Real Madrid: A year to forget for Isco
Isco Alarcon has not come out of the tunnel. Since being viewed as Real Madrid‘s future once Cristiano Ronaldo departed and Julen Lopetegui was appointed as head coach, the following 12 months has seen him be ostracised by Santiago Solari and remain in the background under Zinedine Zidane.
The 27-year-old has lost focus, to the point where his performances and injuries have caused him to lose his place in the Spanish national team, having not been called up for the last two squads.
The data shows that when Isco is on the pitch, playing in a 4-3-3 rather than the 4-4-2 system he thrived in as Real Madrid won their three successive Champions Leagues, he fails to have the desired impact.
This season he has made just four appearances, all of which were in LaLiga Santander, and he has started twice, first in the 1-1 draw at home to Real Valladolid and then in the 1-0 loss away to Real Mallorca on Saturday night.
As such, Isco has racked up a paltry 170 minutes and has been unable to find the back of the net or record an assist, thus repeating a similar pattern to the 2018/19 campaign where he scored six goals and provided one assist in 37 games.
Isco‘s downturn all started when a bout of appendicitis ruled him out for four matches, which coincided with Lopetegui‘s dismissal as head coach.
The former Malaga star played in the defeat at home to Levante and then in the 5-1 loss away at Barcelona, Lopetegui‘s final two games in charge.
He began the Solari era on the periphery, with the Argentine believing that Isco was one of the reasons behind Los Blancos‘ downturn.
That saw Isco alternate between being on the substitutes bench or being left out of the squad entirely, and the media interest in his lack of game time seemed to frustrate Solari at times.
Zidane then returned as head coach for the final 10 matches of the 2018/19 season, yet Isco was unable to recapture the form that saw him become an essential player for the Frenchman in his first spell in charge.
This summer, Real Madrid received some bids for the playmaker, but Isco was clear that he did not want to leave and therefore did not want to listen to any offers.
The start of the new campaign saw Isco pick up a muscular injury which saw his situation worsen, with the No.22 no longer being a starter at Real Madrid, nor have his performances shown that he deserves to be.
For the time being, Isco continues to remain in the tunnel.