Real Madrid: 3 players who must step up with Rodrygo Goes injured

Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

LW Vinicius Junior

We begin with another young Brazilian winger in Vinicius Junior, who started the season on fire but then faded. As it stands, Vini is still fourth on the team with 0.46 goals and assists per 90 minutes, as Eden Hazard is another name ahead of him on the list.

Vinicius played well against Athletic Club before missing Sunday’s match at Eibar with an illness. That’s when Rodrygo started, impressed, and then earned another start against Granada on Wednesday night.

The 20-year-old left winger was one of Real’s standout players in the 2019-2020 season, showing game-changing ability in El Derbi and El Clasico earlier this year. That said, he was poor in both of those fixtures in the 2020-2021 season.

It’s been an up-and-down season for Vinicius thus far, but Madridistas still believe in him and know he can produce the goods. Zinedine Zidane believed in him, too, starting him vs. Bilbao before an illness. And Vini rewarded him with a good showing in the 3-1 win.

Hazard will make his return shortly, but he will likely come off the bench at Elche. That means Real Madrid will probably start Vinicius on the left, giving him an opportunity to shine. From there, he’ll have a key role off the bench for Los Blancos.