His signing was one of Real Madrid’s biggest in the summer. Indeed, Luka Jovic arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu to much fanfare. After all, the Serbian striker had just enjoyed an exceptional season with Eintracht Frankfurt, leading the Bundesliga club to the latter rounds of the Europa League. Los Blancos needed a striker and Jovic appeared to fit the bill.
However, the 22-year-old has struggled to find a place at his new club. Jovic has scored just once for Real Madrid this season with game time at a premium. With Karim Benzema enjoying the season of his life, the Serbian has been distinctly second choice. Even when he has been given the chance, Jovic has toiled.
And yet there’s still a sense that he could make a difference for Real Madrid in the second half of the season. The fixtures are now coming thick and fast for Los Blancos, with the La Liga title race hotting up, the Copa del Rey getting into full swing and the Champions League set to return for the last 16 stage in February. Zinedine Zidane will almost certainly need to rotate his squad.
There have been signs of improvement of late. Jovic started a crucial La Liga match against Sevilla two weeks ago with Benzema out injured. While the Serbian failed to find the back of the net, he played an important in a 2-1 home win. There is increasingly a feeling that Jovic can play as a part of Real Madrid’s attacking line even if he remains unconvincing in scoring goals for himself.
Zidane is standing by his summer signing. Speculation swirled over January that Jovic could leave on loan, but is still at Real Madrid. I’d like him to score, but he’ll get there if he keeps working,” the French boss said after the mid-week Copa del Rey win over Real Zaragoza. “He’s young, he’s just arrived and the good thing is that he’s in a team where there are a lot of big players and he has to adapt. The delicate moment will be good for him – when he finally scores, everything will change.”
Real Madrid are building momentum, with Los Blancos holding a three-point lead at the top of La Liga at this moment. Players like Fede Valverde and Ferland Mendy are offering something to Zidane he didn’t have last season. It’s now up to Jovic to prove that he can do the same thing up front.
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