After starting as an overpriced, overhyped misfit for Real Madrid’s second team, Vinicius Junior has become a rare bright spark in a bleak Real Madrid season
Vinícius Júnior is the hottest source of attraction at Real Madrid this season. The teenager who arrived for around $50 million has already adapted to life in Spain and is showing why he was worth the investment and the faith that the champions of Europe decided to put in him.
After a successful pre-season in the United States, Vinícius Júnior found himself warming the bench under then Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui. The 18-year old took advantage of his brief spell for the Castilla side to make a good impression in front of Santiago Solari – who became Lopetegui’s successor at the first team – following a series of disappointing results and poor displays for the former Spain manager.
With Vinícius taking as much advantage as possible of his first team minutes lately, you can bet that Lopetegui already regrets his decision of ignoring him and trusting players who constantly let him down. It’s fair to say that the strategy of the Spanish manager did not go too well.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale is almost always injured, while Marco Asensio is extremely inconsistent, and Lucas Vazquez is by nature too limited. Madrid’s second most expensive signing of the summer, Mariano Diaz, has yet to demonstrate what he could add to the team, and his poor decision-making in front of goal is not doing him any favors. Even Karim Benzema is not exactly having his best season ever. It was a no brainer to go for someone else and try new ideas.
Vinícius Júnior brought the something that was lacking for Madrid’s starting lineup. He is always looking to go forward – his direct style is translated with more creativity in attack, demonstrated by his seven assists for Los Blancos so far. In addition to that, the Flamengo product has scored three goals, meaning he is already on a total of 10 goal involvements. Double figures by mid-season for a player who only recently started getting enough opportunities.
What makes Vinícius special is the joy he brings with his natural style of play. He is always going for that odd skill that no one executes better than a Brazilian. The Santiago Bernabéu fans already consider him a favorite. He is after all, their biggest source of joy and hope in an otherwise, very disappointing campaign by their standards.
A few weeks ago, there were doubts as to whether Vinícius Júnior should go on loan to another Liga side in January. But right now, this statement looks absolutely ridiculous. Real Valladolid had reportedly suggested the idea of luring in the youngster for the rest of the season, but Florentino Pérez was confident when he informed Ronaldo about his disapproval for the idea. It’s like he knew that the best was yet to come, as he clearly saw the potential in his protégé.
Vinícius Júnior arrived to Spain with a lot of expectations regarding his potential for the years to come. But no one expected him to make such an impact to the first team. With such brilliant performances, he might well impose himself as a key figure at Real Madrid, and ultimately Brazil’s national team, way sooner than predicted. Can you imagine the Seleção with Vini and Neymar in the same lineup?