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Wednesday 2. September 2020 - 18:13

Lucas Vazquez’s professionalism matters

Real Madrid right winger Lucas Vazquez has been mentioned in transfer rumors, but it’s hard to see him going anywhere in 2020.

This summer, Real Madrid are prioritizing sales in order to afford top transfer targets like Kylian Mbappe and Eduardo Camavinga in 2021. James Rodriguez, Achraf Hakimi, and Oscar Rodriguez are talented players who have already made their way out of the club, and there are more moves on the horizon.

Lucas Vazquez is one of a few Real players with an uncertain future this summer. He’s been mentioned in transfer rumors, given that he’s not a key starter in the squad. Selling Vazquez could net Real Madrid a decent chunk of change, since he could start for a number of clubs.

But Vazquez’s transfer is highly unlikely. He may be a 29-year-old winger who had a mere three goal contributions in the 2019-2020 La Liga season, but he’s so much more than what the statistics show.

Vazquez brings a lot to the table. There’s a reason why every manager, especially Zinedine Zidane, appreciates him. While he isn’t great at any one thing, Vazquez is capable of doing many things well. He can even play at right back in a pinch.

A Madridista through and through, Vazquez has been with Los Blancos since 2007 as a youth academy player. He never makes a fuss. Vazquez always gives 100 percent to Real Madrid, no matter when or where he is asked to play. A cameo appearance off the bench? Vazquez is more than happy to come in and see the game out. How about a full 90 minutes at right back or as a fifth midfielder? Vazquez will do the job, no questions asked.

His versatility and team-first mentality are huge reasons why Zidane would like to sign the 29-year-old to an extension in the near future.

Since Real Madrid can’t provide their manager any major signings this summer, they need to acquiesce to any reasonable request made by the club legend. Zidane led Los Blancos to a La Liga title in 2019-2020 against the odds, two seasons after losing Cristiano Ronaldo and one season after a disastrous 2018-2019 season in which they did not even place second.

So Zidane’s opinion carries more weight than anyone else’s. And in the case of Vazquez, his word is worth heeding. Zidane knows better than anyone that Vazquez, on the strength of his play, isn’t better than Rodrygo Goes, Vinicius Junior, or Marco Asensio. He is not a top-two forward at the right wing position. Nor is he a top-two right back option if Alvaro Odriozola stays as the backup to Dani Carvajal.

But he’s not measured by comparisons to other players in the squad. Vazquez is his own man with his own qualities that are not replicated. Nobody else is as selfless to the squad in this rotational role. He’s also proven, having nailed penalties in all-important games and stepped up to the challenge at uncomfortable positions.

And through it all, Vazquez does not cause issues if he barely plays. Contrast that to, for example, the more highly-compensated Gareth Bale. Vazquez could be sold, but would the 15 million euros be worth losing an experienced squad player whom the manager trusts? In an offseason of tumult and losses, surely not.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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