Real Madrid: The importance of Rodrygo’s return from injury

Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

At one point this season, Real Madrid winger Rodrygo Goes was the team’s leader in assists in all competitions. Prior to suffering an injury last year early in a 2-0 win over Granada, Rodrygo has one goal in the Champions League, one assist in that same competition, and four assists in La Liga. The second-year Madrid forward was producing despite making more appearances off the bench than starts.

Now, Rodrygo is nearing a return. The 20-year-old wide forward returned to training on Saturday before La Liga’s Matchday 25 against Real Sociedad, and he could be ready to play a role in Real Madrid’s pivotal March, which includes fixtures against Atletico Madrid and Atalanta.

Rodrygo is not an experienced player, and it can often be difficult for youngsters to get established in Madrid, especially when they are attacking players. Just look at some of the struggles Vinicius Junior and current loanees Luka Jovic and Martin Odegaard have endured when it comes to either playing time or on-field consistency.

But Rodrygo breaks the mold in many ways. From his fairytale debut goal against Osasuna off the bench to his perfect hat-trick against Galatasaray or even his winning goal against Inter Milan in this year’s Champions League, Rodrygo has come up big for Los Blancos.

Real Madrid have 100 percent missed Rodrygo Goes

A brilliant player off the ball and one of the most technically-gifted wingers in La Liga, Rodrygo has all the tools necessary to be a truly Galactic player for Real Madrid. He is already reportedly thought of so highly by the club that he and Fede Valverde are with the established world-class superstars as “untouchables”.

It’s a distinction Rodrygo would deserve. You cannot find many young players who are as multi-faceted as Rodrygo. He does not neglect his defensive duties, he is an extremely smart and accurate passer, and he is electrifying on the ball. Moreover, he can fulfill different responsibilities on the left or right, depending on where he is needed.

And he is indeed needed. Rodrygo’s absence has loomed large. Go back and watch the majority of Real’s match against Atalanta. Watch how much Los Blancos struggled with their movement and could not make things happen. Rodrygo makes things happen. He is more consistent than Marco Asensio and more productive in the final third than Vinicius Junior.

As Madridistas keep a watchful eye for news on two big-name, long-term injury absences in Eden Hazard and Sergio Ramos, they should not neglect the impact of Rodrygo Goes’ return on the club’s chances in the Champions League and La Liga.

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With two assists, seven key passes, and nine dribbles completed in five starts in December despite never playing a full 90, per, Rodrygo was just beginning to hit his full stride as a regular in the Madrid lineup before his injury. After a post-injury adjustment, don’t be surprised if the Brazilian flies high again and gives Los Blancos the boost they have been looking for.