For most Madridistas there was one position that stood out in the Real Madrid team that needed strengthening before the new season; the goalkeeper.
So imagine the surprise when Brazilian right-back Danilo, from Porto, became the first signing of the summer.
Despite his obvious physical and technical qualities, many would agree that Dani Carvajal had more than justified himself for a starting role. Rather than buying a back-up for the Spanish international, Florentino Perez opted to buy some direct competition.
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It is important to note that competition is never a bad thing. The last thing any manager would want is complacency among his starting line-up. However there is still much to be said for rewarding players when they outperform expectations.
This is certainly the case for Dani Carvajal. Since he returned from Bayer Leverkusen two seasons ago he has proven to be an electrifying player both in defence and attack.
He combines hard work and determination with rapid acceleration and pinpoint crossing to effect both sides of Madrid’s game.
But in comes Danilo. He is coming off three solid seasons in Portugal, where he has developed into a technically proficient attacking full-back. He possess many of the same attributes that make Carvajal so effective, but he still lacks conviction and confidence in certain defensive situations.
Add to that the fact that Danilo has struggled with fitness throughout preseason, the starting option for Rafa Benitez should be fairly straightforward.
Typically when a manager signs a new player he will stick with them, at least in the early going, and that has happened as Danilo has started both La Liga games this season.
In this situation I’m not sure that is the right move. Carvajal has proven himself capable in all matter of games and demonstrates a relentless passion for winning.
Of course of player of Danilo’s ability should never be overlooked and he should be given a fair run out.
But given Carvajal's development since moving to the Bernabeu, he should be getting more of a chance than he has so far this season.
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