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Real Madrid lack of options off the bench

In the last two seasons, Zidane could call upon Danilo, James, Morata, Pepe, Kovacic and they have all left Real Madrid leaving a bare bench when it comes to experience.

Banquillo del Real Madrid en el partido de la Supercopa ante el Atlético

Real Madrid have sold more players than they have bought in recent years and that trend has continued this summer. The result is Julen Lopetegui is left with a squad with little depth and a starting XI unrecognisable from recent years.

Assuming the starting eleven looks something like this, Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Asensio/Isco, Bale and Benzema, Real Madrid's back-up unit is made up of player who have played very few minutes in recent years aside from Nacho, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio or Isco.

In goals, Keylor Navas has significant experience and could still battle Courtois for the number one spot even if that seems unlikely. Kiko Casilla has played 3,946 minutes in 43 games since the 2015-2016 season and Andriy Lunin played 36 games with Zorya Luhansk in Ukraine last season. 

At the back, Vallejo has played 12 games and his problems with injuries has forced him to miss 19. Fabio Coentrao, who is still under contract with the club, is not in the squad and not expected to be. Odriozola, who will back up Carvajal, played in 57 games with Real Sociedad. Reguilón and Javi Sánchez, who were on the bench for the Supercopa against Atlético, are part of Real Madrid Castilla's squad, in Segunda B.

After the departure of Mateo Kovacic, the main man is Dani Ceballos, who could not win the confidence of Zinedine Zidane last season and played 899 minutes in 22 games with nine of them as a starter. Marcos Llorente (1,063 minutes in 20 matches) and Fede Valverde (25 matches with 1,316 minutes last season with Depor).

Up front, Vinicius played 17 times for Flamengo last season and Martin Ödegaard's future remains unclear with a loan option very possible. Mayoral is also an option but had just 927 minutes last season and Raúl de Tomás, who arrived after his transfer from Rayo Vallecano where he played last season in Segunda.

That is nothing like the bench Zidane had when he sealed the double two seasons ago and could call up Danilo, Pepe, Varane, Fabio Coentrao, James, Isco, Kovacic, Asensio, Lucas Vázquez, Morata and Mariano.


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