REAL MADRID

Clock is ticking, as Lopetegui and fans still await new signings

All four new players brought in this summer have yet to be used in a competitive fixture. Julen Lopetegui has called for more reinforcements, but time is running out.

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Clock is ticking, as Lopetegui and fans still await new signings
PEPE ANDRES

Apart from Julen Lopetegui himself, there have only been four new faces at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground this summer, and, so far, none of them have made an appearance in a competitive fixture under the Basque coach.

Over the course of the Uefa Super Cup final against Atlético Madrid and the LaLiga opener against Getafe, Madrid have played 210 minutes of football and Lopetegui has used 17 players. But not one of those 17 players was Thibaut Courtois, Andriy Lunin, Álvaro Odriozola or Vinicius, the four new summer signings.

A central defender, centre forward and central midfielder

The underlying message of the club seems to be that it has a starting 11 in which it has confidence, but it needs to strengthen the bench. Particularly, Lopetegui wants another number ‘9’ besides Karim Benzema (he wants Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia), another reliable central defender and a midfielder who can play in the role of Mateo Kovacic, who has gone to Chelsea this season on loan. And these are the three positions that he has asked the club to fill.

Publically, Lopetegui has restrained from putting any pressure on those above for new signings (“Signings are not in our hands, winning is,” was his latest response to the inevitable question after the Getafe game on Saturday).

But time is running out and the club still seems reluctant to explore the market. The 2-0 win over Getafe may have gone some way in calming the feeling of anxiety after the Uefa Super Cup final defeat, but it will not console the majority of supporters who are calling for more signings.