does forward fit in Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded attack?


Jude Bellingham assisted Vinicius Jr in scoring, securing a Champions League victory for Real Madrid without the presence of a renowned and elite striker in their roster.

Mbappe - Figure 1
Photo Sky Sports

The conversation before, during, and after the victory against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium was centered around Carlo Ancelotti's exceptional leadership, as despite losing Karim Benzema to Saudi Arabia the previous summer, he still managed to achieve success with Real Madrid. Presently, the discussion revolves around how a new French forward can elevate the team even further.

Kylian Mbappe is poised to join Real Madrid despite turning down the Spanish giants on three previous occasions. His first refusal came after undergoing a trial with Real's U12 squad, while his next two rejections saw him opt for PSG in 2017 and 2022. However, he will now be arriving at the Bernabeu at a time when his new team needs him most.

After the Champions League final on Saturday, Bellingham mentioned that the one thing that was absent was a precise and skilled performance.

"If he were to provide us with that, we would be in an excellent position to advance to the next level. He is considered one of the greatest athletes globally!"

Real Madrid now has a top-notch number 9 player, who is arguably one of the finest in the world. However, this raises a concern about the fate of players like Vinicius and Bellingham, who have been exceptional not only at Wembley but also throughout the season.

When Benzema was absent, Ancelotti didn't just substitute him with another player. Instead, he implemented a 4-3-1-2 setup. This involved Vinicius and Rodrygo playing as 'split forwards' who cover the wider parts of the field. As a result, Bellingham was able to take on a more flexible role as the leading midfielder in a diamond formation, operating just behind them.

The trio of Vinicius, Bellingham, and Rodrygo will not be separated during transfer sales. This season, Vinicius and Bellingham contributed 24 and 23 goals respectively, making them the most significant players for Real. Despite reports of his departure, Rodrygo has made a promise to stay in the Spanish capital for the upcoming season.

Mbappe - Figure 2
Photo Sky Sports

Mbappe is about to become Real Madrid's star player after scoring 256 goals in 308 games for PSG. However, the question remains: how will he take over as the main man without overshadowing Real's current No 7, Vinicius, who is widely considered one of the top players in the world?

There might be a problem because Mbappe and Vinicius both played in the same spot this season, and the Brazilian is refusing to move.

According to Semra Hunter, a journalist from Spain who reports on football, Vinicius has managed to take control of the left-hand side and it is now his strongest position. This was mentioned in an interview with Sky Sports News.

Assuming that Ancelotti will maintain a 4-4-2 formation in the upcoming season, let's consider Jude Bellingham as the central midfielder.

This indicates that Vinicius and Mbappe have the possibility to initiate a dual-armed offensive, similar to what Vinicius and Rodrygo have been executing throughout the current season.

Ancelotti will have a difficult time deciding who to replace Rodrygo with, as the Brazilian forward has played an important role in Real's recent triumphs in the Champions League.

The manager from Italy is considering leaving out the player who managed to score in both matches of this season's quarter-final win against Manchester City. That win more or less confirmed that Real was the team to beat in the Champions League. Additionally, it's uncertain if Mbappe will agree to play the position of 'right forward,' which is currently held by Rodrygo, so that Vinicius can play instead.

There is a discussion about Rodrygo's limited use in the right wing position, even though he's considered the "right forward". Two years back, Ancelotti had remarked that the young footballer has immense potential as a central striker or second striker. This suggests that his position in Real Madrid's 4-3-1-2 formation is more centred, making it a suitable fit for Mbappe, who has previously expressed his preference to play in the No 9 slot rather than as a wide player at PSG.

Is it possible for all four exceptional footballers - namely Mbappe, Vinicius, Rodrygo, and Bellingham - to function cohesively in an incredibly offensive Ancelotti strategy? Ancelotti employed a 4-3-3 configuration during his tenure at Real Madrid for numerous years until the departure of Benzema. Hence, executing this approach won't be completely unfamiliar to him.

Hunter said that Rodrygo has the ability to play in different positions, such as the right, left, or as a No 10, which makes him more versatile tactically.

We recommend using the Chrome internet browser to improve your viewing experience when watching videos.

It's possible for him to deploy a 4-3-3 formation where Mbappe takes the center spot and Vinicius and Rodrygo cover the sides. Nonetheless, this requires him to give up one of his midfielders, which isn't ideal as they already have many dependable players in that position. I doubt he would resort to this strategy frequently.

Real Madrid has welcomed not one but two new players this summer: Mbappe and the Brazilian talent, Endrick. Endrick's impressive skills and abilities have added yet another shining option to the team. With his exceptional performances for both his club and country at only 17 years old, it wouldn't be shocking if he made his presence known in this discussion as well.

The adolescent will progress at his own pace as Mbappe gains attention from all over the globe. Real Madrid is counting on him to lead their team to victory in Europe.

If they can win the Champions League without him, what level of achievement will the Spanish giants reach with him on their team?

Read more
Similar news