REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Hugo Duro an in-house option as Jovic replacement

Castilla youngster Hugo Duro has excelled for Real Madrid's 'B' team since joining in an initial loan deal from Getafe in the summer.

Real Madrid: Hugo Duro an in-house option as Jovic replacement

Real Madrid have left themselves short on striking options after loaning Luka Jovic back to Eintracht Frankurt, with only two out-and-out centre-forwards now available to head coach Zinedine: Karim Benzema and Mariano Díaz.

To make matters worse, Zidane clearly doesn't rate Díaz, a player he has given just 275 minutes of game time so far this season. It’s a shortfall in attack that places question marks on Madrid’s squad planning, particularly given they let Borja Mayoral leave on loan for Roma in the summer.

Hugo Duro has impressed for Castilla this season

As has been evident in recent games, Madrid are lacking in goalscoring firepower and Zidane needs solutions. There are two routes open to Los Blancos: the first, which is less likely, is to sign a replacement for Jovic in the January transfer window; the second is to look in-house.

Dipping into the club’s youth academy appears to be the more feasible plan - and among the forwards in Raúl’s Castilla squad is Hugo Duro, who has excelled for the ‘B’ team since joining on loan from Getafe at the start of the season.

Duro has been virtually ever-present for Castilla, starting seven out of their eight league games in Segunda División B, the third tier of Spanish football - and the match he missed was because he had been called up to Zidane’s squad for a first-team fixture. In 614 minutes of action, he has scored five goals and never gone more than a match without finding the net.

Duro a part of Real Madrid's future plans

Although Duro is currently only on loan, the club negotiated a purchase option as part of his move from Getafe and have assured him that he is in their plans for the future. Having travelled with the seniors to Milan for their Champions League clash with Inter in November, the 21-year-old could well be handed his first-team debut in this month’s Copa del Rey third-round tie against Segunda B outfit Alcoyano.

Duro a technical, tenacious and mobile centre-forward

An international with Spain’s Under-21s, Duro is a technically-gifted and extremely mobile centre-forward. In addition to his finishing, his chief quality is his intensity. He constantly looks to offer his side solutions by making supporting runs and, when out of possession, he is assiduous in helping press the opposition.

Brought up in the Getafe youth set-up, he has been one of the stand-out prospects in the Spanish capital since a young age, and was on Real Madrid’s radar for many years before his arrival at the club. It’s also worth noting that he already has some top-flight experience, having made 25 appearances for Getafe in LaLiga, in addition to two in the Europa League and five in the Copa del Rey.

Duro is a player who also has one eye on his future away from football. He’s working towards a degree in mechanical engineering at the Universidad Carlos III in Getafe, and was even seen hitting the books while on the first-team trip to Milan, as he was due to sit an exam on his return.