Many expected Real Madrid to struggle early on this season after what was a tumultuous summer for the capital club. However, an impressive 3-1 away win over Celta Vigo on opening weekend suggested that things would all right after all. It didn’t take long for those suggestions to wash away.
Real Madrid have won just one of their first three fixtures of the new La Liga season. For context, Zinedine Zidane’s side are already five points off rivals Atletico Madrid at the top of the table. The problems of last season continue to afflict this group of players. On the basis of what we have seen so far, nothing has been solved over the summer.
Injuries have been a factor in this. Eden Hazard was Real Madrid’s marquee signing of the summer, joining from Chelsea for a deal worth around £100 million. However, the Belgian has yet to make the field for his new team, sidelined through injury as Real Madrid have struggled to find traction.
Ferland Mendy has only just returned to first team action, playing in the defeat to Villarreal before the international break. Luka Jovic, a big money sining from Eintracht Frankfurt, has so far struggled to find a place in Zidane’s team, with some even speculating that the Serbian striker’s stay at the Santiago Bernabeu could be a short one.
On top of this, Eder Militao has yet to make his Real Madrid debut, with Sergio Ramos and Nacho Fernandez both suspended for the Champions League opener away to Paris Saint-Germain next week. Teenage forward Rodrygo has also been denied his first team bow up to this stage.
Perhaps it’s wise that Zidane has, by design or not, phased in Real Madrid’s squad overhaul, but results have been disappointing over the early part of the season and the capital club must hit the ground running when they return from the international break. They don’t have any more time to waste, especially with Atletico Madrid enjoying such a strong start to the season.
The Santiago Bernabeu is not a happy place right now. Only Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema have found anything close to their top form in the first three Liga games of the season. This season was meant to be one of change. They can’t hold off that change any longer.
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