Real Madrid have a really good, deep and talented squad. In fact, Real Madrid might have the most expensive substitute bench in the world where players with the quality of Bale, Di Maria, Illaramendi, Isco are seen sitting on the bench for a disturbingly large amount of time.
Obviously the problem now for Real Madrid is how to replace Khedira. You would think Real Madrid would have the player already available (and I think they do) but Ancelotti is not really sure. Sure, he said in the interview they are not ‘currently’ looking for his replacement. But who knows what the future holds. Judging by his short Real Madrid career so far, I think Ancelotti is a guy who likes to play safe most of the time if not all the time.
He would want a replacement even though he has Modric, Isco and Illaramendi for that position. They cannot really provide as much defensive cover as Khedira does nor are they particularly good in the air but they can put in a decent defensive shift.
Not to mention that playing one of those 3 who give them much needed playing time and hence confidence. Ancelotti obviously could use those 3 or he could do some crazy thing in a league match, which he seems to longer value, and play Di Maria, Bale or even Benzema in that position.
Why on earth anybody would try to play Di Maria in a central midfield role? That is not just his game. He is a winger and is built like a winger. He is not Valencia who was a big dude with lots of pace and hence decided to become a winger (Ferguson put to his destined position though and that position was at right back). I think Ancelotti would have been better off if he had used Isco or Modric in that role. Both are quick and do have a sense of positioning in the defensive third of the pitch.
(Photo by teo7373)