Cash strapped Real Madrid forced to draw on youth players
Zinedine Zidane fielded three Real Madrid Castilla players (Marvin, Sergio Arribas and Chust) during Tuesday's LaLiga clash against Getafe and I said at the time that the club's financial and sporting problems offer an ideal springboard for younger players from the youth system. Over the years, adversity offers green shoots as was the case with the Real Madrid "ye-yé" team as the likes of Di Stéfano, Puskas and Santamaría began to become less effective with the club in a precarious financial situation at the time. At the end of the 70s/early 80s, the Real Madrid "Los García" side emerged after the likes of Benito and Pirri retired with the famous "Quinta del Buitre" breaking through when the "Los Garcia" started to wane. In each of this situations, Real Madrid were struggling financially and the conveyor belt of talent offered by younger players was the salvation.
'La fabrica' Talent pool
Time once again is repeating itself and we see the club in debt with a 500 million euro credit that will transform the Santiago Bernabéu stadium into a totally modern sporting arena despite its resemblance of a sardine tin. The impact of the covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc with the club's revenue streams with the fallout from the crisis cutting back on the club's incomes by a third. On the pitch, many players are well into their thirties and signs of fatigue are evident and not helped by a demanding fixture list which too is a consequence of the pandemic. In the meantime, the likes of Mbappé and Haaland are constantly linked with the club but I feel these are nothing more than smokescreens. To make matters worse, unlike previous times, I fail to see emerging talent coming through from the youth system, a point that was reinforced by former Real Madrid player Álvaro Benito during the broadcast of Tuesday's game.
Tomorrow's first team
When Florentino Perez arrived at the club, Casillas, Raúl and Guti were the three key youth players who had advanced to the first team and today, Carvajal is the only guaranteed starter with Nacho and Lucas Vázquez flitting between the bench and a place in Zidane's starting lineup. Over the years, the club used the youth system as a source of income but sometimes a poor big name signing can be every bit as bad as selling three promising youth team players. I have to admit that the youth team players mentioned in the opening paragraph, in my view are still not up to the task of playing at the highest level. They may blossom into adequate professional footballers but at present I don't see emerging talent coming through that could provide the backbone in helping the club reconstruct the team going forward.
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