Real Madrid earned the three points on Granada’s visit to the Santiago Bernabeu. Luckily enough for Zidane’s men, Benzema’s early goal paved their way to the win, although Areola’s mistake on Granada’s opening goal made it closer than it should’ve been. Here are three takeaways from the game.
- James Rodriguez deserves more minutes when everyone gets healthy. The Colombian midfielder could even earn a spot in the starting XI and showed very encouraging commitment off the bench. He has proved his critics wrong so far this season and Zidane needs to keep him engaged. It won’t be easy to find relevant minutes for him, especially because...
- Valverde can be a very useful asset. The midfield line seems deep all of a sudden. Who would’ve thought? Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde and James have all played very well this season and only two of them can play consistently if Zidane keeps considering Modric an undisputed starter. Valverde can pass and his physicality helps Casemiro and Kroos. He might not be good enough to start against bigger teams than Granada, but the midfielder is ready to contribute.
- PSG sent Areola on loan for a reason. The Frenchman is not a better goalkeeper than Thibaut Courtois. Some fans thought Areola was the answer to Courtois’ lack of confidence, but there’s a reason why PSG decided to send him on a loan deal to complete their move for Keylor Navas: he’s not consistent enough to start for a big club. That doesn’t mean that Courtois has done any better so far this season, but it’s clear that the Belgian keeper will remain the starter for Zidane.