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AC Milan

Ancelotti and the Alaba decision

Real Madrid have begun the second Carlo Ancelotti era in the Spanish capital remarkably well, and it has helped that the Italian has made quick decisions on key matters, including just how he will utilise summer-signing, David Alaba.

With the Austrian having proven himself to be equally as adept at centre-half, centre-midfield and left-back, it was down to the Italian coach to try and decide which role would best suit the player at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Having worked with Ancelotti at Bayern Munich, Alaba was used to playing at left-back during that period, but there was a suspicion that the player wanted to play in midfield more.

However, after he made his Champions League debut for the club against Inter, any doubt over his role has been cleared up, Ancelotti has made abundantly obvious that Alaba will play at centre-half.

Taking over from Sergio Ramos

The departures of both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane had left the team light in that position and the former AC Milan coach wanted a degree of experience in such a crucial part of the pitch.

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Alaba played his first two matches with Los Merengues on the left, but in the last two against Real Betis and the Nerazzurri he has been moved back to the heart of defence.

Unless there is an emergency situation, this is exactly where Alaba will stay in 2021/22, with Ferland Mendy, Marcelo and Miguel Gutierrez seen as more than enough quality cover at left-back.

It may seem academic to many, but the fact Los Blancos handed Alaba the No.4 shirt was a sign that he would play at the heart of defence, it was Sergio Ramos‘ number after all.

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