Analysis: Is Alex Grimaldo a better option than Ferland Mendy for Real Madrid?

Real Madrid are determined to strengthen at left back, with club officials unconvinced by Ferland Mendy’s long term future at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Frenchman has performed well this season, despite an error leading to Villarreal’s opener during Saturday’s defeat. Mendy has played regularly in the position, but despite that, he is not expected to remain at Real Madrid beyond the end of his current contract, which expires in 2025.

He has been linked with a move away from the club this season, with a move to the Premier League seeming most likely. Having signed for a total fee of €53m, Real Madrid would reportedly accept €40m for the 27-year-old.

Alphonso Davies is the star name that has been linked with a move to Los Blancos, but with Bayern are unlikely to part with Davies cheaply, Real Madrid have identified a back-up option in Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo, as per Fichajes.

Grimaldo came through the La Masia academy at Barcelona, but failed to make a first team appearance before moving to the Portuguese capital. His contract expires at the end of the season at Benfica, meaning that he could be a budget transfer should Davies fail to join.

The Spaniard may come in if Mendy leaves, or he could be brought in the complete with the Frenchman. If it were the latter, it could be a keenly contested battle to see who would be first choice in the position.

Although he doesn’t play in a “major” league, Grimaldo stands out as a player of quality. Excitingly for Real Madrid, he is someone that can attack and defend, with the latter being of particular importance under Carlo Ancelotti. He is a strong tackler, and has a good ability to not commit too early when attempting to stop a player.

He is very good with the ball at his feet, and is a very accomplished passer. His ball striking is very impressive, especially for a full back, and he isn’t afraid to shoot from distance. If needed, he is adept at set pieces, and has scored free kicks on more than one occasion for Benfica.

In terms of a signing, this one seems like a no brainer for Real Madrid, especially since he can be signed for nothing in the summer. Irrespective of how he matches up to Mendy, Grimaldo is a player of real quality, who should be playing in Europe’s top five leagues for a competitive team.

He would hold his own against Mendy if it better a battle for first team supremacy, and there are arguments to say that he is better than the Frenchman. He is perhaps slightly better defensively, and the two are similar going forward, but Grimaldo again perhaps edges it with his technical ability.

Alphonso Davies would be the best possible option for Real Madrid if he is available. However, with that deal seemingly unlikely, they can’t go wrong with signing a player like Grimaldo, especially on a free.

Tags Alex Grimaldo Alphonso Davies Benfica Real Madrid
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