Real Madrid: The five biggest questions going into 2021

Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Can Vinicius Junior and Martin Odegaard take the next step?

As I have said multiple times in 2020, the youth are key to Real Madrid winning trophies in 2020-2021, particularly when you consider Real were unable to make any signings this past summer. I have focused on Vinicius Junior and Martin Odegaard as the key players to watch, because they are the X-Factors in this title race, aside from the obvious questions of injuries.

Odegaard has been hampered by his own injuries, which have prevented him from having a chance at establishing himself as a regular in Zinedine Zidane’s rotation. Rest assured, he will get chances. Real Madrid and Zidane are patient, and they will not put too much on Odegaard’s plate. Odegaard himself is a mature player, having learned from an arduous pass through multiple loan spells before becoming a legitimate La Liga superstar for La Real in 2019-2020.

As for Vinicius Junior, he has past success with Real Madrid to draw upon, including a hot streak of goals earlier this season. Vinicius has his issues, but he also has five goal contributions this season. Rodrygo Goes is out for three months, which will put more on Vini’s plate on the left wing rotating with Hazard.

Every contributor counts. Atletico Madrid saw firsthand in 2020 what Vinicius can do off the bench to a team, so that potential role is nothing to sneeze at.

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Fede Valverde is a proven player in midfield already, but Odegaard and Vinicius still have to prove to Madridistas that they can be stars for Los Merengues. The stretch of the 2020-2021 season will give them a chance to be heroes for the club.