Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been handed a one-year transfer ban by FIFA after breaching rules on signing underage athletes. Los Blancos will not be allowed to bring new players during the summer of 2016 and the winter transfer market of 2017.
That would surely be a huge problem for any other club. Although being unable to reinforce the squad is surely something Florentino Perez doesn’t want to face, he shouldn’t become excessively alarmed.
Here are a few reasons why the transfer ban won’t be as harmful for Real Madrid as many expect:
1. The appeal will be taken into account
Real Madrid will be able to sign new players next summer. That’s 90 per cent sure. As it happened with Barcelona, Los Blancos appeal will cause that the ban will be put on hold until the sentence is firm. Thus, Real will have a few months to prepare themselves for the ban until the case is solved. There might be no time to bring any big stars in the current winter transfer market, but in the summer Perez will surely have the chance to hire some of the world-class players he is pursuing: Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba, and Robert Lewandowski among others.
2. Loaned players can return to the club
The ban does not affect loaned players, who are allowed to return to Real Madrid and could help reinforce the squad. Los Blancos have eight footballers they could bring back: Marco Asensio, Diego Llorente, Fabio Coentrao, Lucas Silva, Omar Mascarell, Alvaro Medran, Burgui, and Jesus Vallejo. There is plenty of potential there. For instance, that list includes two of the most promising European centre-backs, Vallejo and Llorente, who could be ready to make their first team debut as soon as needed. If Madrid fail to sign a left-back who would give Marcelo some rest, they can always recover Coentrao, who is having an impressive season at AS Monaco. And although Isco is already in the squad, fans will be happy to know the next Isco is also available: Asensio, a player who will surely leave his mark in the club.
3. Many stars of the future are already at Real Madrid
In the past few months, Florentino Perez, perhaps knowing that the ban could happen, has focussed on signing talented teenagers who are destined to become the stars of the future. Thus, there might be not such a need for signings in 2017, because those players are already here. Apart from Marco Asensio and Jesus Vallejo, Los Merengues have also signed Martin Odegaard. And the future of the forward line is also guaranteed with Real Madrid Castilla’s Borja Mayoral and Mariano. Uruguayan 17-year-old Federico Valverde could also be called from Penarol if necessary.
4. Current players are still young
It is undeniable that Real Madrid current squad is very difficult to improve, such is the talent of the players. Should they all stay at the club, there is no reason why 2017 could not be successful for Los Blancos despite the ban. There are only four players in their 30s: Pepe, Alvaro Arbeloa, Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo. The first two are easily replaceable. Modric has recently turned 30, and given his current state of form, it seems like he could play this good until he turns 32. In Ronaldo’s case, it could be just a matter of turning him into a pure number 9, and he would surely keep scoring goals. And if he decides to leave, as already mentioned, the appeal could give Perez enough time to sign Ronaldo’s successor.
In conclusion: Real Madrid fans, do not panic! Barcelona were banned as well and they ended up conquering five titles last season. We could do even better and win all six. Hala Madrid!