Real Madrid spent 305 million euros on new signings this summer, yet they have come in for criticism for not targeting players who would immediately strengthen their first-team squad. Instead, only Eden Hazard fits that description.
Florentino Perez at Los Blancos‘ spoke about the “great effort” that has been done to bring in five outfielders and a backup goalkeeper, as well as the return of James Rodriguez from a two-year loan at Bayern Munich, to “supplement” a squad that has won everything.
Often in the world of football, supporters want immediate results and make quick judgements about a player, rather than allow them to develop and find their feet.
At Madrid, there is an element of fear, though, after their disappointing season last year, which was the first campaign in four years that they did not win the Champions League, nor did they have Cristiano Ronaldo in their squad after selling to him to Juventus last summer.
Wednesday night will provide an opportunity for Madrid‘s new signings to showcase their ability, with Hazard, Ferland Mendy and Eder Militao all set to feature at the Parc des Princes against Paris Saint-Germain. James is expected to play, too, while the remaining three signings – Alphonse Areola, who is on loan from PSG, Luka Jovic and potentially Rodrygo Goes – will be on the bench.
Brahim Diaz is a player that Zinedine Zidane likes a lot, although he is expected to miss out on Madrid‘s squad list as he is still in the final stages of his return from injury, while Mariano Diaz has no place in the Frenchman’s plans and will also not be included.
In defense, Mendy performed well against Villarreal before the international break and is guaranteed to start against PSG due to Marcelo‘s injury. However, regardless of the Brazilian’s injury, it was not out of the realms of possibility that Zidane would have selected Mendy against a fast PSG attack that can be deadly on the counterattack, a facet of the game where Marcelo often gets found out.
Also in defense will be Militao, following the suspensions to Sergio Ramos and Nacho Fernandez that have carried over from last season’s Champions League. The Brazilian made his LaLiga Santander debut against Levante on Saturday and needs matches in order to acclimatize, though the PSG game will be a good test in order to see where the Brazilian is in terms of his development.
Above all, Hazard will be the star addition that is set to make his European debut with Los Blancos in Paris. Like Militao, he made his league debut against Levante, while Zidane has insisted that Madrid need to go slowly with him so it is not guaranteed that he will start; Hazard may come on as a substitute in the second half to change the game.