This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Real Madrid have been wrestling with all sorts of injury problems throughout the season and with both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos looking likely to be out for a while, some other stars might have to step up their game if they wish to deliver results.
We’re at the point already when a new injury to Los Blancos is hardly a surprise.
Even before last weekend, Real Madrid had already suffered a total of 13 fitness setbacks since the beginning of the 2019 summer pre-season tour. And that tally might’ve gone up just a bit with some of the recent developments.
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On Sunday, Croatia and Wales squared off in one of their Euro 2020 qualifiers and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
But for Real Madrid, it was more bad news as Modric received a hard knock and couldn’t continue. With Kroos already out from a previous injury, that means the Galacticos are without both of their midfield maestros.
It also means someone will have to step up in their absence.
If someone at the beginning of the season had said that Federico Valverde and James Rodriguez might have to play a huge role in the current Real Madrid squad, many would probably have just laughed it off.
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After all, Valverde was just emerging as a Real player and Rodriguez had been an outcast coming back from his loan spell at Bayern Munich.
Now, however, they are already looking like Zinedine Zidane’s unlikely heroes amid Real Madrid’s injury crisis.
A lot has been said about Valverde being the future of this Real Madrid midfield and the 28-year-old Colombian has also impressed with some of his performances at the start of the 2019/20 campaign, scoring in the recent 4-2 win over Granada while also assisting against Levante.
This, however, represents perhaps their best chance to really establish themselves amongst this Real Madrid squad, in the absence of such coveted names.
Will they take it? Only time will tell.