Real Madrid approached the summer transfer market on a high after Zinedine Zidane had steered his side to the best season in 50 years with a Champions League and domestic title double. The transfer window saw the likes of Morata, Mariano, Pepe, Danilo and James Rodriguez leave the Bernabeu with the club acquiring younger prospects to augment the first team squad.
Yesterday's El Clásico squad list has highlighted just how these new signings have failed to break through and have yet to gain the trust of the French coach. Neither Dani Ceballos, Marcos Llorente, Borja Mayoral or Jesús Vallejo were included in the list for the Barça match with just Theo Hernández making the cut but failed to secure playing time in the 0-3 defeat.
Real Madrid's next official game will be the round of 16 Copa del Rey clash against second tier CD Numancia and this tie will provide Zidane to play what has been dubbed as his "Real Madrid B team" and provide a well needed rest for first team regulars who are feeling the demands of regular midweek and weened fixtures since the start of the 2017/18 campaign.
Questions are still outstanding surrounding the summer transfer policy with none of the five new recruits playing more then 630 minutes this season so far: Theo Hernández (623), Ceballos (457), Marcos Llorente (438), Borja Mayoral (437) and Vallejo (359) with other sides sounding out the possibility of loan deals as is the case with Alavés and Llorente.
With doubts about the possible exits during the forthcoming winter transfer window, Athletic Bilbao's Kepa has been strongly linked with a move to the Spanish capital and there is increasing clamour for the Frenchman to bolster his front-line. Plenty of homework ahead for the 45-year-old coach who needs to recuperate that team that both impressed and intimidated so many last August.