Is the Real Madrid squad lacking depth?

When we are speaking about squad depth, it is more related to how good the backup is for each position as opposed to how strong Real Madrid is in each area of the team.

To best answer the question above, we will explore each area of the squad.

Keeper position

To back up arguably the best keeper in the world right now Courtois is not easy. The young Ukrainian Lunin is the man given that challenge, and so far has done reasonably well. He has kept clean sheets in half of the six league games played this season, but those were all against bottom three teams at the time of writing, twice against basement club Elche.

Naturally, when Courtois doesn’t play, they will be massively weaker in this spot but by nature of their average opponent in Spain, this is not a priority to strengthen by way of a backup keeper. However, in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League this may become a problem eventually as Lunin doesn’t have experience in major games like that.


Looking at the defence where Real Madrid looks quite well-stocked, although I feel the left-back could improve in an offensive aspect.

If we base the discussion on that they are playing a back four which is almost always the case, and the best defence from left to right is Mendy, Rudiger, Milito and Carvajal.

For each position, the backup or alternatives are very strong, with attacking options like Odriozola and Vasquez on the right side and the likes of Alaba, Nacho and Vallejo centrally.

Camavinga is going to be a star but needs to settle and focus on his best area, which likely will be central midfield. For now, he can play left back arguably as well as Mendy who is generally seen as the starter, with Alaba also tussling for the left back position.

In this left-back area, however, for a team which dominates games and generally needs full-backs to be better going forward than defending, I’m surprised Ancelotti hasn’t sought to purchase a top-quality attacking left wing-back.

One aspect of their squad which is extremely good for their depth in the defensive and midfield areas is the great versatile players such as Nacho and Camavinga. Nacho can play anywhere across the back four without losing any defensive strength, although he certainly can’t be as keen as Carvajal when it comes to crossing and being an attacking RB.


Again for the benefit of this article, we will discuss the squad depth based around the 4-3-3, where Modric and Kroos are certain starters in their best XI, with Ceballos, Camavinga, and Tchouameni all competing for the third spot, as well as being high-quality backups.

Right now these are five players which walk into most top teams across the European continent, but the bigger concern here is the ageing legs of Modric and Kroos. On top of this, Ceballos isn’t happy being a squad player and may leave soon.

For now, however, one cannot ask for better depth in the midfield. This is a problem to 2023/24 and beyond.


Benzema is by far and away their most important centre forward and Vini Junior is for me, the best-attacking player in Spain right now. The Brazilian attacks from the left wing in the front three for Madrid, while on the right side, Valverde has nailed down the 3rd starting spot.

Again, this is a frightening trio of players but behind them, we are looking at big reductions when they need to rotate.

Rodrygo can play in any position but is generally seen as the first option to back up Benzema as a centre forward, this and anyone that is used to replace Vinicius are both considered serious downgrades in quality. Eden Hazard just about deserves a mention in this piece but nothing more due to lack of fitness and lack of minutes, he is barely even spoken of in Madrid.

Rodrygo has potential but lacks the link-up play, intelligence and finishing prowess of Benzema, particularly with his form of 2021/22 where he won the Balon d‘Or.

The Club feel the kid Alvaro Rodriguez could be a star one day, but he is behind Mariano Diaz in the pecking order, another striker tipped to replace Benzema but never got close since breaking through many years ago.

To summarise, in terms of the outfield, at centre forward and lesser so at centre back are the areas that Real Madrid could do with adding depth right now.

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