Isco deserves chance to shine for Real Madrid

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More commonly known as "Isco," Francisco Roman Alarcon Suarez must be wondering what he has to do to get a regular berth in an under-performing Real Madrid side.

Shortly after being crowned European football's "Golden Boy" - the youth equivalent of the Ballon D'Or - following a string of top-class performances for Manuel Pellegrini's Malaga side, Real Madrid parted with €30 million for the youngster to become Carlo Ancelotti's first signing.

With a star that appeared permanently on the rise, the move was seen as the next stage in what was expected to become a stellar career.

Surplus to requirements?

However, in the space of just a year, it would appear that Isco has become surplus to requirements.

Barely featuring, it's quite the fall from grace for the 22-year-old, yet nothing suggests that he should readily find himself in such a position.

Whenever he has been utilised for the full 90 minutes Isco has acquitted himself well, but those minutes are few and far between.

Per WhoScored, Isco has only played the entirety of a match once during this campaign, during the defeat to Real Sociedad. The rest of the time he remains a bit-part player, registering the odd quarter hour here or there.

It's a pattern which has been replicated from last season.

Arrival of James Rodriguez

The summer window purchase of James Rodriguez would appear to have restricted Isco's development even further.

An attacking midfielder of note himself, Rodriguez's arrival hasn't been greeted with universal acclaim at the Santiago Bernabeu, however any player that signs to the tune of some €80 million and at the behest of the club president will take precedence in the line up.

But does the Colombian really offer a much different skill set to his contemporary, and has Isco's form really dropped to such an extent within a year that he deserves nothing more than cameo appearances from the subs bench?

You'd have to argue no on both counts.

Both players are noted for their direct threat in running beyond the strikers and wreaking havoc behind the defensive line. Goals, whilst not necessarily plentiful, are a feature of play from the pair.

Not happy

SW Lim of notes Carlo Ancelotti's words, which leave more questions than it answers:

"Benching Isco is for tactical reasons, because he has difficulties with this system.

"Of course he isn’t happy because he wants to play. It’s a temporary problem because he’s an important player. He’s a serious player, he’s professional and there are no problems with him.

"I haven't forgotten that he scored a lot of important goals at the start of the season and won us a lot of points when the team wasn’t in good shape."

Those words were uttered back in February but any "temporary" situation appears to have now become more permanent.

Golden generation

As one of Spanish football's new "Golden Generation" along with the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Gerard Deulofeu and Marc Bartra et al, Isco potentially has a difficult decision ahead.

Bide his time at Real in the (probably vain) hope that he commands a regular start, or look for pastures new to continue his previously rapid development.

Manuel Pellegrini for one would welcome him to Manchester City.

City's gain would certainly be Madrid's loss...

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