Real Madrid: 3 things for Vinicius Junior to improve on in 2021

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Become better at finding a killer pass

On the same topic of end product, Vinicius Junior is lacking in the assists department. He has two this season, including a matchwinner against Inter Milan in which he knew, from practice, that Rodrygo Goes would be there across the pitch. It was a wonderful play from Vinicius, but we need to see more from him.

Looking at the data, Vini is 10th on the team in all competitions this season in xA per 90 minutes. Marco Asensio, who did not have a single goal contribution before his brilliant cross on Matchday 15, is the only regular attacking player (min. 500 minutes) with a worse xA.

The good news is that his other statistical indicators aren’t as poor. He is even in the top five among Real Madrid players in key passes per 90 minutes and eighth in passes into the penalty area per 90.

That said, again, a lot is expected from a starting winger at Real Madrid. If Vini can’t become a 10-20 goal-scorer at the position, then he should surely become a player who can grab double-digit assists. Ideally, he’d do a little bit of both for Los Blancos, providing quality chances for his teammates and putting a few in of his own.

I think it’s fair to ask Vinicius to be sharper with his passes both in transition and in the final third, especially those low crosses that can be so inviting for a striker, on-rushing midfielder, or right winger at the back post.