Real Madrid’s attack looked blunt in their goalless opener but there was still no spot for £58m man Luka Jovic… Zinedine Zidane sent a clear message to the board by not bringing him on
- Luka Jovic has struggled for form since arriving at Real Madrid in summer 2019
- The £58m man was left on the bench for Real Madrid’s goalless opening game
- Zinedine Zidane opted to bring on two youngsters instead of the Serbian striker
- It was clear message to the board that Zidane does not want to keep Jovic at club
The 22-year-old Serbian international, who scored 17 goals in 32 appearances in the Bundesliga for Eintracht Frankfurt the season before last and 10 in 14 Europa League matches, was left on the bench on Sunday night as Real Madrid’s blunt attack failed to break down Real Sociedad’s defence.
Zidane requested the signing of Jovic for £58million in the summer of 2019 but instead of turning to him to break the stalemate he put on 20-year-old winger Marvin Park and 18-year-old attacking midfielder Sergio Arribas. His message could not have been clearer.
Luka Jovic (left) did not come on in Real Madrid’s goalless draw against Real Sociedad
Jovic joined Real Madrid – at the request of Zinedine Zidane – for £58million in summer of 2019
The Serbian striker has been left out in the cold and will be available to loan this summer
After the game Zidane said: ‘I did not want to change the formation and Karim Benzema was playing well.’ It was not the most convincing of explanations. Throwing Jovic on with Benzema and playing 4-4-2 looked the obvious plan B after plan A had impressed but failed to find the opening goal of the season.
Park, who was at Tranmere as a kid before moving back to Spain in his early teens and under-18 prospect Arribas are both highly thought of but once the season is in full flow they are unlikely to feature again.
This felt like a message from Zidane. He has moved on Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez and now he wants shot of someone else he does not see a future for at Real Madrid.
Zidane’s decision to ship out Rodriguez, Bale and Sergio Reguilon has already come under scrutiny. Don’t think Marca’s headline last week: ‘Zidane gets his way’, was anything other than a clear message to the Madrid manager: you have given up on these players, you had better make it work with those who are left.
Jovic has been looked at by several Premier League clubs. His performances against Chelsea in the Europa League in 2019 put him in the diaries of various directors of football and there would have been a great scrap for his signature had Madrid not been prepared to pay such a big fee last year.
Now he is on the table again. Madrid learned the hard way from their…