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It used to be a case of ‘no Isco, no disco’ at Real Madrid. Now there’s a broken-record feel to his prolonged absence from the starting line-up.

It used to be a case of 'no Isco, no disco' at Real Madrid before Santiago Solari took charge  Real Madrid to offer player plus cash to Chelsea to sign Eden Hazard 9565366 0 image a 64 1549642082574

His tweet this week, in which he complained about a lack of opportunities, roused a few of his most ardent supporters but after Santiago Solari engineered a draw at the Nou Camp and has the team on an upward curve in La Liga the outrage at him being left out is increasingly muted. Former Real Madrid player Ruben de la Red had tweeted earlier this week: ‘Isco has to understand that Madrid waits for no one.’

But Solari's resistance in playing Isco has led to better not worse results at the Bernabeu  Real Madrid to offer player plus cash to Chelsea to sign Eden Hazard 9565420 0 image m 66 1549642094555

Isco responded: ‘Totally in agreement with De la Red but when you don’t enjoy the same opportunities as your team-mates the thing changes.’ Does he have a point? Certainly his minutes in the first team have been massively reduced under Solari. He ranks 21st in the squad in terms of time on the pitch since the Argentinian coach took over. Only Vallejo, Mariano and Brahim Diaz are playing less.

Only three players at Real Madrid have featured in fewer minutes than Isco under Solari  Real Madrid to offer player plus cash to Chelsea to sign Eden Hazard 9565372 0 image a 70 1549642263955

And it’s also true that in a brief appearance in Real Madrid’s last league win he played a sublime pass in the build-up to the team’s third goal. But Solari’s resistance in playing Isco has led to better not worse results. Real Madrid without Isco in the side play with greater intensity, defend better and are offensively more direct.

Ruben de la Red tweeted this week: 'Isco has to understand that Madrid waits for no one'  Real Madrid to offer player plus cash to Chelsea to sign Eden Hazard 9565432 0 image a 67 1549642245603

Ruben de la Red tweeted this week: ‘Isco has to understand that Madrid waits for no one’

Isco responding in kind and complained about a lack of opportunities at the club  Real Madrid to offer player plus cash to Chelsea to sign Eden Hazard 9565434 0 image a 68 1549642249197

Isco responding in kind and complained about a lack of opportunities at the club

Lucas Vazquez – one of those consistently ahead of him in the pecking order – has been one of the team’s best players since the turn of the year. Isco supporters have pointed to the way, despite Marcelo’s apparent cliff-edge drop in form and fitness, he still in the starting line-up on Wednesday at the Nou Camp. But there are two reasons why it’s unfair to accuse Solari of double standards. Firstly there seems to be some sort of royal decree that means a game of cup semi-final importance must have Marcelo starting.

Without Isco Real Madrid have greater intensity, defend better and are offensively more direct  Real Madrid to offer player plus cash to Chelsea to sign Eden Hazard 9565406 0 Real Madrid without Isco in the side play with greater intensity a 81 1549643073102

‘He’s the club captain’ was Solari’s telling post-match comment on a player who he clearly has lost faith in judging from the way 23-year-old Sergio Reguilon is now the first-choice left-back in the league. And secondly, if there is some unspoken rule that means Marcelo must play in certain games – as unfair as that may be – it can at least be said that after a decade of service playing more games and winning more medals than almost any other overseas player he has deserved some sort of respect. Isco is yet to earn that. Which brings the story back to his complaint that he never gets the chance.

He has had opportunities from the bench but, that assist last week apart, he has not taken them. If Real Madrid have a player who has been hard done by in terms of team selection then it is Keylor Navas who has done nothing in the last three years to merit being replaced.  He came in at the Camp Nou in midweek and was outstanding once again. Navas has kept quiet, trained harder than ever, and grabbed every opportunity.

The Spanish playmaker has had opportunities from the bench but has struggled to take them  Real Madrid to offer player plus cash to Chelsea to sign Eden Hazard 9565402 0 image a 82 1549643098159

Even if Isco has a point, his complaints are unlikely to change Solari’s mind. And there is no doubt that the coach has the backing of the board – he is too politically astute to be leaving Isco out without the thumbs-up of those who will decide at the end of the season if he stays or goes. Isco was banking on Solari leaving in the summer and that still may happen if Madrid win nothing. But the board – who will not be leaving – appear to have decided the future of the team will not revolve around Isco. So where does he go at the end of the season? Would there be a Premier League escape route for him?

Manuel Pellegrini would love him at West Ham. No one has got a better tune out of Isco than Pellegrini when he built his Malaga side around him and reached the unprecedented heights of hard-done-by Champions League quarter-finalists. But could Isco’s ego take the hit of going from Real Madrid to West Ham? It’s a common misconception that Pep Guardiola would love Isco at Manchester City.

Manuel Pellegrini would love him at West Ham after their time together at Malaga  Real Madrid to offer player plus cash to Chelsea to sign Eden Hazard 9565758 0 image m 83 1549643126903

Guardiola loves a baller but he also demands an intensity both mentally and physically, on the ball and off the ball, that would make them far less suited that might first appear. Manuel Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp make similar demands on their players although they might be slightly more open to working on Isco and changing him as a player.

He sometimes holds on to the ball for too long, or comes too deep to look for the ball when his team need him to be higher up the pitch. Perhaps Unai Emery could on those weaknesses and mould him into a Premier League player. But it was Emery who sent him packing from Valencia when he was a kid coming through at Mestalla. Isco is at his best when the team is built around him as it was at Malaga under Pellegrini. Perhaps in the post-Eden Hazard world Chelsea would be somewhere where he could become the focal point.

Real Madrid would certainly be happy to do the two deals in parallel if it brings down the price of the Belgian for them. If there is no Premier League club calling – and there has not been yet – then maybe Serie A will be his route out of Madrid. Or he could just dig in and play out his contract until 2022. It would be a shame if he did that but got no more minutes than he is currently enjoying under Solari, making the occasional defence splitting pass as a substitute and pinging off the occasional tweet.

He remains one of ’s most naturally gifted players but his time at Madrid may have come to an end. If he can’t get a kick now, then what chance next season if either Eden Hazard or Neymar or even both, are also wearing white?

Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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BRILLIANT! SOLSKJAER REVEALS PLAN AHEAD OF SECOND LEG AGAINST BARCELONA

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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed his plan to defeat Barcelona in the second leg of his side’s UEFA Champions League tie with the La Liga leaders.

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United were beaten by one goal to nothing in the first leg played on Wednesday.

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A Luke Shaw own goal in the 12th minute was all Ernesto Valverde’s men needed to claim victory at Old Trafford.

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Speaking after the game, Ole Gunnar Solskajer revealed he will be going in to the game with one thing in mind.

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He said: ‘We played a good team. We know you have to defend a lot without the ball and you might be tired when you get the chance yourself.

Image result for manchester united barcelona brilliant! solskjaer reveals plan ahead of second leg against barcelona BRILLIANT! SOLSKJAER REVEALS PLAN AHEAD OF SECOND LEG AGAINST BARCELONA Luis Suarez

‘We go there with one thing in my mind, we have to score.’

Image result for solskjaer brilliant! solskjaer reveals plan ahead of second leg against barcelona BRILLIANT! SOLSKJAER REVEALS PLAN AHEAD OF SECOND LEG AGAINST BARCELONA Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Newcastle v Man Utd

There is no doubt United will have to score to go through to the semi-final, but the game at the Nou Camp won’t be easy by any means.

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It is expected that Barcelona will dominate the second leg, leaving United with the option of playing on the counter.

Image result for manchester united barcelona brilliant! solskjaer reveals plan ahead of second leg against barcelona BRILLIANT! SOLSKJAER REVEALS PLAN AHEAD OF SECOND LEG AGAINST BARCELONA GettyImages 1141759758 1

READ ALSO: Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer issues warning to Real Madrid’s Zidane over star player

Aside playing on the counter, Solskjaer will have to rely on set-pieces in order to get a goal. This is where a player like Lukaku will be useful, given his physical presence.

Image result for lukaku brilliant! solskjaer reveals plan ahead of second leg against barcelona BRILLIANT! SOLSKJAER REVEALS PLAN AHEAD OF SECOND LEG AGAINST BARCELONA Romelu Lukaku 3 2

It remains to be seen if Lionel Messi will be able to give a better performance after a not too inspiring first leg where he was bullied by Chris Smalling.

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The United defender had prior to the game said that he was ready for the challenge against Messi, urging the little Argentine to ‘bring it on’.

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Smalling showed he was ready for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner by making life very difficult for him.

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MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME

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manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME olegunnarsolskjaer2602b 768x512

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on midfielder Scott McTominay after his performance against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, adding that the youngster is improving in every game he plays.

Image result for scott mctominay manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME 12120550 0 image a 1 1554935656354

The Scotsman played the entire game as United slumped to 1-0 defeat at the hands of Spanish La Liga side Barcelona on Wednesday night.

Image result for scott mctominay manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME GettyImages 1141757661 696x464

The 22-year-old won the Man of the Match award after a commanding display against the best team in the La Liga.

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Speaking after the game, Solskjaer said: ‘Scott McTominay was fantastic. Every time he plays for us he is improving.

Image result for scott mctominay manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME GettyImages 1141759758

‘He’s a great athlete, wins his challenges and quick on his feet. He started settling us to be fair [after United went behind].’

Image result for scott mctominay manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME GettyImages 1136183586 min

McTominay has made 17 appearances for United this season, scoring once.

Image result for scott mctominay manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME AFP 1FJ5ZK

He is a product of United’s academy and made his Premier League debut when he came on as a substitute against Arsenal on the 7th of May, 2017.

Image result for mctominay debut arsenal manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME 1494175594984 lc galleryImage Britain Soccer Football A

His first Premier League start for the club was against Crystal Palace on the 21st of May, 2017.

Image result for mctominay premier league start crystal palace 2017 manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME i img  2Fphoto 2F2019 2F0301 2Fr508473 1296x729 16 2D9

Solskjaer will be hoping the youngster continues to improve and gives a good account of himself if he is given another chance against Barcelona in the second leg.

Image result for scott mctominay manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME GettyImages 1141769657 768x506

With the future of Ander Herrera in doubt, United may have just found an ideal replacement for the Spaniard.

Image result for ander herrera manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME 901616216

If he is consistent, his youthfulness and ability to put in enormous strength will make him the darling of United supporters.

Image result for scott mctominay manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME 0 GettyImages 1141751873

At this stage, it is important for the youngster to avoid the distractions that come from being the centre of attention and focus on giving his best in training.

Image result for scott mctominay manchester united boss names the player that is always improving his game MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME 42262403

He should learn from previous United youngsters who have broken into the first team and failed to maintain and improve on the that got them to the top.

What are your thoughts about McTominay’s performance against Barcelona? Let us know by dropping a comment

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