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Why Asier Illarramendi should leave Real Madrid

Illaramendi should show himself to the door

The Future Xabi Should Seek Greener Pastures
The Future Xabi Should Seek Greener Pastures
David Ramos/Getty Images

What to do with Asier Illaramendi is causing Ancelotti a headache, and it's not difficult to see why. Over the past few seasons, he has been consistently unable to break into the first team squad. Hailed originally as the "Next Xabi", Illaramendi has failed to live up to the hype generated around the time of his signing. The promise of a pentatonic midfield presence with a cannon attached to the end of his leg has not been adequately fulfilled, and there are a few reasons for this.

First, it's difficult for players that aren't already at their "peak" abilities to break into the Real Madrid squad. We are the greatest on earth for a reason, and part of that is a fielded Starting XI that is world class, every single game. That's not to say that Asier doesn't have the ability to be world class; he most certainly does. He needs, however, consistent start time to be able to develop his skills on the pitch.

Second, Kroos, Modric, James, and Isco are going to be our starting midfield for the foreseeable future (pending Modric's return). We have to trust Carletto's judgment; he sees the performance day in and day out of the boys at training. Isco in particular has begun to truly embrace his defensive responsibilities, playing box to box as needed. His tireless running coupled with the steadying presence of Kroos removes even the need for a player like Illaramendi.

As with blackjack, "If they ever changed the name of the game to 22, I'd be a millionaire." If they ever allowed 12 players wearing the same stripe to take the field at once, we'd have a place for Asier.

Third and finally, Asier will leave because it will be good for Asier to leave. As I mentioned above, he is indeed good enough to be world class. More than that, he will find a team where his current iteration is good enough to be in the Starting XI, which will provide him with the springboard he needs to leap forward. His potential is enormous, and his pricetag and age coupled together provide a tantalizing value for clubs looking to strengthen their midfield.

Will he ever win the Balon d'Or? Absolutely not. Can he be a game changer for someone? Absolutely.

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