Real Madrid has been struck a big injury setback ahead of this week’s Copa del Rey quarter-final against Athletic Bilbao, as one of their key players, Ferland Mendy, has been sidelined with an injury. As reported by El Chiringuito’s Jose Luis Sanchez, the Frenchman has sustained a muscle injury.
He will be absent for Thursday’s match against the Basque side at San Mames. As Sanchez has previously said, Mendy will try to be available for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matches against Paris Saint-Germain on the 15th of February. This suggests it may force him to miss the two LaLiga matches against Granada and Villarreal.
This is the Frenchman’s second injury of the season. That is after he was forced to miss the first one and a half months of the campaign owing to a muscular injury. It was a problem that he sustained shortly before the season began. He was unable to play in the pre-season as well owing to a prolonged recuperation from a tibia fissure he sustained in May 2021 that required surgery.
Since his summer 2019 move from Lyon to Real Madrid, Mendy has established himself as a key member of the Spanish capital’s first team. He will miss a game that is very important for the club. It will be interesting to see who takes his place.
Who will take Ferland Mendy’s position in the Copa del Rey quarterfinal?
The club captain, Marcelo, has served as Ferland Mendy’s primary backup for the last three seasons. In the Round of 16 matches against Elche, Marcelo got a red card. The RFEF made the ridiculous decision to suspend him for three games. This means that Marcelo will be unavailable for the quarter-final against Athletic Club. Also, he will miss both the legs of the semi-final, if Real Madrid goes through.
Miguel Gutierrez, the Real Madrid Castilla sensation, has already made two starts for the squad this season as the primary left-back. This draws our focus towards him, as a viable option. However, there is no real clarification on his availability. It would depend on the manager’s discretion whether to start him or not.
This is since he was absent from Real Madrid Castilla’s side that played Barcelona B last Saturday. And even if he is available, there is a good probability that Miguel will not be granted a starting position. The real for this is that Carlo Ancelotti does not take any chances when it comes to squad selection in key games.
Nacho and David Alaba are the only alternatives left on the table. As a left-back, Alabastarted the club’s first two LaLiga games against Alaves and Levante. He contributed one assist as well as two pre-assists in each of those two games.
Although Ancelotti preferred not to split the centre-back pairing of David Alaba and Eder Militao after that, he did so in the Champions League group stage match against Inter Milan. It was the game at the San Siro back in September. The Italian chose to utilise Nacho as a full-back in that game. It will be intriguing to watch who takes over Mendy’s starting spot versus Athletic Bilbao in this crucial matchup.