Real Madrid: 3 things we have learned about the defense

Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Alvaro Odriozola
Real Madrid, Alvaro Odriozola (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

There’s a reason why Zinedine Zidane dislikes playing Alvaro Odriozola

Last season, I was puzzled when Zinedine Zidane essentially banished right back Alvaro Odriozola. The young fullback struggled at Mallorca with a red card and was somewhat culpable for the lone goal scored in the loss, and he ended up being benched and then loaned to Bayern Munich.

This season, Odriozola has found limited opportunities in what is really a last-ditch season for the former Real Sociedad signing. Odri has failed to justify a price tag of over 30 million euros, and Zidane has only played him when absolutely necessary. If Lucas Vazquez, Nacho Fernandez, Ederand Dani Carvajal are all unable to play at right back, then Odriozola gets the call.

The reason is simple. Odriozola has not played at the Real Madrid level. He was a big reason why Los Blancos lost a couple of weeks ago to Levante, and he was not much better against Huesca despite the victory either. In fact, he can thank players like Raphael Varane for his mistakes not costing the team in that match.

Offensively, Odriozola hasn’t offered enough either. He’s fast, but his deliveries have been considerably worse than the other right backs. The player has zero key passes this season, per, and he has not completed a single dribble since September.

Odriozola is very likely on his way out of Madrid.