Julen Lopetegui has announced his squad for Wednesday’s game against AS Roma and has so often been the case this season Real Madrid’s summer reinforcements have been left out.
Among the players to be omitted is 45-million-euro acquisition Vinicius Junior, who has been included in Real’s list of players inscribed for this season’s Champions League but who will have to wait for his chance to impress after being confined to Castilla duty since his arrival from Flamengo.
Also missing out are Álvaro Odriozola, who has yet to make his debut for Lopetegui’s side following his 30-million-euro move from Real Sociedad, Jesús Vallejo, who has fallen out of favour under the new Madrid manager, Fede Valverde, Luca Zidane and Sergio Reguilón, who impressed during pre-season.
Mariano Díaz, who re-signed for Madrid from Lyon in the close-season after netting 21 goals for the Ligue 1 side last season, is included as he also awaits his debut under Lopetegui after being an unused substitute in the league games against Getafe and Athletic.
Vinicius yet to taste first team action under Lopetegui
Vinicius, who was on the bench for the European Super Cup defeat by Atlético and again for the opening match of the Liga campaign against Getafe, has been in fine form for Castilla, scoring three in three games and leaving Madrid fans eager to see him given a run.out for the senior side. However, Lopetegui is erring on the side of caution and has so far preferred to ease the 18-year-old Brazilian in via the reserve team route.
“Vinicius is very young and he is competing very well at Castilla and when we feel that he can help us, we’ll decide what we have to decide,” the Madrid boss said ahead of the Roma clash.
So far this season Lopetegui has preferred to use his tried and tested performers, with Marco Asensio, Isco, Dani Ceballos and Lucas Vázquez occupying the few places where genuine competition is afoot behind established regulars such as Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro.
Lopetegui had been keen to have Vinicius signed up for the Uefa Youth League, but the club decided instead to place him on the list of players eligible for the Champions League. However, he will have to wait to make his European debut after being left out once again by Lopetegui, who is treating his summer signs with a level of conservatism that is perhaps at odds with the wishes of the board.
Odriozola, Valverde, Reguilón, Vallejo, Mariano and third-choice keeper Kiko Casilla complete the list of senior squad players – along with Javi Sánchez, who is being gradually introduced the first-team fold – who have yet to play a competitive minute this season under Lopetegui.