Real Madrid: 5 players who still need to prove they can be regular starters

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Fede Valverde
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Fede Valverde

Real has been relying on their ever-trusted midfield trio of Kroos-Casemiro-Modric for starting most of their matches. Zidane has been getting them off in the second half with the introduction of Fede Valverde and the Uruguayan hasn’t disappointed.

In El Derbi, the last match-day it was the introduction of the young midfielder that made all the difference in Real’s intent to get forward behind Atleti’s defense and score, something that was lacking in the first half’s play.

Valverde has made 21 appearances in all competitions this season. In them, he has scored thrice, assisted once, and maintained a passing accuracy of just under 90%, per He is talented and can work the ball into the right places. He scored in two consecutive outings stating clearly that his goal-scoring can be a threat.

Especially now with real’s usual midfield lineup getting old and unable to continue for all ninety minutes, Valverde could very possibly be the young legs Zidane is looking for. It would be interesting to see if he starts in their Champions League Round of 16 home leg against Atalanta, a game that Casemiro is suspended for. He has scored twice the goals Valverde has this season and he’d have big shoes to fill.

Overall, Valverde is a player with the right mentality and hunger. Given his young age, he has time to polish his game further and give up the rush while handling pressure as he sometimes does. Upon it, he could very easily be the next regular name in midfield for Los Blancos.