Real Madrid: La Fábrica shapes up as LaLiga side's January signing
Zinedine Zidane used three 'B'-teamers against Getafe, and none looked out of place. Youth products are set to have a role to play for Real Madrid between now and the end of the season.
Real Madrid enjoyed a successful night’s work in Tuesday’s 2-0 LaLiga win over Getafe, performing well in every department despite having to contend with a whole host of injury absences. Los Blancos’ crowded sickbay forced head coach Zinedine Zidane to include five ‘B’-team players in his squad for the postponed matchday-one clash, and use three of them: Marvin Park, Víctor Chust and Sergio Arribas. None looked out of place; indeed, Arribas served up an exciting 35-minute appearance as a second-half substitute.
Marvin does well defensively in start at right wing-back
Marvin was handed a starting role, the 20-year-old occupying the right wing-back berth in a new-look 5-2-3 formation. Madrid did most of their attacking down the left, so he struggled to have a major impact going forward, other than a couple of first-half crosses that led to nothing. However, he did stand out in his defensive duties. Together with Nacho Fernández, he helped to nullify the threat of Getafe’s Marc Cucurella. He was also imposing in the air. In total, he completed 24 passes (with an 83% completion rate), two dribbles and two crosses, won seven duels and intercepted two balls during his 55 minutes on the field.
Arribas impresses for Real Madrid after replacing Marvin
Marvin was replaced by Arribas, who proved one of the night’s outstanding performers. Making his fourth appearance for the first team in all competitions - and introduced ahead of Isco - the midfielder looked right at home in the side, linking up to excellent effect with his team-mates. In all, he made 19 passes, 13 of which were in the opposition half, with a success rate of 76%. He completed one dribble, delivered one cross and won two duels.
Chust introduced late on for league debut
Chust was given a shorter run-out, coming on for the injured Marcelo with just four minutes to go to make what was his LaLiga bow for Madrid, taking up the left-hand position in the back three. He didn’t miss any of the four passes he made. Given his senior debut in the Copa del Rey defeat to Alcoyano, he is a player Zidane has firm faith in. Antonio Blanco and Miguel Gutiérrez were also in the matchday squad, but were unused substitutes.
Zidane likely to continue to turn to youth players this season
Following a mid-season transfer window in which Real Madrid again brought no players in, the club’s academy is likely to be an important resource for Zidane between now and the end of the season; ‘La Fábrica’ is Madrid’s January signing. Amid a continuing spate of injuries in the first-team squad, a number of youth products can expect to get game time. It’ll come down to them to impress Zidane and earn their spot. Against Getafe, the trio who played showed that they’re ready.