Morata and Jesé: The Fight For One Spot

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

After Benzema's great game against Sevilla, maybe one of them will get his chance tomorrow.

19 years have passed, and some of us still miss him. Raúl González Blanco, the legendary number 7, made his debut in La Romareda on October 29th, 1994, and honoured the white shirt until his very last day with the team. No other striker coming from "La Fábrica" has been able to succeed in Real Madrid ever since. Great players like Soldado or Negredo could not stand the severe competition for one spot and had to pack and make a career in other teams in La Liga. They were never able to come back.

However, things are changing in Real Madrid. The rejuvenation of the roster has been notorious and, aside from the transfers of Isco, Illarramendi and Bale, we recovered Carvajal from Bayer Leverkusen and three more boys were summoned by Ancelotti to become grown men in the first team: Nacho Fernández, Álvaro Morata and Jesé Rodríguez. Today, we want to talk a little bit of these two attackers who are trying to fit the crowds' desire of a new star arising from the youth team.

Álvaro Morata was born in Madrid, in October 1992. After passing by the ranks of Getafe and Atlético de Madrid, he was recruited by Real Madrid in 2008. He made his debut with Castilla in August 2010, and his performance was so impressive that Jose Mourinho made him play for the first team a few minutes just four months later, in a Copa del Rey match against Levante which ended 8-0 for Real Madrid.

Playing as a central striker for Real Madrid Castilla, his numbers were terrific -33 goals in 65 matches- and this led Jose Mourinho to make him a de facto member of the first team. He always trained with them, and took part in 15 games, scoring two goals and giving three assists. Nevertheless, he also participated in 18 games with Castilla, and contributed with 12 goals to their survival in second division.

His time under Mourinho's command has made him evolve quite a lot, because the Portuguese coach wanted to use him as a left winger, with a similar role to the one Ronaldo had on his team. His speed and his ability to combine with his teammates increased a lot to make him a more complete player. These features pushed him to enter in the Spanish under-21 team that took part in the last EuroCup, where he was the top scorer, with four goals in five games. He helped Spain to win that tournament.

This year, his importance in the first team has been increased. So far, he has already been once in the starting lineup, against Málaga, and he has taken part in eight more games starting from the bench. His performance against Levante was especially important, since he scored the 2-2 goal that preceded Ronaldo's 2-3 in the 93th minute.

Jesé Rodríguez was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in February 1993. Directly from the Canary Islands, he was signed by Real Madrid youth team in 2007. In the 2011-12 season he was already in Real Madrid Castilla, where he shared the attacking positions with Morata and Joselu to score 8 goals in 36 matches. His confirmation came last year, when, still in Castilla, he scored 22 goals in 36 games to become the player to score the biggest amount of goals for Real Madrid Castilla in one season, beating Butragueño's record with one goal. This year, he has played six games with the first team, all of them starting from the bench, and he contributed with one goal against FC Barcelona.

He has always played as a striker, although he has lately got used to play in the left wing. As a result, many people have noticed his resemblance to Cristiano Ronaldo, not just in his football abilities, but also in his attitude. In fact, it is easy to observe them speak a lot when they coincide on the field, and Ronaldo is always willing to give him advice and cheer them when he scores.

The debate is exposed. Favoured by the poor performance of Benzema in the past games, the media and the crowd have been asking for Jesé and Morata to be in the lineup. After his great match against Sevilla, maybe it is the right time to let Karim rest for Juve and give the boys a chance.

What do you think? Should one, or both of them, play tomorrow against Rayo?


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