Real Madrid: 3 players who must step up with Dani Carvajal injured again

Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez
Lucas Vazquez of Real Madrid (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /

RB Lucas Vazquez

We must start with Lucas Vazquez. The man is no right back, but he could have fooled an unaware observer of the last Clasico with his performance on the right side of the defense after Nacho Fernandez’s first-half injury.

Vazquez was an inspiration to the attack on the right-hand side, offering a lot more pace and attacking prowess than Nacho – as you would reasonably expect. But maybe more impressively, Vazquez shut down shop defensively, even bullying Lionel Messi a couple of times. It was truly a legendary performance from Vazquez, whose work in the clutch is often exemplary.

In his other matches, Vazquez had more mixed performances. His determination, speed, stepovers, and crossing were all assets. But he was easy to beat one-on-one in defense, as he understandably does not have half of the defensive technique that Carvajal does.

Vazquez can be exposed by good teams, such as Atletico Madrid and Sevilla. That will be something to watch for. He is not consistent in this unfamiliar position. But he can be highly effective, especially when it comes to boosting the team’s attacking width. That will be necessary against the highly-organized La Liga sides on the horizon, specifically Alaves this weekend and then potentially Los Rojiblancos in a couple of weeks.