Real Madrid: Zidane says Vinicius will not go out on loan
Zinedine Zidane spoke to the media ahead of Real Madrid's trip to Alavés and said Vinicius would be staying at the Bernabéu despite his bit-part role.
Zinedine Zidane has scotched talk of Vinicius Junior being loaned out in January despite the Brazilian teenager falling out of favor at the Bernabéu due to the arrival of Eden Hazard and the emergence of Rodrygo as a first-team regular since his summer arrival from Santos.
Vinicius has been constantly linked with a move to Valladolid under the tutorship of former Madrid striker Ronaldo, with the Brazil legend publicly stating his desire to land the 19-year-old in January to help out with the Pucelas’ campaign. Valladolid are currently 14th and seem in little danger of being dragged into a relegation battle that already looks like a straight scrap between Leganés, Espanyol and one other but only the current bottom four have scored fewer goals than Sergio’s side, who have lost three of their last four.
“No, he’s not going anywhere, he will stay here, he’s a member of the squad,” Zidane said on Friday of Vinicius. “We have 25 or 26 players. Lately he hasn’t been playing much but we will still count on him. Now isn't the right moment but that could change from one day to the next and he has a contribution to make to the team. He's staying, I can tell you that for sure. The issue is that there are other players who are making the squad and playing, as is the case with Rodrygo. When you have 26 players there are four, five or six who have to miss out on the squad list. He’s been out for three, four or five games but we’ll see tomorrow [Saturday]. He has to be ready for when his chance comes.”
Zidane: "We'll see about Brahim and Mariano in January"
Two players who do seem destined to leave in January are Brahim Díaz and Mariano, who have managed 18 minutes of action between them this season with the striker only making the bench once, for the 1-0 defeat in Mallorca. Brahim featured for nine minutes in that game and added another nine against Eibar a couple of weeks ago but otherwise has been omitted from the squad entirely throughout the current campaign.
“We’ll see in January,” Zidane added. “It’s true that they have played very little but between now and January things can happen and we’ll wait until then to have a look at their situation. At the moment, they are with us and training well in case we need them.”
Alavés "a difficult game at a tough ground"
Speaking about Saturday's opponents, Zidane said he doubted his side would be in for an easy ride at Mendizorrotza: "We know the team we will be playing against, and we know they have had a great start to the campaign. The next match is always the most important one and I am sure that we are in for a difficult game at a tough ground. No doubt about it. We have to be ready and focused from the first minute to the last."
The Frenchman also had his say on Karim Benzema's omission from the UEFA Team of the Year list, despite the striker's purple patch of form last season and this: "Every madridista is proud of what he does for us. We're proud of him and all of our players. All we want is for him to give his best in every game - he does that, which is why the fans are so happy with him. That's all we ask for. Everything else doesn't depend on us so I can't really comment".
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