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22-year-old Real Madrid sensation will take over free-kick duties next season – report

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Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

One of the biggest changes heading into the 2023/24 campaign for Real Madrid will be the set-piece duties. After all, the players who have dominated the department over the past few years might no longer carry the same prominence.

Karim Benzema monopolised the penalty responsibility in recent years, even scoring nine penalties last season. With his departure, however, the team needs someone to step up to the pedestal, with Rodrygo Goes and Luka Modric set to take over.

The situation with free kicks, however, is different. Over the past few seasons, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Marco Asensio have dominated the opportunities. However, the veteran midfielders will not be centre-stage next season and Asensio is no longer at the club.

According to reports from AS (h/t Madrid Xtra), Rodrygo will be Real Madrid’s primary free-kick taker next season. After all, the youngster has shown to have the technique required to shine on the stage.

The Brazilian scored his first free-kick for Los Blancos in a pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich. He then replicated his success against Sevilla in the 37th Matchday of La Liga earlier this year to score the equaliser to Rafa Mir’s opener.

With the complete responsibility now on his shoulders, the 22-year-old youngster will have more opportunities to prove his worth from set-pieces. It also reaffirms his participation as a regular starter come August.

Only Kylian Mbappe’s arrival, it appears, can deny him the spotlight.

In 34 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid last season, the youngster scored nine goals and provided eight assists. Further, he averaged 1.4 key passes per game and created ten big chances for the team.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid 23-year-old striker close to finalising a move to Real Valladolid – report

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Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

After two years on loan at Getafe, former Real Madrid striker Juanmi Latasa has returned to the Spanish capital.

His performances, after all, were not enough to coerce his foster club to push for a permanent transfer.

The 23-year-old striker made 32 appearances for Getafe last season, including 15 starts. However, he only had two goals to show for his regular participation and it is safe to label his time at the club as a disappointment.

Now back in Madrid, Latasa is unlikely to get a chance to make a mark at the club. All signs point to a departure in the coming days.

The overwhelming favorite

As revealed in a recent report by Jorge C Picon, several first-division teams in Spain have reported interest in the young striker. Real Valladolid however, are the overwhelming favourites.

The La Liga side are looking for a striker with a good physical presence, height, a strong aerial presence and a knack for goal.

Latasa (L) set to leave Real Madrid. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Latasa ticks all the boxes they demand and negotiations between the two clubs are expected to progress in the coming days.

Latasa’s sale, at this point, is thus taken for granted. Leganes and Espanyol are some of the other clubs interested in his services.

No scope in Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti, over the years, has not carved out a reputation as one who trusts academy stars heavily. In his defence, however, he has always had superior options available.

Heading into next season, Los Blancos have a packed forward department including Kylian Mbape, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo Goes and Endrick.

Considering that the well-established Joselu himself saw no scope at the club next season, it is safe to say that Latasa understands his situation.

From Real Madrid’s perspective, it remains to be seen if they maintain any leverage on his future.

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