Who should fill in for the injured players at Real Madrid?

18th February 2018, Estadio Benito Villamarin, Seville, Spain; La Liga football, Real Betis versus Real Madrid; Jordi Amat of Real Betis is beaten by the turn from Marcelo of Real Madrid (Photo by Fran Santiago/Action Plus via Getty Images)
18th February 2018, Estadio Benito Villamarin, Seville, Spain; La Liga football, Real Betis versus Real Madrid; Jordi Amat of Real Betis is beaten by the turn from Marcelo of Real Madrid (Photo by Fran Santiago/Action Plus via Getty Images) /
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MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 14: during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain at Bernabeu on February 14, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 14: during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain at Bernabeu on February 14, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Toni Kroos

The German was imperious last week against PSG, his pass rate of 98% completion showed just that. Kroos was valiant in his effort but picked up a knock in the second half but showed some grit as he elected to keep playing.

Late last week Real Madrid released an official report stating that “Following tests carried out on Toni Kroos by the Sanitas Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a sprained to the exterior lateral ligament in the left knee. His recovery will continue to be assessed”.

Toni’s estimated recovery time is approximately two weeks with the focus being that he returns for the second-leg against PSG. Between now and that time Real Madrid have four La Liga matches to play. Zidane will be tasked with replacing the German with someone who can help in the build-up of play to ensure a strong attack. The first choice replacement would have been Mateo Kovacic but with the recent injury of Luka Modric, Kovacic will be placed in another role.

Next in line would be Dani Ceballos, who would be the most logical substitution for Zinedine Zidane. The 21-year-old has played 16 games this season but featured in only 688 minutes in that period. It’s been a rough start for Ceballos, so much so that he’s rumored to be considering returning to Real Betis. This span of four games would be a great opportunity for the Spaniard to showcase his talents to the fans, more importantly, Zidane and hopefully score some goals.

Dani has the crisp footwork and performs well in tight spaces if closed down by defenders. His pace is, of course, an asset getting past defenders in all areas of the pitch. In these four games we will learn a lot about Dani and more importantly, Zidane and the club will get a clearer picture of his capabilities.

Ceballos is a central-midfielder who is more attack minded but with clear and defined responsibilities he could help Madrid excel during this time. With just 186 minutes in La Liga Dani has been able to score two goals which is impressive given his ripe age.