The level of expectation at Real Madrid is like no other. Scoring the best Champions League goal of all time to win your side the league and still getting criticised for not speaking Spanish. You have to feel bad for Gareth Bale. Meanwhile, his Los Blancos teammate Isco hasn’t had the smoothest ride at the Bernabeu either. Like the Welshman, he isn’t a favourite of Zinedine Zidane and now looks set to depart Spain, either for England or Italy.
The Daily Mail reported that the midfielder has ‘accepted’ he will be leaving in January. Therefore, it’s no surprise Europe’s top clubs have been put on red alert. Arsenal and Manchester City are the front runners for the out of favour Spaniard. Furthermore, Juventus were heavily linked with him over the summer.
But why is such a talented midfielder, not even in his prime yet, surplus to requirements in Madrid? Just over 170 minutes for football for Isco. He’s no doubt better than that. We’ve wrote about him before and we’ll do it again. Here’s what Real Madrid will miss out on if he departs in January:
Isco’s renowned attributes
Granted the former Malaga attacking midfielder had a below par 2018/19 with inconsistency. However, the two seasons prior, he was world class when he played. 2016/17 in particular, the 27 year old was a joy to watch:
Isco’s stats 2016/17:
Oh and if you think his numbers are declining, that’s really not the case. In the 2018 World Cup, he was playing out of his skin. 2.3 shots per game, 2.3 key passes per game, 5.8 dribbles per game. Simply obscene.
Typical Spanish midfielders are technically gifted, good on the ball, a mesmerising dribbler, with great vision for a pass too. Isco has all of that and more. His dribbles (1.8) and key passes (1.2) per game in 2016/17 were impressive. But the versatility and other side of the Spanish international’s game often goes unnoticed. Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com
What makes Isco different
Isco is able to play as your generic attacking midfielder, on the wing or in a deep play making role. Moreover, the latter has helped develop his defensive game and subsequently made him far more valuable to Real.
1.6 tackles and 0.6 interceptions per game in 2016/17 emphasises the industrious side to the Spanish international’s game. Getting stuck in to do the dirty work alongside the elegance in his attacking play. A manager’s dream.
There are dozens of compilations along with the one above showcasing the talent Isco has. He’s capable of creating a moment of magic, whilst keeping the midfield ticking and putting in work defensively. No doubt he’d be an asset to the Gunners, the Citizens or the Bianconeri. It’s just a question of who will pay the money and who the Valencia youth product will choose…
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