REAL MADRID

Marco Asensio, the new Ángel Di María

After proving decisive in Tokyo, he is looking for his chance under Ancelotti, who is also considering playing him in midfield, as he once did with Di María.

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Marco Asensio, 25, faces a crucial season for his future at Real Madrid. He has two years left on his contract and the time has come for him to finally fulfil his potential. The Spaniard showed his class in the semi-finals of the Olympic Games with the goal against Japan that sent Spain into the final. Asensio now has the opportunity to prove to Ancelotti that he is more than just a nice player with good technical ability. The Italian wants much more from a player who he didn't get to work with him in his first spell as Madrid coach. The club signed the attacker from Mallorca in the summer that Carletto was sacked, although Madrid left him on loan at Mallorca that season (2015-16).

Ancelotti prepared to move Asensio

AS understands that Ancelotti will use him during the season not only on the flanks (on the right, as he usually does, or on his natural flank on the left), but he will also use him as a midfielder in that line of three that Ancelotti likes to use. Obviously Casemiro, Kroos and Modric will be the first names on the teamsheet most weeks, with Valverde coming in as the first alternative to the holy trinity in midfield. But the season is long and if there are injuries, we could see Asensio in that midfield position. Let's not forget that in Asensio's usual wide position, Bale, Rodrygo and Lucas Vázquez are all options for Los Blancos.

This Sunday, against Levante, Asensio could be given a start with Kroos and Modric out through injury, although Ancelotti also has the option of Isco, who played quite a lot in pre-season.

In his previous spell, Ancelotti used Di María in midfield in order to fit Bale alongside Benzema and Cristiano in the famous BBC. In fact, the Argentinian was key in winning La Décima playing in that position, alongside Xabi Alonso and Modric. The tactical success with the reconversion of Di María could be repeated with Asensio this season. Now it is the Mallorcan who must show the same enthusiasm that 'El Fideo' displayed in those years to be able to get into the starting eleven.