Real Madrid – La Liga Jovic set to depart
Real Madrid always made it clear that Mariano Diaz was not in their plans. However, the departure of Borja Mayoral last summer and the imminent exit of Luka Jovic mean that Mariano will be the only natural replacement for Karim Benzema in Zinedine Zidane‘s squad.
The 27-year-old has been introduced from the bench in recent games against Celta Vigo and Osasuna, although he was only on the pitch for a combined total of 15 minutes.
Playing time has always been the main complication for him, and he suffered an early setback this season when he became ill with tonsillitis. But after recovering, Mariano started two games in the absence of Benzema – scoring one against Villarreal in a 1-1 draw.
Mariano also started against Inter, but he did not score in the victory at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Nor did he score in the 13 minutes against Shakhtar Donetsk, or in the last 15 minutes when he featured against Celta and Osasuna.
Now a new window of opportunity has opened for Mariano. He knows that Benzema is untouchable, but there are Copa del Rey matches coming up in January, in addition to the Supercopa de Espana semi-final and possible final.
The Champions League is also only just around the corner, and Zidane knows that Benzema will require a break at some point.