Many Real Madrid fans were expecting to see summer signing Arda Guler make his debut for the club last night when they faced SC Braga at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The 18-year-old arrived at the club from Fenerbahce during the summer but is yet to play a single game due to injury problems.
However, having returned to training over the past couple of weeks or so, there were expectations that the attacking midfield prodigy would make his debut this week against Braga.
The wait continues
But that did not turn out to be the case as Guler remained an unused substitute on the bench even though Real Madrid cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory over the Santiago Bernabeu.
Now, MARCA is reporting that the summer signing, who arrived in a deal worth €30 million (including add-ons), will have to wait until after the international break to make his debut for Real Madrid.
It would mean that Guler is unlikely to get any minutes when Los Blancos take on Valencia later this week in La Liga before the international break arrives.
Earlier today, the teenage whizkid did not train with the rest of the team and instead did some gym work inside the facilities along with Dani Ceballos.
Not taking any risks
Real Madrid have put in a special plan for Guler after his double injury, with the focus not only on his recuperation but also on increasing his physical strength and muscle mass.
The club’s coaching staff and the medical team reached a common agreement as far as Guler was concerned: they were not going to take any risk with the player’s return and risk a relapse.
Speaking about the youngster after last night’s game, manager Carlo Ancelotti said: “We are being careful with him. He trains with the team after a long injury and will have his minutes when he is at 100%.”
Real Madrid have games against Cadiz and Napoli right after the international break later this month and that is when Guler might get his first minutes with the club.
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