Real Madrid’s summer has seen Zinedine Zidane’s side court plenty of controversy, and struggle to perform on the pitch.
A poor pre-season, with three defeats from four games provided a far from ideal platform for the 2019-20 La Liga season. It’s expected to be a pivotal campaign under the former France international.
Zidane’s return to Santiago Bernabeu in March was framed as him coming back to the club to complete unfinished business after his exit less than 10 months earlier. A low-key end to the season was brushed aside, amid claims that he would be given a substantial transfer war chest to sweeten his return, with club president Florentino Perez handing over €300m for new transfers. The arrivals of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Eder Militao have proved that Zidane means business with a squad rebuild.
But one player he will have to do without is Marco Asensio, after he suffered a serious knee injury, and has been ruled out for the majority of the 2019-20 campaign. Zidane confirmed that the club had rebuffed offers for the 23-year old, following reports that he could be on his way out of the club after an inconsistent end to the previous campaign.
Asensio burst onto the first team scene during Zidane’s first stint in charge at the club, and the World Cup winner was a firm supporter of the Gran Canaria-born midfielder first time around.
He appeared determined to reserve a key role for Asensio this season, despite big name arrivals at the club, with Zidane hopefully that Belgian international Hazard would provide a perfect example of the standards needed to remain an elite player.
How Asensio responds to this setback could dictate his future career, as Zidane will find a place for him for as long he is at the club, but he has a hard road ahead.