Five takeaways from Real Madrid’s 3-0 win against Deportivo Alaves

Real Madrid (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

2. Fede Valverde shows us why he needs to get more minutes

If Madridistas ever wanted to see a player start yesterday’s game after looking at the team’s performance against PSG, it would be Fede Valverde. The Uruguayan has been one of the underutilized but hardworking players in the team, and he was one of the few players who actually tried to do something on that fateful night at Paris, though he didn’t play for long.

Everyone wanted to see Fede start yesterday’s game against Alaves after a disappointing performance from Kroos and Modric midweek. And Ancelotti gave the 23-year-old a start against the relegation-threatened Alaves.

Fede started off from the right, with Modric shifting to the left-hand side, occupying positions that are usually occupied by Toni Kroos, who was rested for the game. The intent was there from Fede, as he looked to make progressive passes and attempt progressive dribbles every time he had the ball. But there were sequences in the first half where he was let down by his decision-making and his raw attacking game.

He stepped up his game in the second half, initiating a lot more counter-attacks, and combing better with his teammates, being involved in the buildup to the first two goals. He had also registered two key passes and six accurate long passes, as per Sofascore. Even Ancelotti was impressed by the Uruguayan’s shift and gave him an opportunity to play the whole 90 minutes.

It wasn’t really a flawless performance from Valverde, but he had shown us why he needs more minutes with an impressive display. He transmits his energy to his teammates as well, and there is a greater belief that the team can win the ball back rather quickly if Fede’s present on the pitch. If there’s any aspect of his game that Fede needs to improve, it’s his game in the final third. He just lacks the killer instinct in the final third, and an improvement there would make him a world-class box-to-box midfielder. And for that to happen, he needs to play more.