Real Madrid: 3 players who need to improve after the November break

Real Madrid, Marco Asensio (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Marco Asensio (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Vinicius Junior

Vinicius Junior started the 2020-2021 season as Real Madrid’s most in-form player during Karim Benzema’s struggles. The 20-year-old scored goals against Real Valladolid, Levante, and even Shakhtar Donetsk. And he had a good assist for Rodrygo Goes to win the game against Inter Milan in the most recent Champions League fixture.

The problem is that Vinicius’ play has regressed since El Clasico. For some reason, that game was a turning point in Vinicius’ season. Real Madrid were excellent in that match, and Vinicius was very much a positive in the opening minutes of the game.

But then, he started getting shut down by Barcelona fullback Sergiño Dest, finishing the game with zero dribbles completed and six dispossessions or poor touches, according to Vinicius made a lot of sloppy passes to ruin possible counterattacks at the end of the match, finishing with around 75 percent of his passes completed.

I want to purposefully avoid any more “discourse” around Karim Benzema’s halftime comments against Borussia Monchengladbach, since breaking down any impact that event had would be more inflammatory than helpful.

But I will say that the numbers show Vinicius hasn’t been playing well lately. Normally an excellent dribbler who carries the ball effectively for the team and gets in the box, Vini has been anonymous in that regard. His passing has been poor, and he’s offered zero goal-scoring threat since that goal against Shakhtar.

Eden Hazard is back, but Vinicius is still a very important player to Real Madrid. Even though he is young, he is in his third season with the club. I’m sure he knows that more is expected of him.