Three ways Real Madrid can line up with Kylian Mbappe

The Kylian Mbappe saga is over as the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner has officially joined his dream club Real Madrid.

Real Madrid announced the signing of Kylian Mbappe this week, ending their years-long wait to have the French international in their team. The former PSG star has penned down a five-year deal with the team in white as he hopes to reach great heights with the record Champions League winners.

The 25-year-old will paid around €15 million in wages after taxes and will also receive a massive signing bonus of €150 million spread over the duration of his deal. The Frenchman was very close to joining the Spanish giants two years back. But he had a late change of heart and ended up penning down a new deal at PSG.

While that decision did not really go down well with the Real Madrid faithful, he was quick to have a talk with Florentino Perez and keep the doors of Real Madrid open for himself. Finally, two years later, he joined the Spanish giants as a free agent.

No doubt that Mbappe’s arrival further bolsters Carlo Ancelotti’s squad as he is arguably the best forward in world football at this point. But, it will also create a lot of headaches for the Italian manager as he will have to figure out which formation to go ahead with during the 2024/25 season and where to slot the Frenchman in his attack.

The Hard Tackle now tries to predict how Los Blancos could line up with their newest Galactico signing.

4-2-3-1 with Mbappe as the number nine

Mbappe is at his best when plays out wide on the left and similar is the case with Vinicius Junior as well as Rodrygo Goes. Having said that, the Real Madrid number 11 is well accustomed to playing anywhere in attack, which makes things just a touch easier for Carlo Ancelotti.

While Vinicius Junior as he been used as a striker at times during the second half of the season, it is not a strong suit for him. As a result, the Italian manager will prefer to keep him on the left while Mbappe could occupy the number nine position as he has a better overall game.

Rodrygo could continue as the right winger, and Bellingham could feature as the attacking midfielder just behind Madrid’s newest signing. This formation will allow them to go all-out attack and take down any defence in world football.

More importantly, it will give Bellingham the freedom to continue as number 10, a role in which he has excelled during his first season at the club. But, it will cause problems on the defensive side of things as they will have a double pivot where Aurelien Tchouaméni will feature alongside Federico Valverde or Eduardo Camavinga.

In games where they need more defensive stability, Real Madrid could use Valverde as the right winger. He can go up and down the pitch all day long and has excelled in that role in the past.

4-3-3 with Mbappe, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior

Mbappe’s arrival could also see them shift back to a three-man attack where he will be the nine, Vinicius Junior will be on the left and Rodrygo Goes on the right. All three of them have great pace and this setup will make them more deadly in offensive transitions.

They could end up being the most destructive counter-attacking team on the planet. The 4-3-3 formation will also allow all three of them to interchange positions. Even if all three of them prefer playing on the left flank, they could switch roles based on the players they go up against or the situation of the match which will cause a lot of problems for opposition defences.

Having Tchouameni as the defensive midfielder and with Valverde in support on the right and Bellingham on the left, they will have a solid midfield base which could help the front-three have the freedom.

4-4-2 flat with Mbappe and Vinicius Junior up top

Mbappe joining Real Madrid could have a huge impact on Rodrygo’s future. The Brazilian winger might not get as many minutes as he did last season if Carlo Ancelotti decides to stick to the 4-4-2 formation, which has been used during the 2023/24 season.

Even if he does end up going ahead with the 4-4-2 with just two forwards in Mbappe and Vinicius, there will most likely be a slight tactical adjustment. Ancelotti could switch from a diamond in midfield to a 4-4-2 flat formation to ensure they have a strong defensive base and both their forwards are given full freedom in attack.

Bellingham will go from playing as an attacking midfielder to a left-midfielder something which he has done during the recently concluded season to cover for Vinicius Junior on the left. On the right, they could have Valverde who will give them defensive cover and can also join the attack when needed. Tchouameni and Camavinga could be the two central midfielders in this system.

Bellingham and Valverde could look to cut inside during attack and allow the full-backs to have an impact from the flanks. And in defensive situations, they will be present to help the full-backs out.

While the 4-4-2 flat looks like the best possible formation, the fact that it could result in a significant drop in Rodrygo’s game time suggests that a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 could be the formation to start things off with but it doesn’t work out they can always revert to the 4-4-2.

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