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Why Isco deserves to keep his starting spot at Real Madrid

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Don't let the starting spot that Isco was given against Sporting Gijon fool you.

Rafael Benitez is a canny old manager and won't want to lose the former Golden Boy winner.

However, it is well documented that the player is unhappy at the Santiago Bernabeu and potentially sees his future away from Real Madrid.

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With the closure of the transfer window just a few days away, a couple of games prior to deadline day for the ex-Malaga youngster is a nod to how things could be - a wise move from the manager.

It could well give the player second thoughts as to a written transfer request or otherwise and would mean that January is the earliest he could then flee the nest.

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Be under no illusions that Isco remains nothing more than a bit-part player for Los Blancos at present.

James Rodriguez's capture came at a sizeable cost and Benitez is hardly likely to go against the wishes of the hierarchy if they want all of their "Galacticos" in situ.

Realistically, the only chance Isco will have in 2015/16 to further his credentials at domestic level is if one of Real's front men picks up an injury.

But he really does deserve to keep a starting place...

Versatile

Whether out wide, behind a centre-forward or toughing it out in the bowels of the Real midfield, Isco is a man for all seasons.

Importantly, he is not only a jack of all trades but a master of them too.

There was a reason why the Santiago Bernabeu always gave him the most genuine of standing ovations after his performances last season.

Here is a player that gives his all in every single game that he plays. No hiding. Just good honest graft.

Allied to an intoxicating mix of skill, Isco is a nightmare for opposition defences to deal with and a dream for Rafa Benitez. There's no one else quite like him in the side and the manager really needs to bear that in mind when picking the team.

Pass accuracy

Isco is renowned for his creativity and accuracy.

No matter the opposition, the youngster is usually adept at finding space for himself and others and using it wisely.

It's worth dwelling on his pass completion stats compared to some other members of the line up.

Per WhoScored, 83.3 percent is a fine return when judged alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at 73.3 percent and the person who many feel is in direct competition to Isco, James Rodriguez.

The Colombian's 71.8 percent makes embarrassing reading.

Only Gareth Bale can hold his head high with exactly the same stats as Isco.

Whilst, of course, it isn't just about how well a player can pass the ball, Isco offers enough in-play to be given more than a cursory couple of games here or there.

If we are to believe that players are picked on form, then Isco is a shoo-in for the starting line-up. No question.

Work ethic

The cherry on the icing of Isco's cake is his tremendous capacity for work.

With no evident ego, the player is very much a "team before I" operator and this shows in the way he goes about his duties.

If there's a need to roll the sleeves up and put a shift in, there is no hesitation. Isco is your man.

Unlike some of his team-mates, who might resort to a throwing up of arms if the ball is lost, Isco just gets on his bike and wins it back.

Rafa Benitez has never been noted for flair, but a propensity to work hard is a pre-requisite for the studious Spaniard.

No respecter of reputations, Benitez will have no hesitation in dropping those who don't match up to the level he demands.

Isco simply doesn't fall into that category.

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Topics:
Football
La Liga
Isco
Real Madrid

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