Real Madrid’s left-back position has been a cause for concern this season following Ferland Mendy’s injury struggles. The Frenchman’s repeated absence has forced Carlo Ancelotti to experiment, and the results do not bode well for the defender.
It has become increasingly apparent that Los Blancos need a new left-back, with Mendy’s performances and impact being replicated even by Nacho Fernandez and Eduardo Camavinga when called upon.
For some time after his signing, doubts lingered over Mendy’s suitability, and reports even suggested the club could sell him.
However, there has been a turn of events, and Marca now reports that Real Madrid have big plans for 21-year-old Fran Garcia, who they acquired from Rayo Vallecano for €5 million in January.
The club sees the academy graduate as a viable candidate for the left-back role next season and hope he can put pressure on Mendy.
Having come through the club’s youth ranks, Garcia already understands Real Madrid’s values and culture, which could help him integrate quickly.
Mendy’s dwindling stock and a possible contract renewal for Nacho have fueled speculation over the Frenchman’s departure.
Garcia’s return in June, coupled with Mendy’s potential sale, seems the most likely scenario for Los Blancos’ left-back position next season.
Another academy product, Miguel Gutierrez, 21, has also caught the club’s eye. The young Spaniard joined Girona on loan this season for €4 million and has impressed with his pace, technique and attacking prowess.
While there are no immediate plans to bring him back, Real Madrid see him as an option for the future once he gains more top-flight experience.
Can Fran Garcia and Miguel Gutierrez Solve Left-Back Woes?
Garcia and Gutierrez highlight Real Madrid’s focus on developing and promoting homegrown talent. The club will likely give the duo opportunities to prove themselves next season, hoping that one of them can provide a long-term solution to the team’s left-back woes and save them from splashing out on a new signing.
The academy graduates’ return signals a commitment to the club’s ideals that has defined its illustrious history. Backing from the passionate Bernabeu faithful would inspire them to reach and surpass the heights set by the many legends who came before them.