Now let us discuss another technically gifted midfielder being closely linked with a move to Real Betis, and given Isco’s wages despite being a free agent acquisition this summer, it is very possible Los Verdiblancos will be choosing between one marquee signing to add to Sergio Canales and Nabil Fekir.
Isco hasn’t received as many headlines recently, but he has a much bigger pedigree than Dani Ceballos. And every time the former Malaga man – there’s the Manuel Pellegrini link with Betis – has been asked to perform for Madrid, he has done so.
One of the team’s most creative players and best progressors of the ball as a dribbler and passer, Isco can still succeed at the highest level, albeit with a club one step below Madrid. So a Champions League hopeful, rather than a UCL mainstay.
This game against Espanyol is nothing about Isco’s Madrid future. That ship has long sailed. It is about Isco may convincing a club a little better than Betis – such as Milan – to open their pocketbooks and give him an important role in 2022/23.
CB Jesus Vallejo
Jesus Vallejo is another player Real Madrid could wave goodbye to this summer, and, as harsh as this may sound, Madridistas won’t be as tearful in their farewell to the young center back.
Once a top prospect for Madrid, Vallejo fell off the map after an abysmal loan to Wolves in 2019/20, which was followed up by a loan move to Granada that somehow ended in him decreasing his value further.
All hope is not lost for Vallejo, but he is understandably finding life difficult in the 2021/22 season, buried on the depth chart as someone the Merengues simply cannot trust at center back.
But this weekend, he gets his chance to show what he can do. If he can hold his own against Raul de Tomas, Javi Puado, and the Espanyol attack, Vallejo could finally earn some positive buzz. He won’t be easy to sell, but he could pique the interest of some club out there. There may be folks in the Bundesliga who still look kindly upon him after his once-upon-a-time excellence in Frankfurt.