Real Madrid forward Jesé Rodríguez is frustrated with life under Rafael Benitez, according to his former teammate Enrique Castano.
Jesé has made just one competitive appearance for Los Blancos since Benitez replaced Carlo Ancelotti in the summer - 56 minutes of the 0-0 draw against Sporting Gijón last month.
Since then, the 22-year-old has been an unused substitute - and, according to his Castano, the situation is getting to the gifted Spain Under-21 international.
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"Jese is f***** up, really, over his lack of playing time at Madrid," Castano, who now plies his trade for Merida, told Goal. "It is normal. All players who don't play and are able to do so get annoyed at this.
"It's true that he worked hard during pre-season. For many days we were training together. I don't understand his disappearance from the team after a good pre-season.
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"He was one of the best in the summer, he scored lots of goals. Now I do not understand what's going on: how could he be the first choice after Benzema and now he is not even an option?
"I think something must have happened, but I don't know what. I know he's training well."
Jesé: The story so far
Jesé burst onto the scene during the 2013-14 campaign, scoring eight goals in 31 appearances for the Spanish giants, but was cruelly struck down by an untimely anterior cruciate ligament injury in March 2014 that would rule him out of action for nine months.
The talented forward returned before Christmas and went onto make 23 appearances for Ancelotti’s side, scoring four goals.
However, Benitez has struggled to find a place in his star-studded line-up for the young striker - and the situation is unlikely to change any time soon.
The Spanish coach must find a way to accommodate the likes of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Isco and other high-profile stars in his starting line-up. It’s not an easy job.
Loan move makes sense
It would make sense for Jesé to leave the Bernabeu on loan, before returning to Real Madrid next summer ready to compete with the club’s star players for a place upfront.
Wasting time on the bench is not doing Jesé - or Real Madrid, for that matter - any favours.
He can become 'as good as Bale'
But Castano feels Benitez should be doing more to bring the best out of Jesé, a player he believes could become as good as Bale.
"I 100 per cent agree with Madrid Castilla coach Alberto Toril that he can be as good as Bale," he added. "Alberto is a coach who has trained him for many years and knows his potential. And I have seen him for many years and I know his ability.
"The situation he is experiencing is not fair for him, but I know he will not back down and will continue training hard when given the opportunity.
"And certainly when the chance to play comes he will do well, he will score goals. When he has minutes, he will shut up those who have been criticising him."
Real Madrid fans: should Rafael Benitez be doing more to accommodate Jesé? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!
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