What does Alvaro Odriozola's signing mean for Real Madrid?
Reeling from the stunning loss of Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid have set about rebuilding their team. With former Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui at the helm, it seems clear that Los Blancos want to tap into the young and upcoming Spanish talent in shaping their squad for the future.
One player that is sure to be a future Spanish star is right-back Alvaro Odriozola, who has recently signed for the European Champions from Real Sociedad. His electric pace and excellent deliveries earned him a call-up to Lopetegui's Spain squad ahead of this World Cup at the age of 22 but he faced stern competition from the likes of Nacho, Dani Carvajal, and Cesar Azpilicueta for a starting spot.
Lopetegui has once again shown his faith in the young Basque right-back, making him his first signing upon arriving at the Bernabeu. He will join the exciting crop of rising Real Madrid stars that include Raphael Varane, Theo Hernandez, and Marco Asensio, showing Los Blancos' commitment to the bringing through the next generation.
Additionally, he is a perfect tactical fit for Real as well. His recovery pace allows him to adopt high positions on the flanks, which will allow the wide players to cut inside into dangerous attacking positions. As injuries continue to hamper Carvajal from achieving his full potential at Real Madrid, the opportunity may be there for Odriozola to truly make his mark on his new team this season.
However, his signing may come at the cost of another Real Madrid right-back who caught the eye at this year's World Cup - Achraf Hakimi. Representing Morocco at this tournament, the Spanish born full-back starred as a right centre-back Herve Renard's expansive, attack-minded style of play that earned his national side many plaudits.
Despite his versatility and recent successes at the World Cup, he has been loaned at to Borussia Dortmund for the 2018 season - another strong showing of the faith Real Madrid are willing to put in their new acquisition ahead of the current season.
Expectations are always high for players that wear the Real Madrid shirt, but young Odriozola may have found the perfect conditions to flourish at Real Madrid.
Do you think Alvaro Odriozola can become a mainstay at Real Madrid? Tell us in the comments below!