Real Madrid: new opportunities for Ødegaard, Ceballos, Bale...
If Zidane leaves, there could be openings for several of the players who are out on loan and who didn't figure in the French coach's plans.
A good working relationship with the squad has been one of the distinguishing features of Zidane's time as Real Madrid coach. That's not to say that there haven't been exceptions. Some players who are still on the books at the club but who have had to leave on loan to find opportunities that they didn't get under Zidane. If the French coach ends up leaving at the end of the season, some of those players might have a second chance to show what they can do with Los Blancos…
The Norwegian was called back last summer after a hugely successful loan spell at Real Sociedad. The original idea was for Ødegaard to stay for a second season in San Sebastián, but Zidane called him back early. However, on his return, the player found himself playing less than he had been with La Real. Ødegaard hardly figured at all and in January, he left to spend the rest of the season on loan at Arsenal, where he was given regular playing time. He has been performing to a good level in England, he's put in several decent performances and Madrid directors hope he will be a key component in the side in the new project.
He has spent the past two years out on loan at Arsenal, where he has been an important player for Mikel Arteta and where he has shown himself to be a much more mature player. His problem at Madrid was always Zidane, who never had any faith in him. If Zizou leaves, there will be a new chances for the 24-year-old; he doesn't fancy another loan and would rather grasp a new opportunity by whoever comes in to replace Zidane. His dream is to succeed at the Bernabéu.
He will soon be entering the final year of his contract. Real Madrid would prefer him to leave on a free transfer to a club which would take on his high pay demands, although the arrival of a new coach could change all of that because Bale is still a player who can make a difference. If he decides not to leave, he could be given one last chance to end his time in Madrid on a positive note.
He has enjoyed a great season on loan at AC Milan. To fit into the current Madrid side, other players who share his position would have to leave, but under a new coach, everyone in the squad would start off on the same footing. Other young players could go out on loan to which would open up a place for the 21-year-old, who has shown during his time in Italy that he can compete at the top level.
Another matter which needs to be resolved is what to do with the veteran players who have dropped down the pecking order this season under Zidane. Isco and Marcelo are two such cases. Madrid hope that both of them will move on this summer (they both have a year left to run on their contracts). It will be practically impossible to for Madrid to get a decent transfer fee for the Brazilian left-back, but Isco could attract a good price. In both cases it will be the new coach who has the final say.
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