Álvaro Odriozola was one of the names Zinedine Zidane put on the table last summer when Danilo departed for Manchester City to act as a back-up to Dani Carvajal. Now, after his sparkling performance for Spain against Albania and a fine start to the season with Real Sociedad, the Bernabéu board are again considering making an approach for the 21-year-old at the end of the current season.
Real are expected to keep tabs on Odriozola throughout 2017-18 and will not be put off by his minimum release clause of 40 million euros if he continues to progress in such spectacular fashion.
Carvajal diagnosis leaves Zidane short at right back
Right back has become a bit of a problem position for Zidane at the outset of the season, with Carvajal overworked early on - the Spain defender played every minute of the side’s first 11 games - and now out of action indefinitely after being diagnosed with a pericardium infection. That has left Zidane with only Achraf Hakimi as a pure right back and although the 18-year-old Morocco international impressed on his debut against Espanyol it remains to be seen how he fares in Europe or against some of Real’s rivals at the top of the Liga table.
Odriozola's meteoric rise
While Zidane has full faith in both Carvajal and Achraf, Odriozola coming on the market is an opportunity that Madrid would be keen to explore. The 21-year-old’s emergence has been swift: he debuted in Primera División for La Real last January due to injuries to other squad members and quickly made the position his own under Eusebio. Having previously played as a winger in La Real’s youth ranks, Odriozola is like Carvajal and Achraf a handy weapon going forward. After representing Spain at last summer’s European under-21 Championship, he has now made his full debut and is a candidate to make Julen Lopetegui’s squad for the World Cup in Russia.