Marco Asensio’s torn ACL leaves Real Madrid without a player who could have potentially been an undisputed starter on their right wing next season. While it’s true that Asensio completed a very discouraging 2018-2019 campaign, he was quite possibly the best option for Zinedine Zidane in that spot.
Only the French coach knows what he had in mind for the right wing, but now Real Madrid have three different decisions they can make to replace Marco Asensio.
- Follow the previous road map, trust the current roster and sell Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez. Los Blancos put both Bale and James on the transfer block and wanted to face the upcoming season with Asensio, Vinicius and Vazquez fighting for the starting spot on the right wing. Asensio appeared to have the edge to start, given that Vinicius doesn’t seem to be as comfortable on the right as he is on the left —the same happens with Isco—. If Madrid choose to stick to Plan A, the Brazilian winger will need to get used to that spot sooner rather than later if Los Blancos want to be successful. Vinicius has the quality and skill set to play as a pure winger, but if he plays on the right he will get limited touches. Brahim could end up staying in Real Madrid if this is what Madrid decide to do. Isco could ultimately be an option too.
- Keep Bale or James to play on the right wing. Both players are comfortable on the right wing and have the experience and quality to be more reliable than Vinicius, Vazquez and Brahim. However, it’s very clear that Zidane just doesn’t trust them and would rather see them gone. James appears ready to sign either for Napoli or Atletico de Madrid while the words exchanged between Zidane and Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett make it very difficult for the Welshman to stay and be the starter. Still, Bale doesn’t seem to have a big offer to leave Real Madrid and if he stays he could very well end up earning the starting job now that Asensio is injured.
- Sign a quality winger. Rumors suggest that Zidane really likes Sadio Mane’s game and he would be a perfect fit on Madrid’s right wing. However, Pogba seems to be Real Madrid’s priority and that shouldn’t change after an injury, so this third option isn’t very likely given that Los Blancos have already spent more than €200 million this summer.
All in all, it would make sense for Madrid to stay calm and stick to what they had in mind going into this summer. Asensio was most likely going to be the starter on Madrid’s right wing and now they’ll have to trust Vinicius for that spot. The young player has earned this chance after showing true potential last year and now he will have a very good opportunity to become a key player alongside Hazard and Benzema.