It’s become a little too obvious that Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane has reverted to using his old guard in recent months while sidelining the most promising young talent at the club, as reported in El Mundo Deportivo and this has proved to be a growing source of conflict between the club and the manager, who evidently holds his own views on which players should be deployed.
While the club’s transfer policy in recent years has focused on signing young talent like Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, Martin Odegaard, Brahim Diaz, Andriy Lunin, Reinier and Takefusa Kubo, however only established regulars such as Thibaut Courtois, Ferland Mendy and Eden Hazard have become the expected starters in the side since Zidane’s return to the club in March 2019.
Raphael Varane and Lucas Vazquez have both started in 16 successive matches, Courtois has been ever-present all season while Toni Kroos has played 14 games in a row, Luka Modric has been involved in 15 of the last 16 while Casemiro is also an ever-present for Los Blancos.
Karim Benzema has started 10 games in a row since being unavailable with a muscular injury while Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Hazard are almost always selected when fit.
Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Alvaro Odriozola and Mariano Diaz are among the players not getting minutes, while noticeably Luka Jovic scored twice on his return to Eintracht Frankfurt after being a peripheral figure in Madrid.
Disturbingly, Madrid’s team now is almost exactly the same as it was when Zidane left in 2018 with only minimal changes – and the club are said to want a faster transformation blending young talent with the established regulars.