Real Madrid: All Luka Jovic needs is confidence

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

Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic impressed in his second start of the season at Real Valladolid, and hopefully he gets more starts soon.

Zinedine Zidane went back to Karim Benzema and Karim Benzema alone for Real Madrid’s final game before the October international break. It wasn’t a calm performance, but Los Blancos outplayed Levante and won 2-0, with Benzema eventually getting off the scoresheet in stoppage time for his first of the 2020-2021 campaign.

Luka Jovic didn’t make it onto the pitch as a starter or substitute, breaking up his first streak of consecutive starts in a Real Madrid kit.

Previously, Jovic started against Real Betis, needing to grow into the game and get on the same wavelength as his teammates, but doing well to open space for them in the 3-2 win. He even got Betis right back Emerson sent off by breaking through on goal after a good chested first touch.

The Serbian international was better in fewer minutes against Real Valladolid. Again, Jovic didn’t add to his tally of two career La Liga goals, but the 22-year-old was dangerous. He was very unlucky not to have scored after a brilliant header from a corner was parried. Jovic squandered a great chance earlier, but the bigger positive was that he got into position for it.

Luka Jovic has the tools to succeed at Real Madrid

Anyone who has studied Jovic on the pitch for Real Madrid knows that the traits are there. From cool-headed volleys to backheel assists to disruptive movement, Jovic has had some impressive moments for Los Blancos. But because he’s only had two consecutive starts on one occasion and nothing more, he’s never had the momentum to build that all-important confidence with his teammates. Furthermore, he didn’t play the full 90 minutes in either start.

Real Madrid considered loaning Jovic this Fall before ultimately agreeing to a wiser loan deal with Roma for Borja Mayoral, because they wanted him to get more playing time to up his confidence. Now that Mayoral is out of the picture and with Mariano Diaz buried on the roster, it is Luka Jovic and Luka Jovic only who stands behind Benzema.

In many ways, Benzema is undroppable to Real Madrid, both due to his legendary status and is all-around ability. But both players can co-exist. With Copa del Rey games coming in 2021 and the grueling schedule set to kick into high gear with the Champions League, Jovic should even get chances to start alone in a 4-3-3. After all, if Real are to truly assess him and to give him the support he needs to have that confidence, they must show they are willing to entrust him with starts as the “main man”.

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A much different player from Benzema stylistically, Jovic cannot be compared to Benzema. He can only be compared to how he plays, which isn’t as a player who drops deep or runs into wide areas. Jovic is an out-and-out No. 9 – the kind of player many Madridistas have wanted in the squad. And those kinds of players, especially 22-year-olds coming off a tumultuous summer, need confidence and adequate organizational support to succeed. Once that’s in place, Jovic should be ready for take-off.