Real Madrid: Does Lucas Vázquez deserve a contract extension?

Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid haven’t had a good start to the season, but the form of Lucas Vázquez’s form is a big positive from the first few months. Does he deserve a contract extension, though?

Real Madrid have played 14 games this season, winning seven, drawing three, and losing four games. With just 17 points from 10 games, this is Real’s worst start to a La Liga season since 2001-02, when they collected just 13 points from the first 10 games.

Out of those 14 games, Vázquez has made 10 appearances, starting eight out of those. He has accumulated 705 minutes. These 705 are inarguably his best 700-odd minutes since the beginning of the 2018-19 season. I could actually feel that he can conjure something out of the blue. With all due respect, how often does that happen when this player is playing?

I have heard people in the Real Madrid fan circles undermine Vázquez’s performances. They say that “the fact that Lucas Vázquez is one of the best players of the team pretty much conveys the dire state the team finds itself in.”

Agreed. The team is definitely producing disappointing results. But what does that have to do with Vázquez’s displays? Yes, he has been subject to trolling from his own fanbase, but credit where it’s due – Lucas Vázquez has been sedulous. He is leaving his all on the pitch while the team struggles to eke out wins.

The team is going through a difficult phase. Injuries have piled up. 22 of them to be precise, not to mention the four COVID-19 cases. Zinedine Zidane has struggled to find something he so really craves – consistency. That is exactly what the No. 17 is providing, and truckloads of that to be honest.

From being the fourth-choice right-back to possibly second-choice, only behind Dani Carvajal, while maybe just usurping Rodrygo and Marco Asensio for the right winger spot, Vázquez has been thoroughly impressive. While the team finds itself under the cosh, the Spaniard is one of the very few bright spots.

His passion and Madridismo were never in doubt. It was his unreliability as a player that never helped his case to be a regular starter for Real Madrid. On the contrary, he was one of the three most-used players by Zinedine Zidane in his first tenure as Real Madrid manager. Vázquez is enjoying repaying the manager’s faith with equally, if not more, impressive performances in the second stint.

Now, getting to the point, Lucas Vázquez’s contract ends on June 30, 2021. While the futures of captain Sergio Ramos and veteran Luka Modrić have been heavily discussed, there hasn’t been much speculation when it comes to Vázquez. That’s understandable.

Sergio Ramos is the club captain and one of the greatest centre-backs of all time. Luka Modrić has been instrumental to the team’s success since he joined. But one might wonder where Lucas Vázquez falls in the list of history-makers at Real Madrid. Maybe he could make a case for himself to be one of the best squad players in Real Madrid history. I’ll give that to him.

But what makes the question of Lucas Vázquez’s renewal so important, especially at a time when the team is impotent in front of attack and players have heavily underperformed? If anything, Vázquez’s departure from the club could pave way for new signings or for an on-loan player like Takefusa Kubo or Brahim Díaz to return.

However, all things need to be considered before reaching a conclusion. There are several reasons why renewing Vázquez’s contract would be best for all the parties.

1. Lucas Vázquez deserves a renewal solely based on his recent performances

The way Lucas Vázquez has played this season might or might not be enough to warrant him a contract extension. He will be a week away from turning 30 when his contract expires. If Real Madrid does proceed with a contract extension, I can see them offering a two or three-year contract extension.

His stats speak for himself. According to WhoScored, he averages 1.8 successful tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 0.7 clearances, 1.7 key passes, and 1.3 crosses – all per 90. His passing rate is 87.3%. While the sample size is small, his numbers clearly speak for themselves, considering he played a heavy chunk of those 705 minutes out of his natural position.

2. What if the club continues to struggle financially?

The speculation surrounding Kylian Mbappé’s signing in the summer of 2021 is growing stronger day by day. But what if the club isn’t able to sign him? What if he stays put for another season? What if the club doesn’t have enough funds to materialize such a huge transfer? In such a scenario, having someone like Lucas Vázquez is a secure option, if not viable in the long-term.

A contract extension would be more reasonable for the club from a financial standpoint instead of making a clutch signing in the window if Mission Mbappé fails or gets delayed.

3. Lots of versatility and zero demands

Such players might not make headlines week in and week out for their incredible footballing acumen, but it is indeed a luxury to have a player like Lucas Vázquez. Name a position on the pitch and he might just perform there with equal diligence (I hope you don’t take that literally).

He is there to fulfill the duties whenever the team needs him, whether it be as a right-back or a right winger. Have we even heard him complain about the lack of game time? This player has literally zero complaints and demands. He knows his role quite well and he is extremely happy to have that role. I love such players, and we all should consider ourselves lucky at times.

4. Recalled players might not be happy with a similar role

While not everyone can become Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, not everyone can become Lucas Vázquez either. From the current loaned players, Takefusa Kubo and Brahim Díaz share the same position on the pitch as Vázquez. Both of them have barely begun their senior careers.

For the amount of quality and potential these two youngsters possess, it would be a shame to have them a similar role to Vázquez’s. They are just too good to be warming the bench more often than not.

Even if they do agree to come back with the hope of breaking into the starting XI, I am not sure if they can be as stoic as Vázquez. It would be a blunder to recall either of these two to fill Vázquez’s shoes. They are at a stage in their career where they need to play consistently so that their development is not stymied. And we are talking about players who are touted to have a future at the club.

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What’s next for the Galician winger?

At the moment, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding Vázquez’s future. If I were to tell you what I feel, he is closer to leaving the club than staying. But Zinedine Zidane will most likely remain at the helm beyond the 2020-21 season, so you never know. Zidane loves Vázquez, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the latter earns an extension for himself.

I have enjoyed watching Vázquez play in recent weeks, and I’m sure most of you would echo my feelings. If the club indeed offers him an extension, he deserves it. If not, I will be eternally grateful to him for his loyal service to the club. Let’s hope for the best and let’s hope Real Madrid can recover from their recent slump. HALA MADRID!