Vinicius: Real Madrid fans urge Solari to drop Bale for Brazilian
The results of an AS.com poll carried out this week show that the supporters want Vinicius to get the nod against Valladolid on Saturday.
One man in particular grabbed the headlines in Real Madrid's win at Melilla: Vinicius. On his full debut for Los Blancos, the 18-year-old was a breath of fresh air. Under sacked Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui, he had been given just 12 minutes of first-team action across two substitute appearances, and had been made to settle for a place in the club's reserve team, Castilla - for whom he has shone, establishing himself as the side's top scorer with four goals in five games.
Start Vinicius against Valladolid, supporters urge Solari
Having shown real confidence in Vinicius as Castilla coach, Santi Solari placed his trust in the forward once more in his first match as caretaker of the seniors, and the Brazilian grabbed his chance with both hands: he set up Marco Asensio for Madrid's second, had a major role in Álvaro Odriozola scoring the third, fired a shot against the bar, dribbled skilfully and to good effect, and even conjured up a 'rabona' cross...
It was a fine performance that has generated no little excitement among the Madrid fanbase - so much so that the supporters want Solari to keep faith in the youngster in the European champions' next game, which sees them host Real Valladolid in LaLiga on Saturday. In a poll carried out by AS.com in the wake of Wednesday's Copa del Rey win, 90% of those who voted answered 'yes' to the question: "Should Vinicius start against Valladolid?"
Real Madrid fans urge Solari to drop Bale for the Brazilian
When AS went on to ask its readers who they would drop for Vinicius, 46% of voters opted to sacrifice Gareth Bale. The Welshman has been an exasperating figure for Madridistas in recent games, having failed to score or supply an assist in his last seven. 15 matches into the 2018/19 season, the man tasked with taking over the mantle from Cristiano Ronaldo - who scored 450 in 438 for the club - has just four goals and four assists to his name. Bale was followed in the voting by Karim Benzema on 35%, leaving the pair way ahead of Asensio (10%) and Isco (9%) as the fans' chief candidates to be relegated to the bench this weekend.
Benzema accrued fewer votes than Bale because, it would appear, readers have seen at least a glimpse of a reaction from the Frenchman. Changes of coach seem to spark the striker into life: before drawing a blank in eight successive games, he netted four in his first five under Lopetegui, and then rediscovered his shooting boots in Solari's debut in the dugout in Melilla. His return this season now stands at seven, which, though not enough to make him the side's goalscoring focal point, is significantly better than Bale's paultry figures...