Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is contemplating how best to fill the gaping hole left by Marco Asensio after the midfielder ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in pre-season.
Zidane recognises that the Spaniard’s injury, which is likely to keep him out of action for the majority of next season, presents him with a huge problem to solve.
At the same time, it has also re-opened a door that had previously been locked shut for the likes of Gareth Bale ana James Rodriguez
A multi-million move to China had beckoned for Bale after Zidane remarkably went public with his desire to sell the forward this summer.
Rodriguez, equally unwanted by Madrid, also looked destined for the exit doors with Atletico Madrid and Napoli touted as potential suitors.
However, Zidane may now be forced to go to the pair with cap in hand and ask them to play a significant role this season with both Bale and Rodriguez are in contention to step in in Asensio’s absence.
Zidane is prepared to delve even deeper into his resources and has the 18-year-old Takefusa Kubo in his thinking.
The Japan international has caught the eye with his confidence and trickery during their pre-season campaign and has been identified as a possible candidate to step up.
Kubo opted to join Madrid over Barcelona this summer after being given assurances of senior football in his second year at the club, but his opportunity may come sooner.
One player who is not being considered by Zidane is Dani Ceballos. Madrid have reportedly confirmed that he will still be joining Arsenal on loan for the season despite losing Asensio to injury.
They claim that Bale and Rodriguez’s departures will be put on hold with the Madrid boss considering six players, including those two, to replace Asensio, who would have been in his first-team plans for the upcoming season. nd James Rodriguez.
Madrid have ruled out signing a direct replacement for Asensio and according to the Spanish news outlet, Vinicius Jnr, Brahim Diaz, Isco and Rodrygo are instead all set to be given an opportunity by Zidane along with Bale and Rodriguez.
Madrid had initially wanted to send Diaz out on loan to gain first-team experience but the 19-year-old, who impressed fans last season after joining from Manchester City in January, now looks likely to remain at the Bernabeu.
Isco had also been rumoured with an exit after only playing a bit-part role last season but he is now expected to stay put and argue his case. Vinicius Jnr was one of Madrid’s rare highlights in an underwhelming campaign last term and is presumably the most suitable option to be given Asensio’s starting berth.
£40million summer signing Rodrygo had been earmarked to play in Segunda B (Spain’s third tier) with Real Madrid Castilla this season but could find himself involved in the first-team following Asensio’s injury.