5 Real Madrid players crucial to Lopetegui's tenure
The post-Zidane era at Real Madrid has now begun. Julen Loptegui has taken over the reigns and faces a mountainous task of keeping up with the legacy of his predecessor.
The Spanish coach who was a goalkeeper for Madrid back in his playing days was controversially sacked from his job at the Spanish national team right before the World Cup. This prevented the world from catching a glimpse of his managerial efficacy first hand and the Madrid fans eagerly wait for what lies ahead of them this season.
Lopetegui has never won a league title in his managerial career yet has considerable experience of coaching the Spanish youth sides. His best record is perhaps for the Spanish national side where the team never lost in the 20 games they played under him.
His playing style and preferences can be picked up from that tenure and it leads us to believe that these will be the 5 players most crucial to him this coming season.
#5 Gareth Bale
Ronaldo has departed and Madrid is yet to get a viable alternative at the time of writing. Lopetegui himself has stated that he sees winger Asenjo as the successor to Ronaldo. While we believe that Ronaldo's alternative this season would be found on the opposite wing.
The Welsh magician moved from Tottenham for a then-record fee of nearly £100 million. His arrival was naturally greeted at the Bernabeu with a lot of expectations.
Fans might argue that Bale is yet to live up to those and has been completely overshadowed by compatriot Ronaldo during his time at the club. There might be some truth to that as Bale hasn't had a 20+ goal campaign in LaLiga as of yet which is extremely pale a statistic when compared to that of the Portuguese.
This season, however, he might be their chief goal threat in the absence of Ronaldo. Having already scored in the season opener, Bale would be looking to carry on this form and get into a potent goalscoring run.
The Welshman can be the main reliable asset in the team as has been proven in his Spurs days as well as with his exploits in the national side.
Time might have come for Bale to shoulder the attacking responsibility at Madrid as well.