Real Madrid: 5 burning questions from a deflating loss to Alaves

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Marco Asensio
Real Madrid, Marco Asensio (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Is Marco Asensio losing Zinedine Zidane’s trust?

Marco Asensio made a huge difference for Real Madrid this summer, as he scored three goals for the team in their march to a 34th league title. He was majestic in his return against Valencia and had a few more big performances, offering a much-needed secondary goal-scoring threat off the right-hand side of the formation with that famous left boot of his.

This season, Asensio has zero goals for Real Madrid. He even has zero assists. The word “ghost” comes to mind when describing the anonymity of Asensio’s performances in 2020-2021. The bright spots from Asensio’s season are more “moments” than “matches”.

Against Deportivo Alaves, Asensio did nothing. Seriously, go to and read the man’s attacking statistics. He had zero key passes. No dribbles completed. A goose egg in the fouls drawn column. No shots on target. Nothing. He produced nothing.

That is absolutely unacceptable at Real Madrid. Asensio’s movement, decision-making, and, of course, end product were all sub-standard. He does not look like a player who has a long-term future at Real.

I’ve long thought of Asensio as more of a quality squad player for Los Merengues, but if he keeps this up, he might not even have any place in Madrid. Because think about this. If the starters next season are Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappe, who are the backups? Would you really take Asensio over Rodrygo Goes, Vinicius Junior, Takefusa Kubo, Martin Odegaard, and Brahim Diaz? Because all those players are younger and offer more upside, so if Asensio isn’t producing, he’s in trouble.

But back to the present. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, since Asensio was highly productive this summer and is a good player. Since he’s not producing, though, he’s not the best option for the XI. Rodrygo is. Even Odegaard on the right could do better than this. When Dani Carvajal returns (or even Alvaro Odriozola), Lucas Vazquez has a stronger starting claim, judging by the performance at the San Siro.

Asensio’s place is slipping.