Which of the Real Madrid Castilla centre-backs is ready for the first team?

David Alaba is injured, and Real Madrid only have two senior-level centre-backs in the squad, and from the reports that we have seen, it seems like the club is not 100% certain whether to get a centre-back in January or not.

This injury, and this entire situation in general, has made people wonder: Do Real Madrid have good defenders playing for Castilla that can help the first team for the current season and maybe even after?

I mean, there is no shortage of talented centre-backs there. Alvaro Carrillo, Marvel, Edgar Pujol, and Raul Asencio are all solid options. But the problem is just that: They’re just solid.

I know their ceiling is comparatively high, but it is the floor that I am concerned about. All of them have impressed me this season, but for the people who are asking for one of them to be promoted instead of signing a centre-back, I want to say this: They may be good, but they are simply not ready.

They’re good for Castilla. Marvel is very talented, but he is also very error-prone and has missed considerable game time because of injury. Carrillo is the most consistent option, but he is also the one with the lowest ceiling out of the four. Edgar Pujol is a versatile player, and Asencio is quite decent too. But we’ve only seen them at Castilla, and the latter two don’t even have one full season’s worth of games under their belt. I know players blossom when given a chance, and these players can do the same, but the margin for error is low right now, and none of these defenders, in my opinion, are at the same wavelength as the players who are actually getting first-division reps.

For example, if Rafa Marin were in this Castilla squad, it would be a different situation. I would not be writing this article. I would stop everything and turn the Rafa Marin propaganda up to the brim. Why? Because he’s very, very good. He’d be the Nico Paz or Sergio Arribas of defenders – the most talented one of the bunch, by a country mile. Real Madrid are too late on him now, though, as they can’t screw up both the relationship they have with Alaves. Looking from within Castilla now is tough if there is no talent like Rafa Marin available. With all that said, signing someone from another club makes the most sense, given the circusmtances.

To reiterate, all of Castilla defenders are solid, but they’re simply not good enough to be thrown into the first team right now. and frankly, this could also hinder the process of their development. They don’t have senior team experience at any level. The level in the third division is much, much different to the level in La Liga, and none of these players have shown enough to be put into the first team like that. I don’t want to discredit them because they are having decent enough seasons, but it’s just too soon. One bad game and we’re looking at a very different and difficult situation.

Besides, Real Madrid have a lot of important games coming up, and the centre-backs that they do have aren’t getting any younger. In my observations from the Villarreal game, I mentioned the need to get new young centre-backs to cover for the ones that are currently getting old, and the players we have been linked with, frankly, are better than the ones at Castilla at the moment and are also more experienced while being the same age.

We have seen enough of Castilla players to form an opinion on who’s the most likely to take that leap into top-level football. The ones that are very likely, have already done that. The ones that can be – like Vinicius Tobias (who has actually done very well this season, one of Castilla’s best players), or even Marvel in the future, for that matter – will get their chance, either at Real Madrid or elsewhere. But Real Madrid need to think of what is best for them, and right now, signing a young centre-back would be a much better deal.

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