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Real Madrid’s next steps: Kylian Mbappe’s arrival kicks off a new Galacticos era for Champions League winners

Written by on June 4, 2024

Real Madrid confirmed a 15th UEFA Champions League title thanks to Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior goals in a 2-0 success over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on Saturday. Now that the Spanish giants’ latest continental triumph has been confirmed, Kylian Mbappe’s signature has followed less than 48 hours later after Monday’s announcement by the Spanish and European titlholders. 

The French superstar was confirmed as the La Liga giants’ latest big-name signing on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain with a brief statement confirming his arrival on a five-year contract but Mbappe will not be the only change to this side. Dortmund exposed vulnerabilities that Real have had all season long yet European soccer’s dominant force still emerged victorious by the end.

With Mbappe and Endrick arriving at Santiago Bernabeu and other potential new faces such as Leny Yoro also linked with Real, the curtain has come down on Kroos and could do the same with captain Nacho Fernandez. Kepa Arrizabalaga’s loan has run its course and he will return to Chelsea having made minimal impact aside from confirming Andriy Lunin’s backup status.

The Ukraine international is expected to extend his contract to stay on with Los Merengues along with Luka Modric while Lucas Vazquez is also potentially penning a short-term extension as Ancelotti rebuilds certain areas of this current group. Rodrygo will logically drop to a squad role after a subdued outing against Dortmund while semifinal hero Joselu was only on loan from Espanyol.

Most impressive perhaps is the number of regular starters who should be back to full fitness next season: Thibaut Courtois is a UCL winner again after his latest clean sheet in a final, but there is Eder Militao as well as David Alaba to consider. Factor in precocious young talent Arda Guler and that is effectively four as good as new signings on top of Mbappe and Endrick for Ancelotti to work on.

Kroos will leave a substantial hole in the middle but Modric declaring that he is staying on eases the immediate impact of that loss from both a technical and a leadership perspective. Elsewhere, Nacho would not have featured so heavily had Militao and Alaba not been seriously injured and Lunin might have been packing his bags had he not impressed in Courtois’ absence ahead of Kepa.

Rodrygo is perhaps the one to keep an eye on with a view to Mbappe’s arrival but there is no guarantee how Ancelotti will elect to move forward with the France captain until next season now. There are different variations of how Real can fit Vini Jr. and Bellingham on the field with Mbappe and Rodrygo but the chances are that someone will not be entirely happy.

That promises to be next campaign’s problem though, with now a moment for collective and personal celebration as Real and Ancelotti write further history into the books for the Spanish and European kings despite it seeming like just another day at the office. Perhaps that is the most scary prospect of all: Mbappe joining a team that is already effortlessly dominant without him.

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The post Real Madrid’s next steps: Kylian Mbappe’s arrival kicks off a new Galacticos era for Champions League winners first appeared on CBS Sports.


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