5 stars of the future who could lead Real Madrid to glory
We have seen a lot of change at Real Madrid in recent months, with managerial outgoings as well as key players going out the door. In a summer of great transition at the club, there was always concerns of how things would be going forward and whether the club would be able to cope with the loss of two huge figures in the clubs history.
The first of the aforementioned huge figures was outgoing manager Zinedine Zidane. A club legend in his playing days, the French mastermind delivered great success in the managerial hotseat between 2016-2018. During his tenure in charge, Los Blancos won a La Liga title, 3 Champions League titles, the Supercopa Espana as well as winning both the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup twice respectively.
9 trophies overall, although differing in levels of importance it was certainly some achievement even more so with the pressures he was facing as a well-known club legend. When Zidane left, it was a shock for many and left fans wondering what now? Who would be able to take the reigns? He left only 5 days after winning the third Champions League title of his spell as manager so he left on a real high and cited a need for change at the club as his reason for leaving.
Then, a huge departure rocked Real Madrid and for many, this was a day that they never thought would ever be upon them. Cristiano Ronaldo left the club, signing a 4-year contract on 10 July 2018. This was a massive deal with the transfer fee being touted as 100 million euros and of course, came with a bumped contract full of additional clauses.
Management wise, Julien Lopategui was the chosen man to take over from Zidane however the circumstances in which he was appointed cast a shadow over things and turned into a real debacle. The manager of the Spain National Team at the time of his appointment, on the eve of the World Cup no less, a fallout with the Spanish FA saw Lopetegui removed from his national team role and as a result of this star-studded Spain squad never really recovered and what followed what a disastrous World Cup which saw them eliminated in the Round of 16 to host nation Russia. He didn't fare much better in Madrid either, early season to defeats to Sevilla, CSKA Moscow, Alaves and Levante not to mention an absolutely crushing 5-1 defeat to Barcelona in El Clasico saw Lopetegui sacked after only 3 months in charge.
Former player Santiago Solari was appointed on a temporary basis and managed to calm the storm somewhat- a run of 4 successive victories has seen the Argentine appointed on a permanent basis and provides a great platform for him to start his managerial career at the highest level.
Much of Solari's task ahead will be planning for the future, namely how to move a club forward which has largely been extremely reliant on one individual for a number of years. The old guard of Ramos, Modric, Kroos, Benzema and Marcelo still remain and are all players of the highest calibre however they are all hovering around the age of 30 and in the coming years it will be time for a new generation to be ushered through.
With this in mind, here are 5 players who I believe have the potential to be future stars for the club:
#1 Dani Ceballos
Dani Ceballos is a technically gifted central midfield player whom much is expected of in years to come. There was real excitement surrounding his move from Real Betis to Madrid, a fee of 18 million euros was agreed a long-term contract rumoured to be 6 years was agreed.
He made 105 appearances in total for Betis, and forged a good reputation for himself in this time. Vastly experienced at youth level for Spain, he also has 3 caps for the senior side.
Ceballos hasn't quite made the impact many had hoped for at Real Madrid however it is still very early days and at 22 years of age time is very much still on his side.