Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has admitted that he cannot ignore the form of Marco Asensio, Alvaro Morata and Lucas Vazquez as the star trio of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo continue their struggle for goals
Conceding that he has some tough decisions to make if Ronaldo and co. cannot find a solution to their goalscoring woes, Zidane said that he is under pressure to give more minutes to their young counterparts as they continue to knock on the doors.
Plus, with Asensio and Morata directly contributing to four of the seven goals plundered by Los Blancos against third-tier Cultural Leonesa earlier this week, the Frenchman can no longer turn a blind eye to the performances of the young forwards any more.
As reported by the Daily Mirror, Zidane in his press conference said: “I’m not going to be unfair about it. But yes, I have to take decisions. I try and do what is best for everyone. Tomorrow you will see who plays [this weekend at Alaves].”
Ronaldo, in particular, has been under fire from section of the Madrid fan base as he has endured his toughest goalscoring run in Los Merengues shirt, scoring just four goals in nine appearances in all competitions so far. Zidane had appeared to back his star man last week, saying he was not worried about the drop in Ronaldo’s form at the start of the 2016-17 season.
The fact of the matter remains that the comparison of numbers makes for grim reading for the famed BBC trio. Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo have combined to score 12 goals in 2,395 minutes this season, while on the other hand Asensio, Morata and Vazquez have netted 13 times having played nearly 500 minutes less than their more seasoned colleagues.
And Asensio and Morata, in particular, have been mightily impressive as they boast of a minutes to goal ratio of 104.5 and 116.3 respectively.
It remains to be seen whether Zidane has the courage to drop Ronaldo and his partners for the much more prolific Asensio, Morata and Vazquez. Either way, the rise of these young talents is a positive that throws up a problem of plenty most managers often yearn to have.