With Vinicius Jr expected to be out until February 2024, the focus now moves to Joselu to shoulder the goalscoring responsibilities for Carlo Ancelotti, reports AS.
As such, the 33-year-old Espanyol loanee has delivered whenever called upon and his recent outing for the Spanish national team against Cyprus, where he scored a goal and assisted another, is something that the Real Madrid coaching staff can be positive about.
It is to be noted that the forward arrived in Madrid on loan last summer and right from his first appearance in the pre-season, it became clear that he would not settle for a secondary role.
A right man for a tough job
Joselu has consistently emphasised his desire to remain with Madrid once his loan concludes, and his on-field performance reflects this commitment.
With an impressive record of 16 appearances in 17 matches across all competitions, Joselu has started seven games and completed four.
Notably, the 33-year-old has demonstrated his goal-scoring prowess, netting five goals and providing two assists during his outings. Four goals these five goals were scored at the iconic Santiago Bernabeu, while the fifth came in a triumphant away match against Girona.
This standout performance saw him not only score but also assist Jude Bellingham in a 3-0 win.
While he awaits his debut goal in the Champions League, his current form suggests that this milestone is within reach and potential opportunities against Napoli and Union Berlin could offer the ideal stage for him to make his mark in the competition.
His contribution is more than just goals
Joselu’s impact goes beyond just scoring goals and this becomes particularly evident in the attacking third, where, during Madrid’s offensive moves, he consistently positions himself between the centre-backs.
His positional awareness not only solidifies his presence but also gives close support to teammates entering the penalty box after him.
This prowess of him was showcased in Real Madrid’s victory in the Clasico. His substitute appearance, coupled with the contributions of Luka Modric, prompted the team to stretch the game, assert control over possession in the midfield, and ultimately establish dominance over Barcelona.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo