Real Madrid: 5 burning questions after win over Real Valladolid

Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Is Vinicius Junior Real Madrid’s best option over Eden Hazard?

Vinicius Junior is still developing, but the 20-year-old left winger is undeniably a difference-maker for Real Madrid. When he entered the game off the bench in the second half of Wednesday’s match, he injected new life into Real’s meandering attack, which was toothless on the left side before his introduction.

While Marco Asensio completed more dribbles, Vinicius was the winning goal-scorer. It’s the latest match in which Vinicius has taken part in a decisive goal for Real Madrid or made a game-changing performance off the bench. He did the former against Barcelona and the latter against Atletico Madrid in 2020.

Eden Hazard wasn’t in today’s squad due to a new injury which could cost him a few weeks leading into another Clasico. But Vinicius’ fine performance raises the question if he is the better option over Hazard anyway.

It’s a tough question. Last season, Real Madrid were at their best when Hazard was fully healthy in the squad, as the club scored more goals due to his attacking threat and star power, even if he wasn’t the one scoring the goals. But after his return from the injury, he wasn’t as productive or as impressive as Vinicius, whose dribbling and ball-carrying statistics are nearly as good.

Plus, Vinicius is the long-term future for Los Blancos, and that’s something Zinedine Zidane must keep in mind. With Hazard out, Zidane won’t have to make any big declarations anytime soon, but Vinicius is doing his best to make his case to be the everyday starter.