Real Madrid: 4 players whose stock has risen this season

Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid are in third place in La Liga following their draw with Atletico Madrid this weekend, and their only other shot at winning a trophy comes in the Champions League. But despite some of the lows they have experienced this season, there are a few players who have helped boost their own value in 2020-2021.

Here are four players who have improved their stock in football with their performances for Los Blancos so far in the campaign.

CB Nacho Fernandez

Nacho has been an excellent replacement for Sergio Ramos of late. Madridistas hope Ramos can return for an all-important second leg against Atalanta next week, but if he cannot play, fans will still feel secure with the center back partnership of Nacho and Raphael Varane.

It’s been impressive watching Nacho rise to the occasion in Ramos’ absence, particularly in the Champions League. He was a standout in the first leg win over Atalanta, and he has solidified himself as the third-choice center back behind Varane and Ramos with performances like the ones against Inter and Atalanta in European football.

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CM Luka Modric

Luka Modric is one of the best midfielders of his generation, and he had a strong second-half of the season in 2019-2020, particularly in the closing stages of the title race. But I think it’s fair to say that he has improved his standing with Real Madrid in 2020-2021 on the strength of his most recent work.

Much has been made of Martin Odegaard’s inability to get into the starting XI at Real Madrid, and blame was sent in Zinedine Zidane’s direction. But it wasn’t going to be easy for a young player coming off a significant knee injury to get minutes over Modric in the form he’s been in.

If only Modric’s assists weren’t going to waste by a troublesome front line!

The Croatian has 1.4 key passes per game and 1.8 dribbles completed per game in La Liga this season, according to, which places him in the top three on the team in both categories.

RW/RB Lucas Vazquez

Lucas Vazquez is a right winger, but he’s shown up the most for Real Madrid at the right back position due to Dani Carvajal’s injuries. While he’s no replacement for Carvajal, as both Shakhtar Donetsk and Atletico Madrid showed us, he has been effective in this role due to his sheer work ethic. He will always keep his head up after mistakes and work hard to either create chances or win the ball back defensively.

That’s what Real Madrid need from their right back. They need someone who is always pushing and willing to fight under any circumstances. It’s no coincidence that three of Real’s biggest wins came when Vazquez led the way with his fight. While it will hurt to see him go at the end of the season if he does not renew, Madridistas will relish getting one final important season from a man who gives his 100 percent on the pitch.

CM Toni Kroos

We end with another world-class center midfielder in Toni Kroos, who has been Real’s best player to this point in the 2020-2021 season. Karim Benzema may be the MVP for a second year running due to his status as the team’s only truly reliable attacker, but Kroos takes the cake as the best overall player.

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Kroos is La Liga’s leader with 2.5 key passes per game and is always creating chances for his teammates with great set piece deliveries and game-breaking through balls. The German international is completing 93.3 percent of his passes and averages nine long balls per game. Basically, he’s doing it all and putting up numbers across the board in a way that is nearly unheard of. His composure, leadership, and overall quality make him the envy of so many other fanbases.