Vinicius: the time is now

Vinicius Jr. has to start playing and that's all there is to it. You can understand the careful, politically correct words from the coach about not rushing the player, or the calls for calm and patience from team mates and directors - no one wants Vinicius to be overwhelmed by responsibility or feel pressured. But there's no footballer in the world, or ex-player who would tell you in all sincerity that the best place for any promising young player is sat on the bench watching everyone else play. They would tell you unanimously that there is no better time than the present - the best time is right now. That's the only way to find out if a player has something to offer or not - by watching them in action out on the field of play, in the spotlight, under the gaze of the public and feeling the stress of representing their club.

Vinicius in action against Melilla.

Give youth a chance

Being overcautious with Vinicius isn't going to help anyone - not the player, who wants to show his worth, or the club, who don't have any time left to lose - they need to know if the lad has got what it takes to play for Real Madrid. There's only one place where footballers can show what they can do and it's out on the pitch. If Leonardo Jardim hadn't taken a chance to give an up-and-coming talent like Kylian Mbappé playing time in Ligue 1 and the Champions League two years ago, maybe we'd still be unaware of the player who has gone on to become a world superstar - and is still only 19. Players can only flourish on the pitch. And that's why Vinicius needs to play. We've been waiting far too long.


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