Zidane’s Real Madrid return could offer reprieve for Isco


The return to La Liga side Real Madrid of Zinedine Zidane could spell a return to first team action for midfielder Isco, after previous boss Santiago Solari froze out the Spanish international this season.

The former Malaga player has not started a La Liga game since Solari replaced Julen Lopetegui in back in October 2018, and the club announced earlier this week that they would be opening disciplinary proceedings against him, after he missed a team meeting.

However, with Zidane coming back to the club he left nine months ago, he could look to bring the 26 year-old back in from the cold.

Carlo Ancelotti signed Isco back in 2013, and he has made over 300 appearances across all competitions for Los Blancos.

After featuring regularly under the Italian boss, and then Rafa Benitez,however it was Zidane that helped to unlock his goal scoring potential as part of three successive Champions League titles.

The Frenchman played Isco in a central role, rather than out wide, allowing him to link up with Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The positional switch allowed Isco to have a greater influence in key games, and in particular in Champions League games, as he consistently made a difference on big European nights at the Santiago Bernabeu.

His lack of game time this season has led to increased speculation that he would be leaving in the summer, but with Solari’s reign worsening, Isco could be one of the great survivors of Zidane’s second stint at the club.

Club president Florentino Perez is reported to have agreed to fund a summer transfer overhaul to secure Zidane’s return, and there will be incomings and exits during the close season.

Bale is one player linked with a departure throughout the 2018-19 campaign, after falling out with the club’s fans, and his relationship with Zidane towards the end of last season does little to suggest that he will remain in the Spanish capital.

With an ageing, albeit successful squad, Zidane may have some tough decisions to make ahead of the 2019-20 season, with Brazilian pair Marcelo and Casemiro both potentially linked with a move away from the club, with James Rodriguez set to move on.

Amongst his potential transfer targets could be Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Paris Saint Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.

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