Real Madrid lost 1-0 to crosstown rivals, Atletico Madrid. The rhythm and approach of a much-rotated starting XI were enough to suggest that the Champions took this game like a friendly. On the other hand, Los Rojiblancos needed points to guarantee a top-four finish. They, however, needed a 50-50 penalty to go in their favor to beat Real Madrid’s second-choice keeper, Andriy Lunin.
Up next, the Champions will host Levante in the Bernabeu. The first encounter of the league finished in a fiery 3-3 draw. Levante has its own struggles at the bottom of the table. They’d be expected to bring their A-game against Los Blancos as they always do. For Real Madrid, it’d again be a game to try out the depth in their squad. The best thing about wrapping the league up with four games remaining is that some Academy players can finally get some first-team action. Here are three such Castilla players who should get a chance in the next game.
3. CF Juanmi Latasa
Real Madrid has two strikers apart from Karim ‘the dream’ Benzema for exclusive first-team use. They are Mariano Diaz and Luka Jovic. And, this is something we all can agree on. Both these players’ future isn’t in the Spanish Capital. Mariano was named in Carlo Ancelotti’s starting XI for the Madrid derby. But, he pulled out just before the start complaining of muscular problems. That brought Luka Jovic a rare chance to shine. The Serbian couldn’t make a meal of it.
Both these players aren’t what Madrid wants. They must go. As such, the club will look for a backup striker to Karim Benzema. In one of my earlier articles, I discussed five such options. One among them was Real Madrid Castilla’s first choice Center-Forward, Juanmi Latasa. He has had a good individual season with RM Castilla scoring 12 goals in 29 outings. He is the side’s second-top scorer behind Sergio Arribas who has 14.
Latasa was called up to the Real Madrid first-team matchday squad against Getafe. A game where both Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema weren’t available. While Vini was out serving a suspension, Benzema was out injured. The young man didn’t get his opportunity in that game. But, it could be his day against Levante.
Considering that the Erling Haaland ship has sailed, Real Madrid will need a backup striker. Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz were given their opportunities and it’s fair to say they haven’t worked for the club. Therefore, Real Madrid must make a change. So, before going for someone like Raul de Tomas, why not try out the home-grown Latasa once. Just to see what he can do with the first team pressure on and a fiery Levante side taking the game to Los Blancos.