Should Lucas Vázquez continue to start for Real Madrid?

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21: Lucas Vazquez of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring his team`s first goal during the La Liga match between CD Leganes and Real Madrid at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on February 21, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21: Lucas Vazquez of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring his team`s first goal during the La Liga match between CD Leganes and Real Madrid at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on February 21, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez has gone from the go-to substitute to a starter in recent weeks due to injuries at the club. In that time, Lucas has been in superb form, so, does this mean he should continue to start regardless of the opponent or when his teammates return? Here are my thoughts.

Real Madrid has always been known as the club that has great players leaving other players out on the bench, and Lucas Vazquez is no exception to that notion.

Lucas is known as a versatile winger but performs stronger on the right flank. With players like Gareth Bale and Isco sharing that position, Vazquez does not always get the start from Zidane, but should he?

The Real Champs takes a look at Lucas’ playing time at Real Madrid this season and how he has performed with the minutes he has been handed.

Playing Time

Lucas has made plenty of appearances this season but how do those minutes stack up in comparison to the rest of his team? This season, we have seen Zidane substitute in Lucas when matches are not going to plan. There have been times where he has impacted the game in a positive manner, but others where he simply did not have enough time to do so.

Lucas has the highest number of appearances this season at 37 but ranks 14th in minutes played at 1,750 in all competitions. Given the minutes played, Lucas has only been able to rack up 52% of the available minutes of the games he has appeared in.

This season, Lucas has been put into the match with as little as eight minutes remaining, which of course is not a lot of time. Vazquez ranks first in appearances this season which is quite surprising considering how little it seems that we see him.

But, of those 37 appearances, Lucas was substituted into the match 20 times. Over the course of those 20 matches, he played a total of 275 minutes, meaning he plays an average of 13.75 minutes in the matches he is substituted in.

Over the last four games in La Liga, Vazquez has gotten the start from Zidane playing the full 90-minutes in three. This is what makes Lucas incredible, despite inconsistent minutes and a plethora of substitutes, the Spaniard is so consistent in his play.

Often times, players find it difficult to out of the blue be given the starting role and be impactful. This month, Vazquez has shown incredible mental and physical stamina to play full matches back to back.

Incredible Form

In Madrid’s last four games in La Liga, Lucas has gotten the start and his side has won each game. Over the course of those four games, Lucas has assisted his team five times and scored twice. With those incredible contributions, this means Vazquez has been involved in a scoring play every 47-minutes.

More from The Real Champs

His stats as an individual are shocking to many, but how does he fair in comparison to the rest of the team? Despite being ranked 14th in minutes played, Vazquez ranks fifth in goals scored this season. Lucas sits just one goal behind Karim Benzema, who has played 347 minutes more, that’s nearly four full matches.

When it comes to assists, Lucas is first at Real Madrid with 12 this season. Seven of those twelve assists have come in La Liga, five of which occurred in the last four matches. The Second and third place assist leaders are Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema, both tied with 7.

Statistics aside, Lucas has shown great football IQ on the right flank. He is always eager to whip in a cross or create a scoring opportunity but does not force the play. Zidane has started Dani Carvajal as well recently having both players teamed up on the right-hand side.

While Vazquez and Dani have been clinical in their effort to push forward, the winger has stepped up to help Dani in his defensive duties. In the last four games, Lucas has contributed 11 tackles in an effort to slow down his opponent’s attack.


Lucas has proven to be an all-around strong player when called upon by Zidane. His attitude has been impeccable this season even with inconsistent playing time. Vazquez understands his role and plays for the benefit of his club, whether that means a couple of minutes near the end of the match or getting the starting role.

Next: We need to talk about Real Madrid’s defense

Of course, the stats he boasts are a huge bonus to the club but Real Madrid is very lucky as not many in Europe have a high caliber player willing to still trust the system so to speak.

Lucas has been on fire as of late and when looking at the bigger picture shows that he can be reliable when called upon. I do firmly believe that given his current achievements he should continue to start. The final decision, of course, is left with the manager. Let’s just hope player profiles and politics don’t inhibit him from feeding the “hot boot”.

Stay tuned to The Real Champs for more great Real Madrid coverage.