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Notes & Quotes: December 7, 2018; Open Thread

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Real Madrid reportedly not after Mario Hermoso anymore, Solari answers questions about starter roles, and Solari praises his players against Melilla

Real Madrid vs Melilla - Copa del Rey - Fourth Round Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid reportedly not as interested in Mario Hermoso move in January

MARCA reported that Real Madrid are not as keen anymore on a move for Espanyol’s Mario Hermoso in January. Hermoso was reportedly on Real’s radar for the winter deadline, according to MARCA that interest has now cooled down. Of course, Hermoso once played for Real before leaving for Espanyol in 2017.

The report relates this to the club’s reported satisfaction with how Javi Sanchez has played in his few appearances with Real. He’s seen the pitch in the absence of both Nacho and Vallejo at different times this season due to their injuries, Nacho still remaining out until possibly January.

If this is indeed true that they are not after Hermoso as much, it shows how well the club thinks of Sanchez. He certainly has played well in the limited appearances he has made for them, he’s looked quite promising. This doesn’t mean they’re for sure out on Hermoso, but the report seems to suggest that Real are at least satisfied with their current defender situation.

Solari explains how he chooses starters and expands on fitness comments

Solari was interviewed prior to Real’s match against Melilla this past Thursday. He expanded on his comments about what goes behind his decision to start certain players ahead of others.

“There are 24 players on the squad, plus the boys from the academy. I am watching them work with enthusiasm.”

“This Thursday there is a match and many players will come, we want to see several [young] players on the field.”

“I think I already told you the other day. I do not believe in anyone being indisputable, neither now nor when I played.”

“Your job is to discuss those who play and those who do not play, and also the coaches. Everything is debatable, what we have to do is give our best to be available and give our best when playing.”

“Then there are injuries or fitness issues. The work of the coaches is to interpret well and try not to make mistakes.”

The injury and fitness issues comment no doubt refers back to what Solari said when asked about Isco not being featured in the squad against Roma. Isco did see the pitch against Melilla, where he scored twice as a starter.

Solari seems to believe in selection based on current form. As he says, he “does not believe in anyone being indisputable.” That means that players like Isco, who traditionally has been a starter (especially under Lopetegui), have to earn that chance to play more when they are on top of their game. It certainly explains why a player like Asensio, who was starting regularly, has been swapped for Vazquez since he hasn’t scored much under Solari.

Solari praises Isco and his youngsters in their win over Melilla

Solari commented on Isco’s performance against Melilla on Thursday, where he proceeded to praise his effort and chances he had. He also went on to praise some of the youngsters that started.

“I’m very happy for Isco, I was very sorry that he missed the one played in the first half because it would have been a great goal.”

“I’m also very happy for Asensio, who scored two goals, and for Vinicius, who did another.”

“This game let us see many players who are well and committed.”

“We have been solid and good in attack. Melilla are very good, the leader of Segunda B.”

“I’m happy for what the veterans did, the youngsters of the first-team squad and the homegrown players who debuted.”

”I was delighted with the debuts of Fidalgo, Francisco Garcia and the goal from Javi Sanchez.”

It was a goalfest at the Bernabéu on Thursday for Real Madrid, where both Isco and Asensio scored twice. The final aggregate ended up being 10-1, Real certainly had no problem scoring in either match against Melilla.

Most of the starters on Thursday were either young bench players or recurring substitutes, with the exception of Carvajal. It was nice to see Asensio score two goals after being quite snakebitten, even if it was a Segunda División B side, and losing his starting position to Vazquez the last couple of matches.

It was also great to see Isco, who hasn’t seen the field under Solari much, score a brace. Vinicius also looked good in his return to the pitch, he hasn’t played quite much after Solari’s first two matches with Real Madrid as manager. Thursday’s win showed a bit of the quality that Real’s youngsters have and that is a very good thing to see moving forward.