REAL MADRID

Osasuna goal gives Jovic much needed leg-up

Jovic's goal against Osasuna has come as a huge relief for the player. But Zidane expects much more from him.

Osasuna goal gives Jovic much needed leg-up
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It only lasted five minutes, but Luka Jovic’s cameo at the end of the 4-1 win against Osasuna was extremely worthwhile. The Serbian striker came on to score a goal, which should help to give him a leg up and get him out of the rut he has found himself in. 

The opportunities have been sparse and sporadic, but now he knows that he has the ability to do more and that in the future he must try to replicate the role he played at the El Sadar stadium: one shot, one goal – a well hit volley with his left after a pass from Fede Valverde when the game had already been won.

It was just his second goal of the season after his first one came against Leganés back on October 30. Similarly, that goal had little bearing on the game and came in extra time, Madrid’s fifth in the 5-0 rout. Jovic’s next mission is to convert goals in moments of much more substance. Only then will he become indispensable for Zinedine Zidane, who, despite the relief following his latest goal, will look for more from him.

“I'm glad for him, he needed that, he's a pure striker so you can tell him a lot of things, that he's fine, that he is playing well, but if he doesn't score a goal, he's not happy. He has to improve, but I'm glad for his goal, it’s going to do him well,” said the French coach after the Osasuna game.

The relief that Zidane speaks of is real but Jovic himself knows that he has a long way to go to return to being the striker who dazzled last season at Eintracht Frankfurt, with 27 goals in just over 3,300 minutes of play.

Luka Jovic (L) celebrates scoring Real Madrid's fourth goal in the win over Osasuna.

Jovic: “I can be better” for Real Madrid

“Honestly, I'm not happy with the season, at least up to now. First because I can be better. Sometimes on YouTube I see videos of me last year and I ask myself 'what happened?'” said Jovic in an interview for a Serbian media outlet last week.

“But we all know that Real Madrid is a huge club and it's difficult for the players with experience to get used to it. And even more for 21-year-olds they have paid €60 million for. The pressure is huge, I have fought up to now without success. But I hope the situation changes.

He added: “There is a negative atmosphere when people speak about my form at Real Madrid, but I believe that I will show people the reason why I am here. That I am here because I have ability and the kids can look at me for many years and I can motivate them with my games and goals in a Madrid jersey.”

His goal in Pamplona may have been the first step towards his redemption this season, which has so far been disappointing: one goal and two assists in 764 minutes over 22 games.