Ancelotti sees Real Madrid revival as Xabi Alonso returns to the squad
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti claims Xabi Alonso’s return to the squad will bring back a great deal of quality and experience to the squad. The Spanish midfield stalwart could receive first-team action as soon as the La Liga game against Sevilla on Wednesday at Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid have clearly missed Alonso’s services. In his absence Los Blancos have suffered regularly in the midfield, although Ancelotti has had a hard time accepting that. Nonetheless, the Bernabeu boss hopes Alonso will have a strong impact for Real Madrid.
Alonso hasn’t played for Real Madrid in almost five months. The 31-year-old Spain international went under the knife after picking up a groin injury during the summers. The former Liverpool midfielder was set for an early return but breaking a metatarsal during preseason in August meant Alonso would be in recovery longer than expected.
Alonso returned to the squad last week, but Ancelotti didn’t risk him feature in the 2-1 La Liga defeat at the hands of Barcelona at Camp Nou last weekend. Ancelotti admits he feared for his health last week, but was now hoping the central midfield could rejuvenate Real Madrid’s form.
“He is available,” Ancelotti said. “He is training with the team. Tomorrow he could start on the bench and I will try to give him minutes. Alonso has all the quality to help the team play better -- he has experience and good passing between the lines. He is also very good defensively. He is a very important player for us.”
Real Madrid have tried a number of different formations and new players during Alonso’s absence, but no tactic or player has been able to reproduce the same quality of success Real Madrid enjoyed with him on the field.
Summer signing Asier Illarramendi was often seen playing in Alonso’s spot. Real Madrid veterans Sami Khedira and Luka Modric have also been in Alonso’s position. Even center back Sergio Ramos has operated in the midfield.
With Alonso back in the squad, Real Madrid will have to toughen up and start climbing up the ladder if they hope to pick up the La Liga title. Presently, Barcelona leads the table, but Atletico Madrid is closely following them, only a point behind. Real Madrid are third, but six points away from Barcelona.