Achraf's debut in the victory against Espanyol leaves Jesús Vallejo as the only Real Madrid player to have not made his official debut this season.
Vallejo injured for early stages of the season
The centre-half from Zaragoza suffered from a problem with his left thigh at the start of the season. That issue consigned Vallejo to the treatment table for two months. Zinedine Zidane has not been able to select the 20-year-old since the pre-season friendly against an MLS All-Star side on August 2.
Vallejo spent the 2016-17 season on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt. With Pepe leaving Madrid following the expiry of his contract, the idea was to return Vallejo to the fold as defensive cover. His injury problems have prevented that plan from materialising smoothly. "He's in some discomfort and we're not going to risk him," Zidane said in mid-September.
Pepe's replacement as cover for Ramos and Varane
Vallejo received the medical all-clear before the match against Espanyol, but was unable to feature in that match-day squad as he had already joined the Spain Under-21 side on international duty. In any case, his imminent return to action in a white shirt is welcome news.
Pepe played less than any other centre-half at Real Madrid in 2016-17, yet the Portuguese still amassed 1,460 minutes across the season. Jesús Vallejo will take his place as Zidane's fourth choice in the heart of defence, but with the French coach sticking to his rotation policy, he will still form an active part of the Real Madrid squad.