The reports relating Alonso to a move away from Real Madrid are back in the town; this time, stronger than ever.
Every Madridista wants the best deep lying midfielder to renew his contract. Well, the chants of “Alonso , Alonso” during the Copa del Rey match two nights ago from the fans were an indication of the above.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is confident that Xabi Alonso will sign a new deal at the Santiago Bernabeu. The deal expires in June and the club has approached him few times, but the negotiations were brought to a halt following Xabi’s injuries.
Ancelotti has quoted on the Spanish International as “Key player for Madrid. He has a lot of experience and quality and is very important to the team.” Not to ignore the club icon and former Spain international Fernando Hierro also praising the Deep lying playmaker . Hierro, in an interview to Spanish daily AS said, “He’s a vital player for Real Madrid, because of the role he plays, his experience, his importance, his personality and how he understands the game.”
Without a doubt, Xabi is an important part of the Los Blancos squad. So important that, many times during his spell on the sidelines following a series of injuries in the beginning of the season, Real Madrid tried to play with different formations. Statistically speaking, in the first four games after Xabi’s return from injury, Real Madrid averaged 5 goals per game in La Liga.
The clubs like Manchester United (who are linked to every midfielder) and Chelsea who are having a crisis in their Central Midfield department are very eager to sign Alonso with probably better packages. But should he really leave Real Madrid in June or extend a contract remains the question.
Real Madrid recently bought Asier Illaramendi from Sociedad for around €35m and promoted Casemiro from the Castilla side. The only times we have seen them play together in the pivot is either in the Copa del Rey or when the main players i.e Alonso and Khedira both being absent . Even though Modric also plays in the pivot, his role tends to be more in the attacking midfield with a 4-2-3-1 formation which shifts to 4-1-4-1 when required. Sami Khedira on his return will need some time to be match fit and won’t be played for 90 minutes straight.
Illaramendi and Casemiro have definitely shown signs of promise. And with the latter netting few goals during the pre-season tour of USA, it is time for the club to promote young legs. Yes, they don’t match Xabi’s technical abilities and I doubt they ever would, but at the age of 32, Alonso has only about two more years of competitive football left in him. Not to forget his injuries which can bring a curtain down on his career in no time.
If Alonso decides to extend his contract, it would be in the best interest of both the parties that the extension is a shorter one as Alonso would be able to get higher wages and Madrid , when they want to sell him would get some good money due to the release clause.Published 21 Dec 2013, 10:01 IST