Odegaard outshines Valverde

Reach out and kiss the saint. Odegaard has landed in Madrid to stay and has done it with stripes from the first day. Not even the discomfort that the Norwegian dragged in the previous days in his league debut against Real made Zidane doubt, usually assiduous in being cautious when his players have just recovered from physical problems. The French coach expressly asked not to renew his loan to the team txuri-urdin and it has awarded him since the first league game, precisely in what was his stadium. Casemiro and Valverde had to watch it from the bench-stands. The Uruguayan aims to become the main victim of the new panorama.

Zidane parked the 4-3-3 that he has institutionalized in Madrid and mutated it into a 4-2-3-1 to join his only signing (with permission from Lunin and the return of Odriozola) for this season. Modric was signaled to give the minutes to Odegaard, but when push came to shove, the Madrid coach reformulated his drawing to accommodate both. Those sacrificed were the indisputable Casemiro, whose absence was the great surprise of Zizou, and Fede Valverde, the white sensation of last season.

The Uruguayan burst in by surprise. His start against Osasuna (after playing a few minutes in Villarreal and Sevilla) was the prelude to his confirmation. Zidane bet on him to the detriment of Modric in the derby against Atlético. Until the confinement, the pulse of minutes in the League between the Uruguayan and the Croatian was settled in favor of Valverde: 2,068 for the Uruguayan and 1,905 for the Balkan. In the 12 games (11 in the League and City's in the Champions League) that were played after the resumption of the competition, Modric returned in excellent shape and turned that distribution around: 726 minutes for Luka for 647 for Fede. A difference tempered by the 90 minutes that Valverde played in the last league game in the absence of Modric.

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The ability to go from area to area was one of the strengths that catapulted Valverde to eleven. With Odegaard in playmaker, Zidane has a new alternative to set up a midfield with arrival. The competition is raging. If the coach establishes his new drawing, the presence of Odegaard and the level recovered by Modric complicate the minutes for Valverde. The sky blue international was the alternative in the pivot of the season in the absence of Casemiro. If not the Brazilian, but his specific pivot position, is no longer essential for Zidane, Valverde is relegated in the ranks. It would be two midfielder positions for which Casemiro, Kroos, Modric and the Uruguayan himself are bidding. He can also opt for an advanced position, as in the scheme with five midfielders that Zidane opted for in the Super Cup. There, the new competitor, along with Isco, is Odegaard. Without a preseason to evaluate Zidane's intentions, Villamarín, where Valverde was a substitute last season, will give new clues.