Real Madrid key defender unlikely to start against Manchester City


Eder Militao player of Real Madrid is training with teammates Vinicius Junior and Aurelien Tchouameni at Valdebebas training ground on April 11, 2024 in Madrid, Spain.

Heading into last evening’s game against RCD Mallorca, all eyes were on whether Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti would hand Eder Militao a start or not.

The Brazilian has returned from his stint on the sidelines after suffering an ACL injury on the very first day of the season and returned to action on March 31, coming on as a substitute against Athletic Club.

Militao was not used in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals against Man City earlier this week.

But with Aurelien Tchouameni getting suspended for the second leg, the idea was to see whether the key defender is ready to start next week by handing him minutes last evening against Mallorca.

Militao unlikely to start vs Manchester City

However, as it turned out, manager Ancelotti opted to field the centre-back pairing of Antonio Rudiger and Real Madrid captain Nacho Fernandez, with Eder Militao on the bench.

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The Brazilian did come on as a late substitute in stoppage time, but all signs point towards him not being part of the starting XI against Manchester City next Wednesday, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Since returning from injury, Militao has only played about five minutes of football and it would be imprudent of Ancelotti to thrust him into the lineup against a high-level Manchester City side next week in that condition.

Furthermore, Nacho put in a good performance on Saturday against Mallorca and he has been the most-used centre-back for Real Madrid after Antonio Rudiger this season.

As such, everything suggests that Militao will remain on the bench at the Etihad, with Rudiger and Nacho set to partner up.

What did Ancelotti say?

Speaking after the game, Carlo Ancelotti discussed why he used Militao sparingly against Mallorca, saying:

“I was thinking of giving him more minutes, but the game was there and I put him on in the last few minutes to get a better defender in the air.”

When asked about who he will be starting in defence against Manchester City, the Real Madrid boss replied: “Rudiger will be playing, in Manchester.”

It has been a difficult debut season for Arda Guler at Real Madrid. The 19-year-old wonderkid has found minutes hard to come by even after putting his injury woes behind him.

Last evening’s game against RCD Mallorca might have been an ideal opportunity for Carlo Ancelotti to give Guler some game-time, but it was not to be as the manager did not use the Turkish prodigy at all on the night.

Arda Guler informs Real Madrid he wants to leave

Now, journalist Ramon Alvarez reports that Arda Guler has informed Real Madrid that he wants to leave the club in the summer transfer window.

The report further adds that manager Ancelotti would be open to the idea of a loan exit for the 19-year-old prospect and the final decision will now be up to the club.

After missing the entire first half of the season due to three back-to-back injury problems, Guler has played just seven games totalling up to 98 minutes in all competitions, contributing with one goal in the process.

While competition for places is indeed intense at Real Madrid, games like the one against Mallorca on Saturday are ones where Ancelotti can turn to the youngster but has time and again opted not to.

So, it is understandable that Guler is not entirely happy with his situation and is seeking an exit, although it is unclear if he wants to leave on loan or permanently.

The manager, for his part, would be willing to sanction a loan departure for the 19-year-old talent in the summer.

There is no shortage of interest in Guler either with clubs from within Spain and outside open to signing him on loan. It is now up to Real Madrid to decide which way they proceed.

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