Real Madrid: It’s time to give greater responsibility to Miguel Gutierrez

Real Madrid, Miguel Gutierrez, Marcelo (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Miguel Gutierrez, Marcelo (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Left back Miguel Gutierrez has been the latest youngster from Castilla to make his debut for the Real Madrid first-team. He made his debut against Cadiz in April and has made occasional appearances as a substitute. Yesterday he got his first start for Real Madrid and got to play the entire 90 minutes. And he did make it count, as he assisted Luka Modric for the first goal with a brilliant chipped pass.

Miguel Gutierrez has been promoted to Real Madrid Castilla season this season after a successful UEFA Youth League campaign with Juvenil-A, and everyone thought there is still time for him to get into the first team. But frequent injuries to both the first-team left-backs, Ferland Mendy and Marcelo, forced Zidane to call up the 19-year-old Spaniard to the first-team.

But Zinedine Zidane always had his eye on Miguel, ever since his Juvenil days. In the pre-season of 2019, while Miguel was participating in the U-17 Euro with Spain, Zidane chose to call up the then 17-year-old to Real Madrid’s pre-season camp and gave him an opportunity in the fixture against Galatasaray. The left-back was also called up by Zidane for the post-lockdown training camp with the first team, in 2020.

He got some callups in some of the first-team games this season, but he didn’t get a lot of chances. Finally, he got to make his debut against Cadiz and came on for Marcelo in the games against Osasuna, Sevilla and started vs Granada yesterday. He got to play 156 minutes in total, and he had shown a lot of glimpses of his talent in the time. And he might have actually made a case to be the club’s next left-back if Marcelo leaves in the near future.

Yes, Miguel Gutierrez has made his case for being a solution to replace Marcelo

Marcelo turned 33 on Wednesday, and he isn’t getting any younger. Despite Marcelo’s efforts to redeem himself, he hasn’t been able to perform well since the 2018/19 season, and the speculation about a potential departure from Real Madrid has only increased. He is a Real Madrid legend, and he is the club’s vice-captain, but sometimes he has proven to be a liability for the team, especially when he was used as a left-back.

More from The Real Champs

Zidane then tried to bring the best out of his attacking prowess by using him as a wing-back with a three-man defense behind him. But Marcelo has been inconsistent, and regular injuries to center-backs forced Zidane to ditch the formation. Now he is back to using a four-man defense, but the absence of Mendy and Marcelo picking up a knock in the Sevilla game gave the chance to Miguel.

Miguel took his chance, and he had shown his quality, and also the potential to be the club’s new left-back. He was energetic and kept running down the left-flank for the whole of 90 minutes, something which cannot be expected from Marcelo these days. Had shown maturity and creativity with every touch and every pass, something we don’t get to see regularly from Ferland Mendy,

The way he released Luka Modric with a chipped pass, which nobody could have expected (maybe even Zidane couldn’t have expected that), was simply astonishing. He made some rookie errors at times, which could be understood due to his lack of experience, but he was composed throughout the 90 minutes and showed a lot of dynamism.

In short, he had shown Real Madrid missed from the left flank all these days. Real Madrid’s left flank has always been an attacking force, with legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo playing from the left. But in recent seasons, particularly in Zidane’s second stint, the left flank has been more conservative. But if a player like Miguel can do more of what he did yesterday consistently in the coming seasons, Real Madrid’s left flank might become an unstoppable force again.

In my opinion, Miguel has already shown enough to be a great solution for the left-back position, and even his performances for Real Madrid Castilla suggest the same. He has always been hyped by the Castilla coaches, in whose opinion he has a higher ceiling than fellow La Fabrica graduate, Sergio Reguilon. And latest rumors suggest that Marcelo is probably going to leave Real Madrid this season, which might leave a vacant spot in the first team.

Next. Ranking the best No. 9's in Real Madrid history. dark

Marcelo has been a legend for Real Madrid. In his prime, he contributed a lot to Real Madrid and has been one of the most passionate Madridistas ever. It was always going to be difficult to replace a legend like him. But with the rise of a youngster like Miguel Gutierrez, Real Madrid might have found the solution that had been groomed and developed in their own academy.