Real Madrid are looking to regain their place at the top of the league table as they take on Rayo Vallecano, later this evening.
The Spanish giants are second in the table right now, three behind leaders Girona. However, three points tonight could be enough to dethrone the Catalans.
Heading into the clash, a few Real Madrid youngsters are in contention to feature against Vallecano, with one of them being Nico Paz.
Paz poised to make La Liga debut
According to MARCA, Nico Paz is a liked figure in the Real Madrid dressing room. He is also among the favourite Castilla players in the first team, having been training with the senior players for a while now.
An attacking midfielder by trade, Paz has been a consistent goalscorer for the subsidiary squad this season, racking up six goals in nine league matches.
Paz, though, is yet to make a senior appearance for Real Madrid so far. But that might soon change, with MARCA claiming that the youngster could be in contention to feature against Vallecano later this evening.
A part of the Real Madrid strategy
Paz’s debut tonight could come on the back of reports suggesting that Real Madrid might not sign any new players in the upcoming January transfer window.
It appears Florentino Perez is not a huge fan of the winter market. Real Madrid’s plan, therefore, is to rely on youth players to fill up any holes in the squad.
That is where Nico Paz comes into the fray. The young Spaniard has made a name for himself with his performances in the youth competitions and it is now time for him to make the jump to the professional game.
Logically, Paz could serve as a late alternative to any of the attackers, including Jude Bellingham in the number ten position.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.