Premier League Matchday 35: Tricky Away Trip For Manchester United
What a tumultuous few months it’s been for Isco Alarcon.
Completely frozen out by Santiago Solari, it was a big surprise that the midfielder didn’t try to engineer a move away from Real Madrid in the January transfer window. A player known as Magia (Magic) in the Los Blancos dressing room, when he’s on song there’s no one better in his position. He gives Real something different in that area of the pitch and makes them a little less predictable.
There were many theories put forward as to why Solari eventually refused to even name him in his match day squad, the main one being ill-discipline on the players part.
Whatever the whys and wherefores, clearly Real struggled in the middle of the park without him in it. Casemiro has been nowhere close to his best in 2018/19 and both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have been laboured at times.
It must’ve therefore come as a huge relief to the former Malaga man when Solari was dispensed with just a few months after being heralded as Los Blancos’ saviour in the wake of the Julen Lopetegui debacle. More so when it was revealed that Zinedine Zidane would be captaining the ship once more.
Isco was quickly reinstated to the starting line-up and, surprise surprise, was a constant thorn in Celta Vigo’s side. He even had the temerity to score the opening goal just after the hour mark!
Everything was rosy again it seemed… until Luis Enrique announced his most recent Spain squad.
Though it’s fair to say that La Roja are well stocked in the midfield area, there has to be a place for Isco, but he was a glaring omission for the games against Norway and Malta.
With 36 caps to his name, he has more individually than Saul Niguez, Dani Ceballos, Sergio Canales, Rodri, Sergi Roberto and Dani Parejo combined, and yet all six players were picked along with Sergio Busquets.
Even if you take into account Enrique’s noticeable penchant for giving everyone a fair crack of the whip and spreading the caps around, it’s still a big call from the manager. Perhaps the player’s lack of club action has counted against him this time, which gives him a decision to make.
Is it time to move on to pastures new in the summer? A clean slate, under a new coach and in new surroundings could be just the thing to spark him into life again.
Or does he stay at the Santiago Bernabeu now that Zizou is back, and take the risk that he will once again form part of the Frenchman’s first choice XI in due course?
He has to choose wisely because it’s likely to affect his participation at international level too.
Isco to sign before 2nd September 2019:
Any English Club 2/1
Any Italian Club 4/1
Any French Club 8/1
Any German Club 8/1