Real Madrid: Eden Hazard’s absence presents another opportunity for Vinicius

Real Madrid announced the squad list for the game against Osasuna, with Eden Hazard being the surprise exclusion.

Real Madrid travels to Pamplona to face Osasuna on Matchday 23 of La Liga, and Los Blancos are currently leading the table. In a surprising move, Eden Hazard, who has been training with the team normally for more than a week now, was left out of the squad list that was published by the club.

Hazard has been out with an ankle injury that he picked up vs. PSG but was widely anticipated to return for this game. Many expected that he’d at least get some minutes, even if he wouldn’t start.

While Hazard’s exclusion is a major disappointment, this does allow another player to take his place. And that player will most probably be Vinicius Junior, who is coming off a brilliant performance vs Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey.

Vinicius is enjoying a wonderful run of form right now, and Hazard’s absence means that he’ll be getting another opportunity on his favorite left wing.

In the game against Real Sociedad, Vinicius was the best player on the pitch by a country mile. He took on players, dribbled past defenders, won fouls and created multiple chances for his teammates. He also helped out the team defensively in multiple situations. In a game where Marcelo and Toni Kroos couldn’t create much on the left flank, Vinicius took on the responsibility alone and carried the team on his back.

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Looking at his form in recent games, it’s clear that the Vinicius from the pre-Ajax injury is well and truly back. Not only has he recovered that form, but he’s also better than he was back then, especially with his decision making and understanding when to pass to his teammates and when to dribble. This game against Osasuna will be perfect for Vini to improve even further, and gain more confidence as he looks to improve his game, especially his finishing.

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