Should Real Madrid sell Luka Modric?
It’s been a season of change at Real Madrid. First, the manager Zinedine Zidane shocked the world by announcing his departure from the club. Then they snatched Spanish national team manager, Julen Lopetegui two days before the World Cup, which cost him his job. Then came the real shocker. One of the best football players ever, Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the world with his €112m move to Juventus. The rumours didn’t stop there.
According to the reports, fellow Serie A club Inter Milan have been targeting a move to sign Real Madrid star Luka Modric during this transfer window. His agent too confirmed that he wanted to leave Real Madrid to join the Serie A giants.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, however, put an end to the rumour, saying only the club that meets Modric’s €750m release clause can sign the player.
Real Madrid’s stand on Modric is understandable. He had played a crucial role as Real Madrid won three consecutive Champions League trophies. His displays at the World Cup has shown that he still has plenty to offer. But we are now exploring whether it is time for Real Madrid to cash in on the Croatian or not?
Modric’s career at Real Madrid could not have started in a worse way as he was selected as the worst signing of the year in his first year at the club. But since then, he has come a long way. He has won 14 trophies in his six years at the club and has played a crucial role in it.
So it comes with a huge surprise when the statistics say, Real Madrid are actually better in La Liga without Modric.
In the 166 games Modric played for the club, Real Madrid have won 115 times, i.e. 69% of the games and without him, that number is at 76% as they took all three points on 47 of the 62 games. To sum up, Real Madrid have won 2.4 points without the Croatian, compared to 2.2 with the Croatian international.
Another argument that supports Modric’s style is what is happening behind the scene.
With Zidane’s and Ronaldo’s departures, Real Madrid are in a phase of transition. With the appointment of Lopetegui, comes a change in style as well and people are still debating if Modric would fit in.
Zidane’s team focussed on movement with the ball while Lopetegui trained his Spanish team for patient build-up. This means midfielders will have to play the role as ball-carriers. It is a role that fits well on Modric. But Kroos, Isco, and Casemiro could arguably do it better.
As I said before, Real Madrid have opted against splashing the cash in the market as they want to develop young players like Asensio and Isco. The signings of Álvaro Odriozola, Vinícius Júnior, and Andriy Lunin are part of this strategy.
While Kovacic may have left Real Madrid for this season, Dani Ceballos is still on their books. So if they are looking for a long-term partner for Casemiro, then offloading Modric in this window will be ideal.
Thiago Alcantara is reportedly ready to leave Bayern for Real Madrid. He is a player well known by Lopetegui, having managed him during his stint with Spain. Selling Modric will also free up much-needed space in the wage bill, that will boost future moves for Mbappe, Neymar or Hazard.
With this article, the author is not trying to establish Real Madrid should sell Luka Modric, but he is merely implying that such a move won’t be a bad idea. With Inter ready to pay a substantial amount for Modric, this window would be the best one to sell the player.Published 15 Aug 2018, 15:50 IST