Real Madrid’s acquisition of David Alaba on a free transfer from Bayern Munich was a shrewd one, even more so once it became clear that Sergio Ramos wouldn’t be staying at the club. Madrid were clear that their defence needed to be strengthened according to Marca, something that will become even more apparent should Raphael Varane follow Ramos out the door.
Madrid see Alaba as a centre-back, but he’s versatile. He played in midfield for Austria at Euro 2020, dominating games as they made it to the last 16. Carlo Ancelotti, the man who replaced Zinedine Zidane this summer, knows Alaba well from his time with him at Bayern Munich, where he used him as a left-back. Of the 60 games Ancelotti coached at Bayern, Alaba played 52 of them, only eleven of which as a centre-back.
Left-back seems reasonably stocked at the Santiago Bernabeu this season, however, with both Marcelo and Ferland Mendy. Midfield is lighter, with Antonio Blanco second to Casemiro in that holding role Alaba could thrive in, while centre-back could be further weakened as previously mentioned if Varane departs. It’ll be an interesting subplot to see how Ancelotti deploys him.