Real Madrid won their 34th La Liga title in the 2019-20 season and will be looking to kick on in the same vein in the upcoming season. Despite winning the La Liga title, it was clear that there is a lot of room for improvement for the Blancos.
There were some standout performers in their squad but their title-winning campaign benefitted greatly from Barcelona’s terrible run of form after the Covid break. However, going into the 2020-21 season, the Real Madrid side does have a lot of promise.
They have some quality youngsters and experienced campaigners in their setup who will be raring to make the most of their opportunities as the Blancos look to assert their dominance in Spain once again. Without further ado, let’s take a look at 5 Real Madrid players who could surprise you this season.
#5 Federico Valverde
The 22-year-old Uruguayan international is one of the brightest midfield prospects in Europe right now. Zinedine Zidane used Valverde quite frequently last season and he will surely grow to be even more of an important cog of the system this season.
Valverde works seamlessly in Zizou’s preferred 4-3-3 formation and is excellent at bombing through the centre of the park and is one of the best young box-to-box midfielders in the world right now. He is just as good at joining attacks with key passes and making runs into the box as he is at getting back and helping out the Real Madrid defence.
He will definitely be one of the surprise packages next season. Zidane will surely turn to him a lot next season and has already lavished praised on the youngster.
“He’s a modern footballer who’s always looking to pass forward and always wants the ball. The ground he covers across the pitch is impressive, in both attack and defence. He’s playing well and I’m pleased for him. He’s playing because he deserves it,”
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 3, 2020
#4 Rodrygo Goes
Real Madrid have a wealth of young talent. The 19-year-old Rodrygo Silva de Goes is one of the most talented youngsters on their payroll currently. After joining from Santos for €50 million last summer, he has teased his abundant quality in bits and parts and is expected to give us the full reel in the 2020-21 season.
Rodrygo scored a perfect hattrick in the UEFA Champions League against Galatasaray and was one of the Blancos’ best players in Europe’s elite competition. From five appearances in the Champions League, he scored four goals and racked up three assists.
Perhaps the most reassuring thing about the Brazilian in his debut season was his consistency. Rodrygo has also showcased great tactical intelligence and work ethic in addition to his obvious technical proficiency. He is a neat passer of the ball and can also whip in killer crosses from the right wing.
While Zizou will need to figure out where Rodrygo will play next season with Vinicius and Eden Hazard already competing over a starting spot on the left side, it will be foolish to leave out Rodrygo much as he had the highest goals per 90 minutes average across all competitions for Real Madrid last season, playing largely from the right.
🌟 Rodrygo Goes 19/20 • The Future 🌟pic.twitter.com/VL07J9pkXc
— Allu 🦈 (@GreatWhite_9) September 7, 2020
#3 Martin Odegaard
Real Sociedad were surprised to learn that Real Madrid were taking him back this season as they were initially told that they could keep him on loan for another season. But the current financial strain that Real Madrid are facing and the need to freshen things up after their Champions League exit have caused the Blancos to reconsider their decision and call Odegaard back.
Since Zinedine Zidane took it upon himself to bring him back home and the Frenchman doesn’t go out on a limp for players he does not have a plan for, we’re expecting to see a lot of Odegaard next season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Odegaard was impressive for Real Sociedad last season and was excellent for them before injuries impeded his momentum. He could be used as a deputy to the ageing Luka Modric. If he can strike up a partnership with Fede Valverde while being mentored by the likes of Kroos and Modric, sky is the limit for the midfielder.
Martin Odegaard last season 🤩
No wonder Real Madrid have recalled him 🙇♂️pic.twitter.com/j7AMIbnIEL
— Goal (@goal) September 2, 2020
Isco had yet another neither-here-nor-there seasons last time around and he failed to nail down a starting spot at Real Madrid for a prolonged period of time. The Spaniard only started 15 times in the La Liga last season and came off the bench on eight occasions.
He wasn’t at his productive best either, scoring just two goals and assisting two more in both the La Liga and the Champions League combined. Isco’s talent is undeniable. However, his inconsistency and tendency to ghost has led to him falling down the pecking order.
At 28-years-old, the 2020-21 campaign could be the most important season of his life and Isco will look at this as one of his final opportunities to truly grow into the player he has often displayed the signs of becoming.
We expect him to give it his all and thrive amid the competition for a starting spot as it is pretty much do-or-die right now for the Spanish international.
#1 Eden Hazard
The less said about Eden Hazard’s debut season aReal Madrid the better. After completing his dream move to the Santiago Bernabeu, the Belgian looked out of sorts and out of his depth rather uncharacteristically. After all, this is a player who used to tear up the Premier League week in and week out.
It would be fairly accurate to say that the 2019-20 season was perhaps Hazard’s worst domestic season yet. His contribution was scanty, scoring just the one goal and providing three assists from 16 appearances in the La Liga after picking up an injury almost immediately after joining Real Madrid.
On his day though, Eden Hazard is unstoppable and we have been witnessing that for almost the entirety of the last decade. He is expected to go on and justify his price tag this season for Real Madrid and now that he has taken his time to settle into the Real Madrid setup, there could be no stopping Hazard if he hits his stride.
Chelsea fans, how do you remember Eden Hazard? 🇧🇪pic.twitter.com/Vl5xIhPL56
— Goal (@goal) September 3, 2020