Marco Asensio introduced himself to the world of football and every Real Madrid fan with a stunning goal that gave Real Madrid the lead in the UEFA Super Cup Final against Sevilla.
HELLO Marco Asensio! https://t.co/4nhe1Gk6M3— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 9, 2016
This was Asensio's official debut for Real Madrid, wearing the number 28 shirt that proves he still is not a true member of the first team. Zinedine Zidane shockingly decided to keep James Rodríguez on the bench and give Asensio a spot in the Starting XI.
"The coach told me this morning that I was going to start the game but I did not tell anyone. This is my first game and my first title with Real Madrid, I hope I can win more in the future," he said after the game.
The French coach said that both Asensio and Kovacic had been working with the team since the start of the preseason, suggesting that they were more ready than James and Modric. Still, while Modric is clearly ahead of Kovacic in the rotation, Asensio has probably done enough to compete with Isco and James.
Real Madrid cannot waste Asensio's potential. He is 20 years old and needs minutes to grow as a player, that's for sure. Los Blancos sent him on a loan deal last season and he showed good progress with Espanyol, but the situation is different now. Asensio is not a prospect anymore, he is good enough to contribute for Madrid this season, he deserves a spot with the first team and while James and Isco are probably better than him right now, Real must sell either one so that Asensio gets enough minutes throughout the year.
Asensio can gain experience by coming off the bench, but it would be a waste to have both James and Isco playing minutes as reserves ahead of the promising 20-year-old playmaker.
It will be tough for Madrid to sell either James or Isco. They are great players who can shine anywhere but in Zidane's current 4-3-3 formation with Casemiro, Kroos and Modric in the midfield. Both of them are too good to sit on the bench more often than not, while that's a role that Asensio will easily accept.
Real Madrid must make room for Asensio and say good-bye to either James or Isco. It's time for Zidane to make some decisions.