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Were Real Madrid's summer transfers good enough?

How has Zidane's first summer in charge been?

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With the transfer window officially coming to a close on midnight of the 31st August (European time), we take a look at Madrid’s dealings this summer – has it been a successful transfer window? Are we prepared for the challenges to come?

The numbers:

Gross Spend: +€30m
  • Alvaro Morata - Juventus, buyback at €30 Million
Less Outgoing: -34.5m

  • Jesé Rodríguez - PSG, €25 Million
  • Alvaro Medran - Valencia, €1.5 Million
  • Denis Cheryshev Villarreal CF, 8 Million
  • Álvaro Arbeloa - Released (Joined West Ham Utd)
  • Jesús Vallejo - Eintracht Frankfurt, Loan
  • Marcos Llorente - Alaves , Loan
  • Borja Mayoral - Wolfsburg, Loan
Net Profit: ~4.5m


Outgoing focus - Jesé Rodríguez

Appearances: 37 (10 started)

Goals: 6

Assists: 6

Having become increasingly peripheral under Zidane last season, managing to only rack up a total of 1166 minutes  and having dropped behind fellow Castilla product Lucas Vasquez (who managed 1561 minutes) as well as James in the rotation, Jesé was finally sold this season to PSG.

This came with some feeling of disappointment at "what could've been" for the young Madrid boy who burst onto the stage scoring in El Clasico 3 years ago, but having reached a crossroad in his career he clearly felt the need to move to progress further. Whether or not PSG gives him the platform to develop remains to be seen, but we wish him a fruitful season, though no doubt away from Madrid's fixtures!

Who knows, could we even perhaps see him back in the royal white one day, à la Morata?


Incoming focus - Alvaro Morata

Appearances: 42 (22 started)

Goals: 9

Assists: 9

Sold two years ago to Juventus to get a chance to appear as a starter, our boy is finally back after having his buy back clause triggered. While struggling at times last season in Turin, it is with no doubt that Morata has returned a far more complete, able player, and one who will likely push Benzema to keep performing or risk losing his place.

With the price of players - and strikers in particular - reaching absurd numbers year after year (and even quotes of 60m+ for Morata from some clubs), the buyback clause in his Juventus transfer appears increasingly to be some very shrewd business by the board.

However, goals and assists on the field are where it matters for the club and the fans, and this season could be pivotal for the future of the 23 year old striker. Having already scored his first goal since returning against Celta Vigo, will he get the opportunity to shine? And, crucially, will he take them?


Returned Loanees:

Two additions to the squad this year will be Marco Asensio and Fabio Coentrao, two players shipped out on loan last season to Espanyol and Monaco respectively. Although not new purchases, both can have a big part to play this season.

Asensio, the promising youngster has already been hugely trusted by Zidane this season, starting in place of the injured Ronaldo twice thus far and seemingly slotting straight into the rotation - so much so that he was given a full Bernabau unveling as if  a new signing. Promising and increasingly maturing, Asensio will definitely be one to watch this year. He completed a very bright season with Espanyol having achieved 34 appearances (33 starts), 4 goals and 10 assists.

On the other hand, Madrid stalwart Fabio Coentrao is back once more to cover the Left Back position with Marcelo. Having 'lost' his number 5 shirt to Varane and been widely expected to depart this summer it appears in a turnaround of events the Portuguese fullback is here for at least one more half season.  Often frustrating with niggling injuries and a perceived lack of commitment - and out injured for at least two months right now - it will certainly be interesting to see how much of a role he will play this season, if any. Coentrao had, somewhat unsurpsingily, an injury hit campaign last season for Moanco, with 18 appearances (16 starts), 3 goals and 2 assists, slotting in at midfield on occasions.



Finally, we can also note the lack of incoming transfers this summer opens the door for potential Castilla graduates to make appearances throughout the season and prove their worth. Mariano has had a very bright pre-season for Madrid, scoring an absolute wonder strike against Chelsea and contributing positively throughout; he will likely become a back-up forward and a potential Copa Del Rey starter this season.

Young Martin Ødegaard of course remains one to watch with Castilla, having had his loan move this summer blocked by UEFA, while Sergio Diaz could prove himself sufficiently for some first team appearances this season, likely in the Copa Del Rey.


How the squad shapes up:

The squad listed for the upcoming season on Real Madrid’s website lists exactly 32 players, with the only real ‘omittable’ choices being third goalkeeper Rubén Yáñez and Castilla forward Mariano, and perhaps backup defender Nacho (sorry Nacho fans!).

With only 18 players per any given matchday squad, a full 11 players stand to miss out on a weekly basis, which will no doubt provide a real selection dilemma for Zizou, and doubtlessly highlights our squad depth for the upcoming season. Injuries, whilst always damaging, are usually unavoidable, but this year it seems we may finally be able to weather any storms.


Good, Bad or Ugly?

Immediately evident this year is the apparent shift away from Florentino Perez’s Galactico policy, with the marque signing this year coming in the form of our very own Castilla product, Alvaro Morata. It seems that finally the pocket of fans hoping to see a window of stability rather than big name purchases and sales are having their wish come true; Zidane has reiterated throughout the summer his contentment at the current squad, and seems to have done enough to convince the suits in power to grant him his wish. Of course, as always at Madrid, whether or not this ultimately proves to be a prudent decision will become evident by the season's performances; trophies are the currency of success and the club is always hungry for more!

So, with all off-season drama wrapped up, here’s to a successful campaign!

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