One of the big debates after the summer transfer window was system teams vs superstar teams.
In a transfer window that saw Lionel Messi move to PSG to play with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo re-joining Manchester United, can clubs who rely on moments of magic from superstars to compete with clubs who have a clear identity?
And can they compete without being drilled to an inch of their lives in training like Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea?
We’ll have to wait until the end of the season to find out, but one thing that has gone under the radar is Real Madrid’s summer activity.
If you cast your mind back to the summer, many people were questioning the wisdom of letting club icon Sergio Ramos and French World Cup winner Raphael Varane leave the Bernabeu.
And you can hardly blame them. After all, that centre back pairing proved to be the bedrock of a side that won four of five Champions League titles, as well as two La Liga triumphs and two Copa del Rey titles.
But just three months after his decision, club president Florentino Perez appears to have been vindicated.
With Barcelona in disarray, and a sloppy start from reigning champions Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid are favourites for La Liga in the eyes of many.
Los Blancos currently find themselves second in La Liga, just a point behind leaders Real Sociedad, but with a game in hand.
A slip up against Sheriff Tiraspol aside, Real Madrid have also looked strong in the Champions League, including winning away against Italian champions Inter.
Former Real legend Ramos is yet to make an appearance for PSG and it has been widely reported that the French club are open to terminating his contract due to his ongoing injury issues.
Do you think Kylian Mbappe should move to Real Madrid this summer? Let us know in the comments section…
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Varane, while not comparable to the situation Ramos finds himself in in France, has had an injury-hampered start to life at Manchester United.
He is currently on the treatment table at Old Trafford, meaning the Red Devils cannot make the most of their new signing, at least not immediately.
Meanwhile in Madrid, free transfer signing Alaba, who started the season at left back, is building a solid centre-back partnership with Eder Militao and even scored the opening goal in their recent El Clasico defeat of Barcelona.
The outcry over the treatment of Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid’s unwillingness to offer him a new contract seems like a long time ago now.
Not only that, but due to recent player sales and removing big earners like Ramos and Varane from the books, as well as Ronaldo before them, the prudent financial management Real Madrid has left them in a very strong position in relation to La Liga’s financial fair play rules.
La Liga allows teams to spend money based on club income and losses.
As reported in the Guardian, Real Madrid’s spending limit is now almost eight times higher than Barcelona’s.
The summer moves by Real Madrid have left them in a strong position in more ways than one, and they remain in pole position to add Mbappe in the summer if he decides to leave PSG.
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