Real Madrid’s pre-season tour in the United States of America has been near-perfect so far, with the team winning both their friendlies against quality opposition in AC Milan and Manchester United.
New signings Jude Bellingham, Joselu, and Fran Garcia appear to have settled in nicely and the likes of Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni have also exhibited good form.
The only blemish, as far as the pre-season is concerned, thus far has been the unavailability of Arda Guler, who could now miss the upcoming El Clasico according to Jorge C Picon.
The 18-year-old new recruit had been making positive strides in training with his new teammates, but has been unable to do so over the past week or so due to some discomfort in his leg.
Indeed, Guler was unavailable for both the games against Milan and Manchester United, having not been in training with the rest of the group due to the said discomfort.
Guler a doubt for El Clasico
Manager Carlo Ancelotti had said after the match against Manchester United that Guler would be in contention to feature against Barcelona.
But as per the report from Jorge C Picon, the 18-year-old Turkish sensation’s involvement in the Clasico remains a huge doubt.
This comes after the teenage attacking midfielder once again did not train with the rest of the group on Thursday and instead worked individually with a trainer, running at a low-to-medium intensity to test himself but careful enough not to exert himself.
Guler then had a chat with Ancelotti, following which he retired to the locker room after doing very little work with the ball.
Real Madrid say that the 18-year-old has some discomfort in his right leg but there have been no clear updates as to the nature of his condition. But the club maintain that it is nothing serious.
However, given his minimal involvement in training, it is now being suggested that Guler’s debut is unlikely to come against Barcelona this weekend.
Bellingham on his special assist in Girona 0-3 Real Madrid: “Been watching Luka every day”
Real Madrid usurped the top spot in the La Liga standings from arch-rivals FC Barcelona as they defeated Girona 3-0 away at Estadi Montilivi.
It was a fine performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men against Michel’s side, with the returning Jude Bellingham leading the way for his team.
After being benched against Las Palmas in midweek, the England international returned to the starting XI today and turned in yet another Man of the Match display for Real Madrid.
It all started with Joselu opening the scoring just 15 minutes into the game, with Bellingham assisting the goal with a special, outside-of-the-boot pass from the left side, bringing back memories of Luka Modric doing something similar a few years ago.
Talking about that special pass, Bellingham said: “I’ve been watching Luka every day for months. I just want to be creative. It took the pressure off us at the start.”
On the match and the result, the 20-year-old stated that it was a good day across the board for Real Madrid, as he said: “It was an important win. They were doing very well. We made a statement of intent to La Liga. Three goals, a clean sheet….”
It has been a truly remarkable start to life at Real Madrid for Bellingham and expressing how he feels to play for the Merengues, he exclaimed:
“I feel very good. I have freedom of movement and I’m enjoying football. Whenever I put on this shirt I always try to do my best.”
Apart from assisting Joselu’s opener, Bellingham also got his name on the scoresheet in the second period. Talking about his goal, the wonderkid said:
“It wasn’t a very good finish. I could have scored some more, but the important thing is the victory.”
The strike meant that Bellingham now has seven goals and two assists across all competitions for Real Madrid. Reflecting on his brilliant start, he said:
“It’s a good start, not bad. I would like to continue on this path and I won’t always score or assist, but I will always give my best.”
Bellingham’s celebration has been a huge hit, with kids in school, players from other clubs, and many others mimicking it. When asked how his special celebration originated, he replied:
“I don’t know where I first celebrated. I think it was with Birmingham. It’s an inspiration to see kids doing it in schools. It’s a wonderful thing.”