WITH the spending power of Europe's top clubs hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic, many will be looking at their academies and who to promote.
Real Madrid, usually perennial big spenders, will be no different.
And, the answer to their playmaker woes – with Lukic Modric's knees creaking and Eden Hazard still struggling for form – could be Sergio Arribas.
The 19-year-old has been compared to Isco, who himself has been linked with a move away from Los Blancos.
Blessed with a magic left-foot, the 5ft 7in central midfielder can operate as a No10 or out wide.
Last season, Arribas played a key role in Real Madrid's youth side winning the Uefa Youth League.
PART OF LA FABRICA
Madrid-native Arribas joined his boyhood club at the age of 11, after a spell at second division Leganes.
But it wasn't until last season that a buzz about his performances began to peak boss Zinedine Zidane's interest.
He led the club to a 3-2 win over Benfica in the Uefa Youth League final – a competition akin to the Champions League for U18s.
Arribas finished an incredible campaign with 18 goals and 13 assists in his 34 appearances.
An introduction to the first team beckoned.
Zidane used Arribas in a preseason friendly against Getafe – and he didn't disappoint by netting a penalty.
However, it is for Real Madrid's reserve side where he has appeared most this campaign.
In 14 appearances for the Spanish third tier side he's managed three goals and one assist, and impressed with his team play.
And Arribas has had a taste of first team action – mostly from the bench where he's gathered minutes often as a late sub.
Back in September, he made his debut against Real Sociedad – coming on for Vinicius Jr in the 91st minute.
While his Champions League bow came in December, when he was introduced from the bench in a 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
Those who have worked with Arribas have spoken of his low-centre of gravity and wicked left-foot.
There have also been comparisons to another Real Madrid star.
“He is a very precise player, you could tell he was very skilful, with that low centre of gravity that can remind you of the Isco or that type of player,” former coach Dani Poyatos told Fabrica Madrid.
“And on a football level, being more of a midfielder than a finisher, he showed a precision that attracted a lot of attention, without being the centre forward.
“He understands second moves, second actions, very well. He is very intuitive, in what action or what second move there will be.”
Zidane will be hopeful that intuition in front of goal will help his side's cause in years to come.
Source: Read Full Article