Real Madrid – La Liga Has impressed of late
Real Madrid have had a bad start to 2021. They dropped two points in Pamplona while involved in a title race wherein Atletico Madrid are storming ahead of the chasing pack, and their defence of the Supercopa de Espana lasted just 90 minutes, losing to Athletic Club in the semi-final.
Zinedine Zidane‘s side got off to a flying start in 2020, winning the Supercopa and winning each of their LaLiga Santander games as well.
But among the shadows, Marco Asensio has stood out for his positive performances. The Spaniard has re-established himself in Zidane‘s XI after his long injury absence, and he has left a good impression.
Against Athletic, Asensio was Real Madrid‘s most daring and direct player, and not for the first time. He played at a higher pace than his teammates, which led him to cause the Basques and Unai Simon problems.
The Mallorca native is fundamental for Zidane, especially in a team that is lacking goals. He provides a threat around the box, with his ability to shoot from range but also to pick a pass.
Asensio has had the third most shots of any Real Madrid player this season, His 10 are second only to Karim Benzema‘s 31 and Toni Kroos‘ 14. In order of minutes played, though, Asensio is 10th.
He has only scored once this season – against Celta Vigo – but he has hit the woodwork as many as six times: against Athletic (twice), Borussia Monchengladbach, Shakhtar Donetsk, Granada and Elche. That’s the same number of shots off the woodwork that Benzema has had this term.
Of Europe’s elite, Real Madrid have hit the woodwork more than any other side with 20, and 12 of those are shared by Benzema and Asensio.
With Asensio back and Benzema always at the heart of Real Madrid‘s attacks, Zidane is left waiting for the third member of his attacking trio to deliver.
Asensio has responded well to Zidane‘s trust, but Hazard hasn’t yet.
Asensio‘s good form comes as good news for Spain too, ahead of this summer’s European Championship. Its postponement in 2020 gave him something to aim for, as the tournament taking place last summer would have made his participation almost impossible.
But, as things stand, he looks sure to make the squad.