Isco had an astonishing start to his Real Madrid career last season, but a change in formation saw him losing his place to Angel di Maria in the starting lineup.
It did, then, appear that it would be Isco rather than Di Maria who would be sweating over his future at the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer. But, alas, it was Di Maria who departed for Manchester United.
There were plenty of suggestions that Isco could leave the club, particularly following the arrivals of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, but things can change very quickly.
Real Madrid lost Bale due to injury and that proved to be the blessing in disguise. Isco finally get an extended run in the first team for the first time this season and he proved why Madrid paid big bucks for him in the first place.
In 10 games this season, Isco provided four assists and scored one goal for Los Blancos, but that’s not all as his work rate over this period of time has been phenomenal.
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In the Champions League, Isco has made 3.7 tackles per game, which is better than the likes of Sergio Ramos (2.1), Pepe (2.5), Marcelo (3.3), Luka (2), Kroos (2) and James (2.3). Only Alvaro Arbeloa surpasses Isco with five tackles per game.
Looking at the defensive tackles collectively from Champions League and La Liga, Isco seems to be the man Madrid depends on with an average of 2.6 tackles per game, better than Sergio Ramos (2.1), Pepe (2.3), Varane (1.6), Kroos (2.3) and Modric (1.8). Only Marcelo and Arbeloa out pass Isco in this department.
Not only that, Isco’s passing accuracy is also notable with 89 percent in La Liga, which is better than the likes of Bale (81.1 percent), James (87.8 percent), Karim Benzema (82 percent) and Cristiano Ronaldo (83.1 percent). Only Modric (91.3 percent) and Kroos (93.6 percent) outperformed Isco in that area.
Isco time and again proves his versatility to open opposition defence with his swift touch and the understanding of the game, which often gives the impression he is far older than just 21.
He has an impressive 1.6 key pass average per game this season which is better superior to Kroos, Bale and Modric. Isco also shows the ability to press the opposition when needed and hold the line when the situation demands him to do so. It was due to these performances that Isco received a standing ovation the Classico win over Barcelona.
His performances in the recent past strengthen his relationship with Bernabeu faithful, and that was evident in recent poll held by Madrid owned newspaper Marca, where 82 percent of the people voted in favour of starting Isco keeping his placed ahead of Bale.
Madrid seems to finally have balance that they were lacking before and things are looking better, at least domestically, than a year ago.