The slow decline of Vinicius' involvement this season
Vinicius was not called into the squad against Real Sociedad and PSG and only played 9% of the total minutes during a busy Real Madrid patch in November.
Vinicius is back in Zidane's plans but almost as an obligation. The Brazilian will make the trip to Mendizorroza after being left out of the squad for Real Sociedad and PSG in the last week. He has moved up the pecking order due to Eden Hazard's ankle injury.
The Brazilian has only played 448 minutes for Real Madrid this season, which is 26% of the total played by the team. He is 14th on the list of used players. His current state is more alarming, however, with Real Madrid played in five games in November. Vinicius only featured for 43 minutes in that time - 9% of total minutes. He is at the back of line with Militao, Areola, Brahim and Mariano.
Winter transfer market
The problem with Vinicius? "Last year, Hazard wasn't here," said Zidane when asked about the Brazilian's lack of inclusion against Leganés. The same day, Rodrygo started. It seemed like Vinicius was on his way out in January but Zidane ruled out that possibility on Friday. "Vinicius isn't going anywhere," he said.
In the last month, Vinicius' entourage were skepitcal not of Rodrygo but of Bale. Vinicius stayed behind to train with the team when he wasn't called upon by Tite but Bale, who missed 49 days between two international breaks walked back into the squad. The 19-year-old had been told that he had to keep his head down and work but they felt that there was a discrepancy in how players were being treated.
Bale will be there again against Alavés, but so will Vinicius. That is, at least, until Hazard comes back from his ankle injury.