Isco reported for duty at pre-season this year in the knowledge it was an important one for his career.
Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival at Real Madrid has opened a door to the 29-year-old Andalusian, and he’s surprised the Italian coach so far this pre-season according to Diario AS. Isco played his best football during Ancelotti’s first spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, contributing 17 goals and 21 assists in 106 games.
Isco has worked conscientiously throughout the summer and reported for duty in top physical condition; significant given he’s come under fire for his lack of fitness in the past. Looking lean and mean, he appears intent on seizing his chance.
He’ll still need to convince, however, to ensure himself a place in the squad for this coming season. Isco has a year on his contract and will have to prove he can contribute to avoid the club cashing in on him to prevent him leaving on a free transfer in 2022. Isco fell behind Sergio Arribas and Antonio Blanco in the pecking oder under Zinedine Zidane last season, and barely cleared a thousand minutes over the course of the campaign.
Ancelotti will be open to giving his former charge a shot, but there’s no shortage of competition in the Madrid midfield. As well as the aforementioned duo of Arribas and Blanco, central figures such as Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Fede Valverde, Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos are all on the books.