Opinion: 3 Players who could replace Luka Modric at Real Madrid
With nearly one-third of the European season now completed as we get into the month of November, we can assess how various teams, managers and players are faring this season.
One club to look at in particular is Real Madrid. Despite sitting second in the LaLiga table behind leaders Barcelona on goal difference, there is a sense of unrest that has pervaded the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu air.
The €350 million spending spree in the summer has garnered little reward, with new signings Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy and Eder Militao not quite firing as the Los Blancos would have expected them to do by now.
Real have also been uninspiring in the Champions League, traditionally their bread and butter, with a 3-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain, a 2-2 home draw to with Club Brugge and an unconvincing 1-0 win at Galatasaray being their results so far.
Part of their problems can be put down to the fact that the hierarchy made a mistake in re-hiring someone like Zinedine Zidane, who has proven quite raw, despite the success he enjoyed in his previous spell in charge of the club. Another more pressing issue, perhaps, has been the midfield.
Zidane has insisted on playing the same three midfielders which won Madrid three Champions League titles despite them declining quite sharply since that time. While Casemiro still does an exemplary job, an immobile Toni Kroos and an ageing Luka Modric have not helped matters.
Kroos is still only 29 and may yet have a role to play in this side, but for Modric, at the age of 34, it seems apt to ask if he is indeed the same player that Real Madrid signed from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012. The 2018 World Cup finalist has been a magnificent servant to the club, but it may well be time for him to make way for the next crop of talent.
To that end, here are the 3 players who we think should be on Real Madrid's shortlist to replace Luka Modric.
*For this list, we are looking at players who can provide longevity in the middle of the park, so all our candidates are aged 25 or younger.
Joan Jordan (25, Sevilla)
Lucas Vera (22, Lanus)