We argue Real Madrid could be fixed in two Senegalese signatures

This is where Koulibaly would come in handy. Plug him next to the experienced Ramos and the 2018 World Cup winner, Raphael Varane and no one would dare to attack them in open play.
— Tinotenda Magiya, FirstTouch Africa

We all know it! It’s not working. The biggest club in world football is struggling. They lost two leaders at the end of last season. Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane departed the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for personal reasons which are closely linked. With them, they left a club with an ageing defence and toothless attack. Both of them were bringing out the best in the Madrid squad to play on the biggest stage, but the Spanish club has since lost that. So now what? How do they solve this? Two players. Kalidou Koulibaly and Sadio Mane.

Add another body in defence

Kalidou Koulibaly is arguably the best centre back in the world right now. The Senegalese has been consistent in his performances for a while now and his efforts are starting to be recognized by many. But what about Ramos you may ask. Check his stats. Whoscored gathered that he’s averaging 0.7 blocks per game in the Spanish La Liga. His defensive work rate is now off the pace although his attacking prowess is undeniable. Ramos has scored 7 goals and provided 1 assist already across all competitions this season which shows that he has a lot to offer. With him leading the attack from the back, he could benefit from having the presence of the African defender who is more than capable of bossing around some of the toughest strikers in Europe having already pocketed the likes Edinson Cavani when Napoli faced Paris Saint-Germain in November 2018. Koulibaly could ease the pressure off the Real Madrid captain who is turning 33 in less than two months.

Trying a different formation

Sadio Mane of Senegal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group H match between Senegal and Colombia at Samara Arena on June 28, 2018 in Samara, Russia.  (June 27, 2018 - Source: Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe)

Sadio Mane of Senegal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group H match between Senegal and Colombia at Samara Arena on June 28, 2018 in Samara, Russia.

(June 27, 2018 - Source: Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe)

It’s all fun and games when a team plays one way and are getting results. We have seen it over the years with Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City that was conservative against its opposition and pounced on the break with some frightening counter-attacking play. Real Madrid have had that aura in them and dispatched teams the Madrid way. But gone are the days when the never changing 4-3-3 formation of the Los Blancos was feared. They have been figured out. Changing formation to a 3-4-3 could prove to be a masterclass. Antonio Conte used it at Chelsea and he has an English Premier League title to show for it. But Madrid cannot use it as they lack the quality at the back. This is where Koulibaly would come in handy. Plug him next to the experienced Ramos and the 2018 World Cup winner, Raphael Varane and no one would dare to attack them in open play. Such is the significance of the Senegalese defender who brings a new dimension not only to the defense but to the style of play for the whole team. I am rooting for his signature.

Add quality in attack

Real Madrid are lacking the quality on the top end of the pitch. That’s evident. Galacticos have always been a solution in times of need for the club and they always will be. Why not make Sadio Mane the next Galactico. I know, I know, not a name on everyone’s minds but hear me out. He’s a player more than capable of carrying the weight of the team on his shoulders. We saw it not long ago. At the biggest stage, Sadio Mane stood up for Liverpool in the 2018 UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid. He came through with a goal and caused havoc for the reigning European champions. In him, Real Madrid have got a player who beats players, creates and a player who is hungry for success having not won any trophy since moving to Liverpool from Southampton in 2016. Sadio Mane could bring back that fear factor that is lacking from the Spanish giants.

Inspire the new generation

Florentino Perez has made efforts to improve his attack. He has put his faith in the youngsters making noise in the junior age groups and managed to attract them to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. We have seen it Vinicius Jr, Brahim Diaz, Marco Asensio, Diaz Mariano and with Rodrigo Rodrigues who is still yet to make his way to the club from Gremio. There has been a lot of hype around these youngsters and we have seen some glimpses of hope in some. However, they have come short whenever they have been called up to task this season. I am sure they probably watched Ronaldo when he was playing and learnt a few lessons. What then do they need? They need another player with influence whom they can pick a few things from. Sadio Mane could come in and do that job. Show them another side of an attacking player capable of putting in the work and press high up the pitch when the team suffers. Bring some new inspiration into the dressing room and maybe, just maybe, Real Madrid could turn their misfortune around.

Get these two and Real Madrid could be revived in no time and forget the loopholes left by Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo’s departures.