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Luka Jovic

Back at Frankfurt on loan after a season and a half in Madrid.

Many of our fans wanted him at the time but he’s looking like a one season wonder now.

Real’s transfer business of summer 2019 is turning out to be disastrous.

posted 2 weeks ago

But there’s got to be some kind of impact in the present. And there’s been very little for a few years with the vast amounts of money Madrid invested. There’s also to consider whether that could have been invested better, I think it’s fair to say it could have. It becomes more apparent when the players expected to really have an impact to begin with haven’t managed it either.

Barca get a lot of stick, and rightly so, but I think Madrid have been almost as bad with their contract management and recruitment for a good few years now.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

comment by #Culer (U22564)
posted 17 hours, 41 minutes ago
Hazard isn't world class for me. Not consistent enough and drifts in too many games.
Most motm performances in the pl on the 00s. You’re talking rubbish.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

10s* my bad

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

Daz, I was referring specifically to the youngsters, I think you know that.

Even though I'm skeptical as to how much of an impact they'll have in the long term, the jury is very much out. I completely disagree that there has to be "some kind of impact in the present". Hazard, Militao, Jovic, Odriozola are the ones we currently need to be asking questions about, not players who necessarily need time to develop and reach their full potential.

As for 'investing better', on a player for player basis the same can be said of any club at any point in time. Could Liverpool have better spent the 100M they splashed on Keita, Shaqiri and Ox better?

Of course they could, but those players were part of a transfer policy that has paid them huge dividends. You can single out any given transfer(s) as a mistake, but that doesn't disqualify the policy itself.

So, could Madrid have better invested the money spent on Rodrygo, Vini and Reinier? Apart form the fact that we won't really know until a few years' time, the outlay on any one of those players will have to be seen in the context of the broader policy that also brought in Valverde, Kubo, Odegaard, Díaz, etc.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

I know you were, I was making the point that failure of those other players brings to light the lack of impact from the huge investment in some of those younger players brought in. I’d also say given that two of those players were among the most expensive teenagers of all time, it’s not unfair to expect some impact in the present.

I don’t think there’s a problem with the policy of investing in younger players. It just looks to me like it’s been more wasted investment alongside all the other bad signings Madrid have made (I admit there’s plenty of time for that to change).

It’s the overall recruitment, and Madrid’s failure to integrate and develop them, that is the issue.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

"given that two of those players were among the most expensive teenagers of all time, it’s not unfair to expect some impact in the present"

Is it fair though to say the have not made an impact?

While they have not, admittedly, been tearing up trees, Vinicius, Valverde and Rodrygo all had a role to play in Madrid's league title. Vinicius Jr was very often the player Zidane relied upon to run at players and crack defences in absence of more intricate attacking patterns; Valverde was the fifth outfield player with most appearances, quite often at the detriment of Modric; Rodrygo, as the season went on, was often one of the most used subs off the bench.

So, while it's fair to say they -the two Brazilians at least- look far off being world-beaters, you might say that of the previous generation, only Ramos (worth recalling - 27M euro, a then all-time record for a Spanish defender of any age) quickly established himself in the side, and even then, he spent many of his early years shunted out to the right because he was too much of a liability to nail down a place in the centre of defence. Marcelo often played for lack of a better option, but he was consistently questioned for his awful defending. Higuain was in and out, mainly a sub. Despite all of which, they very much paid back all of the investments made in youth back in those days, including many who barely even made a first team appearance.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

Valverde’s been good. I’m talking Vinicius, Rodrygo and Diaz mainly. Didn’t Higuain score about ten goals in his second season? I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

I definitely wouldn't say Higuain was any more instrumental in his second season than Vinicius Jr was last year, even if he did score more goals. I explained the reasons above, and I really don't see what disagreement there can be on that issue.

Last year was Rodrygo's first at the club, so again, what really is the complaint when this season he had shown quite promising progress up until his injury and was looking like Zidane's preferred option on the right side of the attack?

Valverde you've conceded. Brahim is gaining experience at Milan, we'll see where that leads, but his was hardly an outrageous fee (what was it, 10 or 12M?) considering the kind of money the big clubs have forked out in recent seasons on young players.

Are any of them world class or do they look lke being world class? No, not for the time being and maybe never. But the fact remains that the two Brazilians, who I presume are your main bone of contention, were incredibly green when they arrived and have played a reasonable in the time they've been here.

It's far too premature to say they were bad investments, which seemed to be the point you were trying to make.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

Fair enough, but I always liked Higuain from what I saw of him at River when I was in Argie, and was impressed with his early years at Madrid playing as a ss - I can’t say those two were as impressive, but you obviously watched them all more than I have. And I think it’s the collective fee that makes it bad investment, especially when you look at some of the problems in the Madrid team. What is it nearly €150m for the three Brazilians and Diaz? I just think that could have been better invested, with short and long term impact considered. That’s my point really. No doubt, though, the likes of Hazard, Militao, Odriozola and Jovic have been far bigger problems.

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

Let's leave Reinier out for now, because he was only signed a few months ago, is out on loan at Borussia Dortmund (which, in principle, looks like a good move), and has yet to even kick a ball for Madrid, so I don't really see how he even comes into the discussion for the time being.

On Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo, yes, the fees were high, which I presume might have been influenced by having missed out on Neymar a few years back, but the wages presumably weren't and Madrid by all accounts had plenty of time to develop these players.

I don't think anyone in the world back in 2017 and 2018, when they were respectively signed, would have said that having Cristiano Ronaldo (already with an eye on Hazard), Isco, Bale and Asensio ahead of the two was poor short or medium term planning.

Looking at player ages, it actually seemed nicely staggered. It ought to have allowed both a good four years to develop their game out of the spotlight, gain experience, and transition from third-choice squad players to ideally be competing for a starting place. That's precisely the type of situation Higuaín had and benefitted from.

Bale's and Isco's games going to the dogs so completely, Asensio rupturing his ACL, and Hazard spending his first year and a half commuting between the physio table and McDonalds were not really foreseeable circumstances.

In all, the plan was perfectly sensible, but those unforeseen changes have forced the manager's hand and completely changed perceptions as to where these youngsters ought to be right now.

By the way, I could barely believe it when I just went back to check. Isco is still only 28!

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