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Open Thread: November 14th, 2021

Our Sunday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Valencia v Atletico Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

Have Los Blancos missed out on a hidden gem at striker?

We’re not the most patient club and it may have cost us depending on how this young player develops. I’m talking about Hugo Duro. Duro, as you may remember, was a Real Madrid Castilla player last season. We got him on loan from Getafe, and he was actually playing really well for Castilla. He scored 12 goals in 19 appearances, and allowed Castilla to be a very competitive team last season. The Spaniard also made a bunch of appearances for the first team, back when Real Madrid’s injury crisis was at its absolute peak. He came off the bench against Valladolid, Atalanta in the Champions League and Real Sociedad, helping Real register two wins and a draw.

As previously reported Real Madrid wasn’t willing to trigger the 4 million Euro option to buy and so the player returned to Getafe and has now joined Valencia on a season-long loan. For Valencia, Duro has scored four goals, and is averaging a goal every 142 minutes for the club. That’s not an incredible return, by any means, but it is not bad considering it’s a new club, under a new manager and on new positions as well. What’s more interesting is that he’s only taken 12 shots in total. That’s a 33% conversion rate, which is awesome. This shows that he doesn’t really need to do a lot in the final third to be effective for the club.

Because of that, he’s 5th (FIFTH) in Europe in xG overperformance (he’s overperforming his xG by four times), and is third in La Liga, behind our very own duo of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior. That’s what Real Madrid need from their bench players. Someone who can just be subbed on and change the game for Real Madrid. Duro came on for just six minutes against Atletico Madrid, and he scored two goals – both of them in stoppage time – and helped Valencia escape with a point. It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out.

After resisting for so long, Jovic might be open to a loan.

As reported by Marco Ruiz of AS, Luka Jovic is now open to leaving Real Madrid in the winter transfer window on another loan deal. Jovic still wants to stay in Madrid and prove himself, but he is reportedly just as willing to go out on loan to prove himself with a high-profile club.

We have already seen Inter Milan linked to the Serbian international, who has been a popular target for Serie A clubs in the rumor mill. And the league is a good destination for attacking players, as Borja Mayoral and Brahim Diaz can attest.

However if Real Madrid loan Jovic out, who is to say he would get opportunities? His second loan spell at Frankfurt was far from successful. Clubs like Inter and Arsenal may be interested, but is there any reason to believe he would become important to either of them? There is also the matter of Karim Benzema’s fitness and the fact that Mariano Diaz appears to be the only backup striker if Jovic were to leave this winter. Aside from Rodrygo Goes or even Eden Hazard or Isco as a false nine, there is no other option with Jovic gone.

Kiyan and Lucas also discussed Jovic and Isco’s future in this podcast in case you missed it.

Benzema continues doing his thing as France qualify for the World Cup.

The striker also received a standing ovation after being substituted at Parc des Princes.

Belgium also qualify.

Bale is back!! Could he help Madrid achieve silverware this season?

A little Brazilian by the name of Rodrygo might have a say in that but we can certainly hope so. Also Gareth needs to do this thing called staying out of the hospital for that to happen. Anyway he made 100 appearances for Wales last night against Belarus, his first game since August. Congratulations to him.

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