The summer started very well for Real Madrid.
Following their disappointing 2018-19 season, Los Blancos wasted no time in improving their squad.
A deal to sign Eder Militao from Porto was agreed in March and Luka Jovic arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt on June 12.
Ferland Mendy was next to join and then a deal for highly-rated Brazilian Rodrygo, 18, was completed.
All of this happened before June was over. And then the big one, with Real capturing Eden Hazard from Chelsea in a deal worth €100 million.
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Zinedine Zidane was back and five impressive signings had been made. All of a sudden, it looked like the Madrid outfit were ready to bounce back in style.
But then the wheels began to fall off.
Real Madrid's recent problems
Real’s first pre-season friendly ended in a 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich and less than a week later, they were hammered 7-3 by rivals Atletico Madrid in the United States.
It’s since been reported that Hazard arrived at the Bernabeu 7kg overweight and the Spanish press have raised doubts about the team’s ability to compete for trophies this season.
Worse still is the developing injury crisis that the club are facing.
Real have been hit with injuries to five first-team players since the start of pre-season, leaving Zidane with a problem.
Mendy picked up a thigh injury against Bayern while Jovic limped off with an ankle injury in the defeat to Atletico.
Marco Asensio is set to miss the majority of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Brahim Diaz is nursing a hamstring problem.
And goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is doubtful for the start of the new La Liga campaign after sustaining a sprained ankle.
Asensio’s injury is the only long-term absence of the five, but the growing list of casualties will still concern Zidane.
The season isn’t even underway yet and he’s dealing with an injury crisis.
That’s to go with the on-pitch problems highlighted in the defeats to Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.
Good luck, Zizou. You’re going to need it.News Now - Sport News