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The Norwegian playmaker was a starter in his team’s opening two league games but has seen limited action since.
In recent weeks, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio have joined them. Only Mendy is new, a player not there the day Zidane went back. Only he and Courtois had not played in the 2018 Champions League final. Money was spent and a lot of it, signings were made, but their impact was limited. Eden Hazard, their most expensive player ever, has struggled with injury and done almost nothing.
That was always a possible outcome, though probably not to this extreme. Real Madrid is different; the competition is more intense, opportunities rare and continuity rarer still. Patience may be a virtue, but they don’t have the time, nor much space for personal development.
Martin Odegaard wants to leave Real Madrid in search of playing time to continue to progress in his career, several sources have confirmed to ESPN.
Dan Thomas is joined by Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop and others to bring you the latest highlights and debate the biggest storylines. Stream on ESPN+.
Here, Odegaard is just another example. Financial reality has seen a shift in Madrid’s policy — their focus now is on signing younger players, those who will be the best, not so much those who already are. But for a player to be the best, not only do you have to identify him, but he has to play. And few of those who have arrived at Madrid have done so. Instead, there are familiar faces on the field. Old ones.
The Gab & Juls podcast reflects on Real Madrid’s bounce-back performance vs. Alaves.
Luka Jovic returned to Germany and scored more goals in 28 minutes than he had in a year-and-a-half in Spain. Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are a different case, but they have gone too. Marcos Llorente has gone to Atletico, where he has been a revelation. Even Valverde and Vinicius have slipped from the side. Valverde has started fewer than half the games, Vinicius the same. Rodrygo has started just four times in the league. Mariano has played 207 minutes. Odriozola has played 57. Youth development isn’t happening.
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